17 examples of museum-ish social media for Alexandra Korey

Alexandra - -  here are some thoughts re: your question about examples of museum social media. (Posted here for easier sharing/linking and in case someone else was interested.)

Not a comprehensive list and not exclusively 2016, but perhaps useful/provocative. Note that I’m mostly interested in (and focusing on) examples that come from outside museums themselves.

1. Re: participation at scale, across the whole sector - - #askacurator@museumselfieday, #ilovemuseums - - via @mardixon (and see museumselfie info/paper here by Alli Burness http://museumselfies.tumblr.com/)

2. Re: giving control of the brand/trust relationship to users. @sweden - - http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-pleasing-irreverence-of-sweden

3. Re: Civics/Governance in public institutions (demonstrating what is possible), “The Spanish Town That Runs On Twitter” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/09/technology/the-spanish-town-that-runs-on-twitter.html

4. Re: opening up to public interest in science, process, inquiry - - How to Tweet Like a Robot on Mars - - http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/10/how-to-tweet-like-a-robot-on-mars/381114/

5. Re: the relationship between global/local and not taking oneself too seriously, Orkney Library - - https://www.buzzfeed.com/alanwhite/real-talk-who-doesnt-dress-as-whitesnake-once-a-week [Note: Tumblr thinks the link is spam or evil, but it’s not, and it’s a good article. Copy/paste the URL into your browser.]

6. Re: cross-sector movement by museum staff - - #museumsRespondToFerguson. https://twitter.com/hashtag/museumsrespondtoFerguson?src=hash

7. Re: unusual and engaging telling of history - - @ReliveApollo11, real-time tweeting of ground/mission communication transcripts from original Apollo moon mission, from National Air and Space Museum (and in particular the numerous and poignant replies from the public)

8. Re: beautiful and surprising concepts, though not *exactly* social media, “Birdwatching” at the Rijksmuseum - - a meetup of birdwatching enthusiasts to tag/catalog images of birds in the Rijks collections. https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/vogelen and http://www.wis.ewi.tudelft.nl/research/wude/digital-birdwatching-at-the-rijksmuseum/

9. Re: working with communities - - the beautiful way that Dr Meghan Ferriter supports and encourages the Smithsonian Transcription Center community.

10. Re: museum collections speaking for themselves: Museum Bots - - https://twitter.com/backspace/lists/museum-bots/members

11. Re: initiatives supported by users/fans on their own - - #bookstagram on Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/bookstagram/?hl=en and http://bookriot.com/2013/06/07/a-brief-guide-to-bookstagram/

12. And Instagram in general…

13. And YouTube in general…

14: Re: Collecting/curating *outside* of official channels. Pinterest - - https://www.pinterest.com/search/?q=museum&referrer=sitelinks_searchbox

15. Re: soliciting stories/content from the public, The Museum of Broken Relationships. https://brokenships.com/

16. Re: artists speaking for themselves - - @aiww - - the artist on Twitter. “Twitter is the people’s tool, the tool of the ordinary people, people who have no other resources.” (A little more on http://usingdata.tumblr.com/post/88281521008/twitter-is-the-peoples-tool-the-tool-of-the)

17. …And an enormous shoutout/kudos to all the museums out there who are just being good - - good to their audiences and communities - - on social media. It’s not a sexy story, but it’s a great one, and maybe the one that matters the most. 

"More willing to help you…"

A third advantage of mission oriented companies is that people outside the company are more willing to help you. You’ll get more support on a hard, important project, than a derivative one. When it comes to starting a startup, it’s easier to found a hard startup than an easy startup. This is one of those counter-intuitive things that takes people a long time to understand. It’s difficult to overstate how important being mission driven is, so I want to state it one last time: derivative companies, companies that copy an existing idea with very few new insights, don’t excite people and they don’t compel the teams to work hard enough to be successful.
Lecture 1: How to Start a Startup, Paul Altman, http://genius.com/Sam-altman-lecture-1-how-to-start-a-startup-annotated

All in acceleration...all at once

…The three largest forces on the planet — globalization, Moore’s law and Mother Nature — are all in acceleration, creating an engine of disruption that is stressing strong countries and middle classes and blowing up weak ones, while superempowering individuals and transforming the nature of work, leadership and government all at once.
— Thomas Friedman, New York Times, January 13, 2015 (link)

"They understood the Internet as a set of values"

From a book talk with Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, May 2, 2013 https://youtu.be/z3Ynp2gjfQY

Walter Isaacson: But does technology eventually make democracy inevitable?

Jared Cohen: One of the observations that we actually came away with was from Myanmar. We’re in Myanmar about a little over a month ago. Less than one percent of the population has access to the Internet. Up until eighteen months ago it was one of the worst dictatorships in the entire world. Now it’s in some kind of transition, still very much speculative, about whether it’s a democratic transition.

What was interesting about Myanmar and perhaps something that shocked even us is even though less than one percent of the population has access to the Internet, everybody had heard of it.

And they understood the Internet as a set of values, as a concept, as an idea, even before they had experienced it as a user, or as a tool.

And their understanding of the internet was not based on a Chinese interpretation of the Internet, it was not based on an autocrat’s version of the internet, they understood it in terms of it its western values of the free flow of information and civil liberties.

And what that means to us is you have 57 percent of the world’s population living under some kind of an autocracy. What happens when their regimes try to create an autocratic internet that doesn’t correspond with their democratic understanding of what it should be? What does that clash look like?

We don't know the answer to that yet.

"For anyone other than a Finn...”

“You could argue that for anyone other than a Finn, it is a disaster to spend three years in Finland, as I have just done. Finland is flat, cold and far from the busy centres of European life. Nature has not favoured Finland, nor has art for that matter. Up until quite recent times, the residents of Finland have included peasants, hunters, fishermen, and a small group of foreign rulers who spent most of their money elsewhere. The rich cultural history of Europe has left fewer marks in Finland than anywhere else in the Western world, perhaps excluding Iceland. Finnish cuisine deserves an extra punishment for its barbaric dreadfulness: only the mushrooms and crawfish are worth mentioning.”

Sir Bernard Ledwidge, the UK’s ambassador to Finland, 1972, as quoted at the beginning of Finland’s national brand strategy, Mission for Finland, 2010.

The vision of presenting art history on the terms set by the Internet had made good sense to us. It looked like the perfect medium for unfolding the paradigm of diversity. But then we came up against something that limited our options: copyright.
— Merete Sanderhoff, curator of digital practice at the National Gallery of Denmark, in Sharing is Caring: openness and sharing in the cultural heritage sector

Merete continues,

The costs were tremendously high. Just one image cost several hundred dollars, and that would only buy us clearance for a limited period of time. The labour involved in writing to each rights holder, asking for files, describing the intended usage, and so on, turned out to be a major drain on our manpower.

But I speak to many people whose organisations have not even considered what digital transformation looks like. Not considered a world where customers will always have better technology and communication abilities than they do.
— Paul Taylor, from The Battle Against Digital Disruption

Paul Taylor describes the disconnect between the abilities of a tenant with a new smartphone and the capabilities of the property managers.

Welcome to a new breed of resident. Residents who live digital lifestyles that are completely out of sync with the operating system of the landlord.

Paul is the 'innovation coach' at The Bromford Group, which supports innovation for a British housing association. @PaulBromford

"Friends and other non-professional influencers"

At its core, the social revolution allows people to consume what they want, when they want, and largely on the recommendation of friends and other non-professional influencers.  Attempt to graft old models onto it and you are doomed to struggle; find models that are native to the medium and you will thrive.
— From It’s Not About You: The Truth About Social Media Marketing by Tim O'Reilly, October 2, 2012.

"Access to the collective works of humankind has been a win"

Ken Garrison:  When I was telling my wife about what I was going to be talking with you about, she had a naïve but kind of profound question, which is “Why are you doing this?  Why are you trying to archive the entire world and the entire internet?” 

Brewster Kahle:  It’s really based on an analogy, if you will: that it seemed to work in other times - that the idea of having access to the collective works of humankind has been a win.  So, we all look back to the Library of Alexandria.  And by going and pulling together the works from all over the world and translating them then into Ancient Greek, they were able to come up with fantastic discoveries.  They knew how big the world was.  They knew it was round.  They knew how big it was within a couple percent.  Euclid authored “Elements,” which is what it is I still studied as geometry in high school.  So, fantastic things can come of it if you can leverage the works of other people.  And the reason why I got involved in the whole area of building the library back in 1980 was just kind of on that analogy and the thought that technology allows us to do this and it seems like a good thing to do.

— Interview with Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive from WFMU’s Radio Free Culture, October 9, 2012. (link)