Can Blogging Help Museums Appeal To Millenials?
In the age of the endless Tumblr scroll, museums are facing a new and unique challenge – why would anyone want to walk around looking at pictures on the wall when they could do the same thing from the comfort of their bed? What’s more, museums only house a few hundred pieces of art – the Internet contains everything you could want to see, and at super-high resolution.
Increasingly, museums are trying to figure out what appeals to millennials. And what’s surfacing as a solution may seem paradoxical – Museums are actually putting their art online voluntarily, many of them starting blogs, to bring in bigger audiences.
This generation values the opportunity to connect with the places they go. They don’t want a faceless corporation, they want workers they can communicate with and understand. This is one of the most connected generations in history. Once, if you didn’t like a restaurant’s policy, you wrote an angry letter. Now, you tweet it, and there’s a potential for thousands of people to see it.
With this in mind, many museums are ditching the removed, stuffy atmosphere that was once the mainstay of libraries and galleries. Instead, they are opting for more interactive exhibits, including modern art you can touch, like this ball pit in Washington, D.C.
Technology offers us more insight into art history than a small panel under the painting ever could. Some museums allow their patrons to download audio tours or scan QR codes as they walk around, so they can hear more details about the art.
They also use blogs to this effect. Park West Gallery uses a YouTube account to share histories and interviews with many artists. These videos can actually generate foot traffic for the museums – viewers see the art in the videos, get an understanding of the artist as a person, and decide they want to see it in real life.
Millenials don’t want museums to be cold places to preserve art – they want them to be full of life and celebration of the beautiful art pieces within. Some museums are taking a less conventional approach to their blogs.
The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art drew attention for showcasing some art pieces through humorous SnapChats. Although some might see this approach as irreverent, it was a unique and interesting way to blog about the museum that got people talking and convinced many to subscribe to their snaps.
Although museums are a place to preserve the past, that doesn’t mean they have to become relics. Keeping museums fresh and interesting, while still honoring the history they contain, is essential to appealing to new generations. Integrating physical art with online content could be the key to keeping museums relevant in the twenty-first century.