Keeping Current with Blogs

If you’re like me, you have a stack of museum-related books, magazines and articles on your desk (or in your kitchen…or by your bed…) that you want to read. We all have good intentions of staying up to date on the latest conversations about interpretation, museum education, conservation, community outreach, etc. But if you’re like me, that stack keeps growing (and getting dusty) as I find myself saying, “I just don’t have time to read a whole book about this!”

Enter the museum blog. Blogs are a great way to stay on top of current conversations without investing a lot of time up front. How many of us have started a book that seemed really promising only to get two chapters in and realize it’s not at all what you thought it would be? Think of blog posts as teasers or reviews: spend three minutes reading a blog post and you can decide if you want to learn more about a topic (I’m currently doing a lot of reading about using social media to connect with museum audiences and participatory museum experiences) or if you now know all you need or want to know (the idea of empathetic pop-up museums is interesting to me, but not worth my limited reading time).

Especially with the prevalence of smartphones, I’ve found regularly checking in on a few blogs is really easy. The five minute wait at the dentist’s office is now productive time! Here are the top three blogs that I check on a regular basis:

      1. Know Your Own Bone: A Resource for Creative Engagement in Museums and Cultural Centers by Colleen Dilenschneider. Colleen has all sorts of great data-driven posts about millennial donors, social media, the role of board members and visitors/audiences.
      2. History as Prologue by Mark Thomas features conversations about current events through the lens of history. If you can get through the recent glut of posts about The Great Gatsby, there are some really good exchanges about teaching American history, marking anniversaries and historical milestones and emphasizing critical thinking skills in ways that can easily be adapted to museum work.
      3. Museum 2.0 by Nina Simon is great for thoughts about how new web design ideas can be applied to museums, audience and user participation and the role of museums in serving the public.

Do you have a museum blog that you regularly follow? Tell us about it!

Ruth Brindle Dobyns is secretary of the Ohio Local History Alliance and curator of the Quaker Heritage Center of Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio.

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One Reply to “Keeping Current with Blogs”

  1. R.L. Troyer

    ProfHacker from the Chronicle of Higher Education

    Lots of nuggets of technology wisdom that can be applied across a number of fields; great information on open source products, and it isn’t just for educators. This is a wonderful blog for learning about emerging technologies and getting ideas from forward thinkers.

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