Tag Archives: social media

Internship Reflection

I have worked with the Archives of American Art for a few months with their social media accounts, and my experience has been interesting. Since I do not have a background in art, my main challenge has been familiarizing myself with the institution and their collection. This was not particularly difficult because they have already digitized a large amount of their collection All I really needed to do was peruse their website and various social media accounts to get an idea of what they have and the types of posts they distribute.

One of the things that I have enjoyed is going through a series of oral history transcripts for quotes to create posts for social media. Most of the interviews discuss an artist or photographers’ life story, how they started in the art field, and some of the reasoning that went into the creation of their art. I am fascinated by some of the stories these artists tell. Some days I get so engrossed that I spend too much time with the one project.

Since all of my projects are done via the Web, I feel that I am connected to them even though my role is virtual. The only real concern I have is ensuring that I am completing everything in a timely manner. My mentor has had a Trello board set up with my tasks from the beginning, so keeping track of what to work on during a given period is completely on my end. Communication between the department and myself is quick and everyone is open for email, so I don’t have any issues there.

Mobile History Readings

The advent of smartphones and mobile internet allowed for the creation of projects that can be used in the physical spaces they inhabit. There are several aspects that have been created using this idea. Some, like PhillyHistory.org, allows users to see the past around them on their smartphone as they walk around the city. Some institutions have created companion applications for smartphones that visitors can use as they walk through established exhibits in a museum, as this exhibit has shown. This type of history has the potential to be groundbreaking, as seen with the Histories of the National Mall, where the information is sent in a way that does not require downloading an app beforehand. By running the project over Internet protocols, this type of project is not limited by changing smartphone capabilities.


Social Media Strategy

My final project is an online exhibit for Gunston Hall using a content management software called Omeka. I have created this site in conjunction with Fenwick Library at George Mason University to give a tutorial to graduate students. The tutorial itself has been completed, but the site still exists for those who were unable to attend. This site has three main audiences: students who can utilize it in their coursework, archivists with large amounts of material, and artists wanting an online presence for their work. In order to reach them I have created the following strategy to engage them through social media.

Due to the visual nature of my site, there are three social network sites that appeal to my project: Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram. These sites have a large number of users that provide more opportunity for exposure. Posting a minimum of twice a week will allow new users a better chance of coming across the project, and to show that it is still active. Tumblr and Instagram only allow small messages with each post. Therefore these posts will likely include the title of a particular aspect of the site (either a specific item or collection) with a brief description. Facebook does allow for longer posts, and the message can be one or two sentences. The posts are intended to highlight a particular aspect of using Omeka or to show an example of using the site. I will include links to my site whenever possible. Anyone viewing the posts can comment or share the post. My aim in using these particular sites is to provide screenshots or images from my site to allow anyone seeing the post to have a clear understanding of the post.

The success of this strategy will be seen by a number of different measures. The first is how many people are following the account. This number will show the reach each post is attaining, and if enough people are viewing the information to make the effort worthwhile. Another key measure is the amount of ‘chatter’ the posts generate. This can be number of comments, likes, shares, etc. that the posts are accumulating. As people talk about the project, it has a better chance of spreading and getting a wider audience. One measure that shows the overall effect of the social media strategy is to see how many people are looking at the project itself. Since I am hosting my project on my personal server space, I am able to look into the amount of traffic on my site – how many views, which days have more, etc.