@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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    December 28th, 2012mardixonCulture, International

    These are thoughts from different conversations I have had on social media.


    80514963-4538-4228-A154ECA6F7350EAEOutreach to the community. 
    Bring the community into the museum instead of waiting for them to come to you.  Many community groups  such as ones that work with elders, community volunteers, disabled, etc, are looking for different projects but might not feel cultural venues fit into their program or even know they are an option. Think beyond education and interpretation.

    Do NOT forget the Teens/Young People. 
    As many people may or may not know, we are creating Teens in Museums with founding members Milwaukee Art Museum, Museum Teen Summit, Smithsonian Ed Lab & Museum of London Youth Panel to help provide a portal for international venues to share both best practice and examples of projects that might not have worked but might work for someone else.  Trying and Sharing is so important.

    Stop running museums as a business. 
    Ok, they need to be run as a business but do we the visitors need to know that?  We don’t want to constantly be reminded that money is a forefront thought. Transparency is brilliant, to a point. A good example of how to be transparent:  Natural History Museum in London periodically shares visitor numbers via Twitter, but doesn’t follow up with running cost.

    think-outside-the-boxThink outside the box
    or as Adrian Russell suggested, CRUSH the box completely.  In October I had the honor of seeing how opening the doors and trusting people could make a huge difference when I attended MuseoMix.  Giving up a bit of control and allowing outsiders access to collections WILL provide a huge return.  Museums need to think differently in order for meaningful changes to happen.


    Museums and Art Galleries do not need to be overwhelming.
    Think of them as a shopping mall – you only take away what you need but it’s nice to know where other items are should you need them.  I’ve always had the philosophy that exposure was the key.  Learn one thing from every visit – not everything, just one thing.  I don’t even care if it is where the bathrooms are located or if the cafe sells cake.

    Don’t feel you have to look at the art/artefacts 
    Just getting use to the space and seeing it’s not as intimidating as you might assume is time well spent.


    How long should you look at a picture or artefact? 
    It doesn’t matter!  If you don’t like it or it doesn’t grab your attention, move along.  No one will snicker or roll their eyes or *tsk *  behind your back.

    Use Front of House for questions
    Seriously, those people that stand/sit in the corner are there to answer questions – not just to tell you photos aren’t allowed.  And they LOVE being asked questions.

    Social Media

    Both venues and visitors need to use it more for conversation and less for marketing.

    social mediaVisitors: 
    Social media is not to be used as a threat when one little thing doesn’t go your way.  You can not threaten to use social media just because one employee didn’t respond quick enough, or the que was too long in the loo.

    STOP using social media to SELL.  Be social!  Tell us why we should visit but interact with us when we’re there.  Be the eyes and ears for what we don’t see – go behind the scenes.  Ask us what we’d like to see. Ask us if we like cake, just talk TO us instead of AT us.

    I’m sure there are other items not addressed here but these have been topics I’ve noticed in the last few weeks.  What would you add? What do you dis/agree with?


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