Museum Social

Oct 26

The Best Connected Artwork at the Walters

Here’s a different way to think of museums as being social:

Community Collections and Shared Objects at the Walters

This graph shows the connections between works of art and users of the Walters Museum of Art online collection. The Walters website has a Community Collections feature where anyone can make and share their own selection of objects from what’s available. On the chart, the blue nodes are individual community collections connected by the lines to artworks (green nodes). I’ve included only artworks that occur in two or more collections, so the collections are connected to each other through the objects they share (and, inversely, the object are connected through the collections that share them)

I’ve long been skeptical about personal “collections” on museum websites. They’ve always seemed like dead ends to me—useful, perhaps, for some classroom activities but not much else. I’m still skeptical of the concept as we often see it, but as the website becomes less of a destination and more of a platform for other kinds of interaction I’m becoming more interested by the trails that those interactions leave behind. “My collection” may be a dead end if it’s just the result of picking objects out of a collections database interface, but if it’s the record of things I’ve tweeted, or tagged in a mobile app or used to create a mashup or something else more concrete as part of some activity then it’s starting to tell us more about how real people use a museum.

The Walters’ “Community Collections” are still just objects picked out of a database, but I like their redesigned online collection and they’ve made it very easy to share things that catch your interest. As I was reviewing it as an example for my students—and having just assigned Nicholas Christakis’ TED Talk "The hidden influence of social networks" the previous week—I began to wonder what the network of these community collections would look like.

Behold, the graph.

There is one thing that this graph can tell us right awy about how this community, acting as a community, sees this collection. The yellow node in the middle of the graph is the artwork with the highest "degree centrality". It is, in a way, the most popular work of art. It has the most and best connections, and if there were a cold or flu running through the collection, this work would be sure to catch it. It is Ingres’ Odalisque with Slave:

The next 4 most central objects are:

What interests me about this list is that no one was asked to make it, it simply emerged from an activity with no particular goal. If you asked people to vote on “the most important work in the collection” I’m sure you would get a completely different answer. Of course, “central” on this graph doesn’t mean “important” in any conventional sense. What then does it mean? I don’t know—I just made the graph for fun—but if we can invite more meaningful interactions with collections and watch the connections and paths that are drawn along the way, I hope that it will become another area of curatorial interest, or community interest for that matter. Whatever it means, the position of Odalisque with Slave in this graph is not really a fact about the painting but as much as its a fact about the painting as a element in a human activity. At a time when we’re often wondering why people should, would or do go to museums and why museums should be funded those are important facts.

Some technical notes: The data was collected on October 23, 2011 by simply screen-scraping. The graph was made with NetworkX and if anyone knows how to get NetworkX to spread the nodes out to make a less cramped graph, please let me know!

Why the Walters? It’s just what I was looking at (because I think they’ve done a good job on their redesign), I could figure out pretty quickly how to get the data (an API would’ve been nice!) and it was a manageable amount.

Oct 21

Where now? (September in Museums & Social Media)

There’s not much surprise in the numbers of new Twitter followers and Facebook fans for museums in the whole of September. The 10th anniversary of September 11th naturally brought a lot of attention to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. There is, however, a great difference in the scale of this interest, with the Memorial gaining 70% more followers on Twitter, but an amazing 591% (56,804 followers) on Facebook! My take on this is that a Facebook page is itself something of a destination, so a lot of people may “like” a Facebook page around a big event just as they would visit the site — a vote of commemoration as it were. Is Facebook the shallowest end of visiting, Twitter the shallowest end of joining?

There is also Saatchi. Having spent a long time as the “biggest mover” on Facebook, they look now to be repeating that on Twitter.

Making these graphs has been an interesting experiment, and I think the graphs raise some questions. For instance, the group of “Big Movers” on Twitter is very distinct. There is a sizable gap for museums between about 10,000 and 50,000 followers (between the grey/red and the blue dots), and another between 100,000 and 200,000 (between the blue and the green). Most of the institutions with between 50 and 100K gain new followers at a rate well above average. Not only is their rate above average, they rates are all very close together, right around 22%. What is it about this zone? Does is correlate to anything outside of social media?

However, these graphs are getting a bit repetitious (and the day job has been very busy) so I’m going to stop with this format, certainly on a weekly basis. Instead, I’m going look for better ways of visualizing these numbers in order to dig out some kind of useful information and post those results.

Any suggestions? What visualizations would help make sense?

Twitter

Big Movers

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Natural History Museum, London 70,966 86,931 15,965 22.50%
Science Museum 80,268 95,420 15,152 18.88%
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 61,837 74,424 12,587 20.36%
Asian Art Museum 56,359 68,337 11,978 21.25%
American Latino Museum 49,957 61,558 11,601 23.22%
MIT Museum 44,454 55,407 10,953 24.64%
American Museum of Natural History 49,731 60,430 10,699 21.51%
The Walters Art Museum 47,079 57,605 10,526 22.36%
The Jewish Museum 43,856 53,851 9,995 22.79%
de Young Museum 49,068 58,721 9,653 19.67%
Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History 47,755 57,202 9,447 19.78%

Smaller Increases

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Saatchi Gallery 5,778 17,277 11,499 199.01%
National September 11 Memorial & Museum 7,068 12,027 4,959 70.16%
Moscow Museum of Modern Art 3,834 5,096 1,262 32.92%
Curbs and Stoops 1,995 2,544 549 27.52%
Art Center Gallery 1,079 1,359 280 25.95%
Sweeney Art Gallery 1,563 1,927 364 23.29%

Facebook

Big Movers

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Saatchi Gallery 117,333 175,439 58,106 49.52%
National September 11 Memorial & Museum 9,604 66,408 56,804 591.46%

Smaller Increases

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Central Park Zoo 3,008 4,245 1,237 41.12%
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum 23,885 32,274 8,389 35.12%
Auckland Art Gallery 2,198 2,748 550 25.02%

Sep 25

The Fortnight in Museum Social Media 9/11–9/24

I’ve got to make up for missing last week’s post, so this one will be a double.

The British Library finally passed 200,000 Twitter followers, so they will now be counted in the “big leagues.” Saatchi, long the biggest mover on Facebook, is suddenly coming on strong on Twitter as well. They made the list of over-achievers with a 7.5% increase for the week ending 9/17, and followed up the next week at the top of the big movers with an increase over 65%.

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum beat out Saatchi as the biggest mover on Facebook for the week of 9/11. It looks like the New York City Fire Museum got a lift also both on Facebook and Twitter. I walk past this museum often (it’s just around the corner from Guggenheim HQ). Did you know fire chiefs get beautiful ceremonial megaphones?

9/11–9/17

Twitter

Big Movers

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
American Latino Museum 53,508 56,293 2,785 5.20%
Natural History Museum, London 76,607 79,185 2,578 3.37%
National September 11 Memorial & Museum 9,382 11,956 2,574 27.44%
The British Library 197,036 199,357 2,321 1.18%
Science Museum 85,447 87,754 2,307 2.70%
Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History 50,629 52,838 2,209 4.36%
Asian Art Museum 60,595 62,550 1,955 3.23%
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 66,385 68,324 1,939 2.92%
American Museum of Natural History 53,701 55,382 1,681 3.13%
The Walters Art Museum 50,806 52,476 1,670 3.29%
de Young Museum 52,574 54,228 1,654 3.15%
MIT Museum 48,101 49,729 1,628 3.38%
The Jewish Museum 47,333 48,886 1,553 3.28%

Over-achievers

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Art Center Gallery 1,135 1,237 102 8.99%
Moscow Museum of Modern Art 4,189 4,535 346 8.26%
Adam & Philippa 1,833 1,984 151 8.24%
Saatchi Gallery 6,011 6,462 451 7.50%
Miami Children’s Museum 1,873 1,993 120 6.41%
New York City Fire Museum 1,315 1,398 83 6.31%

Facebook

Big Movers
MuseumStartFinishChangePct
National September 11 Memorial & Museum 44012 65524 21512 48.88%
Saatchi Gallery 161728 171627 9899 6.12%
Pera Muzesi-Museum 17288 20385 3097 17.91%
Smaller Increases
MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh 4126 4563 437 10.59%
Henry Morrison Flagler Museum 1002 1107 105 10.48%
New York City Fire Museum 1303 1380 77 5.91%

9/18–9/24

Twitter

Big Movers

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Saatchi Gallery 8,117 13,449 5,332 65.69%
Science Museum 87,754 92,236 4,482 5.11%
Natural History Museum, London 79,185 83,064 3,879 4.90%
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 68,324 71,028 2,704 3.96%
Asian Art Museum 62,550 65,211 2,661 4.25%
MIT Museum 49,729 52,204 2,475 4.98%
The Walters Art Museum 52,476 54,904 2,428 4.63%
Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History 52,838 55,225 2,387 4.52%
American Museum of Natural History 55,382 57,740 2,358 4.26%
The Jewish Museum 48,886 51,141 2,255 4.61%
American Latino Museum 56,910 59,091 2,181 3.83%
de Young Museum 54,228 56,295 2,067 3.81%

Over-achievers

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
South Florida Museum 2,610 2,876 266 10.19%
The Wren’s Nest 1,165 1,253 88 7.55%
Museum of Nature & Science 1,108 1,175 67 6.05%
Sweeney Art Gallery 1,741 1,838 97 5.57%
Art Center Gallery 1,244 1,306 62 4.98%

Facebook

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Saatchi Gallery 173,147 174,869 1,722 0.99%
Smaller Increases
MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum 1,499 1,641 142 9.47%

Sep 13

Museum Social Media Week, 9/4–9/10

Not much usually changes among the “big movers”—the top 13 museums on Twitter and top 5 on Facebook—but this week the Tate overtook the Guggenheim to become the new #3 in Twitter followers. Congratulations Tate. Their recently published Social Media Stategy is worth reading as a good example.

The usual suspects populate the big movers on Twitter and Facebook with one exception. It’s not surprising that National September 11 Memorial & Museum should make the list this week. Their 170% increase in Facebook fans far eclipses Saatchi, who has been the sole big mover for the last few weeks.

The New Orleans Museum of Art makes it first appearance this week. Almost all their new Facebook fans came on September 7, so we can probably ascribe it to their hosting an annual free event, Culture Collision.

The British Library is maybe a couple of weeks away from passing 200,000 and joining the big leagues.

Twitter

Big Movers

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
American Latino Museum 50,677 53,508 2,831 5.59%
Natural History Museum, London 72,934 75,716 2,782 3.81%
Science Museum 82,032 84,551 2,519 3.07%
Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History 48,277 50,629 2,352 4.87%
The British Library 194,120 196,419 2,299 1.18%
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 63,412 65,644 2,232 3.52%
Asian Art Museum 57,714 59,896 2,182 3.78%
American Museum of Natural History 50,931 53,066 2,135 4.19%
de Young Museum 50,131 52,080 1,949 3.89%
The Walters Art Museum 48,353 50,217 1,864 3.85%
The Jewish Museum 44,969 46,831 1,862 4.14%
MIT Museum 45,758 47,538 1,780 3.89%

Over-achievers

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
National September 11 Memorial & Museum 7,347 8,432 1,085 14.77%
Curbs and Stoops 2,064 2,290 226 10.95%
Moscow Museum of Modern Art 3,888 4,189 301 7.74%
독립기념관 (The Independence Hall of Korea) 7,255 7,696 441 6.08%

Facebook

Big Movers

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Saatchi Gallery 135,155 159,635 24,480 18.11%
National September 11 Memorial & Museum 10,824 29,280 18,456 170.51%
Smaller Increases
MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Central Park Zoo 3,110 3,993 883 28.39%
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum 25,476 28,945 3,469 13.62%
National Museum of American History 16,673 18,107 1,434 8.60%
The New Orleans Museum of Art 6,269 6,647 378 6.03%

Consarnit! Tate is the new #3 on Twitter

Well, I’ve been watching this with some anxiety for the past couple of months and not saying anything in the hopes it wouldn’t happen. After patiently, relentlessly chipping away at our lead, on September 7 the Tate has passed my own Guggenheim in number of Twitter followers. That day they ended with 440,852 to our 440,828. It’s almost like it was on purpose.

It’s hard to be too upset. Back in May the Tate’s Jesse Ringham and Selina Jones spoke about what they were doing at an ArtsTech meetup. They gave a fascinating presentation and it was really nice to meet them. So, congratulations.

Not bad for a museum with all it’s branches in the same country.

Sep 06

Top Social Media Gainers 8/28–9/3

Summer’s coming to a close and Curbs and Stoops tops out the list of biggest percentage gains on Twitter (a good reason to make trip out to Bushwick?). Saatchi is still the only big mover on Facebook, but people (Americans at least) are turning to 9/11, baseball and Gettysburg.

Twitter

Big Movers:

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Natural History Museum, London 69,327 72,056 2,729 3.94%
Science Museum 78,421 81,131 2,710 3.46%
American Latino Museum 48,097 50,677 2,580 5.36%
The British Library 191,010 193,293 2,283 1.20%
Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History 46,252 48,277 2,025 4.38%
Asian Art Museum 55,140 57,142 2,002 3.63%
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 60,630 62,596 1,966 3.24%
American Museum of Natural History 48,604 50,401 1,797 3.70%
MIT Museum 43,344 45,103 1,759 4.06%
The Jewish Museum 42,874 44,555 1,681 3.92%
The Walters Art Museum 46,095 47,775 1,680 3.64%
de Young Museum 48,037 49,593 1,556 3.24%

Over-achievers

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Curbs and Stoops 1,786 2,064 278 15.57%
Monroe Gallery of Photography 1,730 1,864 134 7.75%
Tribute WTC Visitor Center 1,139 1,223 84 7.37%
SchomburgCenter 1,258 1,347 89 7.07%
Moscow Museum of Modern Art 3,635 3,888 253 6.96%
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust 2,625 2,805 180 6.86%
M Shed Bristol 1,036 1,104 68 6.56%
National September 11 Memorial & Museum 6,819 7,255 436 6.39%

Facebook

Over-achievers

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
National September 11 Memorial & Museum 8545 10378 1833 21.45%
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum 21951 24910 2959 13.48%
Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center 4325 4732 407 9.41%
Melbourne Museum 7496 8100 604 8.06%
National Museums Scotland 6559 7080 521 7.94%
Auckland Art Gallery 2150 2293 143 6.65%
The Leonardo 1221 1289 68 5.57%

Sep 02

Top Social Media Gainers 8/2011

Graphs for the month of August:



For an explanation of these charts see New Methodology

Facebook

In August, Saatchi added 49,126 new fans for a 72% increase. As we’ve seen before they’re the only museum or gallery breaking away from pack on Facebook and qualifying as a big mover. A further five stand out as over-achievers with Red Star Line leading the way. Their “Do You Know This Girl” contest was clearly popular and helped double their fans in one month. Not bad for a museum that isn’t open yet.

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Red Star Line | People on the Move 1,183 3,492 2,309 195.18%
National Museums Scotland 4,072 6,942 2,870 70.48%
National September 11 Memorial & Museum 5,630 9,173 3,543 62.93%
ShoeZeum 2,082 2,944 862 41.40%
Australian Museum 1,638 2,083 445 27.17%

Twitter

On Twitter, the British Library is getting closer and closer to the 200,000 followers mark. The rest of the big movers has been a fairly consistent list.

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Natural History Museum, London 52,216 70,129 17,913 34.31%
Science Museum 63,218 80,268 17,050 26.97%
The British Library 177,214 191,762 14,548 8.21%
American Latino Museum 35,794 49,263 13,469 37.63%
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 48,798 61,837 13,039 26.72%
Asian Art Museum 43,602 55,774 12,172 27.92%
MIT Museum 31,890 43,822 11,932 37.42%
American Museum of Natural History 37,530 49,133 11,603 30.92%
The Walters Art Museum 35,320 46,574 11,254 31.86%
de Young Museum 37,461 48,537 11,076 29.57%
The Jewish Museum 32,501 43,352 10,851 33.39%
Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History 36,605 47,247 10,642 29.07%

As for the over-achievers, all of whom had increases greater than 20%, Monroe Gallery of Photography came out of nowhere in the last few days of August to claim the top spot with a 70% increase in followers, almost all over the weekend of the 26th to the 29th. The last two entries, Pera Muzesi-Museum and Detroit Institute of Arts did not make any weekly list but, slow and steady, put together a good performance for the month.

Interesting that, of the 21 museums with a 20% increase or more, two are in Istanbul: Istanbul Museum of Modern Art and Pera Muzesi-Museum!

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Monroe Gallery of Photography 1,085 1,855 770 70.97%
Moscow Museum of Modern Art 2,464 3,759 1,295 52.56%
독립기념관 (The Independence Hall of Korea) 5,052 7,207 2,155 42.66%
Sweeney Art Gallery 1,143 1,563 420 36.75%
Istanbul Modern | Istanbul Museum of Modern Art 16,546 21,643 5,097 30.81%
Kelsey Museum of Archaeology 1,913 2,428 515 26.92%
Musée du Louvre 3,827 4,703 876 22.89%
National September 11 Memorial & Museum 5,625 6,912 1,287 22.88%
Pera Muzesi-Museum 10,578 12,914 2,336 22.08%
Detroit Institute of Arts 12,859 15,656 2,797 21.75%


Aug 29

Top Social Media Gainers 8/21–8/27

This is the first weekly update in the new format, so for an explanation of these charts see New Methodology

Big Movers

Nothing too exciting among the Twitter “big leagues” (the top 13), but in this new format we can see how close the British Library is to reaching 200,000 followers. Their just-above-average 1.68% increase wouldn’t have made the previous lists, but even at that rate they’ll reach 200,000 in 4 weeks. Once they do, we’ll add them to the big leagues. The rest of the big movers are filled out by the usual suspects from previous weeks led, in terms of percentages, by the MIT Museum, AMNH, and the American Latino Museum

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Natural History Museum, London 64,804 68,511 3,707 5.72%
The British Library 187,177 190,327 3,150 1.68%
American Latino Museum 45,335 48,097 2,762 6.09%
Science Museum 75,022 77,679 2,657 3.54%
American Museum of Natural History 45,467 48,017 2,550 5.61%
MIT Museum 40,358 42,826 2,468 6.12%
The Walters Art Museum 43,233 45,681 2,448 5.66%
Asian Art Museum 52,217 54,585 2,368 4.53%
The Jewish Museum 40,032 42,319 2,287 5.71%
de Young Museum 45,414 47,641 2,227 4.90%
Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History 44,181 46,252 2,071 4.69%
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 57,917 59,941 2,024 3.49%

Saatchi was the only big mover on Facebook, adding 24,663 fans (30.8%) putting them past 100,000 total.

Over-achievers

The standout among the Twitter “Over-achievers,” making their first appearance here, is The Monroe Gallery of Photography. Not sure of the reason for their sudden jump.

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Monroe Gallery of Photography 1142 1730 588 51.49%
Kelsey Museum of Archaeology 2136 2371 235 11.00%
Sweeney Art Gallery 1375 1499 124 9.02%
Moscow Museum of Modern Art 3349 3635 286 8.54%

On Facebook we see the National September 11 Memorial & Museum again. As for the Titan Missile Museum (I now have a reason for going to Sahuarita, Arizona), I suspect this recent mention on Gawker is responsible for this week’s new fans

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
National September 11 Memorial & Museum 7,232 8,341 1,109 15.33%
The Titan Missile Museum 1,028 1,158 130 12.65%

Aug 28

New Methodology

After making the graphs for “How Many Followers is “A Lot”?” parts one and two, I’ve decided to change the way I make weekly updates. First of all—graphs every week! Second, I’m going to pick out three groups: the “Big leagues,” “Big movers,” and “Over-achievers.” I’m not completely happy with these names so I’m open to suggestions for better ones.

Big Leagues

As the “How many followers” graphs showed, Facebook and Twitter each have a group of institutions with many more followers than the others and that gain more new followers each week than most institutions have in total. There are more of these on Twitter (13) than on Facebook (5) with only 4 being in both: MoMA, the Met, the Guggenheim, and the Tate. Full listing with figures for the week ending 8/20 are at the bottom of this post

This group is fairly static, so I won’t be saying anything about it unless there’s something interesting to point out.

The Big Movers

This is the most interesting group. They have gained as many or new followers as most of the big leagues though but that gain is much larger as a percentage of the whole. Looking at the data from last week, they are in blue (click to enlarge):

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Natural History Museum, London 60,667 64,804 4,137 6.82%
Science Museum 70,285 74,080 3,795 5.40%
The British Library 183,870 187,177 3,307 1.80%
American Latino Museum 42,130 45,335 3,205 7.61%
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 54,453 57,299 2,846 5.23%
American Museum of Natural History 42,720 45,467 2,747 6.43%
Asian Art Museum 49,526 52,217 2,691 5.43%
MIT Museum 37,894 40,358 2,464 6.50%
de Young Museum 43,048 45,414 2,366 5.50%
The Jewish Museum 37,727 40,032 2,305 6.11%
The Walters Art Museum 40,969 43,233 2,264 5.53%
Victoria and Albert Museum 62,210 64,399 2,189 3.52%
Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History 41,837 43,650 1,813 4.33%

With the 1.2% average increase marked by the red line, it is very easy to see how these “big movers” are far above the average while the “big leagues” lie right along it. The Natural History Museum, London’s 4,137 new followers are roughly equal to the Design Museum’s 4,756, but they represent an almost 7% increase compared to 1.21% for the Design Museum.

With 187,177 followers, the British Library is very close to the big leagues, but I just can’t quite put them in that group until they pass (the arbitrary number of) 200,000 followers. They should be there in about a month. Let’s watch.

Over-achievers

This group is made up of institutions with small followerships, but very large increases. They are hard to spot unless you look at graph by percentage increase (note that the scale of the x-axis in this graph is logarithmic):

These are the institutions with the greatest percentage increases, and though the numbers aren’t very dramatic in this graph this group can show increases of 50%, 100% or more in a single week. Enough weeks like that will put you in the big movers, and enough weeks as a big mover will put you in the big leagues.

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
Tribute WTC Visitor Center 1,000 1,093 93 9.30%
Moscow Museum of Modern Art 3,067 3,349 282 9.19%
Istanbul Modern | Istanbul Museum of Modern Art 18,731 19,992 1,261 6.73%

If you look back at the previous weekly update you’ll see that the Twitter top 10 is a combination of “big movers” and “over-achievers.” I didn’t seem quite right for Tribute WTC Visitor Center to be in the #1 spot with only 93 new followers, so I hope this new method will provide better context for the numbers.

Big leagues data for 8/14-8/20

Twitter

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
MoMA The Museum of Modern Art 681,216 688,636 7,420 1.09%
Smithsonian Institution 475,281 481,183 5,902 1.24%
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 422,954 427,989 5,035 1.19%
Tate 421,561 426,982 5,421 1.29%
Design Museum 393,557 398,313 4,756 1.21%
The Andy Warhol Museum 341,582 345,047 3,465 1.01%
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 335,734 340,015 4,281 1.28%
The Getty Museum, Los Angeles 290,765 294,402 3,637 1.25%
Brooklyn Museum 282,879 285,939 3,060 1.08%
Whitney Museum of American Art 260,538 263,505 2,967 1.14%
SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) 260,770 263,437 2,667 1.02%
Walker Art Center 240,381 242,253 1,872 0.78%
LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art 227,320 229,913 2,593 1.14%

Facebook:

MuseumStartFinishChangePct
MoMA The Museum of Modern Art 827,382 832,485 5,103 0.62%
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 542,001 544,661 2,660 0.49%
Musée du Louvre 383,993 385,988 1,995 0.52%
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 289,155 290,101 946 0.33%
Tate 279,259 282,672 3,413 1.22%

Aug 26

How Many Followers is “A Lot”? (Part 2: Facebook)

So, here is the July data for Facebook.

(I am aware of the typo in the second graph but I don’t have time to remake it!)

Overall, Facebook is a quieter country with slower growth. The average increase in the number of fans is 4.4% (compared to 6.9% for Twitter), and there are fewer than half as many “Big League” institutions:

NameFinishIncreasePercentage
MoMA The Museum of Modern Art818,86420,5972.58
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York536,88014,5942.79
Musée du Louvre376,56615,1814.2
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum286,1459,1643.31
Tate271,03911,1244.28

In absolute numbers, only Saatchi stands out as a “Big Mover,” though when you look at the growth as a percentage you can see the magnitude of the increase at National Museums Scotland thanks to all the attention surrounding their reopening, even though their fandom is comparatively small.

The back-of-the-envelope conclusion is that Twitter is a bit more active which I didn’t expect for the simple reason that many more people use Facebook than Twitter (750M+ vs. 200M+, ignoring the question of how many users are actually active). In what sense is Twitter “more active?” At least in the sense that people are more willing to click the button to start following a museum. In July, the top 5 museums of Twitter gained 148,099 followers, while the top 5 on Facebook gained less than half that, 70,660. The obvious question is how closely this is tied to the growth of the social networks themselves since Twitter is currently grwoing faster than Facebook. Other questions:

What’s your experience? Do you detect a similar inertia among Facebook followers. Do you find Twitter followers more energetic, or more ephemeral?