The problem with this, Green noted, is that museums "tend to think my ilk is their audience when their audience ought to merely start with me, and grow outward from there". In the second part of his post he suggested that getting curators to blog (rather than marketing or web team staff, who often bear the brunt of these initiatives) was crucial to widening the audience.
I've talked recently to a number of people (mostly in museums/galleries, mostly in the web/'interpretation' areas) about this idea. By and large, curators are the 'most wanted' of writers, yet they also seem to be the hardest to get on board. [As an example - and I'm not picking on the AAG here, because good on them for doing what no-one else is doing - Outpost has 24 posts, 2 of them by curatorial staff].
Part of this, as Seb Chan of the Powerhouse Museum has noted, is to do with the exhibition development process. Curators' involvement in an exhibition usually starts to tail off soon after it opens, as they move on to the next project. But for an exhibition blog to work, it has to build up to the opening, and then really kick in once the public starts coming through the doors.
Seb has an interesting interview today with Mal Booth of the Australian War Memorial about curator-blogging. The AWM started out with exhibition-specific blogs, like Lawrence of Arabia and the Light Horse: the road to Damascus, but have since decided to consolidate efforts into a single blog, using the categories function to help readers zero in on content that's of interest to them.
Seb's interview covers the creation of the blogs, the staff time spent on them, how success is measured/thought about, and whether the AWM has had to change the way it works to accommodate blogging. He also points to this useful post by Nina Simon, How much time does Web 2.0 take?, which gives some ideas for what you can accomplish online in 30 minutes or 3 hours or a day a week.
But for a quick primer, I think Tyler's pointers (summarised below) are a good place to start if you're thinking of getting your museum/gallery blogging:
-- Get curators, conservators, etc. to contribute
-- Follow the well-established blog 'rules'
-- Write with verve
-- Recognize that it takes a while to build audience
-- Try things that might fail
-- Write about art
To which I'd add
-- Don't write blogs if you don't read blogs
-- Trust your staff to be sensible
-- Forget about the 'institutional voice'.