Follow a Museum Day on Twitter becomes Internet phenomenon

Today’s prize for obscure made-up celebrations goes to Jim Richardson, organizer of “Follow a Museum Day on Twitter”, which was celebrated Feb. 1 all over the Internet. According to the folks over at Culture24 it was the hottest topic that day, shoving aside a scandal involving the captain of England’s football team and the release of the iPad as the most popular subject tweeted in the UK, US, and Canada.

No longer content with traditional methods of research and education, museums are reaching out by getting Internet savvy and keeping visitors up-to-date via flashy websites and Twitter. Travel writer and Italy expert Angela Nickerson points out that hundreds of museums are on Twitter and gives five reasons to follow them. She also has a good list of more than a hundred personal favorites. Richardson has a list by country on his website.

Following museums is a great way to find out about the latest events, and you can check while traveling with your mobile phone. For example, recent additions to the British Museum’s Twitter feed tell you about intriguing artifacts from the museum’s collection, an upcoming film screening, and links to other UK museums.

Unlike some Twitter feeds, museums tend to only put out quality information. You won’t hear what the curator had for breakfast or how bored the guards are at work. These are the kinds of feeds that can make Twitter useful rather than a massive time waster. You can find out more by logging onto Twitter and checking out #followamuseum.