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    2013 (c) EJRE published by

    International Association of Social Science Research - IASSR

    European Journal of

    Research on Education

    ISSN: 2147-6284 European Journal of Research on Education, 2014, Special Issue: Contemporary Studies

    in Social Science, 12-18

    The museum experience and social media

    Aynur Karagl a *

    aYildiz Technical University, Faculty of Art & Design, Department of Interactive Media Design,, 34220, Istanbul Turkey


    A new networking platform has been emerged within the internet world by the development of Web 2.0. By the opportunities of

    social media networks, museum staff and visitors with a mutual communication can organize exhibitions together in museums

    now. Museum has become a public sphere which reflects the demographical and psychological character of the society. It can be

    observed that the audience has a facilitating and encouraging effect on curators and organizers through the social media. On the

    other hand, museums provide an informing platform which is indirect, exploratory, volunteering and all-purpose in terms of

    knowledge of acquisition. In this respect, museum web sites are remarkable. These web sites are accessible easily by students,

    researchers and all people who are internet users. Individuals can create their own social platforms through museum web sites

    and ensure communion and mutual communication. Museum web sites and their social networks as a safe online networks

    undertake the role as a shielder of cultural content by spreading out the information of society. The presentation of museums

    exhibitions, collections, the news of events and programmes and detailed information about the museums could be shared on

    those social media platforms. Moreover, museum staff and the organizer team working with user groups can improve their

    strategy according to the visitors performance and adapt their projects accordingly. Without a doubt, museums provide visitors

    to find their own way of expression and to access information any time and place.

    2014 European Journal of Research on Education by IASSR.

    Keywords: Museum, user, visitor, interactive, social media

    1. Introduction

    Network-based communication and information technologies as an information organization and the way of their

    information sharing have become the current issue in the 21st century. (Aaoullar, 2009) By the development of

    technology, World Wide Web in the 1990s has undoubtedly provided the connection and communication among

    people. The strength of that communication has made connection available anytime eliminating the distance of time

    and space. The flow of information and messaging have come to fore as a major domain for the communication. The

    user can manage the information to pass on to the cyber world online instantly beyond the time and place. In that

    point it is remarkable that the museum spaces as real places turn to be the virtual space by the users. Museums are

    the proper places where people of any class get together (Greenhill, 1999). Greenhill points out that museums are

    the institutions which provide potentials for social equality carried out through common learning domain. When

    considered from this point of view, visitors would be defined as the group of people without noticing the age and

    sex. In this study some inferences are recorded making interviews on how the visitors use the social media in

    conveying their experiences.

    * E-mail address:

  • Aynur Karagl


    2. Visitor and Social Media

    In general term what it means to be the network society is that the societys usage of global networks within the

    intentions of communication, work and management (Anderson, vd., 2006) It could also be said that a network

    society occurs by the existence of social media. This new issue constitutes a new social structure of the community.

    Castells (2000), emphasizes on the mutability of time and space offering the concepts of time-out and space of


    Along with the development of Web 2.0 a new platform consists of common share in the World Wide Web

    emerged. Web 2.0 could also be characterized as the peoples interaction on the web. The social media consists of

    blogs, video, picture, labelling, friendship requests, forums and messaging along with the social networks (Kelly,


    To give an example for social networks:

    - Facebook, LindedIn, eBay that users set off a profile and identify themselves

    - Blogs, bloggers and Wordpress

    - Video sharing on Youtube

    - Photograph sharing on Flickr and Google Images

    - Delicious and Digg are some of the prominent social networks that the favourite web sites can be bookmarked.

    (Kelly, 2009)

    For instance, Kasteel Heeswijk was the first museum which had twitter account in July, 2008. Now, more than

    %35 of museums have twitter account. (

    It has been seen that by the opportunities of social media networks museums prepare exhibitions by the

    cooperation with the project team and visitors in a mutual communication by the opportunities of social media

    networks. We could say that the museum is a public space exposing the demographic and psychological character of

    the community. It has been observed that through the social media the audience has been interactively facilitating,

    promotive and direct effect on the curator and exhibition organizer. On the other hand it could be traced that

    museums provide indirect, exploratory, voluntary and multifaceted information domain in terms of learning and

    informing. (Simon, 2010)

    Personal access has been increasing ever after by the developing technology. Museums creating new platforms

    by using social media technologies build up a new world entitled as social museology. The rules and rudiments of

    that world have become debatable. In this regard, the visitor as an active user is considered as an attendant when

    viewed from the producer of the technology.

    In other words, visitor turns to be an attendant and contributes all the way along. Simon propounds that people

    from experience providers and cultural institutions want to connect to the related communities around the world, and

    object-centred institutions promote the inter-mass dialogue with the interpersonal communication providing a

    creative and respectful community dialogue. In addition, Simon emphasizes that participator activities could provide

    civil learning experience.

    Museum web sites should be taken into consideration as those web sites are open to students, researchers and

    public that all of the internet users could access. Museum web sites and their social networks as reliable online

    networks distribute and spread the information as well as cultural content. For the museum staff, the expositions,

    announcements of oncoming programs are available online through the social media network, and it provides

    information about the museum and the collection as well as sharing the content out. Moreover, museum team

    working with the user groups could develop their strategy and adapt their agenda according to the visitors. Without

    doubt museums provide visitors to find their own expression and access information any time and place. Museums

    as developing social platforms create the sense of a new world spreading the word around from individuals to the

    society. (Walker, 2008) For instance, Science Museum in London gets and credits visitor feedback. According to

    Walker (2008) the museum can not only be successful by getting feedbacks from visitors but also by doing that the

    parents find it valuable for their children to express themselves in words in those feedbacks.

  • The museum experience and social media


    3. The Objection of the Study

    This study comprises of analysis acquired data throughout interviewing 7 participators traveling experience in

    Jerusalem, the city which could be regarded as museum city as those participators are asked to evaluate their visit in

    terms of technical, interactive, social and visual experience. In that questionnaire, it is tried to have some inferences

    in regard with how the participators use social media in conveying their visiting experience.

    4. Interview as a Method of Availability

    According to Nielsen, questionnaires and interviews are functional methods in order to understand how the

    participators use the system and which features they like or they do not like the most. In terms of availability,

    questionnaires and interviews give an idea on utility rather than user interface. In conventional studies, these

    methods are defined as the condition that the participators answers acquired right after their using the system.

    (Root, Draper, 1983)

    It is considered that the interview for availability is a well method in order to get the personal views in terms of

    recognizing the need at the starting point. It leads up to a fruitful study in the light of interview data clearing the

    research questions to be specified and to be examined.

    5. Study Group

    It is stated that when creating participant group, the individuals should already manage the case which is to be

    evaluated with availability. (Dumash and Redish, 1999) Participant group consists of 7 people h