Now that we at Clermont are "professional bloggers," we've been keeping an eye on what else is on the net, what other museums are doing, and what people are saying. And we've noticed: there is a lot out there.
Personally, I am pretty technology averse so a lot of this manages to be "curiouser and curiouser" to me (to quote Alice in Wonderland). I can't help but follow some of my personal favorite museum blogs out there: the Farmers' Museum and the Tenement Museum (I've looked for a blog from the Fashion Institute of Technology museum, but I haven't found one yet). Sometimes, I find myself perusing other people's research. Since I am in charge of providing costumes for our intpreters, I sometimes wander to places like Hallie Larkin's 18th Century Stays blog, amongst others. And I know that our curator Ashley also often squeezes out a few minutes to look at what information can be procured from other researchers online.
In the past few months New York State historic sites have gotten very excited about the possibilities offered by talking to our visitors and fans on the internet. Clermont alone has started Facebook and Twitter pages in addition to our existing web page and this blog. Our neighbors at Olana showed up the rest of us right away by leaping into the complex world of Second Life.
Part of our goal is to here what you, the public, are saying about us. We've already been stalking you, snooping for YouTube Videos, Flickr photos, and blog entries about us. But we're tired of observing. We want to converse!
We've been blogging since March. We've tested the waters. We've gotten our feet under us. Now we want to know: What do you want to hear about? (MamaKass shared the following picture on her Wordpress blog after attending our Sheep & Wool Showcase in April 2009).
This blog is intended for us to share research. Our archives and collections are bursting with good stuff, and we know what we like to read about. But what are your interests? Alice's gardens? The Chancellor's relationships with other Founding Fathers? Room use? If you tell us, we will do a little extra digging. Have a good source you think we should see? Share that too!
Museums around the world are listening to what their visitors are saying about, and now we'd like to as well. So if you're dropping by and have a thought, don't hesitate to share it! Just click on that little "Leave a comment" button at the bottom of each post, and tell us about it. We'd love to know.