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Engaging Museum Audiences

Today's sessions at Museums and the Web kicked off with an interesting opening plenary by Michael Geist, from the University of Ottawa. He looked at where we were 10 years ago in relation to internet policies, as well as current trends on the web, and looking towards the future for current policy approaches.

The session I attended this morning was about engaging museum audiences, with the Brooklyn Museum impressing again as they showed why they are one of the best at utilising familiar social networking technologies. They've had some interesting developments since last year including a Facebook application (Artshare) and a YouTube-based video competition. They also approached 10 photographers that posted on Flickr to photograph their collections in a different way. These images were much more dramatic than their current library, as the photographers seemed to give the objects much more character (presumably due to a free rein).

Also in the same session the Australian Museum showed some of the work they had been doing to classify their users, which was much different from the normal demographic data. They created characters to try and understand why people engage in certain behaviours, which allowed them to see how certain types used the internet.

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