I said I would be focusing on Twitter, but I lied. I had to poke around at more of The Huntington‘s social media because I wondered if they used it to present more, um, collection-y aspects than they have on Twitter. If you look at the website, you’ll notice that you can access Twitter, Facebook, etc. from a couple of points: little icons off to the right, and a drop down menu called “Interact” at the top.
The website itself is fine, though still a little busy for my money. Here’s my revolutionary idea for it: send the huntington.org address straight to the blogs! The Huntington runs the gamut of social media — Twitter, Facebook, Flickr podcasts, and vodcasts. The blogs, however, seem to already be streamlining much of this content into one place. Also, they are cool. They give me the tastes of the collection that I crave, as well as things I never expected, like this video of Sam Maloof. Check it out — it will make you cringe because you’ll think he’s going to slice through his fingers but, don’t worry, he doesn’t.
There is a lot going on at The Huntington. Even the podcasts, which I haven’t listened to yet but am pretty excited about, are arranged into several categories: you can subscribe to podcasts about astronomy and World War II. You can download audio tours of gardens and exhibitions.
There’s a lot happening, a lot to talk about, and a lot of justification for using a lot of social media. But I wonder what might happen if it were all accessible
through the blog. Because, as I said, much of it already is — the Flickr images, the youtube videos, the Twitter feed, nestled nicely at the right of the screen. Would you lose viewers by not having the same icons, the same level of access, to all the social media content? I don’t know, but it’s something to consider. In any case, The Huntington’s blogs seem to offer more than any of the other options (more content and more easy cross-referencing to the others), and you don’t have to join or download anything to use them. If nothing else, it seems like they should be highlighted in some way. As a user, I would probably just avoid the “Interact” menu. I would write it off as a bunch of programs I didn’t want to join, things I didn’t want to deal with. But the blogs offer easy public access and simple navigation. Very nice.
The image above is in the public domain, but check out this report if you’re interest in the history of LA.