I got an email from Stephanie Weaver last week:
Tech Talks are in! Monday, October 18 in Portland, Oregon.
Stephanie is coordinating The Tech Talks (formerly Tech Lab) at WMA's annual conference later this year, and asked me to participate. I live in Silicon Valley, so I see and hear about the cutting edge of technology every day. In fact, the business section in our local newspaper isn't the "Business" section, it's the "Business and Technology" section. Today's front page articles feature blaring headlines and full-color pictures of the first Twitter conference ("Chirp") and Apple's new iPad.
I'll be talking about Twitter when we meet together in Portland, but today I stumbled across something interesting about facebook. I hope James doesn't mind if I throw this into the mix (James will be conducting the Tech Talk on facebook in Portland.)
The list of state museum associations on facebook today (the date of their first post) - and their number of fans:
- Virginia (8/21/08) - 413 fans
- Ohio (3/4/09) - 103 fans
- Minnesota (4/9/09) - 129 fans
- New York (7/24/09) - 362 fans
- Michigan (9/22/09) - 129 fans
- Nevada (10/9/09) - 233 fans
- New Mexico (10/29/09) - 188 fans
- Oklahoma (1/20/10) - 205 fans
- California (2/19/10) - 455 fans
- West Virginia (3/3/10) - 89 fans
Notice the differences between launch dates and fan counts. This list illustrates the fact that having a facebook page does not mean people will find it, or that they will find it engaging enough to look at ever again. However, the fact that nine of these pages (Virginia gets the "Early Adopter" award!) were launched within the last year does illustrate how social networks are becoming a communication channel that shouldn't be ignored.
One more interesting observation --- only two of the six regional association websites provide links to their facebook pages: NEMA (New England) started posting a year ago and has 657 fans, and AMM (Mid-west) started posting four months ago, and has 145 fans.
Check out WMA on facebook. James started the WMA facebook posts sixteen months ago and WMA now has 337 fans over there. He'll have plenty of experience and insights to share in Portland - not the least of which is how social networking statistics can provide new ways to analyze and document audience reach and engagement.