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Saturday, 12 November 2011

AMA Digital Day

This week I was one of the speakers at the AMA's Digital Day at Sadler's Wells. I did not get a chance to sample the other sessions as we did ours twice, but I understand there were some excellent speakers. The keynote I did catch about MOMA in New York was particularly interesting. I picked up their iPhone App last year in New York and we heard about this, their Android App and iPad App. We also saw a nice video featuring a cat. It sounded if as well as devoting considerable resources to developing these Apps and their web presence (a team of nine I believe), they also enjoyed quite a lot of freedom in their development and marketing (hence the cat). I never really used the iPhone App but the iPad one looks worthy of further investigation. Certainly for museums and galleries the iPad offers a truly thrilling way for the public to engage with their collections.

It was also interesting to hear about the Tate's social media strategy from Jesse Ringham. They publish a very detailed and comprehensive outline of it online which is well worth a read. One very valid question that came up was about Social Media policies and how prepared we were to deal with Twitter storms, Facebook fights and all those bastard Bloggers. This is a big area and worthy of a lot more discussion. With the Southbank, National Theatre and Royal Opera House all having to face digital issues that hit the news pages it is a reminder that arts organisations attract a lot of attention when there is an easy headline available. The Opera North/Lee Hall controversy and the Facebook reaction to the British Museum describing the birthplace of the Lord Buddha as being in India shows how quickly these issues can escalate. Things are complicated in our sector in my opinion by the separation that often exists between marketing (who usually deal with social media) and press (who should deal with the stories it generates); and that assumes your press department actually looks at corporate comms at all. Many still are only focused on show and artist PR and critic's reviews.

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