Museums and web 2.0

The past couple of weeks, I have been using the web to get a sense of what is going on in the museum world as to web 2.0 developments. It’s part of the fieldwork for the Tropenmuseum case. My general impression is that there is a large, active community of professionals in the museum world interested in social media.  The Smithsonian appears to be a big player. That said, I am becoming more and more aware of the fact that as reseachers, our own search strategies, the mailing lists we are on, the blogs we follow, etc. are also shaping the field we are studying. For instance, I learned of a very interesting blog through an indicommons rss feed. The feed had a link to a talk given by Nina Simon at the Smithsonian, on The Multi-Platform Museum. As is the case in my own current blog post, the link directed me to Simon’s blog on musea design and web 2.0 (the field Simon works in. By the way, the blog is excellent and an inspiring source of information, also because she interlaces theoretical and ‘hands-on’ remarks).  One blog led to another, and I noticed that a lot of talk on the web concerned a certain conference, Museums and the Web 2009 (“international conference for culture and heritage on-line”). As said, the circularity of this search process doesn’t escape me. There might be a whole world of cultural heritage museums not interested in new media. The Tropenmuseum is not one of them. Although they don’t seem to be a member of a social networking environment related to the Museums and the Web conference called conference.archimuse.com (“a collaborative space for professionals creating culture, science and heritage on-line”), they are for instance using Twitter. Interestingly, some tweets are in English (“Working on a map for WikiLovesArt. 11:51 AM May 25th from web”), some in Dutch (“Voorbereiding voor vertoning documentaire Dwars door de Sahara (zondag 24 mei) in het Tropenmuseum 1:23 PM May 20th from web”). One of the things that may be interesting to look into during the fieldwork at the museum, is how they define their audience.

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One response to “Museums and web 2.0

  1. Twitter is interesting in that sense, that you actually mix audiences like also in blogs. Maybe more in Twitter than in blogs this results in using different languages. I think that this maybe can be connected to how Twitter is also much more located than a blog. Maybe you can say located in two ways where the first is that you can Twitter from anywhere geographically (at least if you also use your mobile phone), and second located in time which means that tweets build up very quickly and therefore moves out from peoples screen very quickly. So when you write your message it is much dependant on were you are yourself in time and space…actually a third “location” maybe is where your mind is located at that particular moment in terms of target group ;-).

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