We are living through history. Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping society. When Americans began practicing “social distancing” and following orders to shelter-in-place, museums and cultural organizations moved quickly to cease public visitation. But even as our institutions closed their physical doors, we have opened digital windows. We have adopted online tools to continue delivering on our missions, serving our communities, and engaging our audiences.
To document the beginning of this new chapter, professionals from across the sector have begun collaborating on a cross-institutional study. The working title of this research is “Effects of COVID-19 on the social and digital media of American Museums.” The objectives are to create a record of this moment to inform planning for future emergencies, and document emerging practices.
This research will collect and aggregate metrics from standard digital reporting tools, then report on the trends uncovered. We will examine a variety of interactions such as web traffic, searches, video views, downloads of learning resources and kids content, virtual tour visits, and social media sentiment. This project follows a previous cross-institutional study on the motivations of museum website visitors.
Right now, we are building the cohort. We seek cultural institutions of all sizes, with collaborators of varied job titles across digital, social, education, curatorial, and marketing. While our focus will primarily be on US-based organizations, international organizations are welcome to contribute.
To join, please visit the Research Project Sign-up Form.