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In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Which Museum Rules Social Media? Vote for Your Favorite and It May Win a Shorty Award

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Voting is now open for the Shorty Awards, an annual awards ceremony celebrating the best in social media, and wouldn’t you know it, there’s a category for “Best Museum in Social Media.” With two-and-a-half months until the April 8 ceremony at the Times Center in New York, the Dartmouth Museum is firmly in the lead with a whopping 25 votes, followed by the Royal Ontario Museum with 19 votes, which is just one vote ahead of the National Ornamental Metal Museum.

The oddest museum to receive votes for this year’s Shorty Awards, however, has got to be the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft, which is currently tied with the Oswestry Town Museum at number 10 with three votes. Presumably the most social media-savvy major museums will begin to dominate the category as more votes are counted and the ceremony draws closer.

However, the winner may finally be determined by members of the Shorty Awards’s Real-Time Academy of Short Form Arts & Sciences — a group of social media innovators that “plays a vital role in choosing the winners” — who include author Kurt Andersen, Creative Commons CEO Joi Ito, actor Charlie Sheen, and M.C. Hammer.

— Benjamin Sutton

(Image: Ray Tomlinson, “@,” 1971. Courtesy Museum of Modern Art.)

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  1. We’re as amazed as anyone that, as a very small museum and charity run by volunteers deep in the south west of England, that we’re currently leading the Shorty Award Community Category of ‘Museum’. Last year we came sixth or seventh in the category. And, just like we did last year, we’re in it for the fun of being in it and the great positive PR that simply being a part of it gives us.

    We have a firm belied that social media should be fun. To see that, all you have to do is read where we let the world know that we want to make friends. One of the ways we’re making friends this year is by nominating many, many other museums for Shorty Awards. We believe that social media should be just that, social!

    So we’re nominating other museums and hoping they pick up the gauntlet and nominate other museums themselves. We fully expect to be overtaken by a museum we’ve nominated ourselves, and that’s fine. The winner, if there will be a winner, will be museums as a whole.

    So, as current leaders, our message to the worldwide community of museums is to get nominating, get voting. If they like our use of social media we’d love them to vote for us, too, but we have to earn that vote. We think we do, but it’s up to them.

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