@MarDixon Passionate about culture. Champion for the next generation of Cultural visitors. Defender of Libraries. Digital, Wearable Tech Enthusiast. Sharing knowledge. Troublemaker and/or advocate, depending on what you need.
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    January 3rd, 2017mardixonCulture, International

    Our first 52 Museums Instagram project has wrapped up for this year and overall it has been a huge success, far better than even expected. At the end of each we ask all participants to complete a survey, give us their thoughts on how it went; what went well and what could be done better in the future. We had 44 respondents to this, which is amazing, thank you to everyone who took the time to send in their feedback it really does help us to make it even better for everyone each year.

    Finally, a big thank you to everyone who took part and made 52 Museums 2016 such a success, and now with over 13,700 followers on the account here’s to an even bigger and better 2017!

    [For the 2016 list and sign up information please see this link.]

    Please Note:  I took out the names for the quotes to ensure anonymity.

    52 Museums – Participant Feedback

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    April 24th, 2016mardixonCulture, International
    A ban on pencils … the V&A now forbids sketching in its temporary exhibitions. Photograph: Oliver Wainwright/Guardian

    Credit Photograph: Oliver Wainwright/Guardian

    Ok, I’m sure everyone at this point saw the sign with the article ”No sketching’: V&A signs betray everything the museum stands for‘ by Oliver Wainwright

    I was with Mark Macleod (from The Infirmary Museum) and Silvia Filippini Fantoni (from the IMA) when Silvia first saw the picture but held off on sharing it until I read the article. I then tweeted it.

    And the storm was started. (See Storify here.)

    First of all, as Oliver probably wanted, it was total click bait worth title but honestly many of the people responding didn’t read the whole article. I soon spent my day almost defending the Victoria and Albert as it turns out, it’s not the WHOLE of V&A being asked not to sketch, but instead a temporary exhibition.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    April 11th, 2016mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    Credit: ‎@creoconceptsgh

    This is a conversation that started when someone mentioned the routine questions received on social media when the answers are obviously on the website.  This took me by surprise as my first reaction is always to tweet/ask on social media as often I’m on my phone and don’t want to waste data clicking away on websites (especially bespoke ones where Contact Me isn’t where you find the address but a lovely form).

    What I did find funny was the fact that many of the social media people were annoyed by the same questions: directions, open times, cost but I wonder how many took the time to do something to streamline the information.  Maybe a pinned tweet for half term, link directing them to Most Asked Questions on their bio instead of a link to their next exhibition, etc.

    I started thinking more about it and took to twitter for my first ever poll and as you can see from the results, I’m in the minority!

    At least that is the impression the poll gives.  However, many (and I mean many) follow up conversations give light to the reason the poll might have been skewed.  Here’s a selection of responses:

    What is your opinion on this? 

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    March 21st, 2016mardixonCulture, International, Literacy, Personal, Tech

    Today is the 10th anniversary of @Jack’s first tweet ‘just setting up Twttr’. A lot has happened since then. I would love to say my first tweet was profound but like so many, it wasn’t (you can find your #FirstTweet here).

    Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 09.45.14

    To say Twitter has changed my life is NOT an understatement. I started off local, chatting mainly to people who were in Bridgnorth or Shropshire then started exploring museums, libraries, publishing and of course tech.  While I’ve loved Twitter from the start, it wasn’t until January 16th 2011 when I fully understood it’s power. That was the day I tweeted:

    “I Love Libraries because ______” Fill in the blank and RT! #savelibraries

    And they did. They filled in the blank and shared so much it went world trending. My first experience at seeing the power of social media. From big names (Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood) to local libraries to people on the street, I was being thanked for highlighting the plight of libraries world wide. (If you ever want to know *why* I tweeted it, just ask.)

    At this point I’d love to say I remember what the next world trending was but I honestly can’t remember the order.   I do know that thanks to @CultureThemes our community these hashtags have gone world trending multiple times including:

    But we’ve created communities along the way with Open Community Lab (a spin off from MuseomixUK) and @52Museums.

    twitterWe’ve worked together as a (sometimes dysfunctional) family/society. No we don’t always agree, politics are a bear, but in the end we keep coming back to this platform that makes us express ourselves in 140 tiny little characters.

    And we wouldn’t change it for the world.

    THANK YOU TWITTER!!

     

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    November 19th, 2015mardixonCulture, International

    Love Theatre Day 2.0Just a quick update to thank everyone who took part in #LoveTheatreDay.  Here are some stats shared by TwitterUK (our – CultureThemes – partner along with Guardian Culture Professional Network).

    — 90K total Tweets mentioning #LoveTheatreDay related terms, in the 24 hour period. (Note this is more than double last year where there were 40K).

    Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 11.58.34— Trended top in the UK all day, and was in the top 10 worldwide all day (as high as 2nd). Also trended in France, USA, Italy.

    — More than 500 theatres, venues, amateur groups, industry bodies etc from 10+ countries worldwide took part.

    — Highest share of conversation about the day was in:

    1) UK
    2) USA
    3) France
    4) Canada
    5) Phillipines

    While there were many ‘favorite’ moments – I was personally touched by @ComedieFR (Comédie Française) in France who tweeted to discuss the recent events and illustrate how important it is to keep enjoying theatre and why/how the show must go on. Thank you.

    There were also many touching moments when theatres were talking to each other – many from different countries.

    The use of periscope grew a lot this year also. I managed to catch a few and it made me feel like I was there (and not in a flat in Vienna).

    Below is are new items shared from TwitterUK: Reverb and Twitter Moments (not in UK yet but coming soon!)


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    October 19th, 2015mardixonCulture, International

    lovetheatreScreen Shot 2015-10-19 at 16.52.14This year #LoveTheatreDay is going to be bigger and better – how do I know? From the amazing response we had last year going World Trending.

    How #LoveTheatreDay Works

    Throughout the day, we encourage everyone to tweet using #LoveTheatreDay and say why they love theatres.  This is open for the general public of course but we want people who have been (or are in) am dram productions to also tweet and share.  I also asked museums and galleries to share their collection that is theatre related and publishers to share books related to theatres.

    During the day, we have 3 sub-hashtags (please note, it’s more important to have #LoveTheatreDay then the sub-hashtags):

    • #BackStage (10am-12pm) will offer audiences and other arts professionals a glimpse into how a production comes together in the weeks and months leading up to the big night.
    • #AskATheatre (3-5pm) will offer a unique opportunity for theatre aficionados and aspiring actors to hear first-hand from the individuals and groups that make the magic happen.
    • #Showtime (7-10pm) will give those who can’t make it to a theatre the chance to sit in the “virtual stalls” to experience the a performance, or several, via Twitter.

    The most important message for me is, like museums, theatres do SO much within their community that goes un-noticed.  With further cuts looming, lets highlight all the brilliant work that is done outside of the 2 hours show.  Theatres worldwide work with kids, teens, adults and older generation. The community outreach is amazing.

    rscdream2016We’d also like to spotlight the amateur dramatic groups that help facilitate the love and joy of theatre to so many people. For example, The Royal Shakespeare Company in Strafford-Upon-Avon is currently working on an exciting project with 14 amateur groups. Their website states:

    A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation sees the Royal Shakespeare Company working with 13 partner theatres, 84 amateur performers and 580 schoolchildren, alongside 18 professional actors and the creative team for a major tour of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.

    How wonderful to see a connection from amateurs to professionals!

    We’d love to hear from everyone involved in theatre – whether it’s with the 3 hashtags or general #LoveTheatreDay tag. To sign up please see our form here on this Guardian Cultural Pro article. And don’t forget to follow #LoveTheatreday, @CultureThemes, @GdnCulturePros, and @TwitterUK!

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    June 24th, 2015mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    periscopeI’ve been using Periscope before it came out (I was a beta tester back in March).  I have to be honest, I was a bit confused with the concept.  Having not used Meerkat or really care about filming before, I didn’t see the need for live streaming. Why would anyone use it that wasn’t at a conference?

    Then I started to play with it. First around my town, then on my travels and you know what? It’s a game changer. Why? Because although I live-tweet, blog and over-share, this allowed a two-conversation to happen between the viewers and myself in real-time. I am able to Periscope and have a dialogue in a way that is quicker and more efficient than Twitter or blogging. The conversations from Periscope have lead to a few blogs.

    I can’t remember my first live stream from a museum or art gallery but do know the first time I saw a great response was at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and (thanks to free wifi) was able to have a bit of fun with live streaming. I didn’t save the first one but did upload the live stream I did with a conservator fixing art in the middle of the gallery.

    With each periscope I’m learning more. For example, on my first attempt I was really confused how I was suppose to type a response to the questions popping up on the screen. (Answer: You don’t type, you talk – they can hear everything you’re saying! NB This led to one of my tips: don’t swear).

    Please note: Periscope is available for ios and Android now.  Read the rest of this entry »

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    April 2nd, 2015mardixonCulture, International

    mw2015By: Benjamin Benita & Mar Dixon

    What. A. Week!

    Thank you to everyone who took part either as a museum or individual (or mascot).  Every single time another hashtag event comes around, the worry of exhaustion is always there … and every time you guys push the bar hirer.  Thank you really isn’t enough.

    When we were designing the week of hashtags a few months ago we can honestly say we were hoping to reach 1000 museums – never ever expecting the numbers achieved.  To be honest, our main concern has never been about numbers but ensuring it was fun, maybe educational, a platform for museums to share their collections and FUN (and hopefully not something that would burn any community manager out…).  The 1000 mark was to benefit the museums, not the campaign.

    Weeks before #MuseumWeek officially went live, there was a real buzz happening on Twitter.  It was so exciting to watch everyone sharing their plans for the week. There was a real collaborative feel – it was even crossing language barriers. Read the rest of this entry »

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    March 15th, 2015mardixonCulture, International

    image1One week from today, Twitter will be exploding with cultural goodness when #MuseumWeek kicks off.  With 1400+ museums in 55 countries signed up (and that number continues to grow) there is truly something for everyone.

    Mini FAQ

    During the webinar last week, there were a few more questions asked and I thought I’d share them here: Read the rest of this entry »

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    February 4th, 2015mardixonCulture, International

    mw2015#MuseumWeek is Back!

    SIGN UP FORM IS HERE

    Mark your calendars as the week of March 23rd is the return of the very popular #MuseumWeek!  Last year, #MuseumWeek gave Twitter users special access to more than 630 European museums and galleries. For those that missed it, here is are two write ups from last year:

    I’m happy to announce that the dates (March 23-29) and themes for #MuseumWeek 2015 has just been announced on Twitter.


    This year, we (a great team including my partner in crime Benjamin Benita) created a combination of hashtags that we hope will be diverse enough for everyone to get involved. This isn’t just about museums – visitors and the public have a role in this campaign also!

    Read the rest of this entry »

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