The Social Museum - #mcn2012socmus


Fri, 11/09/2012 - 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Track: C. Wiki, Platforms, Social
Room: East Room


  1. Name: Sarah Bailey Hogarty
    Title: Curatorial Assistant to the Chief Curator
    Organization: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF)
  2. Name: Willa Koerner
    Title: Digital Engagement Associate
    Organization: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
  3. Name: Kathryn Jaller
    Title: New Media Manager
    Organization: Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM)


What does it mean for a museum to be social? How do museums translate real life interaction into online engagement, and vice versa? And what do users really want from museums on social media, anyway? This complete panel will address the “social” aspects of social media by looking at both online and real life museum experiences; what successful social media campaigns can look like; and finally, how museums can expand their communities by going social. Panelists will present programmatic successes (and/or failures) examining key issues, including how they have collaborated internally to produce content that is both on message and engaging to audiences, how museums interact with each other and audiences via social media, and how social media initiatives can lead to deeper appreciation of the institution as well as cross-institutional collaboration.

Session Description:

Willa Koerner, Digital Engagement Associate, San Francisco Museum of Art (SFMOMA); Sarah Bailey Hogarty, Curatorial Assistant to the Chief Curator, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF); Kathyrn Jaller, New Media Manager, Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM), San Francisco. Leading up to and during the panel, we will facilitate a Twitter discussion that will be integrated into the in situ discussion. Prior to the conference, using Erin Blasco’s #musesocial model, we will lead a chat on Twitter aimed at engaging potential attendees and museum professionals as well as participating museums’ social media followers and fans. By asking the latter group relevant questions we hope to burst the bubble of the in situ conference and cultivate a more open, dynamic and social dialogue.
This panel’s sections/presentations will be roughly organized as follows:
To start, we’ll discuss ways in which museums can integrate online and IRL experiences. Drawing on the basic premise that going to museums is, in large part, a social endeavor, we demonstrate how museums can capitalize on using online social platforms to enrich brick-and-mortar visits with concrete examples. Additional topics will address the potential and/or benefit of assimilating brick-and-mortar social interactions with social media initiatives, and how these initiatives can assist in mitigating the monolithic, authoritative institutional voice.

Next, we’ll each provide one example of a successful social media campaign, focusing on implementation, how and why it was considered successful, and key takeaways for facilitating meaningful future engagement. Major themes in this discussion will address the need for museums to let go and trust their users; how providing engaging opportunities for audiences to contribute content and engage with each other can ultimately cultivate organic and substantive community forums that explicitly circle back to institutional messaging; and how both qualitative and quantitative metrics must be analyzed to determine the overall success of a social media campaign.

Finally, in a more free form seminar format, we will ask: What’s the point? Drawing on in situ and live Twitter feedback, we will investigate what audiences really want vs. what museums want out of social media engagement. Among other topics to be determined in the online pre-conversation, this forum will evaluate the efficacy of museums interacting with each other on social media forums (e.g. #museumlove or #museumcrush on Twitter), including how audiences perceive these interactions and what is the ultimate goal and/or benefit of this kind of inter-institutional engagement. By the end of the panel discussion, we hope that attendees will have a deeper understanding of and appreciation for what is possible when using social media to collaborate, create community and cultivate online engagement.

Session Info

  • Type: Full Panel
  • Keywords:
  • Relevance: This panel seeks to explore and provide insights into best practices for museums using social media today. We'll work to engage a target audience of diverse museum professionals in conversations about creative and collaborative uses of social media. We also hope to use social media technologies to open up the conference structure, cultivating dialogue between museum professionals, social media users and museum audiences in general.