Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Will you be my friend?

I've noted a lot of talk in the past months about the internet and the changing meaning of friendship. I haven't actually gotten to reading what people are writing, and once I do, I'll return with a follow up post.

But these are my raw thoughts in their usual semi-coherent form.

I started blogging because one of my friends was doing it, and he was doing it on a site which combines the internet-special idea of "friending" with independent blogging - Livejournal. So I signed up, identified him as my friend, and have, in the intervening four year, accumulated around 50 individual "LJ friends," some of whom I know in real life, some of whom I have since met, and some whom I have never met but am, nonetheless, good friends with.

And all these social network sites which revolve around the idea of friending - they are all incredibly popular. And even reading a blog on a regular basis offers the idea of intimacy, of getting to know someone a little bit.

But, I wonder, can museums be your friend? This is why that issue of voice is so crucial. If there's not a real person communicating about the museum in a genuine way, I think it's harder to gain that friend-like trust. Maybe I'm wrong. But I don't feel a strong connection to the museum blogs I read, not really. I feel a stronger connection to the museum-related blogs I read, where it feels more individual, more specific. And I assume myself to be representative of others, so this is how it must be, right?

It's something to think about though... if Web 2.0 is about social connection, social collaboration and interaction, how can an institution which might shift personality with each new director maintain a sense of the personal in a blog? Or should it? I'm just not sure.


barboel said...

Hi Lynn,
I've just started my thesis on museums and communities/weblogs. So I've been thinking about this stuff. In the Netherlands there are no museums with a weblog. I was really surprised to find over a 100 links in your weblog! I think a weblog would be a personal way for a museum to stay in touch. But maybe a museum is not able to be personal... I don't know...

Bye, barbera

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Museumchick said...

Any new thoughts on this two years later? We're in the process of working on a communications plan. A blog is a possibility, so I'm curious about thier success.