Here at the Horniman, we're always thinking of new ways to get people interested and excited by our collections.
I have been thinking about how museums like us could use WhatsApp, and had an idea about messaging people with personal recommendations for their visit - a bit like a personal shopping service for a museum collection.
To test out the idea, I turned to It's Nice That who were doing a "Power Hour" (ie. helping people out with their ideas and projects in their lunch hour).
So on Wednesday, Anna Rob and Sam helped try out the idea. I asked them what they are interested in and sent them photos and info on our collections.
It was certainly a good test. I learnt that:
- Having three WhatsApp chats at the same time is tricky!
- Typing and sending quickly on a phone is also hard work!
It was great seeing them get interested in the collections so there is some potential here.
I don't know yet what it will become, and there are lots of questions raised about making it sustainable, safe and manageable, but it feels like something worth exploring.
Watch this space!