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DT:TV Case Studies

Social media strategies for museums

San Diego hosted this two-day conference, sponsored by the Balboa Park Online Collaborative and funded by the Benbough Foundation. This was an amazing opportunity to hear some cutting-edge experts on museums and social media, and organizer Rich Cherry did a fantastic job bringing them all together.

Speakers included Peter Samis, Associate Curator of Interpretation for SFMOMA, open content expert Susan Chun (founder of Steve, the museum social tagging project), Shelley Bernstein, Chief of Technology for Brooklyn Museum, and Seb Chan, Head of Digital, Social & Emerging Technologies, Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. For a wonderful analysis of Seb’s content, read Susan Spero’s blog post here.

I had the chance to interview some of the speakers during the day, and ask them a few questions for people who weren’t able to attend. First, how do you go about creating a social media strategy for a museum?

I was especially interested in how they’ve gone about creating the cultural shift necessary for integrating social media (including open content) into their institutional cultures.

One issue that comes up a lot is who gets to speak for the institution? Who becomes the voice? How do you define it? And, how do you integrate this entirely new set of tasks into people’s already-busy work loads?

Last, I asked them to comment on the benefits of using social media.

Thanks to Peter, Susan, and Seb for their time, and the San Diego Hall of Champions for hosting.