Make it epic!

October 25, 2010

People want to be involved in social media with impact – make it epic was the advice we were given at a workshop in Edinburgh.

Most of the people to whom I have been talking while I have been in the UK agree that there is enormous potential to engage new audiences for museums using social media, but few have yet developed the strategies and projects that will capitalise on it. I was lucky enough to attend a workshop last week with people from the cultural sector from across Scotland where the issues were explored.

Ewan McIntosh of No Tosh presented the first keynote address, which issued the ‘epic’ challenge to us. He urged us to

  • design our social media activities around our ‘customers’
  • don’t assume that people know why we do what we do – make sure we are ready with a pitch
  • go where our audience is (don’t guess – ask!)
  • develop an understanding of who they are and what we bring to them
  • DON’T THINK – TRY!
The day included some short presentations from the Scottish national institutions about their social media activities and four longer, thought-provoking papers. The final presentation of the day was given by Gail Durbin from the V&A. I know my colleagues at History SA are familiar with the V&A beaches project http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/textiles/lawty/world_beach/map_gallery/index.php, but there was another one about knitting that took my fancy! http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/fashion/features/knitting/share/index.php. People are invited to add their own (non-garment) knitting to the V&A’s database. Gail also spoke about a project to document hairstyles by inviting people to submit photographs – thus allowing the museum to document the ephemeral. Similarly, people were invited to submit photographs and memories of 60s fashion, and to share with others the impact that Kylie Minogue’s style has had on them – and you can even print out and dress your very own Kylie doll! http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/fashion/exhibs_displays/kylie/kylie_paper_doll/index.html. Be epic, indeed!

Singer Kylie Minogue

3 Responses to “Make it epic!”

  1. Kristy Says:

    The knitting database is awesome! Some serious knitters out there. I love the jelly babies 🙂

  2. Caz Says:

    The knitting links on the V&A site are great. Knitting (and crafting in general) is such a big movement at the moment and this seems to be a great way to attract people who might not necessarily visit the site. Not sure about the Kylie doll?!

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