Lately I noticed something on social media that I didn’t really like seeing. I had hoped I was wrong but decided to ask others their thoughts:
— Mar Dixon 🍰 (@MarDixon) April 10, 2017
I felt I should share a few of the responses here. What is important to remember is I was not talking about all museums or in one area. It seems to be an international issue and I’m pretty sure it’s not because the social media managers like this either! Maybe management feels social media managers have everything scheduled so can do 25 other things that really aren’t under their remit. Social media managers rock and we shouldn’t at all blame them – most I spoke to privately hate it as much as we do!
However, brands (and museums are a brand) do sometimes forget that numbers aren’t the answer – loyalty also plays a role and can’t always be quantified. Does that mean it doesn’t matter? Of course not! And does it mean that museums, especially larger, more popular museums should respond to every one who tags them? Of course not. But it does mean they need to at least be shown to make an effort – even just once a day to engage with visitors and non-visitors. It doesn’t hurt to ask someone who tags you how they are doing….
@MarDixon I think they forget the ‘conversation’ bit of being social – like in a playground it’s the ‘to ears, one mouth’ ratio.
— Emma (@LondonKiwiEmma) April 10, 2017
I also asked on Facebook and LinkedIn and the responses were an eye opener. What are your thoughts? What can be done to make social media more social and get us back to having conversations instead on constant marketing and pr jammed down our throats?
And for clarification, I need to add that this is the same on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – so it’s not a platform issue.
It’s a common problem with social media. People and companies tend to spend more time trying to engage with celebrities/bigger brands/more popular museums etc than actually engaging with those who follow or engage with them. This hierarchy is a very odd consequence of class structure/knowing your place and a general insecurity common to many who have been part of an organised education system. It’s very similar to how people will listen to those with no qualifications or , indeed, abilities in a subject because they are famous or are born with a title.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts!
It’s something we’re all too used to – funding cuts & threats in the culture sector. Whether it’s museums, libraries, art galleries or theatres (and everything in between), culture seems to have been the easy hit for most of the people with the purse strings.
It’s been happening globally for more years than necessary and recently the new American administration has threaten NEA, PBS and other vital funding streams many of the museums and art galleries in the states rely on to survive. [NB See #ThankyouIMLS #StandUpForMuseums #SaveTheNEA #SaveTheNEH and #ThankyouNEH]
As many may or may not know @CultureThemes was created purely out of the funding cuts that happened in the UK. While it was great for many museums (and social media managers) to discuss what this meant, it was vital that the conversations were open for all (eg young people and other ‘groups’ that are hard to reach, etc). The first hashtag with CultureThemes was ‘WhyILoveMuseums’ and went world trending – why? Because people do love museums and art galleries but we need to ASK THEM every once in awhile WHY. This goes for staff also!
Recently I decided to do the same thing in a subtle way. (Any sadly the day I asked it my phone broke so apologies for the delay in getting this shared).
For the Twitter & Instagram responses I was able to do a Storify which you can find at the bottom of this article or link is here. For those that prefer infographics, there’s a free site for that …The over-arching ideas is for museums to share stories from past, present and the future. Being there for the next generation to learn from is also highlighted.Tags: funding cuts, International, museums, social media, what are museums for
This is a guest post from Fabio Viola.
Sometimes dreams come true. For a guy grew up in the ’80s with a game pad in his hands and history in his mind, the co-presence in the same space of astonishing Farnese’s collection statues and displays showing a videogame has been a “connecting the dots” moment.
Yesterday the Archeological Museum of Naples showcased “Father and Son”, a coming soon videogame that set a first time, in Italy and worldwide, of a museum acting as a pure game publisher. Since the’90s, cultural institutions has experienced videogames mainly as an educational platform with the aim to spread the message among a young audience (k6 target). With Videogames entered in the adulthood and videogamers almost equally split among men and women aged 35 years old, I strongly believe it is the right time to connect this young art form with the “established” cultural forms creating an intangible thread between on-site and online experience. A useful tool to bring the museum outside the museum and shift from the “traditional “storytelling to what I call storydoing.
“This game helps us to achieve one of the museum’s new Strategic Plan objectives activating a new way to connect with the audiences. From anywhere around the world, you can interact with our Institute and the city of Naples. We want to be perceived in the world as an innovative hub, a place where the cultural vision is pursued without barriers”, says museum’s director Paolo Giulierini
Father and Son is a 2D side scrolling narrative game that explores the feelings of love, dreams, fear and the passing of time through the story of an archaeologist and the son he never knew. Throughout the game, the main character crosses the lives of people from different historical eras: Ancient Rome, Egypt and Bourbon Naples. What begins as a personal experience, becomes a universal and timeless story where the present and the past are a set of meaningful choices. Players will assume the role of Michael: after receiving a letter from his archaeologist father he never knew, the protagonist goes to MANN to find out more. From here a journey through the ages begins, from ancient Rome to Egypt, passing through the Bourbon age and coming up to the Naples of today. The player will thus be able to explore the streets of Naples, along the halls of the museum and interact with the stories through the ages.
Ludovico Solima, associate professor of Management of Cultural Organizations, Second University of Naples:
“With ‘Father and Son’ the museum aims to reach and engage new worldwide audiences in an unexplored way. We’ll evaluate carefully the qualitative and quantitative results of this first time approach to the gaming”.
In Father and Son, each player’s choice will affect the story and lead to different endings. Michael will interact with different characters and will have to make important decisions that can influence the entire narrative. The aim is to fill in gaps not only about his father’s life, but also the characters he meets along the way. And only at the end, will Michael be able to rediscover himself, thanks to meetings with characters from the past and present.
All this would not be possibile without TuoMuseo, a no profit organization active in the intersection between cultural heritage and videogames/gamification made up of a team with years of experience in the industry: Fabio Viola (Electronic Arts Mobile, Vivendi Games Mobile,), Sean Wenham (Ubisoft, Sony), Alessandro Salvati, Arkadiusz Reikowski, Salvatore Savino, Vitalba Morelli, Massimiliano Elia, Fabio Sarracino.
The free game will be downloadable on mobile devices, via App Store and Google Play, with furthers platform under evaluation during the 2017.
Thanks again Mar Dixon for your hospitality and for your vision of a museum as a “wonderful playground”.Tags: app, Guest Blog, International, italy, Museum, tech
First, a big thank you to everyone who took part, followed, liked, and got involved with @52Museums on Instagram and Twitter in 2016. It grew bigger than anyone could have expected. The evaluation will be shared (once there has been time to process it!)
You can find more information about what it is and how it works here.
The 2017 schedule (and yes this is draft as changes throughout the year does happen):
Please note: if you would like to be on the waiting list, please sign up here.
Date Museum Name Country Museum Name Country Jan 2-8 Crow Collection of Asian Art USA @crowcollection Jan 9-15 V&A Museum of Childhood UK museumchildhood Pretend City Children's Museum USA @pretendcity Jan 16-22 Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Canada Cansportshall Jan 23-29 Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium Belgium fineartsbelgium Vejen Art Museum Denmark Vejenkunstmuseum Jan 30-Feb 5 Des Moines Art Center USA @desmoinesartcenter Feb 6-12 transmediale Germany @transmediale Feb 13-19 Westminster Abbey London UK @westminsterabbeylondon Feb 20-26 MAK Vienna Austria mak_vienna Clark Art Institute USA clarkart Feb 27-Mar 5 Kalamazoo Valley Museum USA kalamazoomuseum Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) USA @molaaart Mar 6-Mar 12 Museum at FIT USA museumatfit Mar13-19 Women in Arts USA womeninthearts Mar 20-26 National Museum of American Jewish History USA @AmericanJewishMuseum Holcaust Museum Houston USA @HMHou Mar 27-Apr 2 Bendigo Art Gallery Australia bendigoartgallery Migration Museum Australia migration_museum Apr 3-9 Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum Singapore @lkcnhm Apr 10-16 The National Maritime Museum (Het Scheepvaartmuseum) Netherlands hetscheepvaartmuseum submarine force libary & museum USA nautilusships_store Apr 17-23 Casa Batlló Barcelona casabatllo Musei di Fermo (Art + archaeology) Italy @museifermo Apr 24-30 The Postal Museum UK thepostalmuseum Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum USA @cspioneersmuseum May 1-7 Newark Museum USA newarkmuseum McMaster Museum of Art Canada macmuseum May 8-14 Skagens Museum Denmark skagensmuseum Anchers Hus Denmark anchershus May 15-21 Science Museum UK sciencemuseum May 22-28 JFK Presidential Library & Museum (this is the week leading up to the JFK Centennial) USA Jfklibrary George Eastman Museum USA EastmanMuseum May 29-Jun4 The Davis Museum at Wellesley College USA @thedavismuseum Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum @ WUStL USA kemperartmuseum Jun 5-11 National Gallery of Canada Canada @ngc_mbac Jun 12-18 Museum Tinguely Basel Switzerland museumtinguely Jun 19-25 Museu de Arte Sacra de São Paulo Brasil @museuartesacra Jun 26-Jul 2 The Foundling Museum UK foundlingmuseum Jul 3-9 James A. Michener Art Museum USA @MichenerArt Glanmore National Historic Site USA @GlanmoreNHS Jul 10-16 The Heckscher Museum of Art USA @heckschermuseum DordtYart-contemporary art Netherlands DordtYart Jul 17-23 Pera Museum Turkey @peramuzesi Denver Art Museum USA @denverartmuseum Jul 24-30 Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow MOCAK Poland @mocak_krakow Jul 31 - Aug 6 The Rockwell Museum, A Smithsonian Affiliate USA RockwellMuseum Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery UK birmingham_mag Aug 7-13 Chilliwack Museum and Archives Canada @chwkmuseum The Buffalo History Museum USA @buffalohistorymuseum Aug 14-20 Thomas Jefferson's Monticello USA @TJMonticello Dumbarton House USA @DumbartonHouse Aug 21-27 Sharjah Museums Department United Arab Emirates @sharjahmuseums Aug 28-Sep 3 Atlanta History Center USA @AtlantaHistoryCenter Sep 4-10 The Museum of The Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot, Israel beithatfutsot Sep 11-17 The National Gallery UK @national_gallery Sep 18-24 Pasadena Museum of California Art USA pmcaonline Craft & Folk Art Museum USA @cafam Sep 25-Oct 1 Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona (Catalonia) (contact with Cristina: firstname.lastname@example.org) Catalona museuciencies Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum USA @naturemuseum Oct 2-8 Cantor Arts Center USA @cantorarts Oct 9-15 Museion Bozen/Bolzano Italy museion_bz Freer|Sackler, Smithsonian's museum of Asian art (reopening on October 14) USA freersackler Oct 16-22 Houston Center for Contemporary Craft USA @CraftHouston United by Hand (https://www.crafthouston.org/exhibition/unitedbyhand/) and Future Tradition (https://www.crafthouston.org/exhibition/melissacody/) USA Oct 23-29 National Museum of Civil War Medicine USA @civilwarmed Clara Barton Missing Soliders Office USA Oct 30 -Nov 5 Museo Jumex Mexico MuseoJumex CONTEMPORARY ART Nov 6-12 National Museum of the Marine Corps USA USMCMuseum The U.S. Dept of Defense Museums Nat. Museum of the U.S. Navy & Nat. Museum Health & Medicine would like to share the week with NMMC Nov 13-19 Gatchina Palace and Estate Museum
(or Getty Museum USA)
Russia gatchinapalace_museum Nov 20-26 Jewish Museum Frankfurt Germany juedischesmuseumffm POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews Poland @polinmuseum Nov 27-Dec 3 Craigleith Heritage Depot Canada @craigleithdepot Oshawa Museum Canada @oshawamuseum Dec 4-10 The Corning Museum of Glass USA corningmuseum Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art USA @hfjmuseum Dec 11-17 Waterloo Region Museum Canada @WRegionMuseum Colchester Museums UK @colchestermuseums Dec 18-24 Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst Germany smaek_muc Dec 25-31 National Puppetry Archive UK
Tags: #52Museums, International, museums
First, thank you to everyone who took part in #QueerMuseum on July 20th. It’s a topic that has been on my radar for a while and when asked to run it (by the lovely folks at @QueeringMuseum – follow them!) I felt now was the right time. Why? Well since starting CultureThemes, the world has progress in so many ways.
My first time with a related exhibition was back in 2011 at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery with Matt Smith’s QueerMuseum exhibition. I admit, I didn’t know what it was about at first, I just remember Lucifer in green carnations and the WOW factor it had. Then I found out more and was so impressed with how Matt put on a Queer exhibition by selecting items in the collection that have always been on display.
Last month was Gay Pride so July seemed the perfect time to run #QueerMuseum. Leeds had just ran a LGBT exhibition, BMAG has been a supporter and other museums had run LGBT exhibitions in the past so knew there’d be content.
As always, I tried to leave interpretation to the sharer:
Pride 2016 saw many museums take place (especially in London where the Museums Association (MA) team joined a host of other museum, archive and heritage professions to march at the London Pride parade)
The idea, as ever, is open.
- Have you had a LGBTQ+ exhibition or talk?
- Do you feel there is something in your collection you feel could be #QueerMuseum related?
- Are you part of a group is part of LGBTQ+ that wants to do more with museums and art galleries?
- Or maybe you take Matt Smith’s approach and find ideas in a collection and explain why it looks like it could be in a #QueerMuseum exhibition.
MuseumNext was held in Dublin 18-20 of April. A few of us decided to make the most of our first time in Dublin and arrived on the Saturday to start exploring early. We weren’t the only ones!
Highly recommend Guinness Storehouse tour which is more of an experience through history. But lets get to MuseumNext. Monday April 18th we all registered. This is the best time for me as I get to see many MuseumNext friends I haven’t seen for a year. I signed up to join a tour but missed it and instead went to:
A Spirited History at National Gallery of Ireland which had representatives from Guinness, Jamison company and another archivist. Having visited Guinness Storehouse it was fascinating to see the balance of teaching the story through the archive and providing an experience for the general public (20% of people who come to Guinness Storehouse have never tried it), the point was they have a brand name people know and recognize and through the Storehouse have to share the story and not let those people down who come for another reason (adverts etc).
In the evening, Mark Macleod and I hosted the Networking for First Timers at the Little Museum of Dublin. The venue was perfect and it was great that non-first timers knew they were more than welcomed to attend.Tags: Conference, dublin, highlights, International, MuseumNext, museums, takeaways, wrap up
The second London Cultural Tourism workshop took place March 7th at City Hall in London. I was asked to facilitate the day by a great team including Creative Tourist and Mike Clewley from Greater London Authority office. The original idea was a traditional type of day – speakers, delegates listening and time for Q&A. However, the more we talked it was clear this wasn’t the right framework.
The day needed to be a hybrid of speakers and time for delegates to speak – not just ask questions. The format was an awesome Keynote from You Me Bum Bum Train (whose name I spent ages trying to say without laughing) followed by a 4 person panel with each speaker speaking for 2-minutes (and yes, I did time it and glare if they went over) then breakout sessions that were run as an unconference.
A LOT was going on but I’m a firm believer in creativity comes in all paces.Tags: #LDNCulturalTourism, art, creative, facilitating, International, London, Museum, national, tourist
[EDIT TO UPDATE FOR 2016]
This post has been re-purposed from another one created in 2014
#MuseumSelfie day is on January 20, 2015
Twitter: @MuseumsSelfie Day
See CultureThemes write up: It’s back! #MuseumSelfie Day on January 20th @MuseumSelfieDay official account
Objective: A day to share selfies either in museums or around museums. These can be on the day or ones from previous visits. This is a FUN DAY to encourage people to visit museums and participate a bit with art or collections.
On January 20, CultureThemes is running #Museumselfie. I’ve been asked what it is all about so thought I’d explain the background a bit (borrowed from previous post in 2014/15):
I’m a Cultural Snatcher – I can’t help it! I take after my mom who is never without a camera (remember Kodak Disc? I do.). When I visit and explore a museum, I love sharing what I’m seeing. While I’m not a huge fan of taking pictures of myself, I can see why people like a good old selfie.
CultureThemes is a monthly hashtag I help create on Twitter. The idea behind CultureThemes is to have a positive event once a month on Twitter to highlight the fun and ‘unstuffiness’ of museums/culture. Previous tags included: #WhyILoveMuseums, #MusSocks, #MusMovember, #AskACurator day and more. We’re also behind @52Museums which you should check out if you haven’t heard about it.
The idea is simple, people around the world have been asked to take selfies at museums for the past month and they will share on Twitter/Instagram using #MuseumSelfie on January 20th. The pictures could be current or from previous trips. Tag the museum if you remember!
Tags: #fun, #MuseumSelfieDay, CultureThemes, International, museums, MuseumSelfie
So if you’re visiting a museum this weekend, make sure you take a #MuseumSelfie and share with @CultureThemes this Wednesday!
A few weeks ago I was on Instagram and noticed how my friend Chris Webb’s project 52Quilters was still going strong and growing. The object is simple: once a week someone takes over the Instagram, Twitter and Blog account and shares their experience on being a quilter.
I went to sleep and woke up at 5am with one of those moments – this could work for museums. By 9am @52Museums was happening. Well I say happening, the accounts were created and a Google Form for sign up was made. There has been a few mistakes made along the way (like I should have created a form that only allowed one week to be chosen or any week as it turned into a logistic nightmare) but thankfully, museums are brilliant at adapting to changes (no seriously!!).
The final schedule still isn’t final as over 80 museums have signed up. Museums are collaborating with other museums either via similar collections, cities or a fun challenge.
This project is all about museum(s) sharing anything they want for the week on Instagram. Every museum that signed up is going to help engage with the account for the year – so local museums will get the same support as the nationals.
Feel free to get involved, either with questions, likes, favorites or discussions. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: #52Museums, campaign, Instagram, International, museums, project, social media
As many know, I was asked to be Artists-in-residence at MuseumQuartiers thanks to the invite from eSel. While I had to do a few conferences in Budapest, Spain, etc, I managed to have a very good time learning, explore and meeting people in Vienna.
ESEL – do tremendous work promoting culture not just in MuseumQuartiers where they are based but for Vienna. If you’re not following them already – do it now!
I talked to many directors, PR/Marketing and social media museum people to try to encourage them to try to get a dialog going once a month (like DrinksThing). The importance of meeting at a café and pub was stressed but they’ll have to determine what works best for them.
The other concept was for them to get on social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to allow the international tourist a platform to be able to share (many only have Facebook).Tags: Artists in Residence, Austria, International, museums, vienna, viennaartweek