Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Blogger's remorse (& some Howard pics)...

...also known as, "I really should have posted these pictures yesterday...and blogged about XYZ the day before that...and I hope everyone is still finding this content relevant...did I just do too many Twitter this thing on?"

Sigh. When did social media become so much like dating?

I suppose the dynamics of "making contact" and "keeping someone interested" don't vary that much in personal versus professional relationships. Anyone who's attended a networking event IRL (in real life--see how web savvy I am?) knows that it's just as much of a "dance" as going to the movies with a new friend (or significant other).

Here at the Village, we are trying to forge (no blacksmith pun intended) new relationships every day. When a recent poll indicated that very few museum visitors feel like museum staff actually care about them, we were stunned. Perhaps we've been living in an idealistic bubble, but we feel fortunate to have historical interpreters (our front-line staff) who TRULY love their jobs and truly love engaging our visitors. And our visitors seem to sense this contagious enthusiasm for both frontier life AND those who want to come experience it. We'd be crushed if our visitors thought we didn't care about them.

As the Log Cabin Village museum educator, my job is to help connect people of the present to our shared past. Recently this job has taken the form of social media ("Wondertwin powers...activate! Shape of...Facebook! Form of...Twitter!" By the way...if you don't get that last reference, you're too young. Google "Hall of Justice." :) :) :) ) It's easy to get mired down in one activity or the other. If you ignore your online presence, then you're doing a disservice to those relationships (which range from as close as one block away to as far as the United Kingdom). If you hang out on Twitter all day, then you may not be serving the people right outside your office door.

So how do you strike a balance? Is balance even possible?

All I know is that our visitors (our friends)--both on-site and online--are not just numbers to us. They represent the desire to do more, to teach more, and to reach more. And if we can do that successfully, then I guess it doesn't matter so much whether we've done it through a hands-on cabin or a Facebook update.

By the way, here are some photos of the Howard cabin progress--part of the reason for my remorse (because they should have been posted yesterday!!! :) :) :) ) The rest of the remorse stems from blog posts still churning in my brain, having yet been brought to life. In due time, in due time...

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