As Will Cary notes in his post we’ve seen plenty of feedback with regard to the 1stfans Twitter Art Feed. Will and I had been saying we’d blog about our experiences, so here we go! I hit my head up against a wall when I saw the status update above…(not kidding).
When we started discussing the idea of providing members with some kind of exclusive content, my reaction was much like @floodfish. So, what was it exactly that turned me around? Well, for one thing, Will was open to the idea of providing an even more affordable option to become a Member here. For me, the affordability of 1stfans makes Membership more accessible and I adore how mission-centric that notion is—that is just *very* Brooklyn Museum. I was also digging the idea that we might be able to provide a way for “far-away” 1stfans (tip-of-the-hat to Amy Fox who coined that term) to support the institution they have grown to know and love online. So, knowing that 99.9% of the time our content is accessible (<– 12 links) and given that this membership program was created with accessibility in mind, the Twitter Art Feed was something that I could get behind. Even though we know the paying-for-content model on the internet is not something that is natural in my world, Will convinced me to think of the feed as a benefit of membership and benefits are expected in his line of work.
The links above are just a fraction of many examples that illustrate our overall goal with regard to open content and community online. It is a core part of our mission, something we think about every day and take very seriously. So, the challenge for us it to figure out how to make the content on the feed somewhat accessible to everyone, while still providing something special for our 1stfans. There is no set equation for this and we expect it will differ from artist to artist, project to project, so let’s take a look at what we did this month.
If you don’t have direct access to the feed, you can see this short video interview with An Xiao who describes her concept. In it, we sampled one of the exchanges, so you can get a pretty decent idea of what is going on. Later this week, you’ll also start to see blog posts from one of our curators about An’s concept and how it ties to our collection. None of these things are being produced with the eye to try and get people to join 1stfans. Rather, they are a way for us to open the content just a bit, while still giving our 1stfans something exclusive.
Coming full circle, let’s go back to the original question: How do you convince a free content advocate (like me) to join 1stfans? I’m not sure this has a cookie-cutter answer that will work for everyone, but for me, it wasn’t to get the benefit of the Twitter Art Feed. I wanted to throw a little support to the Brooklyn Museum, so I joined to do just that : )
Shelley Bernstein is the former Vice Director of Digital Engagement & Technology at the Brooklyn Museum where she spearheaded digital projects with public participation at their center. In the most recent example—ASK Brooklyn Museum—visitors ask questions using their mobile devices and experts answer in real time. She organized three award-winning projects—Click! A Crowd-Curated Exhibition, Split Second: Indian Paintings, GO: a community-curated open studio project—which enabled the public to participate in the exhibition process.
Shelley was named one of the 40 Under 40 in Crain's New York Business and her work on the Museum's digital strategy has been featured in the New York Times.
In 2016, Shelley joined the staff at the Barnes Foundation as the Deputy Director of Digital Initiatives and Chief Experience Officer.