The Super Bowl, online persona, and…you?


Probably just like millions of other people last night, I watched the Super Bowl with my laptop going at the same time–I looked at online discussions for my courses, I sent emails to my student teachers, and I read lessons and wrote some too, all while also watching the Super Bowl.  I like football, but more than that I like to stay up on current events, and I am definitely glad I didn’t miss it, because it was eye opening for many reasons…

 

I have just begun exploring the wide world of Twitter, and have been following the Getty Museum in LA because I a) have been there twice and love it, and b) am interested in Museum Studies and children’s museums as they relate to my experience in Curriculum and Instruction.  Last night, I learned more about how hashtags work (beyond my sister-in-law’s sister giving me the pop culture breakdown, including the phrase and accompanying gesture “air hashtag”) when I noticed that the Getty was tweeting last night with #MuseumSuperBowl.  They were posting images of “super bowls” in their collections, and cracking hilarious jokes about art pieces that related in some way to the events of the game (Here’s a recent one: Victory to @Ravens #MuseumSuperBowl! Raven from English manuscript about 1250-60 pic.twitter.com/YVnS52c7).  The Air and Space Museum, where I had actually been earlier in the day, responded instantly to the power outage on #MuseumSuperBowl and posted about how being in the dark reminded them of those on the Apollo 12 launch must have felt during THEIR power outage.  Museums were talking to each other and to everyone!  And it was creating a great juxtaposition of priorities, showing that people can be into watching the game and talking about the commercials, and ALSO be into art and cheer artists on in much the same way that people cheer on football players.

 

What does this have to do with persona, you say?  Well, on my LONG drive in to school today I was thinking about the changing landscape for professional entities such as corporations and  people (and no, corporations are not people).  And places like the Getty are taking these new technologies and turning them into yet another way to connect with people.  I heard (but didn’t see) that Oreo put up something about how you can “dunk in the dark” when the power was out.  Qualities I value in people, such as innovation, intelligence, creativity, and wittiness, can now be evident in corporations or organizations like the Getty.  Somewhere, someone who works for and represents the Getty was probably at home or maybe at a party if they have a more interesting life than I do (and I’m pretty sure they do) doing just what I was doing–surfing the web and watching the game, and thinking about their collections, which made me think about their collections and see them in new ways.  Museums can be written off as stuffy or boring, but this was completely the opposite.  Compare that to the old slap-up-a-website mode of digital communication from just a few years ago.

 

I’ve seen what Twitter can do, and I’m pretty sure I like it.  Next time I will share the flip side of this, which is that this kind of digital scholarship seems as if it can easily take over one’s life.


4 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Love the #MuseumSuperBowl idea, what a great way to engage new audiences, even if just for a laugh. You’ve got to show me what the “air hashtag” gesture is, I’ve never heard of it!

    February 6th, 2013

  2. jdavis7

    Picture two hands making peace signs, then crossing each other (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/shortcuts/2012/aug/01/how-to-say-hashtag-fingers). She works for a pop culture magazine, so she’s very up on the lingo those crazy kids are using nowadays…I wondered briefly if she just made it up, but the link shows it’s not just her I guess.

    February 6th, 2013

  3. That’s awesome! I probably would have mistaken it for a gang symbol. I’m totally throwing that out at my next cohort meeting.

    February 6th, 2013

  4. One of the things I love about Twitter is the potential playfulness of it, and how that can translate into real connection. I know there’s a lot of garbage on Twitter, but, within my Twitter community I feel like it’s just a fun water cooler to hang around during the day. People share random thoughts and ideas, put up links to interesting stuff, make jokes, come up with funny hashtags that comment upon what they’re saying in interesting (and sometimes ironic) ways. The threshold is low. I can tune in when I want and turn it off when I want. When I’m working at home and feeling lonely, I can read through the archive for a few hours and feel a bit more connected.

    It’s a weird kind of community, but the example you give, of a museum using it to share it’s collection but in a really fun, accessible, timely way, is illustrative of exactly what I love about it.

    February 7th, 2013

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