Museums Online

A blog to go with a series of workshops for museums on social media

One thing … October 23, 2009

Robert Burns in the Octagon

Robert Burns in the Octagon

As at the other workshops in this series, participants at the Dunedin workshop shared the one (or two or three!) things that they’ll do next with social media:

‘Develop a social media strategy to give direction to our efforts.’

‘Involve younger people in our organisation through technology.’

‘Gather community contributions, as well as push out our own content and information!’

‘Report back to the team, show examples of what others are doing, and demonstrate that using social media is possible and manageable.’

‘We’ll review our website – make sure we are updating it regularly – and establish blog to promote various projects. We need to identify specific purposes and uses for each tool we’re using, have a play to explore possibilities, and include all the businesses we work with in this process.’

‘Try some simple ways to promote our major festival. We’ll contribute events to and add visitor comments to our website while we develop a longer term social media strategy.’

‘Social media is not necessarily frivalous but could be a key promotional channel for us.’

‘Time to explore the tools! We need to schedule social media activities in our diaries: expand our events listings on and other services, and set up analytics to measure website stats.’

‘We need to value ‘virtual’ visitors, and develop visitor involvement in all future exhibits.’

‘We’ll create a strategy to identify priorities and small steps – selecting one or two activities that will serve us best. This might include refining our e-newsletter, exploring Facebook and getting our friends group on Flickr.

‘Refining our existing strategy is the next step – getting a listing on and exploring Facebook and a blog.’

Participants came up with some great ideas at the workshop, such as:

  • using wikis to gather stories and reflections from the community – maybe partnering with a school and inviting students to gather oral histories and build the wiki
  • blogging about a museum and building redevelopment project to demonstrate, amongst other things, progress and value to project sponsors
  • getting the gardner to blog
  • creating short videos for posting on tourism sites to target international audiences
  • using social networks to support  ‘friends’ groups and reach young families.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their ideas and social media experiments. Great to hear that some of you are already getting promising results from promoting events on Facebook and other services and from networking with related websites!

image cc filippo_jean


The story behind the Otautau Museum blog October 19, 2009

Filed under: blogging,social media — museumsonline @ 3:38 pm
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Otautau Museum

Otautau Museum

I’ve asked Cathy about the story behind the lovely Otautau Museum blog. She wrote back to me – thanks very much, Cathy! (I like the way she included all her web links and exhibition info in her email signature). If you’ve got a question for her, feel free to leave a comment …

‘I actually started with a blog for our town and then liked it so well that thought that having one for the museum would allow me to add more content for those specifically interested in what we are up to.

‘Having a blog has been the most flexible outlet for us in terms of adding content easily plus it’s cost effective. We are a very small, volunteer-run museum and have to keep all costs down. Having a domain name and server costs for a website is really out of the question for us at this point.

‘Google Analytics shows we get around 0 to 1 visitors a day. Sometimes I’ll post on the Otautau Blog and mention that I’ve put something on the museum blog and that drives visitors over. We’re a small town, around 750 people, and most are not heavy internet users so getting visitors is tricky. It’s possible we are a little ahead of our time with regard to our own community but hopefully someday the visitor numbers will be higher if we can keep adding worthwhile content.

‘It would be great if other small museums were into blogging. Rural museums are rather isolated from each other so we don’t often get to know what others are doing.’


Otautau Museum
146 Main Street, Otautau
Mailing address: c/- 11 Knutsford Rd
Otautau 9610
New Zealand

Current displays
Student artwork – and – Local Transport
On now until 31 Dec 2009
Open Wednesdays and Sundays, 2pm-4pm

On the web
Otautau Museum Blog
Otautau Museum Website
Otautau Blog


Bay of Plenty museums explore blogging October 15, 2009

Filed under: blogging,social media — museumsonline @ 12:16 pm
Tags: , ,

We’re talking about blogging at the moment. We’re pretty impressed that the wordpress service (and others like it) is free. Here are some great ideas from today’s participants about how museums might use blogs.

Blogging for museums is good for:

  • adding a personal touch – making it real to people
  • generating feedback and interaction with your audiences
  • keeping your information more lively and up to the minute (if your website is cumbersome to update
  • promoting specific events or exhibitions and creating ‘buzz’
  • featuring guest bloggers – maybe experts on the topic of your exhibition, a visiting artist, children’s work from the education programme.

Attending the workshop: Karen and Karen from Taupo Museum, Pip, Fiona from Tauranga Heritage Collection, Irene from the Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum, Toni from Massey University, Kathy from Tauranga Art Gallery, and Rangipai and Kay from Whakatane Museum.