Document: The Impact of Social Media on Museum Practice

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The Impact of Social Media on Museum Practice. Paper presented at the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 20 October 2009.

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The demands of the “information age” have raised new questions for museums. It has been argued that museums need to move from being suppliers of information to providing usable knowledge and tools for visitors to explore their own ideas and reach their own conclusions which is especially relevant today as increasing access to technologies, such as the internet, ‘… have put the power of communication, information gathering, and analysis in the hands of the individuals of the world’ (Freedman, 2000, p.299). Freedman also argued that museums should become mediators of information and knowledge for a range of users to access on their terms, through their own choices, and within their own place and time.

This paper explores the impact of social media across museums, using three areas of museum practice as examples: learning, exhibition development and organisational change. It was presented at the Social Media and Museum Education Workshop, National Palace Museum, Taipei for Taiwan museum professionals as well as students from the Graduate Institute of Museum Studies, Fu Jen Catholic University (

Reference: Freedman, G. (2000). The Changing Nature of Museums. Curator, 43(4), 295-306.

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