INTERACTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA ONLINE ASIA ART MUSEUMS
Museums across the globe are taking advantage of advances in social media and online living to better engage and attract visitors. A recent story published in The Jerusalem Post looks at how museums in Israel are utilising social media platforms. We look at how other countries around Asia are doing the same.
Click here to read the original article, titled “A (virtual) museum visit”, as published by The Jerusalem Post on 25 April 2012.
Social media platforms like pin boards
The article, published in The Jerusalem Post on 25 April 2012, states that we have reached an age in which, if an organisation does not have a website, it does not exist. Not only do Israeli museums have websites, they also actively use social media tools.
Susan Hazan, curator of new media for the Israel Museum and head of its Internet office, thinks of the various social media platforms as online pin boards that engage prospective audiences, drawing them to the museums without being physically present and encouraging conversation amongst potential visitors.
According to The Jerusalem Post,
In Israel, curators are among those leading the way to getting museums on the Web. Using all manner of online platforms, from interactive Facebook Timelines dating back to ancient times to entire multimedia art galleries available in online spaces, Jewish heritage and culture is accessible even to those who are thousands of miles away.
Prestigious Chinese museums are Weibo users
Twitter-like Weibo, named after the Chinese term for “micro blog”, is the most popular social media platform in China. The Palace Museum and the National Museum of China were among the first institutions to sign up for a Weibo account, and today, both of them have over 900,000 followers. Though these large museums have English websites, most of the content they publish on Weibo is in the local language.
Operators of the museums’ Weibo accounts believe that the platform is a great way to communicate directly and on an equal footing with the public. Questions about tickets and regulations or collections and education programmes can be raised, answered and discussed online and in real time.
The rapid development of Weibo has fostered a change of roles for Chinese museums: over 100 museums in China now have Weibo accounts, meaning that many of these institutions are gradually stepping down from the intimidating pedestals on which they were once placed and are attempting to actively engage with the public through cultural education and socialisation.
Australia: Sophisticated social media management
Social media use is so integrated into the daily management of Australian museums that they are even outlining their requirements and policies on their websites. As seen from the website of National Gallery of Australia, the institution clearly outlines its social media interaction guidelines. The guideline specifies, for example, that the gallery’s social media forums should not be used as a vehicle for business or self promotion, and comment that the removal of posts is at the gallery’s discretion.
Australian Museum also places great emphasis on its strategy for social media use: its managers and researchers conduct audience research regularly and publish the information gathered as a public resource. And in November 2010, Art Radar posted a story about The Powerhouse Museum’s “Ask A Curator Day”, where online visitors were encouraged to interact with the museum’s curators using Facebook.
Japan: Joint national e-museum
Though museums in Japan do have a social media presence, their messages are most often only written in Japanese, meaning that information is not accessible to the wider international audience. However, e-museum, a joint online museum, is available in English and offers possibilities for direct engagement.
The e-museum was launched by National Institute for National Heritage to provide high definition images and multi-language explanations of national treasures from four national museums in Japan – Tokyo National Museum, Kyoto National Museum, Nara National Museum and Kyushu National Museum – to the international public.
Viewers can search for works, view slideshows and link to the content on this website without having to obtain permission. Visitors can also choose to view the collections of each museum through separate links.
Do you know of any innovative uses of social media by museums in Asia? Leave a comment below.
- Kapsul: A new way to organise art online? Resource alert – June 2012 – take a closer look at a recently launched art image and video search (and share) engine
- Yellow River Arts Centre: “Ambitious” museum development for northwest China – June 2012 – new art museum incorporating multifaceted facilities for research, education and leisure
- Google Art Project “goes global”: treasure trove of Asian contemporary art – April 2012 – eleven Asian museums that feature contemporary art added to Google Art Project
- What is ahead for contemporary Asian art, 2012 and beyond? Part IV – February 2012 – research post that looks into the future of private museums
- 3D digital art catalogues soon a reality – TED video demonstration – September 2011 – a digital format which might point to the multimedia future of the art catalogue
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