Cultural organizations sometimes get a bad rap for adopting “technology for technology’s sake.” This tends to happen when observers feel that the excitement and widespread appeal of a new product has eclipsed its actual usefulness within the scope of the organization’s existing mission and strategic plan. On the other hand, with the proper research, planning and a discriminating approach, these tools can greatly enhance the methods by which essential functions are already carried out. We’ve seen this to be the case with the National Archives’ Flickr photostream and YouTube channel, our family of Facebook pages, and, thanks to you, this very blog! By connecting with a variety of new audiences, these projects have directly supported our mandate to make “our holdings and diverse programs…available to more people than ever before through modern technology and dynamic partnerships,” as laid out in NARA’s official Vision Statement.
Now, in the spirit of collaboration, we’d like to ask your opinion on a new undertaking. In the coming weeks, NARA is planning to begin a new Twitter feed and we wondered how you think this new tool would best be utilized. What types of things do you want to know about what goes on behind the scenes at NARA? Would you be interested in research tips, event notifications, exhibit tie-ins or high-profile updates to NARA’s holdings? Do you follow the NARA Twitter feed that focuses on press releases and news? Do you personally use Twitter to let people know about your own research when you are at NARA? We’d love to hear your ideas on how to make this next phase of the conversation a success!