Museums, Social Inclusion, and Online Networks
Routledge – 2013 – 256 pages
Over the past few years an increasing number of museums have experimented with social media to demonstrate that they are listening and engaging in the world outside. While a number of new publications describe the rise of social media as a potential panacea for dwindling audiences, this book is unique in its recognition that participation has not, for the most part, affected the majority of museum practices. Participation programs have certainly been introduced to a number of museums and as this book will show, some have been tremendously successful. Yet, for the most part, participation has been limited and the bulk of engagement has tended to be around new forms of publication from within rather than discussions withdiverse audiences.
Based on research conducted with international museums over the past 6 years, this book explores three key areas: engagement, participation, and co-creationas the keystones for understanding the value of the "social" museum. Using a number of global examples to describe and map the ways in which social media has been explored within communication programs, authors Russo and Kelly offer a window into the challenges which face future communication strategies and curatorial practices within museums. This book develops models for new partnerships, based on critical analysis of both the impact of social media and evaluations of some of the most successful examples in the sector to date. In this way new essential lessons for museum professionals, museum studies students, and potential collaborators are made accessible.
Prologue John Hartley Foreword Maxwell Anderson Introduction Part 1: What Makes the Museum Social? 1. From Gatekeeping to Co-Creation 2. The Social Museum: Creating Expectations of Exchange Part 2: The Social in Practice 3. Engagement: Lowering Barriers to Participation 4. Participation: From Social to Participatory Media 5. Co-Creation: From Us to Them and Back Again Part 3: From Here to Where? 6. Transformations in Cultural Communication Notes Index
Angelina Russo is Associate Professor in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University, Australia. She researches the connections between museum communication processes, multimedia design, and digital content creation. She has just completed a term as Chief Investigator on the Australian Research Council Linkage research project Engaging with Social Media in Museums at RMIT University. Between 2005 and 2008 she led the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Creative Industries and Innovation, research project New Literacy, New Audiences. She is a Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation and an Australian Research Council Post Doctoral Fellow. Russo is a Director of Museum3, a social network of over 3200 members, established to provide an online forum for cultural institution professionals.
Lynda Kelly is Head of Audience Research at the Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia. She has published widely in museum evaluation and writes the Audience Research Blog with a readership of around 1,500 per month. Lynda is a co-founder and Director of Museum3, social network site for museum professionals. In 2007 she completed her PhD in museum learning, and is a sought-after speaker on future museum practices.