Social media on display in St. Pete during Tweetup at Dali Museum

08/12/11 Andrea Lypka
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The St. Petersburg Dali Museum’s first social media night, Get Surreal, kicked off on Thursday August 11. Museum officials presented the art collection and its building to the social media scene and because of this new communication approach, the turnout was a success.

Over 200 people tweeted live using their smartphones and iPads and they scanned QR codes. Museum docent and volunteer Christine Paul said that these bar codes allow the audience to instantly learn more about the museum and the events.

“I have a free app, it’s called ScanLife that allows me to turn the camera part of my phone to point to the QR code, and it makes a noise… Then I know it is taking me to a website,” Paul said.

She says that social media is the way to go. “So, I thought I just stop by at the meetup and see if I can learn more about it,” she said.

For Mary Roberti, one of the attendees social media is indispensable for her work. Roberti is a nurse and a mechanical engineer. She travels in the United States to train surgeons how to use medical equipment.

“I Tweet little tips every day on how o use my lasers and people just follow me. I blog, I am on Facebook, I have thousands of friends on Facebook and this is just how I live,” she said.

Mike Lortz, who goes by the Twitter handle @jordiscrubbings, came to learn about Foursquare, Yelp, Flickr and QR codes.

“Why am I here? Because I got this amazing link to come to the museum to a Tweetup thing and to check it out. I have never been here. I got the link on Twitter,” he said.

Rob Neff, one of the event promoters, shows attendees the Glass Enigma, featuring more than 900 multi-layered glass panels that flow over the lobby and Museum Store. Neff is an e-commerce and social media strategist and an artist. He is using web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue. He has been involved in launching tweetups and VITs which are. He has been involved in launching tweetups and VITs which are...

“Very Important Tweep program. And we got some people involved. The ideas are coming everywhere and there is no person responsible for all the ideas. That’s where the synergy has come in with the Dali, and we brought in people like Nate from Yelp [Nathan Bonilla-Warford] and Kathy [Wingard]” Neff said.

Neff communicates his love of art on social media. He posts pictures on Twitter and writes 140-character long messages called tweets to his fans online.

“I just started tweeting for the people following me, and we were using the hashtag,” he said.

Mitzi Gordon, Membership Manager at the museum says that visitation in the new location has nearly doubled.

“At the old museum building, we saw about 200,000 visitors throughout the course of the last calendar year [2010]. We just hit our 200,000th visitor at the new museum this summer. So, we are seeing double the attendance this year than we saw in the old space.”

She hopes that the community joins this conversation through social media not just for the love of Dali’s works, but also to connect with the museum space.

“We think that this will ultimately galvanize them and bring them in to explore the grounds. And get them inspired not only by Dali’s work but also by the architecture. They take photos of the Enigma and post them online for other people to see and get interested to come and visit. It is like an avalanche effect. It seems to be working out very well and we hope that it will continue to do so,” Gordon said.

more of Andrea's photos

Dali website

Dali Facebook Page

Twitter @TheDali

#getsurreal hashtag

WMNF News on Twitter

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How museums are using social media

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