I think there are contradictory expectations for a museum’s online presence to be cutting edge while also being accessible and providing information not in the galleries themselves while also presenting new information. While this may not be fair to the museum, it reflects the varied visitors to the museum websites. To be successful, I think there is a need for museum digital content to be accessible to everyone. While they are online, museums need to meet their public where they are, mainly social media like Instagram, twitter, and Facebook. While most museums have been present on twitter and Instagram, I think Facebook has been losing attention. This, while sites like Buzz feed are taking off, primarily from their content being shared through Facebook. Personally, I really enjoy videos like those we looked at from LACMA where the viewer can get a glimpse into the functioning of a museum. It would be interesting, however, to see a museum flood the internet with short and funny videos about their collection and things related to it.
For online classes, a practical option that I would have loved as a high schooler would be an online supplemental AP Art History course that draws on the collection of an encyclopedic museum, like LACMA, that I would have been able to visit and tangibly see. This would probably be more popular with students who could actually visit the museum. The opportunity to study a work and then visit it in person can be an eye-opening for a student. On a more random note, I would love to take a class on period dress, learning the evolution of fashion, particularly in the 17th to 19th centuries. A class like this could be illustrated with actual outfits in a museum’s collection, along with paintings and other works of art that depict the fashion of the time of commissioning.
The most effective digital story telling that I encounter is that on the radio. Podcasts my personal go to for when driving or walking to class. This American Life and Serial are both radio based shows that have has success because of their particular presentation of stories to their listeners. KPCC recently began a culture show called The Frame. It looks at art, film, and general pop culture. I love it because I am presented with new artists, musicians and films that I would not otherwise see, however they rarely spend time talking about actual art. Understandably so, it’s hard to talk about such a visual art form without images, or at least soundbites. I think this would be really interesting for a museum to tackle, as an authority on culture, museums are really in a place to fill this void and begin literal conversations on their collections, exhibitions, and current events in the art world.
4 thoughts on “Week 8”
I love listening to radio podcasts, especially since I am an audio learner. It’s viewed as a dying art but I’m glad podcasts like Serial have been able to generate renewed interest in the medium. Overall, digital storytelling is effective in its ability to convey information in a multisensory way, which I think just makes learning something so much more fun.
I love that you brought up podcasts! I think it was briefly mentioned in class some time ago, but I think they’re definitely making a comeback, despite them being “old fashioned” in the digital age now. I know that many YouTubers have podcasts, and other similar things like audiobooks are becoming big now. This can definitely be an alternative or supplemental digital component.
I really liked the points you made about museums meeting patrons halfway to be accessible not just online but to be a part of the larger social networks. A concern I might have might be that with so much content on websites like Facebook, will art works shared there be overlooked and become devalued because it is just a photo flying around the internet? I also think it is a cool idea to be able to study something like art online then be able to physically see what you were studying. That integration between online and human experience I think is important!
You’re right to notice that social media platforms fade in and out of popularity. But besides constantly changing over to other platforms or hosting a platform on every available site is there a way for museums to keep a constant presence? It just seems a little to high maintenance for a museum staff to constantly have to keep adjusting to new social media outlets.
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