This month’s Social Good podcast is called “How Cultural Groups Can Use Social Media.” My guests are Nina Simon, blogger for Museum 2.0 and Rob Stein, Chief Information Officer of the Indianapolis Art Museum, discussing ways that cultural institutiosn can use social media.That sounds a bit stuffy, really, the podcast is about taking down the walls between institutions and participants.
There were two particular reasons why I wanted to talk to Nina and Rob. Nina just published a terrific book on the blurring of the lines between cultural institutions and what was formerly called the audience. Her book is called The Participatory Museum. It’s a really smart, fun, well written book. I strongly urge you to give it a read. You can download it right from Nina’s site or buy it – I’ve done both! Nina’s been in the trenches doing this work for a while and she brings both common sense and idealism to how social media can remake the relationship between institutions and visitors. As she writes, “By designing explicit opportunities for interpersonal dialogue, cultural institutions can distinguish themselves as desirable real-world venues for discussion about important issues related to the content presented. The growth of social Web technologies in the mid-2000s transformed participation from something limited and infrequent to something possible anytime, for anyone, anywhere. We entered what MIT researcher Henry Jenkins calls a “convergence culture” in which regular people—not just artists or academics—appropriate cultural artifacts for their own derivative works and discussions.”
Rob works for the Indianapolis Museum of Art that has done a wonderful job of creating myriad ways for visitors to discuss the institution and the art work on line. In particular, Beth and I used their online dashboard in our chapter on transparency in the Networked Nonprofit. I love this dashboard not just because of the data that it shows at first glance, but, more importantly, because you can click on any of the data points and see the trends – the good and the bad.
I hope you’ll take a listen to the podcast and hear from Nina and Rob have to say about ways to infuse institutions with social-ness.