@MarDixon

Passionate about culture internationally. Run remixing events, workshops, create solutions, and an international speaker. Over sharer and Mom who loses arguments to a teen. Projects created: @CultureThemes @lovetheatreday @AskaCurator @MuseumSelfieDay @TeensInMuseums @52museums
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    June 18th, 2011mardixonCulture

    When we found out we were going to be in London for the Children’s Laureate, I contacted Ian, the Manager at my absolutely favorite museum in the world (Natural History Museum – NHM) and asked if we could meet up.  I hadn’t an agenda, or fact, a clue as to what I was going to say or what the meeting was going to about but I tend not to let little details gets to me.

    As I was also speaking to the person behind the NHM twitter account, the other CultureThemes partners were invited to attend. Luckily Michael from Poole Museum was able to attend with me.  That meeting went very well with NHM agreeing to become a partner with CultureThemes.

    Natural History Museum

    Then we met Ian.  For those who  don’t know, Ian tweets under @NHM_MusMgr and has been using social media (mainly twitter) in a very positive way for a cultural institution.  I have often tweeted Ian with either praise or sometimes suggestions (earning me the title ‘gadfly’ – which I’m sort of proud of ;-). 

    It was great discussing the fantastic work NHM is doing both via social media and for kids.  I spent the morning at a London Ambassador meeting (for the Olympics) and they gave me a magazine which said NHM was third in London for kids to go to (beating the Science Museum).  We also chatted about the Dino-snores events that are held there.  I’m a mom of one and unfortunately, in order to attend a Dino-snores, you have to have 5 kids. I’m not sure what Ian could do about it, if anything, but it was nice to voice my issue.

    We also chatted about social media for cultural institutions.  NHM was used as a good example by Rich Mintz  at MuseumNext  for the way they have embraced twitter.   NHM and Ian try to respond / acknowledge tweeters who mention them in their tweets.  This is done by either answering the questions, or commenting on the people who might be annoyed with something (usually the queuing).  But they also encourage visits from people who mention they *might* come to the museums.  There is no statistical data to prove whether this is working or not, but I can tell you from a end-user point of view, it would swing my vote!

    Natural History Museum has Seven Twitter accounts:

    @NHM_London – the main account for general tweets

    @NHM_Id – Have you ever found an insect you weren’t sure what it was? They will help you!

    @NHM_MusMgr – Ian

    @NHM_Visiting  – Great account to follow, especially during busy times. Lets you know the projected waiting time.

    @NHM_Dippy – Dippy the Dinosaur that greets you from the main entrance.  This account has some exciting tweets in the works so Watch this space!

    @NatureLive – Live tweets during after-hour events.  Very interesting to follow especially for people like me that can’t get to London on a Friday night.

    @NHMevents –   news and tips about hosting events in the museum

    We chatted for about an hour, with Michael and Ian also getting some words in (despite the tone of this update making it sound like I did all the talking).

    It was great being able to reach out and discuss things with Ian.  Point for social media as I know this meeting would not have taken place a few years ago. 

    Dodos

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    June 16th, 2011mardixonLiteracy

    My daughter Charlotte was one of four kids chosen by Book Trust to be invited to Children Laureate announcement after she wrote an email nomination (she nominated Nick Sharratt but Julia Donaldson, ala Gruffalo, won). 

     

    From that, we had a heads up that Ed Vaizey was going to be speaking at the event.  For those that don’t know, on January 16th I tweeted Libraries are important because [fill in & RT] #savelibraries on Twitter and it went WorldTrending (thanks to Neil Gaiman and Jack Schofield) and there was a lot of attention to the hashtag. The responses I received were heartfelt and meaningful and showed how, world-wide, libraries were a necessity, not a luxury.  I was put into a position to speak on behalf of libraries, something I hope I did with dignity.

     

    From that, I started to tweet Ed Vaizey and Jeremy Hunt to find out how they would answer the tweet.

     

    Can everyone PLS RT Day 121: Dear @edvaizey & @Jeremy_Hunt Libraries are important because [fill in & RT].#savelibraries

     

    I talked it over with Charlotte and said if possible, and as long as it didn’t take away from her very special day, would she mind if I had a quiet word with him.  She was more than happy and here is where I’m going to go into Proud Mom mode. 

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  • I posted this over at www.culturethemes.com but wanted to put it here also.  

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    June 16th, 2011mardixonCulture

    #MuseumNext Blog

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    June 15th, 2011mardixonLiteracy

    I know this post is a bit late, but better late than never. Pictures and some additional information can be found here:

    What HayFestival is All about.

    I was able to attend HayFestival again this year.  I know everyone talks about the feeling there but it is such an indescribable vibe about the festival and actually the whole town. 

    I attended MuseumNext this year, so arrived back at midnight on Friday but managed the 1 ½ hour drive to Hay Saturday morning to ensure I was there in time for the Sky Arts Book show.  I was so exciting about having tickets I didn’t care that I was tired, or my husband Michael was too ill to come but had to come anyway as I didn’t want to get lost.  And I was glad I did as seeing how the show is created was enlightening, as were the guests!

    On the Sunday, the whole family came to HayFestival.  I had tickets for the Sky Arts Book show again (this time it was Professor Brian Cox and Mark Logue – King’s Speech). I also was privileged to attend the Royal Society Lecture by the President of the Society Paul Nurse: DARWIN AND MILTON – TWO VIEWS OF CREATION.   I was a bit worried about attending this event as I’m not the strongest with the Royal Society items, but found this to be a thought-provoking, albeit a bit controversial discussion.  Paul took questions from the audience after, all of whom seem to want to debate his religion rather than discuss the topic but he was very eloquent in his replies.

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    June 14th, 2011mardixonCulture

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    June 5th, 2011mardixonPersonal

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