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Unlike local art galleries, Vancouver artist Paul Wong is an active Twitter-user.

Local art galleries slow to join Twitter

Approaching and , Twitter’s influence in the social media realm is undeniable. Tech analysts that the micro-blogging interface has never…

By Cecilia Greyson , in Vancouver Art Seen , on March 22, 2010 Tags: , , , , ,

Unlike local art galleries, Vancouver artist Paul Wong is an active Twitter-user.

Approaching and , Twitter’s influence in the social media realm is undeniable. Tech analysts that the micro-blogging interface has never been hotter.

Despite Twitter’s popularity, I noticed that Vancouver’s art scene wasn’t a big presence on the platform.

I was surprised to see that few Vancouver art gallery websites have Twitter or Facebook link buttons, and I was even more surprised to see that many galleries don’t even have a Twitter account.

As part of an informal survey, I checked out Twitter use for eight local public art galleries: the , , , , , (Video In), , and the .

Only one of these galleries (the Western Front) has an active Twitter . And even the Western Front’s account was only set recently (in November), and had only 104 followers and 13 tweets.

The Museum of Modern Art tweets regularly, answering questions from followers and publicizing events.

In comparison, New York’s also doesn’t have dedicated Twitter or Facebook buttons on its main webpage. But its is well developed, with 120,000 followers and over 1,000 tweets linking to exhibits, videos, articles, and upcoming events.

London’s is also , with 62,000 followers, 653 posts, and changing background photographs to advertise upcoming . Even the museum’s has a Twitter , posting notes about new products and sales.

More and more artists are turning to social media as a way to promote their work, network with other artists, and gather information., a Vancouver artist, has a great , with bold graphics and funny updates to publicize his new works and interactive events.

“Twitter is a great tool to promote upcoming shows, events, and tidbits that we just want to share,” said Natasha Neale, Paul Wong’s assistant, in a recent email. “Having Twitter as a tool for communication is exciting when followers respond to our tweets.”
Local galleries will probably dive into Twitter soon, but there may be a reason for the slow transition. Developing an online social media presence requires commitment of time from gallery staff who understand Twitter from the inside out.¬† When galleries are already smarting from , it’s challenging to find the resources to do yet another marketing or communications¬† campaign.

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