Kajsa Hartig

A blog about Cultural Heritage and Digital Communication


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Artoneforty – takes Twitter one step further #Blogg100 #Art140 #SSXW

Art140

Totally excited about MoMA’s new Twitter project, launched today at #SXSW in Austin. The Twitter account @artoneforty will get us talking about art on Twitter.

MoMA has 1.6 million followers on Twitter and 1.5 million likes on Facebook. Still they decided to create a brand new account, a thematic stream which relies ”less on chronology and more on ideas around broader topics” as Adweek writes today. The purpose of Art140 is to provide ”means to better understand how the public feels about art. The project also creates an opportunity for people to connect with living artists.”

In addition to the Twitter account MoMA has launched a website with images of six pieces of art that are the center of the conversation. ”They will represent a wide range of work, including abstract and landscape art, according to Victor Samra, the digital media marketing manager at MoMA.”

Hashtags beneath each piece will link conversations on the feed. The aim is to create ”the most engaged art community in the world”. The tweets will also be analyzed to help MoMA understand more about what people love and hate about art.

I am definitely looking forward to follow this project.

Read article on Adweek >>

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Blog post 9/100 #Blogg100-challenge


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Immersive theatre, cinema dell’arte and museums #MW2013 #Blogg100

A short video of Punchdrunk Enrichment’s flagship Primary school project ‘Under The Eiderdown’.

The closing plenary that yesterday ended the Museums and the Web 2013 conference in Portland, Oregon, efficiently summed up the exciting future ahead for museums. A future that literally requires removing boundaries between not only digital and physical, but between museums and other cultural and non cultural sectors. Also most likely redefining what a museum is, or should be.

The title of the presentation was What can museums learn from immersive theatre? and adressed the need to rethink and renew the core of the museum experience, exhibitions, by looking at immersive theatre for new ideas. Participating online was Diane Borger. Diane Borger is the producer who brought the theatre company Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More to the US in 2009 (http://www.americanrepertorytheater.org/events/show/sleep-no-more). Sleep no more continues to play in New York today (http://sleepnomorenyc.com).

So what is Sleep no more all about?

Sleep No More is a theatrical experience (not a play, per se) that combines elements of Macbeth, film noir, and uses an abandoned hotel as the setting. The audience are all given white masks and instructed to remain completely silent throughotut the performance. Actors move about the hotel, up and down stairs, and scenes take place throughout the builidng over the course of a night. The performances build to a climax, but aside from that, you don’t really get any guidance on how to experience the night. Some people follow actors, some camp out in a space, all of which are extensively decorated and full of objects that reflect something about the plot. You can rummage around in desk drawers, open doors and wander as the events play out around you. Parties are encouraged to split up, and while I was there, I saw a couple actively separated by ushers and deposited on different floors as we rode the elevator up. Definitely not your typical night at the theatre.
Ed Rodley, Thinking about Museums

Sleep no more is an experience that puts the visitor out of his/her comfort zone, removes him/her of naturally safe surroundings such as other participants, includes more than two senses into the experience – the participants are encouraged to touch and interact with the settings. There are one on one encounters with the actors and there is a large portion of participation.

The idea of, by actually placing the participant in an environment that triggers emotions, fear, joy, surprise etc, is something that museums definitely should take a closer look at. To achieve this experience participation is central. For the visitor to be exposed and to loose control, but at the same time to be able to change the experience by reacting and in fact perhaps also acting.

Another very interesting project, similar in many ways to Sleep no more, is Cinema dell’arte in Denmark. It merges theatre with cinema and gaming! Take a look at this video and imagine the possibilities of merging digital with the physical experience and to put participation in focus: In museums.

Presentation video – Cinema dell’Arte from Cinema dell'Arte on Vimeo.

Cinema dell’Arte – Presentation for indiegogo from Cinema dell’Arte on Vimeo.

More reading on immersion and museums

Worlds within worlds: Immersion and museums, by Suse Cairns (2013-03-07)

On Sleep No More, magic and immersive storytelling,  by Seb Chan (2012-03-23)

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Blog post 032/100 #Blogg100 challenge


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One, two, three – success! #Blogg100

Success for social media.

Colleen Dilenschneider suggests tree areas that are vital for social media success, Community Management, Content creation and Measurement. I moderated her infographic slightly here, enhancing the need for the three areas to interact, and the need to constantly go back to the drawing board.

Another great blog post on social media success is The New Normal: The Elements of Social Media Success for Non Profit Organizations by Colleen Dilenschneider. It inspired me to write today’s blog post.

“Doing social media” (i.e. developing and deploying a social media strategy) requires contemplation of three distinct – and equally important – broader tasks: content creation, community management, and social media measurement.  

Colleen Dilenschneider

Today, in 2013, it is more clear than ever that social media requires great efforts from any organization. It can be both time and money consuming – as I mentioned in my previous blog post.

Getting a grip on these three areas is vital to any cultural heritage organization, not only to be successful but to do it with efficiency and saving money. To do so requires staff, dedicated time and money. Most museum leaders do know that social media is important and that it’s here to stay. As Colleen Dilenschneider states:

While perhaps occasionally lacking specific expertise, these … nonprofit executives increasingly understand the basics – social media is important for reaching new audiences, retaining supporters, and achieving long term financial solvency.

This basic knowledge has also raised awareness about Measurement, evaluating social media efforts, to justify social media communication. One can assume that most organizations focus on measuring followers. These numbers are also sometimes wrongly used in bench marketing, as a way of measuring success in comparison to other museums. Though it would be unfair to say that museums aren’t also becoming more aware about measuring the quality of interaction, looking for results that help the museum achieve it’s goals.

In my opinion the weakest points for museums, in this model that Colleen Dilenschneider suggests, are Content Creation and Community Management. Areas where the least efforts are made.

Community Management is perhaps the area that museums will master next. By being out there, on social media channels, the staff managing the daily social media communication are in most cases quite aware, at least on a basic level, of how to manage their communities. Learning by doing, by daily interaction with the community. Though this awareness is probably not yet completely reaching the museum management.

As for the Content Creation, I am only guessing (though from a rather initiated perspective) that most museums are by far not ready for an efficient and strategic content creation. Mostly because we are still programmed for creating exhibitions and printed material. How much content should we in fact be creating? What content? For which channels and which audience? In what format? But also because since we yet aren’t measuring correctly we aren’t ready to fully answer these questions.

So to summarize, adopting Colleen Dilenschneiders three-piece model is a great way to success. And most important of all, to successfully adress the three areas you need:

  1. Time (both staff work hours and time as in months and years)
  2. Money (sometimes you’ll need consultants to help evaluate, and money to spend on advertising and producing great content)
  3. A great strategy (i.e. a dedicated management)

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Blog post 027/100 #Blogg100 challenge


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Content curation – discovering art on Facebook #Blogg100

Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Henry L. Phillips Collection, Bequest of Henry L. Phillips, 1939. The Met Museum.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Henry L. Phillips Collection, Bequest of Henry L. Phillips, 1939. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The other day the Metropolitan Museum of Art posted on Facebook a beautiful piece of art by Japanese 17th centruty artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi. I am grateful to be able to have historic art being presented to me, right in my living room, on my Facebook wall (which is MY own space that I have curated to be filled with content that I enjoy). Especially grateful since this work of art is not even on display – as is the case for most museum objects.

At the time I did not leave Facebook. Because when browsing Facebook I am not inclined to leave because someone suddenly posts a link to another website. I enjoy the art work and I share. Only when writing this blog post I go back to the Met Museum Facebook page and click on the link that leads me to their website and more information on the art work.

At the Met Museum website I can enlarge the image. Only then I discover that I can download the image. Then I have to search for terms and conditions, and discover that I can in fact use the image on my blog.

I check Wikipedia for more art work by Utagawa Kuniyoshi and find this:

Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Four cats in different poses.

On Wikipedia I know that I can re use the images any way I want to. This work of art is marked Public Domain.

This blog post is primarily not aimed at copyright issues and museum collections. Even though this deserves a couple of blog posts. I know all the details and problems having worked in the cultural heritage sector for almost twenty years.

Instead I want to pay attention to the social media in close encounter with museums, or vice versa. Through social media I can experience art, or cultural heritage, in my own devices whenever I choose to go online. I can curate my Twitter stream or Facebook wall so it is filled with my favorite content. This makes me more eager to actually commit to whomever delivers the best and most engaging content.

And as a museum we can highlight objects in our collections, communicate our online collections and build relationships with new audiences. Again, as I wrote in my previous blog post, I believe we will see much more of content curation in social media, and hopefully soon new and innovative ways of storytelling and different ways of tribal engagement.

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Blog post 025/100 #Blogg100 challenge


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Not there yet #Blogg100

Since I haven’t planned ahead lately as I should, this is a note to myself.

I am well aware of the need to plan content for blogs and other social media channels, especially when setting out to write 100 blog posts in 100 days. It takes time and effort. It’s hard work. It’s not easy.

To anyone else struggling out there take a look at How to plan 85 blog posts in advance, by Niclas Johansson.

And this made me think, what would a similar list for museums look like?
”How to plan 100 days of museum content for social media channels”.

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Blog post 021/100 #Blogg100 challenge


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Communicate your content #Blogg100

Blog post 019/100 #Blogg100 challenge


this is no longer about eyeballs and impressions, but instead about premium offerings and meaningful engagement

Brian Solis

Well, I won’t use the word content M-A-R-K-E-T-I-N-G here since it’s scaring many people off in the heritage sector. So let’s talk communication. It’s less intimidating to most archivists, librarians museum folks. Also, I am willingly admitting, I am not a marketing specialist.

Even though I think most staff need to be aware of and even take active part in marketing and communication, I also know most organisations are still separating marketing/communication activities from the rest of the staff.

However content is what cultural heritage organisations are made up of. And what better way to communicate an archive, library or museum than by astonishing, remarkable and relevant content?

The slideshare presentation above ended up in my Twitter stream today. It is quite short but pinpoints some valuable aspects of content communication.

  • Content communication is ”giving stuff away for free” – yes but do you stop to think about what you actually gain?
  • Contributing valuable, relevant and usable content makes your audience feel confident in you
  • Content communication builds relationships between your organisation and your audiences
  • Content can be packaged in so many different ways, which way is the best for your audience and for the specific content? Chose carefully between for example video, podcast, Facebook posts, tweets, blog post, infographic (and most of all prepare for content publishing in several different forms and channels)
  • By creating great content your organisation will by your audience be regarded as an (or even THE) expert in your area – it is your archive, library or museum they will turn to – also to buy

There is a lot to read online on content marketing and communication. For example Why Brands are Becoming Publishers by Brian Solis.

And to emphasize the need to connect content communication with the museum brand, read this quote by Johan Ronnestam in his latest blog post:

 A great agency would never deliver a fun idea that wasn’t on brand or on strategy.

And replace the word agency by museum!