Museums on Flickr

By: Dr Lynda Kelly, Category: Museullaneous, Date: 11 Nov 2009

What are museums across the world doing on Flickr and how can the Australian Museum learn from that?

As part of our Engaging with Social Media in Museums research project we are investigating the use of Flickr by museums so we can start to develop some crowd-sourced exhibitions ourselves.

So, what have I found out? Here's some useful links and tips:

I’m going to have a read and think before next week’s workshop...

BTW setting up a Flickr account was not easy! I think I have done what was needed for the first of our Flickr pilots - the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition Flickr site.


Lynda Kelly - 11.02 AM, 19 February 2010

Thanks Jareen. I like your comment "It wasn't too labour intensive (really) - we just saw it as a priority to make work and shuffled stuff to make sure it did." Many of the barriers to take up of Web 2.0 centre around the time taken (a misguided perception that it is labour intensive) and that it adds work. Your comment demonstrates that this doesn't have to be the case. My philosophy is just do it and *always* think about incorporating the web into your current work practices - 20% different, not 20% more!

Jareen Summerhill - 2.02 PM, 16 February 2010
Hi Lynda, Sorry for the delay in replying! Yes we did have one person coordinating it all - me (I'm in the marketing/comms team). I was the person coordinating the signage, working with curators, designers, printers, techies, etc to get the display up in the gallery. It wasn't too labour intensive (really) - we just saw it as a priority to make work and shuffled stuff to make sure it did.
Lynda Kelly - 9.01 PM, 27 January 2010

Thnx so much for posting this Jareen. What a great project to involve the local community. I'm always intrigued about how we engage contemporary cultural groups with ancient material that we often display and this sounds like a really cool approach!

We were just discussing engaging with the Flickr community today through our Wildlife Photography Flickr group. I totally take your point about the time it takes to build momentum, as with physical exhibitions, museum folk often think "if we build it they will come" - this is so not true.

Sounds like a great social media experiment - did you have a dedicated person doing this??

Jareen Summerhill - 11.01 AM, 27 January 2010
Hey there Lynda, To help extend the marketing campaign for A Day in Pompeii exhibition, we ran a small targeted social media campaign incorporating Flickr encouraging Victorians to show us what makes their Melbourne/Victoria Italian (it was limited to photos only) - it was titled Shutter Up You Face. Background • Participants added their photos to the Flickr Shutter Up You Face group. • Campaign timing: 2 months • Finalists prizes - photo on display at Melbourne Museum (as part of The Melbourne Story exhibition) and tickets to A Day in Pompeii exhibition. • Main prize - dinner for two at a well known Melbourne Italian restaurant • Finalists selected by MV panel (included MV designer, curator) • Display up during last month of A Day in Pompeii exhibition - provided opportunity to cross promote A Day in Pompeii onsite, as well as provide new PR opportunities. • The display was framed as 'Italians in Melbourne' display - to provide appropriate links to The Melbourne Story exhibition, as well the campaign. The social media campaign was supported by: • Bill posters around Melbourne, posters on trams, cafes/restaurants, etc. • The posters included a QR code linking to the competition website (on Pompeii website) • Onsite, online and Partners promotion/links (signage, collateral, Pompeii website, e-news, promotions through Pompeii partners/sponsors) • Media Release/PR Outcomes • 192 photos uploaded • 108 group members • 21 photos in the final exhibition • Good PR coverage • Over 700 website visits via the QR Code One thing I learned - it takes time to build momentum. What started off as a 'small' promotion to extend the Pompeii marketing campaign, turned out to be a mini project (still, it was easy enough). Flickr website is here: We're still in the middle of devising an appropriate a strategy to engage in Flickr... will share once we sort it all out. Thanks Jareen
Lynda Kelly - 12.12 PM, 31 December 2009

Came across this nice summary piece: Five ways in which museums are using Flickr via the Museum Marketing blog. Worth checking out.

Lynda Kelly - 7.12 AM, 13 December 2009

Thanks Ondine. I'll give it a go but I'm a hopeless photographer and an even worse Flickr user! How are we promoting this BTW? I'll tweet and Facebook it for the Museum but we'll need to get the word out there somehow?

Ondine Evans - 9.12 AM, 11 December 2009

Hi Lynda - you might want to change that link to our Flickr site now - we have set up a Group called Wildlife Photography with the Australian Museum. Check it out and start adding your wildlife photos and have the added bonus of seeing them displayed on a screen at the Museum! We will be streaming them straight from the Flickr site.

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