Confessions of a 5am blogger

Lynda Kelly, The 5 a.m. Blogger

Lynda Kelly, The 5 a.m. Blogger

By Lynda Kelly

Co-Founder Museum 3.0

James has asked me to write a guest post on what I’m up to in the online world of vast social networks. Gives me a chance to reflect on where I’ve been online in the past 3 years and where I might be going in the future (apart from mad that is!).

I started the Audience Research Blog in April 2007 as a response to my frustration about not being able to post quickly to the Museum’s website (now about to be re-launched to fix that problem thank goodness). Working with Mel Broe, an intern from the University of Sydney, together we learned basic html and got cracking. I must say I felt I was kind of talking to myself for a long time as there were never very many comments left on the blog. Anyway I persevered using the many email questions I regularly receive to start a posts. Not only was it helping me answer questions, it also forced me to do further research of my own. It wasn’t until I added a Google analytics reader that I realised that I had heaps of readers from across the world, sometime over 1,000 people a month were reading my blog. In my view that totally justified what I was doing and helped me carry on.

Mel and I also decided to set up a wiki – again as a response to not being able to post documents on our website. This proved a really interesting learning curve for me as I must admit wikis are something I find really hard to use and not terribly intuitive. I also don't really think they are a community/social networking tool, but that might be just my ignorance. Anyway, whenever I got a query about a report or a paper I had written I would post the file to the wiki and direct people there. I also decided to upload parts of my thesis there too, again proving to be a really useful resource. So me and my wiki persisted.

Then I discovered the power of social networks, more on that next week...




Hi Anne and thanks for your comment.

My advice would be to join Museum 3.0 (over 900 members) as well as the many Facebook museum professional groups such as:
* Museums in the Digital Age (736 members)
* Learning in Museums and Galleries (1,868 members)
* International Museum Web Professionals (432 members)

You also need to attend conferences such as AAM and perhaps even a network such as LinkedIn to fnd jobs. Subscribing to email lists like Museum-L may also help (although I really believe email lists will go the way of the dinosaurs soon).

I'll be talking more about Facebook and Museum 3.0 in my next post which I will upload tomorrow morning Sydney time. I know you can't wait!

Screeeech! That's the sound of this luddite trying to make my way into this century...Thanks to all who made it possible for me to get to this point. I can only assume that such bloggish venues can be great tools for those of us on the hunt for jobs in the Museum field. Any advice out there?

Thanks in advance!!!

such an honor to see you here, despite the hour!

thanks for helping us all to understand how dedication can manifest itself and that we are not alone.

you're a hero.

Sometimes obstacles and constraints lead to the greatest creativity (just ask Matthew Barney, eh?) - congratulations for your winning response to the challenge! Looking forward to hearing more...

yes. I've always said if you want something done ask a busy person (or a single mum!).

Lynda, I've been blogging since 2002 and at last count I am managing 18 blogs (I had to retire from my job as IT Director at the College of Education, University of Oregon just to have time to keep up with all my social networking! ;-) I have found that it has given me a new focus for my life and a way to continue to be productive as my formal career draws to a close. One of my other activities is the compilation of an image archive on Flickr of artwork from museums and historical sites all over the world licensed with Creative Commons to encourage the study and appreciation of art and history. I just found out about your Museum 3.0 social network and have found it to be quite fascinating.

Cool, thnx for that Mary. I've been enjoying your Museum 3.0 posts and appreciate your participation.

Hi Lynda
Congrats on the posting. It's fantastic that the community has grown so quickly and the discussions have become much more three-way than one-way! I'm currently pondering the future of it all. Do we continue in the same vein or establish specialised groups?
I think that this blog represents the idea of trust in a significant way. The objective "to respect one another and trust in the integrity of our diverse museum community" is integral, if not sometimes exhausting to ensuring an open and vibrant community! Enjoy!

having two of the "stars" of Museum 3.o posting here is just the bees knees! and I love what you're suggesting, A.R., about three-way...the multiple layers of engagement and empowerment that are growing into the kind of "real" conversation that can be so hard to follow, in a sense, and further then as you say -- do we need to specialize more, or let things continue in this fashion?

Great work Mary. Keeping a close eye on your 3.0 developments...

Hi, Lynda:

Thanks so much for posting here and helping to introduce your network to ours! I think almost all bloggers at first experience what you did--the lurker phenomenon. The question is, how to get people to start commenting, to crawl out of their shells and join the conversation publicly. Do you have some thoughts on that? Or does it eventually just happen naturally as your own online presence grows? Thanks again!

Hi Allyson - I think my next post answers some of your questions. But also to reiterate what Mia Ridge said I don't know where it originated, but the phrase "tweet to connect, blog to reflect" makes sense to me.

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Just want to see if you are a robot.