A series of interesting developments have arisen in the social media and participation landscape in the museum community. Simultaneously we see greater use of social media tools like Twitter and Facebook alongside advocates of participatory design principles. Nina Simon, I’m sure most of you have heard of, talks specifically in her book The Participatory Museum about collaborative efforts across museum programming and invites the interests of visitors into their experiences, which was echoed in a study that Luciana Ciolfi condicted to measure the visitor engagement in a co-curated project. The existing evidence of social media presence and use comes from a study published in Museum Management & Curatorship in 2010 that counts the common tools museums across 5 Western countries were employing. They noted for each museum in their study 2.0 tools represented less than 10% of their online presence. Tools like sharing sites, commenting tools, uploading to the museum website, open forums, moderated forums, mashup tools or collective construction.
Engagement has a certain amount of range inherent in it. When coding, Twitter replies to users who had already posted to the museum account were counted as engagement. This can be considered somewhat meaningless considering the conversation might be limited to two tweets, especially if it is prompted by the user stating something like “Just had a great time at X museum”, and the museum simply replies by thanking that person or remarking that it was great to have hosted them.
Greater Participation: Whose nose competition
What are museums getting out of using social media? It is hard to justify using these tools because they do not
Social media & Participation 1 Democratic design and co-curation of exhibits (Simon, 2010; Ciolfi, Bannon, & Fernström, 2008) Each museum in a 2010 study, 2.0 tools represented less than 10% of their online presence (Lopez, et al, 2010) Building community and two-way engagement are core misssions of museums (Allen-Greil and MacArthur, 2010) Museums should reflect the current prevailing behaviors of an information world (Lovejoy, Waters, and Saxton, 2012; Peacock and Brownbill, 2007)1 of 12
Research Questions How are museums using social media? What degree of participation does a museum engage in based on its postings?2 of 12
Sampling 50 museums selected through purposeful sampling Used Twitter and Facebook search tools to identify sample All museums in the sample have both Facebook and Twitter accounts Limited to Facebook and Twitter activity because they are textual sources and free Outwit Hub Pro www.outwit.com3 of 12
Dimensions of analysis COUNT of followers and following RELIABILITY for official status & info FINDABILITY from a search or homepage ENGAGEMENT monthly, weekly, daily FREQUENCY monthly, weekly, daily CONTENT recycled, live, multiple channels4 of 12
Content dimension Recycled content from other users or networks Uses platform specific tools (e.g., #hashtags, @replies, retweets) Multiple social media channels with links across platforms Has “live content/interactive” sessions (e.g., Twitter townhall)5 of 12
Frequency dimension Once a month<frequency<once a week Once a week<frequency<every day New content posted every day Several times per day6 of 12
Engagement dimension Once a month < Active user engagement < once a week Once a week < Active user engagement < every day Actively engages (and responds) to users every day Not at all7 of 12
Content dimension Findings Dimension Aspects Twitter Recycled content 29.2% Platform tools 89.6% Multiple social media channels 97.9% Live Content 2.1%8 of 12
Frequency dimension Findings Dimension Aspects Twitter Once/mth 6.3% Once/wk 18.8% Every day 77.1% Several times a day 75.0%9 of 12
Engagement dimension Findings Dimension Aspects Twitter Once/mth 12.5% Once/wk 22.9% Every day 27.1% Not at all 37.5%10 of 12
What is participatory? Less Participation Greater Participation Public Relations Games (voting, “like if”) Events announcements Co-curating projects Fact of the day Live tweeting events Retweeting other users or institution’s content11 of 12
References Allen-Greil, D. and MacArthur, M. (2010). “Small Towns and Big Cities: How Museums Foster Community On-line,” in Museums and the Web 2010: Proceedings, edited by J. Trant and D. Bearman. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics. http://www.archimuse.com/mw2010/papers/allen-greil/allen-greil.html. Ciolfi, L., Bannon, L.J., Fernström, M. (2008). Including visitor contributions in cultural heritage installations: designing for participation. Museum Management and Curatorship 23(4), 353-365. Lopex, X., Margapoti, I., Maragliano, R. and Bove, G. (2010). The presence of Web 2.0 tools on museum websites: a comparative study between England, France, Spain, Italy and the USA. Museum Management and Curatorship 25(2), 235-249. Lovejoy, K., Waters, R.D., and Saxton, G.D. (2012). Engaging stakeholders through Twitter: How nonprofit organizations are getting more out of 140 characters or less. Public Relations Review 38, 313-318. Peacock, D., and Brownbill, J. (2007). “Audiences, Visitors, Users: Reconceptualising Users Of Museum On- line Content and Services,” in Museums and the Web 2007: Proceedings, edited by J. Trant and D. Bearman. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics. http://www.archimuse.com/mw2007/papers/peacock/peacock.html Stratford Institute for Digital Media. (2012). Becoming a Digital Nation: An Evaluation of Provincial and Territorial eGovernment Initiatives. Stratford, Canada: The Stratford Institute for Digital Media. Retrieved from http://stratfordinstitute.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/eGovernment_final_web.pdf Simon, N. (2010). The Participatory Museum. Santa Cruz, CA: Museum 2.0.12 of 12