I followed a museum into the 21st century

 “America Face To Face With Itself”

This morning I received a Facebook update from The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) suggesting I follow a museum a day on Twitter. The link took me to this page with a directory of countries which linked to a variety of museums. In less than half an hour, I’d discovered a range of diverse museums worldwide.

I followed the hashtag and came across the About page which unfolded the whole project:

Over one million people are following museums on Twitter.

What if each of these people told a friend about a museum that they enjoy following?

What if someone who hasn’t visited a museum for years was inspired to engage with art by Twitter?

What if more people used Twitter to tell museums what they think about their exhibitions?

Follow a museum day

On February 1st 2010 we want you to spread the word about museums on Twitter.

Just tell your followers about a museum you follow, or point them to our directory of museums on Twitter so that they can pick one for themselves.

I love museums and galleries but I don’t think about going on a museum discovery mission very often. It’s too much work – where would I start? What a brilliant idea!

Jim Richardson explains where the idea came from; I read that, then followed a link in Jim’s biography to MuseumNext where it became even more interesting:

We’re really excited about our next event. It’s about where museums, technology and audiences meet and we have an incredible line up of speakers from Europe and USA ready to share their experience.

This one day conference will share success stories from some of the world’s top museums and galleries. How are they using technology to keep up with audience expectations? How are they using the web to build deeper relationships? How are they using technology to meet their wider objectives?

You will be able to benefit from their experience to get practical advice on how to make the most of the web for your organisation and how to make your museum more web 2.0 savvy.

Here’s my favourite phrase: How are they using the web to build deeper relationships?

It turns out that there is a Museum 2.0.

What is Museum 2.0?

Museum 2.0 explores ways that web 2.0 philosophies can be applied in museum design. For more information, click here.  Nina Simone started the Museum 2.0 blog in November 2006

to explore the ways that the philosophies of Web 2.0 can be applied in museums to make them more engaging, community-based, vital elements of society.

I think Nina does a mean definitition of Web 2.0; she really nails it:

What do I mean by 2.0? “Web 2.0” is not just a buzzword; it’s a definition of web-based applications with an “architecture of participation,” that is, one in which users generate, share, and curate the content. The web started with sites (1.0) that are authoritative content distributors–like traditional museums. The user experience with web 1.0 is passive; you are a viewer, a consumer. Web 2.0 removes the authority from the content provider and places it in the hands of the user. Now, you are a participant. You determine what’s on the site, and you judge which content is most valuable.

Traditionally we’ve been passive viewers, consumers, in museums and galleries. If Web 2.0 removes the authority from the content provider and places it in the hands of the user, then I’m for it.

I’m for it in museums and galleries, and I’m for it in schools. What about you?

You see, Twitter isn’t the waste of time many people think it is. Twitter is very cool.

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