Back to

social net work

First things first, let me start by highlighting one of the The Nugget Factory’s latest productions – Welcome to the IMA.  This is piece we produced in part for the 125th Gala, this past weekend, to appear in the new Indianapolis Airport and for other multi-purpose uses.  Please enjoy.

And speaking of the 125th Gala, we uploaded images from this incredible event to our Flickr account.  Have fun.

Some of you know that I sit directly across from the my brilliant colleague Despi.  The other day we were discussing the amount of social networking sites we find ourselves updating and following (and we’re not sure why).  Aside from our IMA specific efforts, we’re personally on Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn and now thanks to Richard and the recent mass museum frenzy  – Twitter.

I really want to talk about Twitter today.  In the past couple of weeks I’ve heard Twitter mentioned more than anything around the IMA – “When is the IMA going to start twittering?”.  My answer is always this – we’re not going to copy another museum here – it needs to be original (we’ll get to that shortly).  To be perfectly honest, I’m not sold on Twitter.  I wonder if it has peaked as a social networking tool?  For instance, the always innovative Brooklyn Museum has been laying down the tweet, going on two years!  What do you think?

Here are some of the IMA Twitter ideas, so far  –

  • Maxwell Anderson, The Melvin and Bren Simon Director and CEO twittering (he’s way too busy)
  • A work of art twittering (undergoing conservation, installation and then staring at visitors)
  • The Nugget Factory twittering (would be lots of fun, but might get yanked)
  • A general IMA update Twitter
  • 100 Acres Twitter

That’s it for now.  Have an opinion on Twitter?  Have an IMA Twitter idea?  I’ll buy lunch for whoever leaves the best comment (Richard excluded from lunch, but definitely not commenting).

Filed under: New Media, Technology

20 Responses to “social net work”

  • avatar

    Yeah, I’m not sure what happened here but it seems like every museum on the planet jumped on Twitter in the last month or two and everyone is doing the same thing with it. Anyone know what the tipping point was for this? I’d love to know.

    There is one notable example of someone doing interesting, but that’s at NASA and now people are coping that model.

    The issue is simple – to do something really interesting with Twitter requires programming work and it’s not something we are ready to do yet. In our own trials, it was a bit of a catch-22 and we never like to put out dev work unless we think it’s really worth it.

    That said, we are going to start using Twitter in a slightly different way soon (and not to animate a painting, either). But I’ll post on that when we are ready :)

  • avatar

    I would like to cry foul about being excluded from the lunch, but I’m not sure to whom, so I’ll just suck it up. What’s up with that?

    For me the tipping point was when the Lunder Center started using it to give up-to-the-minute updates on what was going on in their open conservation center (hence, the reason I wrote the blog post). I’ve only been using it for a couple weeks now, and am equally unsure about what’s the point or how long I’ll do it. I will say I’ve found it mildly addictive but an interesting way to micro-blog about just about anything.

    For me, the interesting people to follow are those that are not just using it as a way to market their museum efforts (though, admittedly, I’ve been guilty of that myself). Those that are actually talking about what they are thinking or doing I find interesting.

    Did you see that one person is writing her thesis on museums using Twitter?

    Check her out:

    Well, I’m off to go have my lunch by myself ….

  • avatar
    Emily Says:

    How is Twitter different than FB updates?

  • avatar
    Meg Says:

    @RichardMcCoy – Yes, but do you think there is much of an audience for museums on twitter beyond other museum professionals? To be perfectly honest the only reason I’m on twitter is for “competitor” research…

    The struggle I think a lot of us are having is determining the target audience and then assessing the cost/benefit of investing resources of time and energy to expand into yet another means of communication. No matter how interesting the content, is Twitter worth it? I’ve been struggling with this over the last few weeks and still have yet to determine a way to optimize it for the Guggenheim’s purposes.

    Coincidentally, I’ve got a meeting about this very topic today at 3pm. I’ll let you know if we have a breakthrough…

  • avatar
    Allison Agsten Says:

    I started using Twitter a few months ago as part of a cohesive new media campaign for LACMA’s Hard Targets exhibition, which just opened here. The idea was to give behind the scenes updates on the making of a show. Is our use of Twitter particularly inventive? I’m not sure. But I will say that as part of a larger package – YouTube, Wiki, blogging, etc. – all centering on a specific subject vs. the whole of the museum’s programming, it’s been pretty successful. Then again, how do you quantify success in this realm? Well, thoughtful people are following my Twitter account (, people that I’d really want to keep informed on what’s happening here, so that’s something. And we’ve had a decent amount of coverage for giving all of these different tactics a shot in a specific, unified way. I’m going to give it all a go again for Art of Two Germanys/Cold War Cultures, a show coming up in January that I’m very passionate about and that I think could benefit from alternative means of communication. Whether Twitter lives or dies, I think we’re all on to something in presenting our institutions in new ways and often, with a new tone.

  • avatar
    Maria Gilbert Says:

    We’re one of those museums you refer to that just started using Twitter. Our first tweet was two weeks ago today, and made for a variety of reasons (also motivated by Richard’s blog entry!) We’re a large, conservative institution and everyone is already super busy doing their usual work. Obtaining the necessary buy-in and team to undertake a social media tool is *difficult*. Twitter, however, is wonderfully easy to utilize, and a great baby step!

    Our goals with Twitter are to:

    * Utilize social media tools
    * Give the Museum a fresh tool/maintain currency
    * Build community
    * Target young audience/digital natives
    * Deliver content that cannot be covered on our Web site (e.g. image rights’ issues)
    * Hear directly from our audience–you can’t beat this!!

    There’s a vibrant art-enthusiast virtual community in Twitter, it’s great to be in the pool with you all!

  • avatar
    Daniel Says:

    Thanks for all the comments. It’s beginning to sound like a Museum and the Web panel. Anyone else like to chime in?

  • avatar

    Oh, noooooo…..

    Sarah Palin is now following me on twitter.

    Help, help, help!

  • avatar
    Matt Says:

    Sure, I’ll chime in…

    For your question on why to do it I answer with this question… Is it really that hard to do one update every day or two? It’s just another tool to deliver content with an audience built in that is easy to access. Like any other social network, this tool can and probably will go away but I say jump on the bandwagon while it’s hot. It’s a FREE marketing tool!

    I follow(stalk) people on Twitter who have interesting things to day, or are friends of mine. I follow organizations who post interesting things such as links, and exclusive real-time announcements. I think that’s one of the best things you get with Twitter, live updates and the feeling of exclusiveness. I’ll give you an example: I follow a web development company on Twitter. Every once in a while they post a link announcing a live video feed into their office so you can join them for a discussion. As far as I know they only announce these live sessions through Twitter. All they do is post a one liner, “join us at for xyz”.

    I think the beauty of Twitter is it’s simple. Like Richard said, it’s like a micro blog. Also, from a development standpoint it’s easy to work with for doing mash-ups or whatever.

    Not sure where I’m going with this… but I’d gladly help maintain a stream of tweets to the masses.

  • avatar
    Tony Says:

    I’m not a museum-type, nor do I play one on TV, but it seems to me Twitter makes it easy to casually promote what the museum has going on without making it exclusively an IMA Twitter feed. Dropping notes about what you’re up to at work in with personal stuff is probably more likely to make followers feel like they’re being spoken to, not talked at or pushed with a museum promotion.

    I’m working to do some of the same with @WTHRcom, using news (or just what’s going on in the newsroom) as jumping off points to ramble about other things 140 char. at a time. If you’ve got an engaging feed for a number of other reasons, mentioning something at the museum that would interest both the public and colleagues at IMA and other museums should serve as PR in itself.

    I don’t think any of that made sense, but I think the bottom line is, if you can think of your Twitter feed as something personal with work mixed in, rather than “having to do a Twitter feed for work”, it will be a lot more fun and probably a lot more productive.

  • avatar
    Daniel Says:

    The comments are great, thanks.

    So – any specific Twitter ideas for the IMA?

  • avatar

    Yeah, I got an idea …

  • avatar
    Tony Says:

    Ideas? Hmmm….

    I’d definitely use it in conjunction with your blog (see, all you do is set up an RSS feed and it tweets automatically to let followers know you’ve posted)

    Also, since you’re a museum, I’d use it with whatever other web apps you use. Snap some pictures and make a Flickr gallery and link to it in a tweet. Take a YouTube video and link it. Use the conversational nature of Twitter to promote the museum in ways that direct advertising can’t. A tweet that says “Spent the day installing a cool new statue” with a link to a pic may get someone thinking more about art than a “Come to IMA” TV or print ad. Heck, Twitter connections have brought me to the IMA blog a number of times in the last couple weeks.

    Use it for Twitter-specific contests and be fun and creative. People like to get stuff and using Twitter to feed “exclusive” content seems like a good idea. (Actually, a number of contest ideas just sprang to mind.)

    I hear these things called “Tweet ups” are all the rage. (Along with flappers, bobbysox and the Charleston, but I digress.) Maybe set up the occasional IMA Twitter followers tour at the museum?

    But above all, as I said before, being yourself is huge. I’ve followed a number of folks through @WTHRcom and if I didn’t think it was rude, the ones that are 99% business/marketing strategy talk would be unfollowed. The ones that talk about lunch, their dogs and the (insert local sports team) are way more fun to look out for. And if you drop a “Purdue sure looked bad today…but Edward Hopper is looking great! (link)” then more power to ya (and IMA).

  • avatar

    Nice ideas, Tony. Hows that Channel 13 expose on vegetarian restaurants in Indy coming along? I just ate at a great place in Kansas City:

  • avatar
    Tony Says:

    To be honest, Richard, it hasn’t been very fruitful (put TOTALLY intended). About all I’ve come up with thus far is a plug for “Three Sisters” in Broad Ripple, which I don’t think is exclusively vegetarian.

    Apparently, newspeople are meateaters.

  • avatar

    Ha, ha. Newspeople like their meat. Sorry, I can’t help but chuckle and think of the movie Anchorman. Does most of the staff do Anchorman impressions or is it taboo or too risky to get called into HR?

    Man, that’s a good fight scene:

  • avatar
    Tony Says:

    You’ll get the occasional impression, but I think most of them have died down. No back alley fights, either. Sorry to disappoint. :)

  • avatar
    Daniel Says:

    So I’m buying lunch for Richard and Tony. You guys up for it?

  • avatar
    Tony Says:

    Sounds great! Name the time and place!

  • avatar
    Richard Says:

    oh this is rich
    i love it
    when daniel changes his mind

  • Trackbacks