As you may have heard, this past week welcomed the first (as far as I know) Museum Blogs Day. I have been meaning to start this blog for awhile now, and this week seemed the perfect time to actually get it started.
Why “Access Point”?
I have always loved technology. And managing social media and online engagement was my first foray into the museum world. It is what I love, using the latest technology to help people see old stuff in a new light. And as cliché as it might sound, telling stories.
I knew I wanted my blog title to have a techie feel for a name. Some options: “Nibbles” while an esoteric allusion to half a byte, sounded a little too naughty. And most of the other good ones were taken. So I looked up a glossary of technology terms. And right there in the A’s was “Access Point.” It felt perfect. I love titles that have multiple meanings; some of my favorite musicals have titles that can be read multiple ways, Company, Follies, Chess. (BTW, there will be a lot of mentions of musicals in this blog. I love musicals.)
Access points in technology usually refers to Wi-Fi hubs, where the wireless info from a device enters the rest of the network and Internet. But I like to think of museums as access points to information, art, stories and histories. I would like this blog to be an access point to more information for museum professionals, museum goers and anyone interested in using technology to share information. And I would like this blog to be my access point to conversations with other museum professionals.
While I love all museums, I will always have the softest place in my heart for history museums. They may not have the caché and money of art museums, or the fun-for-the-whole-family of science museums or the dinosaurs or natural-history museums, but they contain our memories and what makes us who we are now. So this blog will have a slight focus on history museums. In addition, I live in a smaller city in the US, and I love the scrappiness of the smaller institutions that such cities have. So I will hopefully have some good information for these small institutions that have limited resources, both in staff and budgets. Why should only the big guys get in on the digital fun?
Who am I?
I got my start in museums like many people, as a Visitors Services Specialist at the front desk of Seattle’s premier regional history museum. While still new to the job, I was asked to take over the social media accounts for the museum after the Communications department went through some changes. After the dust settled, a position was created for me in Adult Public Programs, doing Online Engagement.
Perhaps it was the fact the museum was in the middle of a move, or often working more than 40 hours for a job I loved, but I didn’t do much looking into how other museums were doing online engagement. I researched how audiences wanted to interact with museums, both online and off, and went with my gut. Since I’ve left the museum, I’ve had a lot of time to really study how museums are using technology and the web and I’m itching to think my way through it, to think up new and interesting ways of engaging audiences.
I live in Seattle and love my City on the Sound. I also love musical theater, knitting, wearing ties, and reading about Seattle history, especially women’s and LGBTQ histories of the city.