Secrets from a midnight social networker

The Midnight Social Networker

The Midnight Social Networker

By Lynda Kelly - the second post in a series about my online adventures

My first experience of a true social network was during the ICOM Triennial in Vienna in 2007. I had just joined Facebook and become totally addicted (being at a slightly boring conference helped of course). As part of that trip I travelled a lot and made it my mission to get as many friends as I could. I persisted in this quest, joined vast numbers of groups and had heaps of fun along the way. Around late 2007 many of my large, extended family started joining Facebook too, and I now feel I have a much deeper relationship with them as I know what they’re all up to. I had Xmas 2007 at my new house and we organised that whole day via FB – only one phone call needed to be made! FB chat also saves money on phone calls with my 13 year old son while I’m travelling. I foresee an interesting future for sites like Facebook as I believe the lines between the personal and professional are starting to blur in this space.

Before I go on, just a note on this concept of ‘addiction’. When we did a study of how 18-30 year olds were using the web, we found that those categorised as ‘joiners’ used addictive language to describe how they used social networking sites (so I’m not alone in this!).

My next addiction was Museum 3.0 on ning. I created this in a flurry of excitement (and probably an excess of chardonnay!) after the 2008 Social Media Conference in Sydney in response to a throwaway comment from a work colleague who wanted to discuss museum-y stuff but didn’t want to ‘expose’ themselves on Facebook. It literally took 20 minutes to set up but is now reaping benefits I could never have imagined. Ning provided the perfect platform and we now have over 900 members and 3,000 visitors each month. The measure of success in my mind is the amount of people who are starting discussions and blogs, uploading fotos and generally responding to threads and I sincerely thank them all.

My latest addiction is Twitter. I continue to be excited about its potential and am actively experimenting with it, as well as using it as my primary source of news and information. I follow people who I know have similar interests and have found their posts and links invaluable (and time-saving). Some of the thoughts of the Museum 3.0 community on Twitter are documented here, along with progress reports on the Museum’s experiments. Feel free to follow me at lyndakelly61 – I am aiming for 200 followers soon I hope!

These adventures are still continuing with lots of lessons learned along the way. More on that in my next and final post...

The Western Museums Association (WMA) has invited Lynda Kelly, our colleague from Australia to post a series of blogs about her experience with on-line professional engagement. Lynda, with the help of others, helped to launch Museum 3.0. If you would be interested in guest blogging on westmuse, please contact WMA’s Publication & Media Manager Valerie Huaco by clicking here.




More of Vienna and Lydna and bemused family - mine! LK's love of Facebook fame meant her insistence on our photo together at that truly international conference. And the photo had to be sent to Lydna's new friend - my daughter in London. I had to view it once in Ladbroke Grove and note perhaps a little hint of 'are those museum people all a little edgy eccentric?' from surprised daughter. And temporary exhibitions sessions were interesting at ICOM with some amazing gallery tours. IOCM conference provided a world-wide forum that I haven't encountered elsewhere and a break from nationalism.

Hi Lynda. I have to say that your addiction is addictive!!! The twitter posting on museum3.0 has received over 60 comments and I am now working with a researcher to collect this data and develop a paper around the impact of twitter on museum practices. Will speak with you about it shortly. In the meantime, I look forward to the AAM conference twitter feed! As a conference which attracts all manner of professionals within the museum field, it will be interesting to see whether social media will be adopted by those other than the more traditional technically adept! #s120 is a great example of such an exercise. Look forward to your next instalment!

Thanks Angelina and look forward to the paper. I'm now also tweeting as austmus and feeding these tweets to our Facebook group as yet another experiment (how long can I go on I hear you all snigger!).

Hello to you also Mariea! Haven't seen you since that conference but have fond memories of it. The fotos were very nice. But Mariea, I am a bit gobsmacked - however did you turn up here? I've gots to know...

Oh, I should also say that I didn't really think ICOM was boring, just that I wasn't paying too much attention due to my new FB addiction :-}

Just found a cool site where Ning network creators tell their stories. These provide varied insights, not only into the power of social networks, but how 'free' sites can be used for much more, such as advocacy, harnessing your community and for business . Check out The List Project, Greg Lutzka (a professional skateboarder) and BroadwaySpace as nice real-life case studies.

Love what you have to say, Lynda, and can understand your "addictions!" (I myself have ducked out of an evening event to blog and tweet!) I have sort of chicken/egg question for you, though. I joined Twitter in early 2007 and was sort of bored by it--not a lot going on there. I started a ning group in 2006 or 2007 and abandoned for the same reason--nothing was going on in ning in general so I lost interest. Facebook I joined later into its popularity--I held out until fall of 2007--and was much more quick to embrace it because there were people there and things going on. So in the early days when these new spaces are created, how do you think they manage to capture people's attentions and become addictive before there really is much in the way of content and people? And how do you decide which technologies to embrace and which to abandon because they will never go anywhere? (So far I have been very wrong on that count, esp. regarding Twitter!)

Thanks for your comment Allyson. Love the fact you've ducked out of things to blog and tweet - I tend to be rude and just do it there and then I'm afraid. I have to 'fess up that I even tweeted in church once (after being set that challenge by my beautiful niece Cat, luckily I only go once a year!).

Regarding the idea of not much going on. I think it all comes down to how you manage the community. With Museum 3.0 Angelina and I worked really hard to maintain the commnity by inviting everyone we knew, actively discussing, replying to comments, welcoming members personally and generally annoying everyone (well I did anyway). I went so far as to tell colleagues to post links or questions to Museum 3.0 and not via email as I will delete them.

As I said on Mia's Open Objects blog it comes down to finding a purpose for these tools, and recognising that sometimes it takes time for that purpose to emerge.

Like you I thought Twitter was slightly ridiculous until I started using it to post updates about Eureka Prize winners for those that could not be at the dinner. The next time I used it was at the Enterprise 2.0 conference where I posted my notes, accessed others' tweets and generally participated more in a conference than I ever have before as a delegate. Discovering hashtags helped ... a lot.

So, how do you decide what to embrace and what to abandon? Exactly as you have done Allyson. Try it, leave it, come back to it if you feel so inclined and it fits your purpose.

Oh, and I had to duck out to blog/tweet; my mobile is not set up for Twitter etc...yet!

Get an iPhone Allyson ;)

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Just want to see if you are a robot.