Friday, May 25, 2007

It's Official! I has a defense!

You are cordially invited to attend Lynn Bethke's thesis presentation
entitled, "Constructing Connections: A Museological Approach to
Blogging." Lynn's presentation will be held on June 1st at 2:30pm in
the Burke Room.

Constructing Connections:
A Museological Approach to Blogging
Presentation by Lynn Bethke
June 1, 2007
Burke Museum, Burke Room, 2:30 pm.

Museums have long had an online presence. Recently, museums have begun experimenting with forms of online communication beyond the traditional website. One approach which many museums are exploring is blogging. Blogs are websites which are frequently updated, have posts in reverse chronological order, and have links to other website. Interlinked blogs form an online community called the blogosphere, and museums are joining in. At this writing, more than 50 museums maintain blogs, and that number is rising. What little literature exists on museums and blogs focuses primarily on how museums can start blogs and drive traffic to them. Museological literature lacks discussion attempting to ground blogging in applicable theory. This thesis begins that conversation by asking if blogging is an appropriate and beneficial practice for museums. Three interdisciplinary areas of theory – education, communication, and public relations – are examined to determine the appropriateness of blogging practice for museums. A general survey of museum bloggers and case study analyses of four museum blogs ascertains if blogging can be a beneficial practice for museums. In so doing, this thesis offers museums a document they can consider in their discussions of internet strategy while also laying groundwork for future in-depth analysis of museum blogging. Taking a museological approach, this thesis finds blogging to be appropriate and beneficial for museums.

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