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Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

Ask a Curator

People's Choice:
19 votes

Institution: 

240 + institutions

Designer: 

Sumo

Category: 

Social Media

Why

Ask a Curator was social media at it's best, a one day event which united museum and gallery curators for a one day question and answer session which spanned the earth.

On September 1st 2010, over 240 curators agreed to take questions from members of the public via Twitter and the hashtag #askacurator.

Members of the public simply posted a question with the hashtag in their tweet, and one or several curators responded with an answer. In total over 10,000 tweets appeared on the hashtag #askacurator and the topic trended globally for a large part of the day.

The event attracted global press from radio in Australia (with Lynda Kelly) to BBC, Wired, Fast Company and the LA Times, it also made the ten o'clock news in the Netherlands.

The project evaluation showed that the majority of those who asked a question said they were more likely to visit the museums which answered their questions, and the project also persuaded a large number of curators that social media had something to offer.

One member of the public said 'At last museums are doing something useful with social media, rather then just sending me spam'.

The project is now being transformed in to an online video platform, details of which can be found at http://bit.ly/askacurator2 [PDF].