I find this interesting when contrasted with another part of the cultural sector: libraries.
Libraries and art galleries have quite a lot of common. Both were originally conceived as educational social institutions. In New Zealand, both are most often funded and administered by local councils. Both are trying to find ways of being relevant to the YouTube generation, without sacrificing their ideals and standards.
Blogs are one way that public and university libraries are trying to reach out to their customers. A quick search brought up this array of New Zealand library blogs (and I know it's far from complete):
- Wellington City Libraries blog
- Dunedin Public Libraries blog
- Christchurch City Libraries blog
- Hamilton City Library blog
- Wintec Library blog
- UCOL Library blog
- University of Canterbury blogs (8 blogs and counting)
These libraries are using blogs as a way of telling customers about new resources, events, search tips, websites. Why can't galleries do the same - post photos as exhibitions are installed, get curators to blog the development of a show, ask artists to guest blog, announce acquisitions ....
A key difference between libraries and art galleries is that when you visit a library, you are looked after by librarians and library assistants. When you visit a gallery, you're normally looked after by security guards and front of house staff. Blogging might be a way for art gallery staff to give their visitor communities the feeling that they're interested in talking to them.