A Blog About a Blog

I’ve been asked to write a blog entry about another blog in my Digital History class, and it took mere seconds to know I would write about Museum 2.0. The blog is authored by Seema Rao and Nina Simon, two museum professionals based in the United States. They discuss working in museums.

Here are three reasons why I enjoy this blog.

Reason 1

It speaks about things I know about, namely, working in museums. Take this statement from the 2009 post Deliberately Unsustainable Business Models:

“Museums have an amazing ability to survive in the most adverse environments. They are the cockroaches of the nonprofit world.”  

I laughed out loud when I read it. I immediately shared it with some museum colleagues. They laughed. I’m still laughing at it, not because it is particularly funny, but because it’s true. Every small community museum I have worked with has struggled with money and staffing. From trying to work with obsolete equipment to recycling file folders by flipping them inside out so they can be relabelled, the struggle is real. Just last week I started a research placement in a medium-sized museum, and as I was shown to my workstation, I was offered an apology because the system is still operating on Windows 8. The horror!

As I peruse Museum 2.0, I agree and love that someone else gets it. The blog leaves me feeling connected to people asking the same questions I have asked myself. For instance, why are museum workers leaving the field in droves?   Perhaps it is the stress of being under constant financial constraints, overworked and understaffed, and dealing with boards of directors, politicians, and accompanying egos. Salaries are notoriously low, benefits minuscule, and the general public can wear the best of us down. What I love about this blog is that I feel like I am having a conversation with the content. My thoughts mix in with the author’s thoughts, and I find that immensely satisfying.

Reason 2

At times it feels as if Museum 2.0 has reached inside my head and pulled out my exact thoughts. This goes beyond shared everyday experiences into a full-blown doppelganger of the mind.  This November 2020 entry states, “Whenever I see something interesting in a museum, like an interesting sign, I assume there were 100 meetings and at least one moment of an emotional outburst. This is because, in museums, we make the stakes very high for small things.” I have repeatedly thought the exact same thing myself. I have sat through 40-minute debates in staff meetings about which step would be best to place a “This stairway is closed” sign. I’ve always felt that the underlying reason for placing high stakes on minor issues is fear. Fear of displeasing funders, the board, guests, and supervisors. Around my workplace, I have become known for wandering into scenes of pure chaos and calmly stating, “nothing is on fire, and nobody is dead, so all will be well.” It is my way of putting things into perspective, which is not always easy in a museum. But any blog that has me saying “Get out of my head” out loud is a winner in my books; after all, like minds attract.

Reason 3

The final thing I appreciate about Museum 2.0 is that despite all the issues discussed, the blog still communicates a deep respect for museums and the many types of people working there. Museum work drives me crazy, but I still love it. Museum people can be quirky, and as a self-proclaimed history nerd, I love that too.

The 2021 entry titled Why do we keep working in Museums sums up my feelings about the Museum 2.0 blog.

  1. I like this thing, it is good.
  2. This thing has issues, nothing is perfect, and in fact, by examining those aspects, I can relate to it better.