A brief detour into the practical. As promised at this week's workshop, I'm posting a list of resources and examples of free web tools that can be used in museums. As I've discovered, for many Ukrainian museums, the time and effort required to build a full institutional website is substantial and many museums here have no website, or a very minimal one. As Google Analytics has taught me from analyzing readers on this blog, the web provides you with a worldwide audience--so the effective use of the web can help build interest in your museum. All these tools are free and provide great ways to engage both local and more far-reaching audiences.
You're here, so you're reading at least one blog.
There are several different blog software available: Blogger, Wordpress and Live Journal. I understand from my students that Live Journal is most used here in Ukraine.
To find a wide variety of museum blogs, click here. Some examples of museum blogs, large and small, include:
Alice News from the Alice Miner Museum
The MassMOCA blog
Art Matters, from the Art Gallery of Ontario
There are also a number of museum professionals who blog about different museum issues. Blogs I read regularly include:
Leading by Design, by museum management consultant Anne Ackerson
Museum 2.0 by Nina Simon about museums and social technology
Museum Audience Insight by Susie Wilkenning and her colleagues at Reach Advisors, about audience research
Simply put, podcasts are just audio download files.
A wide selection of fine art podcasts (also available on your cell phone) can be found at the Walker Art Center's site. And don't forget to explore the entire site for every kind of web and media you can imagine. For podcasts done by a small history museum, check out the podcasts at the Holland Land Office Museum.
For many more podcasts, visit Museum Pods.
If you use a Mac computer, podcasts can be recorded and edited using Garage Band. If you're not a Mac user, you can use the free editing software Audacity.
YouTube is a video sharing site and museums seem to use primarily in two different ways. First, a YouTube video can be linked directly from your site, providing an easy way to share video. See this example from the Philip Johnson Glass House (scroll down to interviews and click through). Second, you can invite and encourage visitors to create their and share their own videos about your museum on YouTube. Here's two examples from the Brooklyn Museum: Mr. Cool and Art Thief.
Flickr is a site to share photos. You can tag photos, assemble them in sets, or otherwise provide the photos to a worldwide community. They can be images from your collection. A number of organizations with photo collections from around the world have joined together as The Commons on Flickr. See the collections here.
Voice Thread/Image Sharing and Comments
A tool for having online conversations about media: photos, video, documents or more. Responses can be recorded by webcam, microphone, text, drawing or file upload.
Museums have used Facebook, a social networking site, in a number of ways. For instance, the Museum of Modern Art in New York has a page with tens of thousands of followers . Don't forget, if you begin using Facebook, to join the Museums in Ukraine page (just search within Facebook).
This is an open source, open access program that allows you to catalog your collections on line.
And one more link:
Cultural and Heritage Tourism resources as downloads in Russian are available here from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
I'd love to hear from other colleagues about additional useful web tools.
And one more addition: Google Translate will translate web pages or text. The translation is not necessarily perfect, but generally gives a sense of the text.
І ще одне доповнення: Перекладач Google буде перекладати веб-сторінки або тексту. Переклад не завжди ідеально, але в цілому дає уявлення про тексті.
Top to bottom: Side show at the Vermont State Fair, 1941, Jack Delano, photographer. FSA/OWI Collection, Library of Congress
Children singing, Pie Town, New Mexico, 1940, Russell Lee, photographer, FSA/OWI Collection, Library of Congress