Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 | SaraWeisman
Hi everyone, I’m Sara Weisman, the Outreach Coordinator for the Holocaust Museum’s Committee on Conscience (the department that deals with contemporary genocide at the Museum). My proposal overlaps with submissions from Dan and Rebekah but I’m very much interested in discussing effective social action tools and methods of using social media to engage audiences in the physical space of the Museum and online.
We recently launched a new interactive exhibit at the Museum to encourage visitors to the Museum and to the Web site to learn about recent cases of genocide (Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur) and write pledges about what actions they are going to take to prevent and halt genocide. The interactive installation is called From Memory to Action: Meeting the Challenge of Genocide. Visitors to the installation at the Museum are asked to write a pledge in the installation space. These pledges appear on the wall in the room for a few seconds and the pledge is available on our Web site when the visitor logs in with their unique user ID. Visitors to the Web site, who haven’t visited the physical exhibit, are also invited to participate by creating accounts and making pledges to be added to our pledge wall. While visitors to the installation at the Museum have been engaged and made pledges (30,000 collected since it opened in April), very few visitors have taken the next step to log in to the Web site, learn more and access our resources. Some have suggested it would be helpful to collect the email addresses of people who make pledges so that we may follow up with visitors but we worry this would make visitors less likely to participate. We also currently have many fields required to log into the Web site which could be responsible for deterring visitors. I welcome discussion and thoughts on how we can draw more visitors from the physical Museum space to our Web site to help build and sustain relationships with visitors. I’m also interested in discussing how much personal information we can ask a visitor to share without drawing them away from participating. Lastly, due to the technology involved with the installation, we have had difficulties ensuring the constant functioning of the pledge wall raising the question of how beneficial it is to use technology with all of its kinks vs. functionality.
I look forward to discussing these questions and more.