Arianna Huffington‘s art-related post on her eponymous news-and-commentary website has been lighting up links around the art blogosphere, partly because people are pleasantly surprised that this new-media titan cares enough about museums to write about them.
In her post, Museums 2.0: What Happens When Great Art Meets New Media?, Arianna argues:
The danger of social media becoming the point of social media—connection for connection’s sake, connection to no end—is one
museum’s [sic] need to particularly guard against.
Where are some good copy editors when Arianna really needs them? (And while they’re removing that errant apostrophe from “museum’s,” they should also delete the last paragraph in her post, which repeats her first paragraphs almost verbatim.)
[UPDATE: Huff’s “Museums 2.0” has now been updated by Copy Editing 1.0.]
Being myself a sometimes HuffArts columnist, as well as a generational contemporary of Arianna’s and a “Museums 0.0” devotee, I felt moved to post a comment on Huffington’s post. While even audio guides are too much technology for me, I recognize that younger audiences need to be reached on their own wave-lengths. That doesn’t mean dumbing down. But it probably does mean tech-ing up. As long as that doesn’t interfere with my own old-fashioned contemplation and concentration, I’m (reluctantly) okay with it.
I wrote a lot about art-related multimedia applications during their first wave, including this piece on art CD-ROMs for the NY Times, pegged to the 1998 debut of the Metropolitan Museum’s survey disc, “Masterworks From the Collection,” which I described as being possibly “the last chance to
breathe life into a dying genre.” Met 2.0 is more web-based than disc-based, but art DVDs are still alive, well and selling in museum bookstores.
But what we all really want to know is: What does the Museum 2.0 blogger have to say about Huffington’s “Museums 2.0”? (So far, nothing.)
[UPDATE: Nina Simon, the Museum 2.0 blogger, has now weighed in. She thinks “Ariana’s” (sic) post is “reactionary.”]