I am not the first to admit that it’s tricky to fit social media into the busy life of a museum professional. Between researching, documenting and re-housing thousands of objects, tasks like blogging, Twitter and Facebook are often a low priority.
One of my former colleagues, Erika Dicker looked at this topic for her paper ‘The Impact of Blogs and Other Social Media on the Life of a Curator’ at the Museums and the Web 2010 conference in Denver, Colorado. It is an fascinating paper, which examines the role of social media in Museum work and the desire for Curators to share with the public more of their knowledge and personal connections with museum collections. Platforms such as the Powerhouse Museum’s ‘Inside the Collection’ blog offer a fantastic opportunity to do just this. Yet, fitting and negotiating another task into a hectic job isn’t easy. Erika explains,
In their roles as a curators, 36.7% of all survey participants do not use social media. When asked why, the overwhelming response was that social media take up time that curators just don’t have. One curator stated, “emails – 100s of them!”, indicating that basic core business duties are taxing enough on a curator’s workload.
On a personal note, despite being capable in the area of social media, I also find it difficult to find the time to integrate it into my work practise. I have recently noticed, however, a trend of colleagues using Instragram as a means to share daily activities, objects and events in the Museum. It is a quick and easy way to document museum work for social media. Recently, I have posted a number of photos of some boxes I have constructed to re-house part of the Powerhouse Museum’s lace bonnet collection. It is a great way to share with the public the day to day life of a Museum professional and hopefully may make up for my lack of blogging, Twittering and Facebooking!!
I would also love to hear from you. Do you have a favourite social media platform for sharing projects, events and daily activities in a work context?
Images: Box construction for re-housing part of the Powerhouse Museum’s lace bonnet collection, Photo: Rebecca Evans, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia