Does anybody else find it odd when there is no digital technology present? Am I the only one who gets frustrated when there is no wifi or cellular service in the desert or forest?
Museums are starting to accept that we social creatures love to be social online everywhere. Can we say “pics, or it didn’t happen”?
Every photo shared from the museum is a free advertisement for the Met.TITLOW, J. P. (2016). How a 145-year old art museum stays relevant in the smartphone age. Fast Company.
To tech or not to tech…
I appreciated the pro-smartphone and social media outlook that the Met has. The Met understands that people love their devices and will more often than not use the devices. There were questions and fears about mobile devices distracting people from physical art. This is one of those “what if” fears. Technology is everywhere and is very distracting and tempting to use. Instead of trying to keep people away from their devices, it is better to create an experience where people go between actively looking at art and then engaging with the art online. Not only will this drive more traffic onto their website and social media platforms, but it could also be free advertising and bring more people into the museum.
Good type of viral
This reminds me of the few viral TikToks during coronavirus: The cranberry juice skater listening to Fleetwood Mac and Walker Haye’s Fancy Like Applebee’s song. Applebee’s saw this as a great marketing plan, so they used people’s TikToks and created a commercial. I also thought that Ocean Spray made a commercial, but TikTok created the commercial, which I can suspect boosted sales for Ocean Spray (because people had to have cranberry juice to recreate the video!). It is interesting how businesses and corporations are using social media in their advertisements. It is something that many of us recognize and feel a connection to.
Museum in meme culture
Something that I am totally obsessed with is museum involvement in meme culture. The two sound like they cannot mesh together because museum institutions are esteemed and academic, while online meme culture is lowbrow and chaotic. Take a look at funny memes by LACMA:
They are getting a lot of engagement and are playful with their posts. They also throw in an educational impact by exposing people to art and creating a response to the art.
I experienced Boston!
My little sister had her graduation ceremony from Boston University the first weekend of October. So I was in Boston! Luckily, we had some time to explore, so I visited two super awesome institutions: the Boston Public Library and the Boston Museum of Fine Art. Boston Public Library was so huge and impressive. I could not believe it. On one side of the street, there is a huge old exterior with murals and antiquity inside. On the other side, there was an addition to the library, which was Library 2.0 (I am talking shelves on wheels and areas for things other than books!). The Boston Museum of Fine Art was also excellent and ginormous. Throughout the museum, there were big signs with a QR code on them. When the QR is captured on a mobile device, it brings us to their main website. This was a bust because I expected the landing page to be relevant to the art around us or immersive somehow. My parents could not figure out where to find the commentary that was advertised on the sign. The museum put in a good effort but unfortunately missed the bar.
Museums can be underlined in blue (or hyperlinked)! An important consideration for museums is to make sure their technology is up to speed with current trends online and on social media. An example of this is making landing pages intentional. Don’t just bring us to a general website, but show us something incredible. It is straightforward to guess the name (or google) of an institution’s website. Instead, throw us onto your social media page to contribute to marketing trends or hashtags. Museums are not deserts or forests. We want to have memorable experiences in person and online. Hyperlinking museums with people virtually and physically will create a mutually beneficial relationship by promoting access and participation.