Fresh & New(er)

discussion of issues around digital media and museums by Seb Chan

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Museum blogs survey results online / San Francisco blogger meet-up

March 31st, 2007 by Seb Chan

Museums & The Web has published the survey conducted by Jim Spadaccini and myself earlier this year titled Radical Trust: the State of the Museum blogosphere.

As 2006 began, there were less than thirty known museum blogs; since then, that number has more than doubled. Today there are well over 100 blogs exploring museum issues, from a range of institutions and individuals across the globe. All of these blogs have embraced the concept of ‘radical trust,’ taking the big step to trust (radically) the community on-line. This paper reports the findings of the first major survey of museum blog operators and their readers. Developed by Powerhouse Museum and Ideum, this comprehensive survey of bloggers paints a picture of where the field is today, and where it is headed in the future.

How popular are they? How is popularity measured? Do these blogs operate from the inside or the outside of museums? Who is their audience? What of RSS, aggregators, and link exchanges? Are there emerging commonalities in practice and usage that can be brought together to strengthen and expand the collective worth and impact of museum blogging? This paper explores these questions and more. Several successful operational models have emerged and are outlined here, along with emerging trends for the field. It is our hope that these survey results will also provide a starting point for those museums looking to launch their own blogs.

I hope you find the results interesting and useful – thank you, too, to many of you who participated in the survey and also helped beta-test it for us.

Jim and I are running a one hour workshop presenting the results, discussing them in detail, making recommendations to organisations currently running or considering setting up blogs and, bringing the results a little more up to date with some new analytics on Friday 13 April at 10am at M&W07.

Immediately following the workshop at 11am Jim and I will be leading a merry band of museum bloggers to a local eatery for an informal meet up and get together. Many of us only know each other by our handles and avatars. Indeed, when Jim and I first considered running the survey and writing the paper, neither of us had met face to face!

Please join us if you are in San Francisco.

If you have any suggestions of somewhere close to Union Square for food that can accomodate a band of bloggers then suggest in the comments!

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