@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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    October 22nd, 2011mardixonCulture

    On Thursday, 20th of October I traveled to London for a packed Cultural-filled day which started at the Natural History Museum, moved to V&A, British Museum, Convent Garden and finally Royal Society of Artists.

    The day started with meeting Laura Porter, London Travel Guide (@AboutLondon) and very good friend who I was taking as a guest to the Natural History Museums Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year preview event. Simon Quicke (@Insidebooks) met us at the event.

    The exhibition is the top selection of International wildlife photographers from amateurs to professional.  The preview gave us an opportunity to see all the fabulous photographs before it opened to the public, and also discuss the works with some of the photographers.

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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. 


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