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Setting goals in social media

Charlotte S.H. Jensen (DK)
These notes are written by Charlotte S.H. Jensen from Nationalmuseet in Copenhagen (DK) and translated for Zeitgeist & OpenArch, two EU Cooperation Projects in EXARC. Charlotte was a speaker at the conference "Bringing archaeology to life - New ways to reach the public" which took place in Borger (NL), in October 2011.

What is 2.0 and social media?

Web 2.0 refers to a development on the internet which seriously got going in recent years. Instead of being a place where some people publish contents the internet has much more become a place for communication and cooperation. It can be discussed whether this is a new direction or if we actually are returning to the roots of the Net. Tim Berners-Lee, who is being regarded as the father of the modern internet, is one of those who said several times that the Internet is finally becoming this what he had always thought it should be: mainly a communication tool. This is anyway a tendency which was already in the Net from the start when internet minded people wrote each other on black & white screens on bulletin boards (a kind of “chat rooms”). Obviously one should be using technologies because they are useful, not because they are smart and in fashion. However, on the other side, if only the established older ways of communication and dissemination are useful, like email, presentations, publications and exhibitions, one should think the situation over once more.
LINKS (Tim O´Reilly ”What is web 2.0”? - the classic article which defined 2.0) (23 things ) (Social media and museums: can interaction be measured and how. Visit and like the ICOM MPR page to see papers like this in the future.)
... a film from 1993 about Internet on YouTube

Social Media

Google, Twitter, Facebook, Hyves, Linked in, RSS Feeds, Flickr, Slideshare, iPhones, apps – the list of new and emerging technologies appearing under the heading of social media seems never-ending. For most young people, and also for a growing number of older users, these media are now an indispensable part of modern life and an essential tool for communicating and receiving information. Taking away someone‘s Blackberry is like switching off their life-support system.

But what do these different brands do? How do they work? What benefits do they offer? And most important of all, how can you join in, get started and use these media to publicise your museum, attract new visitors, disseminate information and create a totally new and exciting experience for your target market.

Google – much more than a search engine

Google is first and foremost knows as a search engine. We use the expression “to Google” to search for information, pictures et cetera on the internet. The expression “to Google” was included in the Qxford English Dictionary in 2006.

A bit of history
However, Google’s history started back in 1996 when to Stanford PhD students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, developed the PageRank algorithm as part of a project related to their studies. The algorithm builds on the assumption that a ranking of websites, based on calculations of what sites link to each other and with what words, will give the user the best and most relevant answers to search queries. This approach was much different from the portals of those days, AOL, Yahoo, Jubii, etc., which built on indexing and were an attempt to create catalogues for an on-going growing number of websites.

Google’s algorithm is changed continuously and in Spring 2011 the so far latest version, Google Panda was rolled out. It concentrates on a series of new elements like for example if a page is being “liked” or “shared” in a social network.

The name Google “originates” from the number googol, a 1 followed by 100 zeroes, and the domain Google was registered 15 September 1997. Up to that moment, the search service was a subdomain at In 2009, 80% of internet searches in Denmark were by means of Google.

To open a Google account
To set up and use a Google account is free, and it is possible to connect different mail addresses to it. This can be an advantage if one for example does not want to use his or her private account on his / her work computer and vice versa.

The Google account can be used to combine your use of several Google services like for example the new Google Plus (G+) which is a social network which reminds of both Facebook and Twitter.

Go to, where you see the start screen image which gives you the chance to open an account. Once you have filled out the start screen, you will receive an email with the confirmation of the e-mail address you have mentioned.

If you do not have access to an email address (for example via webmail) you can start by setting up a mailing account at Google, a Gmail, at

Once you have set up a Google account you will get the chance to use the two links in the top left corner every time you use Google. The “log in” gives you access to click further to “My Account” where you have among others access to groups, card, calendar et cetera. These you can share with others as you wish. You can for example start documents which you can edit together with a series of colleagues or people sharing interest. If you have for example set up groups or files, you are yourself in control about who gets access to them and if the groups are visible for others when searching.

You also get the possibility to exchange the classic Google-search page with one which is more personal, your iGoogle. You have the chance to choose between different themes and colour sets – but above all, you can collect different services and gadgets which you would like to have access to. Every time you log in to your iGoogle you will see those things and it might be an easy way to remain in touch with sites or get access to ‘mini versions’ of services you often use.

LINKS (tools which remind a bit of iGoogle)

Newspapers, TV stations et cetera offer RSS-feeds which you can register for. You can also get a clock which can show time sin other time zones if you are in contact with foreign colleagues. For cultural heritage gadgets, Search for example for: RijksMuseum, Smithsonian, Metropolitan Museum or National Archives).

Twitter- twittering with fellows

Twitter is a so called ”microblogging service”. However, it is maybe misleading to use the word “blog” when looking at Twitter. The platform is not simply used to add blog entries in a traditional format but one sends very short messages and statements (they can contain links and images), called tweets. Twitter is an effective way to communicate directly and to have dialogs but always keep in mind if your target group is using Twitter or not – and remember that also for this network counts that an account should be used and must be active to be relevant. A personal Twitter can for example be good to communicate with colleagues who have an interest in a sharing culture and social media.

Go to and open your free account:
You can choose if your tweets shall be open to all or if they shall remain private, meaning they are only accessible to the people you have selected.
Twitter is maybe the network which is the hardest to use for new users because the communication is full of conventions and the use of special signs.
Most Twitter users do not use the website but a third party tool to make it easier to oversee the accounts, tags and other things one follows.

Tweeps = another word for followers, those who follow a Twitter account
RT = retweet, meaning to forward someone else’s tweet.
MT = modified tweet. The message is adjusted a bit for example because it is too long
HT = ”hat tip” or ”heard through”. Is usually mentioned to show the source of information which one obtained from a source not on Twitter.
@ = is added before the name to someone one wants to send a message to Fx @Britishmuseum
# = hashtag is used to mark a theme word, for example #archives OH = overheard. Used to mention a funny remark which one heard elsewhere and not on Twitter.
Besides this, Twitter has a series of traditions like Follow Friday, which is marked by #FF. On Fridays one uses this tag to mention one or several accounts one recommends following.


Start by following a few organisations which you think are interesting. Many organisations use Twitter as a natural part of their interpretation. One can for example find inspiration at @postalmuseum, @sciencemuseum and @tate.

Facebook - the network where the “normal people” are

When you start using Facebook, at first it is important to think about what one likes to share in the network and how you like to use it. If you wish to use the network as an organisation, one should understand this is a network which requires active participation and is no channel for marketing in the traditional ways.

If one is interested to communicate with people abroad it could be a good idea to look into the other possible networks which one should think of, like for example Hyves in the Netherlands and Origo in Norway.

These copyright issues

There have been strong discussions about that Facebook claims copyright to all the material its users add to the site. A reason has been that it would be in relation to American legislation and that the rules for that partly can be seen as basics for sharing and distribution which is Facebook’s business model. However, there are other share-sites which don’t use such rules like for example Flickr. You create your profile by visiting

You will later have the possibility to change your email and password and following on this you can choose that your birthday doesn’t show in your profile. You also have the chance to set up a so called “vanity URL” being a URL which has your name or username as part of the web address.

Under ”options” with the sub menus “account options” and “options for personal details” you choose who can see what at your profile.

Start for example by making different lists, like ”family”, ”friends”, ”colleagues et cetera and assign different rights depending on what you like to share with the different groups. The borders between what is private and what public is flowing and in social networks it is expected that you present yourself as a “whole” person, meaning with a certain minimum presentation of themes et cetera from your private life. You can compare for example that you tell in the lunch room at work about your whereabouts and adventures over the weekend. But it does not mean that one should very well consider before colleagues get for example access to your topless image from your summer on the beach. Preferably be a bit too restrictive, one can always open up a bit more later if you think it is relevant. The options for private life you will find in the top menu under ”account”.

Once you have set up your profile, with help of the search tools of Facebook you can find people you want to connect with just as pages and groups you want to be member or fan of. Search for example for organisations and people of which you either know they are on Facebook or which you expect have a profile.

Besides that you can attach a long row of applications to your profile, for example so your profile will show videos, slides et cetera from other social networks. You will also have the option to pull the rss from your blog into these pages.

LINKS (Facebooks official blog)

On Facebook, you can”Like” many museums and archives. Good examples are for example Brooklyn Museum, Smithsonian and the Swedish open air museum Skansen. Of the archives, for example the National Archives (UK) have an inspiring page. Besides that there are many professional discussion groups one can join, like for example ”Society of American Archivists”. Good advice: Don’t become friends with people you don’t know. Think about it whether you like to be part of this very large and open network and share everything with everybody (also unknown people). Remember that your boss can also join Facebook. Consider whether this what you do and write can actually be shown to ALL your contacts. Always write nicely about others in discussions and groups.

Linkedin- the ”business” network

Just like Facebook LinkedIn is a social network. The difference with other networks is that LinkedIn’s primary target group are persons with interest in professional networking. LinkedIn was started in 2002 in California and went online in 2003.

Start your profile on Just like other networks, the dynamics and use of LinkedIn depends on one’s own use and engagement. One has the option to invite friends and find friends who already have joined. Through those you can come in contact with for example those who share your interests or ex-colleagues. A paid account (Pro-Account) offers more options to contact people further away into the network by means of introduction mails.
LinkedIn is especially used in professional circles and in the English speaking world but there is also a series of groups which are relevant for people employed in the cultural heritage sector. It is possible for any user to create new groups or subgroups. It is a good idea to check out if the group you intend to start does not already exist before you start your own.
Besides that, LinkedIn offers a series of applications which one can add to one’s own profile. For example, using ones Wordpress-blog, one can pull his or her latest presentations from Slideshare onto one’s page. One can also get the latest presentations and blog posts from one’s contacts, to remain informed about events in relation to your field of interest and an integration with Twitter so it is possible to follow if your interests and or organisation is being mentioned there. In 2010-2011 LinkedIn has developed quite a bit; it is recommended to have a look at the long series of groups.

LINKS (Linkedin´s official blog)


On LinkedIn you will find many interesting groups for museums, for example ”Museum Next” and ”Museums and the Web”
Good advice
Don’t become friends with people you don’t know
Don’t forget to adjust, reason and personalise the invitations to people you only know superficially.
Always write nicely about others in discussions and groups.

RSS – your personal e-news

RSS is a technology which enables to remain updated about relevant websites without visiting them. Instead, you receive the news of those websites in a program or service. This way you only need to keep an eye on a single place to remain updated. The most used version is RSS 2.0 which stands for Real Simple Syndication. An RSS-feed is a XML file where new contents from a website is stripped from its layout and can be retrieved in a program. Actually, syndication refers to a kind of agreements about publishing which enable to make the same contents accessible for various media and platforms. It is as well possible for others to republish an RSS-feed, for example via a widget on a blog. But it always remains the author of the original feed who controls the contents. One can for example use for example Google Reader or iGoogle to read the feeds but there are many other possibilities as well. The open source browser Firefox has an RSS-reader built in. Another very good reader is Feedreader. It could also be a good idea to set up a free account at bloglines. Here it is possible to collect one’s feeds and besides that get an impression of how many others read exactly this.

LINKS (international blog search engine)
Old Sturbridge´s RSS-side

Most blogs and websites made in CMS systems have RSS feeds but also normal html pages can be turned into feeds.

Flickr - share your photos

At Flickr you have the opportunity to share pictures and videos with other people and stay in touch with others by subscribing to their uploads by means of RSS. You also get the chance for example to download KML Files so you can see other people’s photo locations in Google Earth or to upload your own in such manner that users for example can pick them up at a website.
To open a Flickr account you will need to have a Yahoo-ID. If you have Yahoo Mail you can log in straight away and open your account. Else you’ll first need to set up the ID. It is free and takes just a moment. Please keep in mind that Flickr automatically regards your Yahoo Mail as your primary e-mail. You can change this under ”You > Your Account” into your usual email so you see every day an email which notifies you about comments and such.

With a free account you can upload 20 MB per month and have a total archive of 250 MB. If you start with a free account you can later expand it into a pro account. You also have the option to start groups whether you have a basic or pro account. Others can register for a group or pool which you have started; depending on how you like it, they first need to accept the rules of a group Flickr contains many options of which the most standard ones are upload and tagging of your pictures. You upload pictures by clicking on “You” and find the option ”Upload Photos and Videos”.

Following on this you browse on your PC to find the pictures to the pictures you like to upload and in the next screen you set the rules for who can see the pictures: When the uploading is ready you get the possibility to add tags and descriptions to your pictures. This you can partly do by using batch-commands, meaning you connect more tags to all uploaded images in one go.

LINKS (image sharing site)
Library of Congress´ flickr projekt (pdf – strategic paper)

OTHER TOOLS AND SITES (Google’s photo sharing site and free image sharing program) (free image processing program) (free image processing program)

It might be worth considering to open a pro-account (paid). With a pro account you get better access to statistics which describe how users play with your contents, what they see, where they come from et cetera.
There are many good groups and profiles et cetera which can be interesting for culutural heritage people, like for example Powerhouse Museum, British Museum and a whole row of organisations which are part of flickr commons, like the Smithsonian, Library of Congress, Riksantivarämbedet, Nationaal Archief and many others.

Slideshare - share your PowerPoints and PDFs

On Slideshare you have the possibility to share your PowerPoints with others. Slideshare functions as a normal social network where you make contacts are friends, start groups of interest, “favour” between other people’s presentations and share material, both on Slideshare and other networks.
By adding sound one can make so called slidecasts where the sound follows images and text.
You open your free account at When you log in, in the menu you will get access to different areas of which the most important one besides “upload” is “My Slidespace” where you can edit your profile and Widgets where you can create badges and such which you can for example add to your blog and with those make people know you have slideshows.

You can upload in different formats, for example PowerPoint, Open Office, XLS and PDF. There is also an option to embed a YouTube video in your presentations.
There are different ways of uploading. It can partly be done by browsing your drive to find the presentation you like to add but there is also an option to create a link with Google Docs or via a plugin to Firefox. Another option if you use PowerPoint 2007 is using the extension ”Slideshare ribbon” developed by Microsoft and Slideshare. Under ”Plugin” you will find download locations for this.

You have the chance to choose whether all people will be able to see your slides or if they are only accessible to a smaller group:
When you have finalised your upload or so of your slideshow, it gets processed or converted into a flash presentation which readers / users can click through. You can choose to embed your presentation in for example an html page or your blog. If you have a Wordpress-blog, there is a special format you must use. You will also have the chance to embed your presentation and not show Slideshares suggestions for related slideshows... But why would you limit inspiration?


OTHER TOOLS (free tool to make PDFs) (share and embed dokuments in ”pageable” format) (share and embed dokuments in ”pageable” format)

A presentation from Slideshare can - not the least with using sound and embedded video – be a good tool to describe a process, for example an excavation, the construction of an exhibition, the photo presentation of an event – showing old pictures et cetera.