The idea of reading a blog about blogging has the same kind of appeal as delivering training for trainers or a presentation on presenting. It’s a tough audience because you can guarantee that the only people reading this, are those already convinced of it’s value. But then, you can’t really profess to a blog on trends in museums without taking a look at the whole world of social media – and for me blogging is where the do-ers in museums hang out (see how I soften you up with a compliment).
Over the last few days, I have been tagging all of the blogs that can be found in museumblogs.com. Museumblogs is an aggregator of museum blogs from around the world. However, I may have my work cut out, as at the last count there was 389 blogs on there – all relating to museums. With the prolification of webinars, seminars, workshops and conferences on social media for museums, the number of blogs and blog readers seems set to increase. So, with only 5 hours per week to listen to social media it’s hard to know where to begin.
- Museums Staff – These tend to cover the day-to-day activities, behind the scenes and particular departments interests. They offer a great way of understanding a museums vision and views. The Brooklyn Museum is the most popular approach to this, with a contributions from almost all of the departments.
- Museum professionals – Bloggers who discuss the area surrounding their own practice. Seb Chan from the Powerhouse Museum in Australia, is possibly the most popular, as the museum world grapples with what their web offer will be.
- Policymakers – If you are looking at joint funding, long term strategy, product development or just about understanding the policies within museums, these are invaluable. Great examples include Collection Trust, RSA, UKOLN and Centre for the Future of Museums.
- Special Interest Groups – Associations or collectives of museum professionals, grouped together over a specific interest. The offer of a range of voices from a number of different locations, specialties and museums gives offers a fascinating format. Musematic is a great place to start for anyone new to reading blogs.
- Consultants – Consultants to both museums and the policy makers, these are individuals who provide a voice to the ongoing debates surrounding the culture market. These are highly influential and appear in many blogrolls. Agenda’s museumstrategy.com, Sumo's museummarketing.com and Nina Simons Museum2.0 on participatory experiences (possibly the most popular museum blog of all). I also like Ecology in Cultural Heritage by Bridget McKenzie and Museum Audience Insight.
- Academia – Museum courses are increasingly providing space for museology students to discuss their interests, studies and findings. I think it’s safe to say, if it’s happening here - in two years time it will be happening everywhere. In the UK, we have The Attic by the Department of Museum Studies' research students at the University of Leicester.
- Suppliers – If this is where your clients are researching, listening for information - then this is where you should be. Fantastic for marketing the projects you are working on, but also building the profile of individuals and interests within your organisation. However, so far, I only have, er... Cogapp and that's it. I enjoy it thoroughly but, where are the exhibition designers, collection management, the handheld providers?
I'm only part way through my tagging exercise, so if you feel the above list has some glaring omissions, please add in the comments below. However at the moment there does seem to be a few gaps in the museum blog world. These include Museum cafes (I’m sorry but the majority of museum visits are tea/cake related), live interpretation (stories of the mean things kids can do) and of course Museum blogs about blogging in museums (see above statement).
More next week!