The Digital Museum

Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays

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Twitter. You might be addicted or simply a casual user. Even those who don’t use it have at least heard of the microblogging platform that has taken the social networking world by storm over the last year.

The idea that Twitter is merely a collection of banal naval-gazing observations in 140 characters or less – “I am sitting on the back porch” – is not unfounded. Plenty of people tweet about the most mundane aspects of their lives. Thankfully, there are those Twitter-folk who realize the true advantage of the medium.

Twitter, along with other social media platforms, is about providing value-added content. When you give people a reason to follow you – whether that is by being funny, linking to interesting articles, engaging in worthwhile conversations, etc. – you soon discover that Twitter is much more than a status update.

This isn’t a post about Twitter and its importance/impact/uselessness (fill-in whatever word you see fit). Rather this is about those museums and their fans that have combined Twitter and value-added content to make Mondays a little more enjoyable. What am I talking about? Why, Museum Fact Mondays (or in Twitter-speak #museumfactmonday) of course.

When you type #museumfactmonday into the search box on Twitter, you will be taken to a page full of fun facts about museums from around the world. Here are just a few examples:

  • MissionSJC #museumfactmonday: During filming here, a young Mary Pickford secretly wed fellow actor Owen Moore in the Mission’s Serra Chapel.
  • MuseumChildhood #museumfactmonday The plot of land the Museum was built on was bought by local gentry (in 1690) so that peasants could graze their cattle!
  • TheWomensMuseum The Women’s Museum building was built in 1910 and was used for livestock auctions, opera performances and the ballet. #museumfactmonday
  • NortonSimon Did you know ‘Madonna and Child with Book’ is the only painting by Raphael on the west coast? http://bit.ly/y5lNK #museumfactmonday
  • anahuacalli Diego Rivera exchanged ideas with the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, in order to design the Anahuacalli Museum. #museumfactmonday
  • museofridakahlo The easel we keep in Frida’s studio was a gift from Nelson Rockefeller. #museumfactmonday
  • Belautel Enjoying #museumfactmonday. Have learned there are over 7 miles at the V&A. Who knew you cld combine fitness & culture!

These facts are certainly not life-altering discoveries, but they are interesting glimpses into museums, which have not always been known as the most approachable of institutions. These tweets give museums an opportunity to share their history, to bare a little bit of their souls to a public that is showing more interest than ever before in being a part of museums.

So, come Monday, pay a visit to Twitter and type #museumfactmonday into the search box or contribute a museum fact of your own. (Note: you do not need an account on Twitter to see these tweets.) The fewer tweets about the mundane and meaningless that we have to read the better. If you are going to be on social media at work, why not learn something, right?

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