The Noguchi Museum is involved in three main stream social media platforms that I have discovered to date. These are Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. Also found through the museum website are a number of blogs associated with Noguchi Teens program and the Civic Action exhibition. The museum also employs the Addthis widget at the bottom of their main page. As I am not a veteran user of any of these platforms some serious investigating was required of me not as to how each of the various platforms works and can be interpreted easily and swiftly. I am learning!
There are two viable and active entries on Facebook for the Noguchi Museum. These are the Noguchi Museum facebook page and the Noguchi Teens profile. The Museum profile seems to experience much more frequent and robust use; it boasts close to 2,500 followers and somebody from the museum staff posts information and links about once every two days. There are a number of photo walls as well although these do not seem to be as recently updated as the posts.
I joined Facebook in order to be able to better study the practices of the Noguchi Museum and asked a question via their wall about 2 days ago. I was surprised, pleasantly surprised this morning when I checked into facebook and noticed an answer from the museum - and very polite as I was beginning to think my question/comment had been written during a period of low blood sugar levels. Since my initial induction into the world of Facebook I have been pleasently surprised at the frequency and quality of the posts made from the museum profile. The announcement of the reinstallation of the second floor galleries (which are discussed in the museum visit section of the Noguchi Museum Project) was timely and helpful as I could then plan my second visit to the museum.
The Noguchi Teens profile has made many posts over the past month about summer programs for teens in the museum and art world. These are useful and informative tidbits of information - especially if I were a teenager looking for something constructive and within the museum and information world to occupy my time for the summer months. Included in these posts was not only information about other cultural institutions but information on the deadlines and events the Noguchi Teens and Teen program were holding.
The museum Twitter feed has over two times as many followers as the Facebook profile. The posts do seem to be fairly synonmous sometimes containing information posted before the Facebook page posts and sometimes following. I wonder why there are more Twitter followers than Facebook?
Also the Noguchi Museu does not post to Twitter as much as other cultural institutions I am following and so can get lost in the shuffle.
Most of the images and galleries on the Noguchi Museum Flickr profile are in relationship to community outreach programs or arts workshops. Interestingly these posts are made from one of two profiles associated with the museum a through the Marketing Department. None of the galleries are more recent than the end of 2011 and the first gallery was posted in early 2010. Compared to both Twitter and Facebook the museum has clearly stepped away from the Flickr platform and is using other social media outlets more robustly.
Also linked to the Noguchi Museum website through the Education Department page on their website are two blogs which in my mind and through my assessments are not very successful or practical sources of information. Neither the Civic Action blog nor the Teen blog allow for comments, interactivity in any way. Perhaps they are labelled as blogs simply because it is a trendy activity for museums to get involved with today? I was really hoping the Teen blog would include posts and information from the Teen advisory board - instead it seems to be postings by museum employees regarding their job descriptions. I found the whole thing kind of creepy. The Civic Action blog was another grand failure in that it touted itself as providing educational information for teachers and yet the information provided was identical to that of the Civic Action main webpage.
It seems to me the Noguchi Museum is testing the waters of the many social media platforms available today - some with moderate success and some are clearly unsuccessful and orphaned ideas. It is difficult to remain committed to one platform or means of use for social media - the next big thing might be right around the corner and the museum does a good job of hedging their bets by providing the Addthis widget at the bottom of the museum main page. While it is a little tricky to get the widget to pop up - once you have found it - you can share the museum on nearly 30 different social media platforms - many of which I have never heard of!