Behind the scenes – #museum30


Where did the idea come from?

I was inspired to undertake a 30-day photography challenge by fellow museum studies student Iona who suggested it might be a good way for us to work on our social media skills. I couldn’t find a challenge that was tailored specifically to museums so in a free half hour between lectures I whipped up the graphics and prompts for the challenge, sharing it on twitter so others could participate too.


Why did I choose those prompts?

I wanted to choose prompts that would be relatively easy to find a photo for whilst still providing room for interpretation. The first few prompts aimed to provide a way to show off where you work and why you love it. The challenge offered a way for people to share the things they are proud as part of a community and I found lots of inspiration in the posts. Some of the prompts purposefully didn’t relate directly to museums such as ‘friendship’ and ‘weather’ this was to provide variety and hopefully keep interest in the challenge.

The overall goal was to provide a place for people to share their passions, get behind the scenes of museums and promote conversations within the museum community

How many people participated?

Unfortunately, I only found out that the more specific analytics could only be viewed week by week after this year’s challenge. This limits the amount of statistics I could gain from the challenge for this year but those I could gain are compiled here –


What did I learn?

Whilst the ad-hoc nature of the #museum30 may have caused some confusions with those wanting to participate I am glad that the challenge happened that way, the organic release allowed it to spread quickly within museums and be shared widely. The queries and questions arising during the process provided something to consider and will be useful to guide future #museum30 challenges. People particularly wanted to know if they needed to stick directly to the prompts and some felt they couldn’t contribute if not a museum professional, whilst I know of at least 3 family members and friends who completed the challenge from non-museum backgrounds this is something to consider.

One of the major problems was the date and timing – starting in the middle of the month was not a brilliant idea but as it was originally just me and some friends this suited us fine. Next time the challenge runs it will begin on the first of the month so that it is easy to track and keep up with the challenge.

Overall what I learnt is that museums are very social places, throughout the challenge I found so many more museum professionals and volunteers on social media and learnt about so many museums I never knew existed!

Plans for another #museum30?

Absolutely! The challenge was an absolute success and I am very excited to see how it will expand over the coming years and challenges. There will be another challenge in November 2018 (starting on the 1st this time) and possibly a shorter version some time before then if there is interest – this is still being decided so do let me know whether you would like that. The challenge next year will try to solve some of the problems identified this year particularly the closed prompts. I am also going to create a schedule that will enable me to update the analytics weekly so we get all the info possible for the challenge.

Twitter: @magnifyzoology

Instagram: @magnifyingzoology

Links to the other posts about #museum30:

Tweets from #museum30 – 2017

#museum30 – A 30 day photo challenge

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