Social media platforms act as points of convergence for museums facing the pressure to adopt more sweeping participatory techniques. They are potentially powerful instruments in the “democratisation” process; yet the possibilities they offer in terms of spreading mass information do not automatically secure a higher level of online participation. This study uses the stimulus-organism-response (SOR) model to explore the different stimuli that museums with complex codes of access use to “democratise” themselves through the agency (organism) of social media, together with evaluating the effectiveness of their work on the basis of online public response. Empirically, the analysis was carried out in nine Italian State Archaeological Museums, as exemplars of museums with complex codes of access, with an investigation into the content of their Facebook posts and the interaction that these posts generated over more than a year. The results show, firstly, the diversity among the stimulus categories ranging from messages used to communicate and promote a museum's agenda to posts that dwell on its collection. In terms of online response, information about the museum's agenda is shown to be not sufficiently appealing to engage users online, while messages about the museum's core feature (its collections) are rewarded by its followers. These findings indicate that social media do not challenge the museums’ curatorship authority and can be an instrument for the museums’ dual mission to entertain and educate.

The participatory turn in museums: The online facet

Arnaboldi M.;Diaz Lema M. L.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Social media platforms act as points of convergence for museums facing the pressure to adopt more sweeping participatory techniques. They are potentially powerful instruments in the “democratisation” process; yet the possibilities they offer in terms of spreading mass information do not automatically secure a higher level of online participation. This study uses the stimulus-organism-response (SOR) model to explore the different stimuli that museums with complex codes of access use to “democratise” themselves through the agency (organism) of social media, together with evaluating the effectiveness of their work on the basis of online public response. Empirically, the analysis was carried out in nine Italian State Archaeological Museums, as exemplars of museums with complex codes of access, with an investigation into the content of their Facebook posts and the interaction that these posts generated over more than a year. The results show, firstly, the diversity among the stimulus categories ranging from messages used to communicate and promote a museum's agenda to posts that dwell on its collection. In terms of online response, information about the museum's agenda is shown to be not sufficiently appealing to engage users online, while messages about the museum's core feature (its collections) are rewarded by its followers. These findings indicate that social media do not challenge the museums’ curatorship authority and can be an instrument for the museums’ dual mission to entertain and educate.
2021
Cultural participation
Democratisation
Museums
Online engagement
Social media
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1170809
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