I’ve been lurking around on Twitter for a few years now. It’s a kind of addiction, seeing all the funny, stupid, controversial and profound things that people have to say.
But besides all of that, Twitter is actually a really useful place to learn new things. I’ve been frequenting the #MuseumHour hashtag for a few months and it’s always a really great discussion.
What is #MuseumHour?
Every Monday evening at 8pm UK time (or 6am Australian eastern time, ouch!) museum professionals around the world go on Twitter at the same time. Each week there’s a new topic, and a moderator will ask a series of questions for people to answer. Using the hashtag #MuseumHour makes it easier to follow the conversation.
The topics really vary. I initially assumed it would be a lot of technical talk, but the audience takes in conservators, front of house staff, curators, educators, interpreters, communication staff, board members – anybody at all who is involved in the museum sector.
Last week it was positivity in museums – a whole discussion around the value and skills that museums and staff bring to the world. Of course, that one was hosted by Museum Wellness, a network for museum professionals to connect over mental health and well being. We’ve also covered toilets in museums, the importance of Front of House, diversity (in staffing and exhibitions), museums as community centres, autism in museums, and podcasting.
So yes, definitely not just technical!
200 editions strong
#MuseumHour reached a significant milestone last week – 200 editions!
That’s 200 topics, 10.2k followers, 4 organisers and 102 guest hosts over four years. Participants took the opportunity to share how the conversation has helped them in their careers. And once you’ve joined in a few times, you can even take the opportunity to host and start a conversation about what your own passion is.
I would 100% recommend that people guest host #MuseumHour. It's an opportunity to have the conversations you've been waiting to have. It's the best feeling knowing that other people are interested and it helps to build your confidence. #MuseumHour200
— Hannah Mather (@HannahRMather) October 8, 2018
If you haven’t yet taken the time to tune in, I highly recommend doing so! I don’t always feel I can contribute each week – I don’t have any expertise in curatorial decisions – but even so, we are all visitors to museums, too, and can provide feedback and share our experiences.
Speaking of which, this week’s theme is Busman’s Holiday. Yep, us museum professionals tend to be museum tragics. No surprise that we visit museums and galleries when we travel and when we should be on holiday!