Social Media in the Arts: Designing for Meaningful Participation in Museums and Galleries
In order to distinguish essays and pre-prints from academic theses, we have a separate category. These are often much longer text based documents than a paper.
My thesis focuses on Social Media in the Arts. The motivation behind this research spurred from a recent boom in social media marketing and engagement by arts organizations. I began to survey the positive and negative attributes of current social media tools, while discovering a multitude of social media experiments created by museums and galleries. Through several explorative and generative research processes, I looked into the needs of stakeholders including visitors, curators, and artists. This process concluded with a project designed specifically to encourage meaningful visitor participation in the arts—a social media app called “ViewPoint”. It takes advantage of visitor’s natural instinct to point at interesting things. Pointing becomes a means to share artworks with friends and non-acquaintances. It then uses sharing as a catalyst for in person conversations. ViewPoint is deceptively simple, however it leverages characteristics of in-person events and the power of social media to optimize the conditions for quality interaction. In researching the past year, I have been surprised by my findings and inspired by the power of the public voice. I have discovered first hand that each person sees art in his or her own way and that the best solution is one that allows a personal experience as visitors perceive, share and learn about art.