Kate Feld spoke with Suzanne Stein, Head of Community Engagement at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) in California about Open Space – the museum’s innovative and wildly successful blog. The blog provides a place where the local community and the SFMOMA community can be visible and in dialogue with each other. This case study illustrates how arts organisations can use blogs in a more meaningful way.
In early 2009 we got started with our first group of 5 columnists. I trained them on how to use the technology if they needed training, we talked together about what best practices might be (respond to commenters, comment on each other’s writings), and then I gave them the keys and said ‘Go.’ I said Open Space is an open platform, yours, and do whatever you wish. The only thing I asked them not to do was to write “’reviews’” of local exhibitions or shows. (They immediately ignored me on that count, pretty much.) Something I did ask them to do was to write about what was going on in the Bay Area. I said they never had to write about SFMOMA, but they could if they wished. And if they were going to write about the museum, they didn’t have to write about it in glowing terms but could approach it
however they wished to think about it.