For as long as we’ve had the Brooklyn Museum Twitter account, I’ve been the sole voice behind it, but today we are trying something new. Ben Hedrington, the developer behind ConnectTweet, has given us the go ahead to alpha test the app that powers the Best Buy Twelpforce, a campaign I’ve long been a fan of.
ConnectTweet acts as a relay and allows allows us to connect staff twitter accounts directly to the main Brooklyn Museum account. Basically, approved accounts can tweet with a hashtag and then that tweet will relay to @brooklynmuseum and show up via @BK_staffer. There are several reasons why I think these changes are significant:
Keep it personal. Given our community-minded mission, I’ve long been an advocate of figuring out how to get individual voices online, especially in social media settings. ConnectTweet goes many steps beyond simple bio identification and background images (things people don’t see often enough) or initials after tweets (which can be hard to decipher). In this case, followers can click on the byline and learn more about each person.
Foster internal advocates. By far, the best advocates for our programs are the people actually working behind the scenes to make them happen. ConnectTweet allows us to put those voices out there. Now, followers can hear from a variety of voices about the programs they are working on. To start, we’ve got folks in tech, digital imaging, exhibitions and membership with more on the way.
Sustainability. I can’t tell you how many vacations I’ve tweeted through. It got to the point on a recent trip to New Zealand, where the time zone changes alone were difficult, but timing announcements between plane changes bordered on ridiculous. I’ve been thinking a lot about sustainability and ConnectTweet allows us to share the load without it being disingenuous to our followers. For me, this is a bit of a happy relief.
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.