Mw2008 Blog Workshop Why Have A Blog Ellis

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Reasons for putting together an institutional blog - delivered as part of a workshop we did at Museums and the Web 2008

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Mw2008 Blog Workshop Why Have A Blog Ellis

  1. 1. why have a blog? <ul><li>how is blogging different to “the website”? </li></ul><ul><li>what motivates anyone to have a blog? </li></ul><ul><li>why a museum blog? </li></ul><ul><li>what makes a good blog? </li></ul><ul><li>some examples of different uses </li></ul>
  2. 2. blogging vs. “the website” <ul><li>typically “the website” is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ official” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>formal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>marketing-driven and branded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>impersonal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>typically, “the blog” is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ un-official” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>informal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>away from brand pressures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>personal </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. sadly.. <ul><li>it is also the case that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ the website is hard to change so I set up a blog” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I don’t need to ask the IT department” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Our blog is ‘under the radar’ ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We control it and can change what we want” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>these aren’t good reasons for having a blog... </li></ul><ul><li>...but they are often the reality! </li></ul><ul><li>which is why some people use blogging software as a CMS... </li></ul>
  4. 4. why have a blog at all? <ul><li>problems with IT aside... </li></ul><ul><li>we want to communicate </li></ul><ul><li>we have something to say </li></ul>
  5. 5. why a museum blog? <ul><li>blogs are great at the niche or long tail </li></ul><ul><li>museums are great at the niche or long tail ... </li></ul><ul><li>there is a compelling mystique about museums: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ why do they collect that and not this?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ what made them choose that exhibition?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ why is this particular object special?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ how do they make their money?” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>museums want to connect with audiences.. </li></ul><ul><li>..and blogs allow you to communicate with your most loyal and enthusiastic visitors </li></ul>
  6. 6. so what makes a “good” blog? <ul><li>blog with passion and because you want to! </li></ul><ul><li>have a personality , a defined tone of voice </li></ul><ul><li>find a niche (or at least well-defined) area of interest </li></ul><ul><li>build your community: two-way engagement </li></ul><ul><li>create well written, intelligent posts </li></ul><ul><li>don’t just regurgitate , but find a new angle </li></ul><ul><li>link a lot, and read the links you lunk to  </li></ul>
  7. 7. some examples <ul><li>Brooklyn Museum ( http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/community/ ): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>embracing the audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>crossing barriers between real and virtual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>entwined with everything they do: “community” is a part of the whole </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>personal: the director’s apartment! ( http://themoment.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/03/now-screening-brooklyn-views-the-home-of-arnold-lehman/ ) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. more.. <ul><li>Fresh and new(er) – Seb Chan / Powerhouse: ( http:// www.powerhousemuseum.com/dmsblog/ ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>technology focussed.. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a way of showcasing and “launching” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a “sounding board” for discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>strikes a good balance between institutional and personal </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. more.. <ul><li>English Cut (not a museum, but a great blog!) ( http://www.englishcut.com/archives/000125.html ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s about a tailor! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s “behind the scenes” – all the things you wanted to know but never asked </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal, engaging, different </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>...and has caused considerable stir, not to mention traffic (and hence business...!) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. more... <ul><li>Bowers Museum ( http://bowersmuseum.blogspot.com/ ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a way of showcasing the “object of the week” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>gives focus to posts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>...and a defined “check back in X days” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>...but not enough commenting or linking! </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. conclusion <ul><li>varieties of different approaches </li></ul><ul><li>personal aspect is what makes these tick </li></ul><ul><li>..finding out about the people behind the formality </li></ul><ul><li>perhaps that is what people want from museums?! </li></ul>
  12. 12. thanks <ul><li>any questions...? </li></ul>

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