A Toe in the Water: Social media at National Galleries of Scotland

It is probably fair to say that the National Galleries of Scotland have been late adopters of social media. This is not because we ever doubted its importance or failed to recognise the opportunities it presented, but because we were fearful that we would not have sufficient resource to be able to do it well.

Our first tentative step was Flickr Commons in January 2009, followed by the Heads Up blog supporting the Portrait Gallery re-development in April that year. After several false starts, we launched our Facebook page in July 2010 and feel we have finally arrived properly in the social media arena.

This session will look at lessons we have learned along the way, how we have overcome barriers, and the development of an ongoing gallery-wide strategy for social media.

Tessa Quinn

Tessa has been at the helm of the National Galleries of Scotland New Media department since its inception in 2004. She is responsible for developing the vision and comprehensive strategy for digital media and services, including the ongoing provision of interpretation and communications through nationalgalleries.org and onsite digital services.

She has led on numerous large digital projects including the Playfair IT Gallery (onsite touch-screen kiosk system), full redevelopment of nationalgalleries.org in 2007, extensive online resources for the ARTIST ROOMS collection and tour (in partnership with the Tate), and creation of a detailed new media interpretation strategy for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery re-development.

She was previously Manager of the Stills Posters & Designs collection at the British Film Institute, and it was there that she began to work with digital and online developments through an interest in what they could achieve. This remains her primary focus: using technology to bring information and services to the widest possible audience.

Listen to Tessa’s presentation on our Resources page.