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Museums struggling for life?

Click to discover what it is to be a museum in 2010 and what are the new challenges museums have to face to survive!

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  1. Leslie 23:19, Apr 12th, 10

    Cool post, Juliette! It was nice to actually hear Nina talk, & to hear that she doesn’t particularly care for social media, but understands that it’s necessary to learn about it & for museums to have a place in it. The fact that Nina’s so into the technological aspect of the Internet will probably come to be a very important thing concerning museums’ space on the Internet- finding a way to make it more interactive & creative will I’m sure help to make experiencing a museum/art online more “natural.” Do you know if the Whitney Museum has any more scheduled dates for virtual Twitter tours?

  2. ElzbthMllr 07:59, Apr 13th, 10

    Very interesting! I think you hit on several interesting points, particularly that museums really have to do all that they can to engage people. I’m worried that you found the experience a bit disappointing however, because if museums are in fact losing their audiences, then the way to get them back isn’t to throw a lot of bells and whistles at them with technology, but to do it in a way that is engaging. Whether that’s through advance marketing to encourage people to come into the museum, whether it’s through social networking while physically at the museum (eg group tours, discussion groups etc). I’ll definitely be looking to see if more museums go the route of the Whitney. I will also be curious to see if more museums do things like online podcasts/slideshows to reach audiences that may not be able to physically get to a museum. Very interesting and I learned a lot. Thanks!

  3. mushon 08:52, Apr 13th, 10

    Yes, indeed a very interesting topic you chose, and it’s so vast, I think we’re just scratching the surface. I believe the Whitney and other museums throwing social media at things are failing to assess incentives. What is the incentive of the people still known as the audience to “socialize” around the museum topic? How can the museum cater to these changing interests? An attempt like getting people to do free PR for the museum seems to me as an insincere and risk-free experiment that doesn’t hold much other than some novelty. Even that novelty only works to embolden the core contradiction:
    Museums = old and tired institutions
    Social media = young and exciting networks

  4. HoniehLayla 11:18, Apr 13th, 10

    I am very surprised that the Young Audience is declining? I know that most museums offer school discount and specific events to cater to the younger crowd. I personally love museums, but then again, I’m from the area so it has been instilled in me. I wonder if this crisis is occurring in less dense metropolitan areas.

    I was skeptical about the twitter experiment myself, because I view twitter as small bits of information and museums focus on the visual and historical aspect as far as content is concerned.

    I loved your interview – she is correct – the museums have to remain vital to the generation that grew up online.

    I supposed our generation is a bit mix.

  5. nadine 11:29, Apr 13th, 10

    Does art has to be socialized? Last week, a painter told me that museums aren’t the best places for art. Is the surrounding really bringing out the best of the work (or vice versa)? Are museums a mere compromise for making art accessible to the masses?
    What probably needs to change aren’t the PR efforts or the visitors, but the museums themselves. I must admit that walking through a big and prominent museum can sometimes feel more like being squeezed through a supermarket…This is certainly not very engaging.

  6. Ryan 11:41, Apr 13th, 10

    It seems to be that social media and incentives are really the key ingredients here. Trying to come up with a new and sustainable business model for engaging people to visit museums through online seems to be where things are headed. But I wonder how that changes the dynamics of the experience in itself. It reminds me once again of Benjamin’s concept of the aura. if this catches on, then how will it affect the museums if more people are viewing art online vs. coming there to actually witness it. I think this would be a good international tool i.e. having museums in other countries use it so that people from other countries can access it without visiting it.

    I also think if this continues to catch on if utilized in the right way, will this revolutionize more types of visitation activities. Will the zoo adopt live video feeds of the animals instead of actually coming to the zoo? The possibilities are becoming more televised either through tv or the computer.

    Mushon’s point on the contradiction of old and new makes me think of trying to synthesize the two to create a hybrid museum, much of what they are, i guess, trying to do – jump on the social media bandwagon trying to keep up with the changes of times.

    Nice job adding Whitney’s audio clip. That enriched your podcast/slideshow.

    I think ideally it would have been nice for you to actually take us through kind of a mini online tour :) But I guess I will have to wait until next time.

    And what does this all tell us about access and who does and doesn’t have smart phones e.g. iPhones, blackberries, etc. to access this type of content. Or would it be more catered to computers?

  7. Alexandra 11:44, Apr 13th, 10

    I guess we will have to wait and see how more museums take their content online in the future. I do understand that they need to stay relevant to a whole generation of people used to going online, but the screen of an iPhone really doesn’t compare to an actual museum. I guess they’ll have to get people engaged through technology with the hope that it will bring them in the doors.