Museums and the Web

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Down to Earth. Social Media and Institutional Change

TitleDown to Earth. Social Media and Institutional Change
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
Authorsde Keijzer, V., & Deiser P.
Secondary TitleMuseums and the Web 2009. Proceedings
Conference Start DateApril 15-18, 200
PublisherArchives & Museum Informatics
Place PublishedIndianapolis, Indiana, USA
EditorTrant, J., & Bearman D.
Keywordsinstitutional change, museum community, participation, social mapping, strategy, user types

The Gemeentemuseum in The Hague is a museum for contemporary art and the applied arts. “Down To Earth” presents a case study of the museum’s recent project, a five-month survey, in which various staff members were interviewed about their knowledge, level of participation, attitude and opinion regarding new social media and community centered projects. Those interviewed included directors; curators; some collections workers, including restorers; some of those involved in documentation, in education, in exhibitions, in ICT; some marketing staff and some in public relations.The data collected was used to identify five different user types: lecturers; educators; presenters; interactors and connectors. On the basis of these types, a viable and differentiated approach to social media could be planned and put into practice. Central to this approach is a focus on the development of sustainable solutions that fit the museum and its staff. The paper shows how a rather traditional, conservative museum can create its own strategies for dealing with new media in this way.