As promised, Museum Minute is rolling out a few new regular features in 2013. To get us started I would like to introduce you to a new series titled, Meet a Museum Blogger. Each Monday, starting today, I will profile a new museum blogger. They will share their background, passions, quirks, expertise and museo-advice.
Who’s our inaugural blogger? None other than Mar Dixon.
Mar Dixon is an American mom to Charlotte and wife to a very patient husband. They reside in the UK with a dog, fish, 2 rabbits and a bearded dragon. She is passionate about culture and works to help the sector in audience development, social media and involving kids and teens in programs. She tweets a lot. A LOT. Mar can be found at conferences, on a train or on her phone. And she loves cake.
How about we hear from, Mar, eh?
No. I am a consultant in social media and audience development. I’m Founder of CultureThemes, Teens in Museums and MuseumCamp. I am also Social Media Manager for Kids in Museums.
What’s your educational background?
Have a degree in Computer Science and have recently qualified with PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education).
What was your ‘sticky’ moment?
Taking my daughter to museums and art galleries and wanting to help improve their access with no budget.
What is the name of your blog? How long have you been blogging?
Mardixon.com (Not very creative). On this site, about a year and a few months. But I’ve been blogging and sharing for about 14 years on various topics.
What do you blog about? Why?
I use it to explain things past the 140 character limit on Twitter. I love to share so if I hear about something I feel might benefit others, I’ll write about it. It could be a visit I had to a museum and their best practice, conferences attended, things I’m thinking about and everything in between (including book reviews). It’s also a platform that welcomes Guest Bloggers to share their projects or thoughts (as long as I feel it’s something that could benefit the sector).
Do you tweet? Why or why not?
Oh yes. A LOT. It’s the perfect platform for me as I have many diverse interests and I can dip into things slightly or delve in deeper with links. Twitter also allows for interest to spider to topics you didn’t even know about.
Plus I love the 140 limits. I’m a babbler so it helps truncate my thoughts into a strapline.
Night at the Museum: love it or hate it?
Oh God – LOVE. I stayed overnight at Natural History Museum in London and that movie was in my mind the WHOLE time. Was a tad disappointed when Dippy didn’t talk to me but maybe next time
If you were forced to spend the rest of your life in a library, a museum or a zoo, which would you choose and why?
Ouch – hard one. Libraries and Museums mean everything to me. Can I choose a library in a museum? If not, I’d have to go with the museum strictly because it’s easier to smuggle books into a museum than it is to smuggle artifacts into a library. Not that I would ever do such a thing. * cough *
What do you see as the biggest challenge (or opportunity) facing museums today?
Budget cuts & attitudes. The sector has always faced challenges and cuts throughout their history but for some reason we are more vocal about these cuts and what they mean now. While it’s important that people recognize there is a threat to museums (libraries, etc), it’s also important that we remember the audience/visitors do not want to feel guilted into visiting. We need to empower visitors to use their voice to be advocates.
Another challenge is addressing Teens (youths, millennials, etc.) in Museums. We’ve done tremendous work with babies and under-10s but now we have the challenge of ensuring this strong and powerful generation recognizing the importance of museums in our society. Cliché but they are our next politicians who will be making future decisions on our culture.
Share one piece of advice for those interested in working in the museum field:
It’s about the passion, not the money.
Wow! Thanks for participating in Meet a Museum Blogger, Mar (and for agreeing to be first!).
In case you missed it, Mar blogs at http://mardixon.com. Do you have any additional questions for Mar regarding her profile above? Feel free to start a conversation in the comments below or reach out to her directly on Twitter. Her Twitter handle is @mardixon. *I highly encourage you to use the #MuseumBlogger hashtag. TY!
Are you interested in being profiled? Send me an email at MuseumMinute@gmail.com.