#svegliamuseo: a project to “wake up” Italian museums online

Best Practice Session
Francesca De Gottardo, Italia

#svegliamuseo is an experimental project to help Italian museums achieve a better online engagement with their audience.

The project was born only three months ago with the aim of recording a series of good practices and best cases in the field of museum digital strategies. The idea was that of creating a guideline for any museum in Italy willing to invest in social networks and digital tools for its day-to-day communication.

To obtain such a goal, #svegliamuseo is operating on two different levels. On one side, we are trying to create productive relationships between Italian and foreign institutions by contacting 10 museums abroad known to be going strong on social media, and we are asking them to fill up a questionnaire enclosing suggestions to be applied cost-free. On the other side, we would also like to draw attention to the Italian best cases, by interviewing those museums which are already successfully using digital tools and social media. We are in touch with some renowned museums – such as Mart, Muse, Triennale and Palazzo Madama – from which we are hoping to collect some positive incentives for all the museums still “sleeping”.

Concurrently, we are deepening some general aspects of the different social networks as used by cultural institutions, through a series of dedicated blog-posts.

The idea behind #svegliamuseo has already attracted a lot of professionals and interested followers. We have gathered these people together in a very active Facebook community where free ground is provided for discussions, in-depth analysis and productive exchanges of links, news and ideas on the topic of social networks for museums. Even the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage has mentioned #svegliamuseo in a positive way, and we hope that this engaged community will help the project to be effective in “waking up” Italian museums.

As an ending to the first phase of the project, we plan to publish #svegliamuseo results in the form of an e-book. This would be available, for free, on our website, and it would sum up all the aspects related to museum digital strategies. This project will see the involvement of other young professionals, who already agreed to contribute with additional info, ranging from website and content organization to storytelling and communication practices. The authors’ goal will be to understand the possibilities provided by the participatory web, to establish among the experts the value of a community run by a cultural institution and to emphasize how important it is for museums to stimulate engagement and take care of online reputation.

The reason why we think our experience could be very interesting for the audience of Museums and the Web is that the project is dealing with most of the conference main topics: social inclusion; social media; crowdsourcing; and digital tools applied to museums.

Ours wants to be a positive message: even during times of financial difficulties, creativity and willpower can still improve the situation, while the use of web tools and social networks can truly be the key to social sharing and crowdsourcing.

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