Museum blogs – Review

21 Jan

★★★★★★★☆☆☆

museumofvancouver.ca/blog.php

This is the blog for the Museum of Vancouver. It’s attached to the museum’s main website. Here’s how it describes itself:

“This blog explores the living history of Vancouver, examining contemporary concerns in relation to the past.”

PROS

  1. Clean design.
  2. Extremely legible.
  3. Controlled use of colour that works with the rest of the site design.
  4. Very well-organized — each post has its main picture, a cut-off point, and carefully chosen tags.
  5. The link to leave a comment is lovely despite being very simple.
  6. The sidebar is clearer than most blogs; just a simple list detailing the blog’s purpose, the blog’s contributors, month-by-month archive links and tags.
  7. Again, the tagging system is pretty impressive. It’s easy to go overboard — or underboard, if that were a thing — with tags, since you have to add them as you go along. A tagging system that organized often requires for the blog maintainer(s) to go back and actually retag dozens of posts. Either way, kudos to them.

CONS

  1. The site design is a little bland, and maybe a little outdated or oversimple.
  2. I went through some of the posts and they’re all a fairly reasonable length, yet all of them are cut off at a certain point with a “Read More” link. I know this makes the posts look tidier, but it just makes the readers life a little bit more difficult.
  3. I think the blog would look better if the photos were the width of the entire post, instead of shrunken down so that a column of text can fit in next to it. They’ve got a lot of great photos that aren’t being used to their full potential.

OVERALL

A nice blog; extremely legible and well-organized but definitely lacking visual oomph.

★★★★★★★★☆☆

brooklynmuseum.org/community/blogosphere

The Brooklyn Museum blog is the same deal as with MOV, only it has a large number of posters, unlike MOV’s small group of maintainers. It describes itself as:

“Behind-the-scenes blogging at the Brooklyn Museum”

PROS

  1. The design is clean and simple.
  2. The images ares nicely subtitled.
  3. The subscription buttons are very thorough. You can follow this blog through email, Google Reader, Yahoo, MyAOL and RSS. I didn’t even know some of those existed!
  4. The entire sidebar, in fact, has a wealth of things going on. Most recent comments, most recent posts, most active posters, categories and tags, and even a little Google tool to translate the page.

CONS

  1. In some ways, the design is a bit lazy; most noticeably, the header. I don’t know if this is just a personal tick, but it’s bothering me quite a bit that they just seemed to smack the logo behind everything else in a light grey, just so they wouldn’t have to worry about actually placing it properly. It is still kind of neat that it moves around when you refresh; kinda goes with the whole feeling of movement that the logo seems to be trying to express.
  2. Again, here’s a pro that is also sort of a con — more is not always more. What’s the point of having most recent posts in the toolbar? Isn’t that the point of the actual posts? I’m also a little wary of blogs that have both categories and tags. I’m sure there’s more than a few uses for that, but I find it just means that things get a bit hairy.
  3. Plus, the tags use that system where the most popular tags are much bigger. I think it’s a good idea in theory and has plenty of potential, but more often than not just looks cluttered and dated.

OVERALL

Yet another nice museum blog with lots of nice organizational features that could use a bit more sophistication. This one made me want to visit the Brooklyn Museum a lot more than MOV’s blog made me want to visit MOV, though, so that could arguably mean it’s a success.

(Remember that line in Hamlet, where Polonius is like, “I will be brief.” And then he rambles on for like seven pages? I feel you, Polonius)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: