Blogs/FB/Twitter and Museum Marketing

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A recent article in the Christian Science Monitor discussed the new-felt need of museums to connect with their audience. Though the article is primarily an overview of how museums globally are connecting through new buildings and new exhibits, providing examples of how specific institutions are re-examining their curatorial practices: it ends with an all to brief nod to the new marketing techniques being employed by museums:

“People want a personal, relevant connection . . . whether through technology such as Twitter or Facebook or physical participation. ‘It’s all about making personal, meaningful connections with a community, now.’”

Having recently joined the twitter-sphere to explore just how museums are utilizing new social media to promote their exhibitions, collections and curators it seems that this really is the future. One can follow any number of museums, publishers, and universities to stay ‘up-to-date’ on what’s current in the curatorial, exhibition and collections world. It’s also an interesting way to track exhibition trends and popularity among visitors.

Museum professionals in the Bay Area looking to expand their knowledge of social media and its use in the cultural sector, should check out the free workshop “Free Strategic Social Media Seminar for the Cultural Sector” featuring Sebastian Chang” of the Powerhouse Museum at the SF MOMA August 28th, 2009 at 9am.

To name a few recent developments in the academic study of fashion on blogs, Facebook and Twitter, here are two of interest to WT readers:

  • Drexel Historic Costume Collection on Facebook: Begun just at the end of July, this facebook site nabbed 70 friends in the first two days of its existence. Curator Clare Suaro maintains the page, and has even started discussion groups to find out what the collection’s audience wants to see in terms of exhibitions, and how they want to see objects displayed. An interesting take on both connecting to the academic community and a non-specialist audience.
  • FIDM Museum Blog: Run by the staff of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum and Galleries staff, this blog models itself after other museum blogs (such as the Chicago History Museum‘s blog) whereby single objects from the collection are featured and discussed at length. One of the best things about this blog (so far) is the high quality photographs and detailed object examinations.

Finally, I wanted to provide a link for readers with information on who else is blogging in the Museum field. It turns out, there are a lot of them out there. Online Universities.com recently published a list of the 100 Best Curator and Museum Blogs. The list is broken down into subcategories: Resources & Advice; Curators & Staff; Art; Children & Education; History & Culture; Science; and Miscellaneous. Personally, I think that these blogs can be extremely helpful for both students, professors and practitioners to discuss new ideas, new techniques and the curatorial process.

But I put it to WT readers: What are your favorite museum/curator/fashion history blogs/Facebook pages/Twitter feeds? (ps Follow me on Twitter @FashionHistoria to see who I’m following).

*Two piece suit with tie Vivienne Westwood Autumn/Winter 1993 2004.5.61A-C Museum purchase (FIDM Museum Blog)

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