A word from Sweden: The Social Scholar interviews Kajsa Hartig

Nordiska Museet (Stockholm)
Nordiska Museet (Stockholm)

Don’t forget that on Wednesday 19 February at 1pm (in room 246, Senate House) we will be delving into the world of social media with Kathryn Box and Kajsa Hartig. The session focuses on sharing information about social media between academics, librarians, archivists, and museum curators and should prove extremely interesting. For full details of this event check out the SAS Events web page.

The Social Scholar seminar is FREE and open to all. Follow us on Twitter @SASNews using the hashtag #socialscholar. Please RSVP via Eventbrite

 

An interview with Kajsa Hartig (Digital Navigator, Nordiska Museet, Stockholm)

Last week we sat down with Kathryn Box (see here for the interview) to find out more about her and what she has planned for the Social Scholar. Today we sit down with Kajsa Hartig who is coming all the way from Stockholm to talk with us about how social media is handled at the Nordiska Museet.

 

Kajsa Hartig (Digital Navigator, Nordiska Museet, Sweden)
Kajsa Hartig (Digital Navigator, Nordiska Museet, Sweden)

First of all, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am a “Digital Navigator” at the New Media Department of the Nordiska museet in Stockholm, Sweden. As such I support and educate the staff throughout the organization. This work involves developing strategies for social media, chairing the museum’s social media group and facilitating projects within the area of digital. I have been working with digital tools and communication in the heritage sector since the mid-1990s and have an MA in Visual Anthropology. Over the years I have continued to train and learn about the web, multimedia and communication. For the last three years I have also been a board member for the national Swedish Archives, Libraries and Museum’s Secretariat. My main interest is digital tools in general, and social media tools in particular, as channels opening up new paths for communication and dialogue, as ways of empowering staff and audiences and as catalysts for organizational change.

 

Why do you think Social Media is useful?

I think social media is useful in many ways, for the individual both privately and at work, and for the organisation. To approach social media, one easy way is to make it relevant for oneself as an individual. Starting by answering ”what’s in it for me” as a private person. This could be to keep in touch with friends and family, to take a part in daily news, to develop a hobby, to choose a place for the next vacation or to find a new job.

For me as an individual it has been very useful to bring social media into my professional sphere. It started around 2009 when I attended a conference that had a vivid discussion online, on Twitter, during the actual conference. This was the start for me growing a professional online network with colleagues from all over the world, mostly in museums, but also libraries, archives and universities.

There is an ongoing very interesting dialogue online, especially on Twitter, where professionals discuss development, research, projects etc that puts my own work in perspective and helps me develop new ideas and problem solving.

For academics and researchers social media is particularly of interest since it enables access to interesting projects and research around the world, enabling new contacts, sharing of ideas and perhaps new collaborations.

As for the museum organisation social media is useful as a connecting surface between the organisation and the audience, several touchpoints where knowledge and ideas are shared. Museums are still at the beginning of understanding how these tools and services can be of use, not just giving the organisation a social media presence, but transforming the museum practice in a more relevant and useful way. This is an area where I hope scholars and future museum professionals can bring ideas and help transform museums.

 

What can we expect from you at the Social Scholar?

I will try to put social media in the perspective of digital within museum practice from the early 1990s onwards. This will be helpful when trying to understand in which ways social media can and are transforming museums, and why it is a slow process.

For academics and researchers social media is particularly of interest since it enables access to interesting projects and research around the world, enabling new contacts, sharing of ideas and perhaps new collaborations.

I have been working with digital tools and disseminating digital cultural heritage since around 1995. I have been fortunate to take part in this transformation but believe that the most important revolution of digital is in fact perhaps taking place right now. I hope to share my experiences from the Museums, Libraries and Archival sectors, particularly from the last five years which have been particularly influential on Swedish museums.

I have been developing a more strategic approach to social media at our museum this past year, which has required the museum to re-prioritize resources and rethink dissemination in many ways. This is something I will also share.

I am very curious about listening to the people who attend the seminar, their experiences and thoughts about connecting to the heritage sector through social media, accessing heritage collections through social media and sharing ideas and affecting museum practice. So I hope to have an informal and open conversation on social media today.

 

Do you think blogging is a useful pursuit for academics and why?

Yes I do believe blogging is very useful. It is a repository for your ideas and thoughts, a place to share research and projects. Just by itself the blog is perhaps less useful, but by communicating it through other channels, i.e. Twitter, Facebook , forums etc. your content will reach a wider audience, more people will find your blog posts, read and comment. The blog is a part of a larger digital eco system that you need to master.

Blog about one overall topic, for example your area of research, but elaborate in blog posts covering smaller topics where you can deepen the thoughts and discussions. Create blog posts in response to someone else’s blog, comment on other people’s blogs. This will keep you a part of a larger online dialogue with in your area of interest.

Think about how you are portrayed through your blog, are people’s perception of you the one that you want them to have? A blog can be helpful in building a professional profile online, and in that sense also contribute to a growing career, regardless if you want to pursue a career within academia or move into the arts sector

A blog can also be an arena for trying out new ideas and getting feedback that might even set you off in another direction.

 

Please RSVP via Eventbrite

Full details of this event can be found on the SAS events system. The Social Scholar is a FREE event held by the School of Advanced Study every month. Please also follow us on Twitter @SASNews hashtag #socialscholar.

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