Museum Educates, Entertains with One Click, 60 Seconds

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Cincinnati Museum Center using social media, humor to engage online audiences

Harry Potter Camp featured on MyMuseum Center in a Minute

MyMuseum Center in a Minute.

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Cincinnati Museum Center can teach you rocket science, how to preserve a fossil and how to cast magic spells - all in under 60 seconds, and from the comfort of your living room.

On Feb. 13, 2009, Museum Center, launched an experiment into the social media realm called MyMuseum Center in a Minute. The Museum is a multi-facility organization housed within a historic, art-deco train station known as Union Terminal. The building encompasses the Cincinnati History Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Duke Energy Children's Museum and the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater. Annually, Museum Center hosts more than 1.3 million visitors.

MyMuseum Center in a Minute showcases behind-the-scenes looks at the operations of Museum Center as well as exhibit, event and artifact highlights. Each episode is only 60 seconds long, and covers a diverse range of topics in high energy, humorous glimpses of the many educational, and fun, facets of Cincinnati's leading children's, local history and natural history museums.

"It's a really fun challenge each week to fit the show into just a minute, and we take that challenge because we understand that in today's social media world, anything more than a minute is a lot of time to ask for," said Ben Cober, host and producer of MyMuseum Center in a Minute.

What began as a simple experiment with video editing software and a hand-held camera turned into a closely followed series with 25 episodes already on the internet, and more than triple that number in topics for the future.

"We now have the ability to showcase the constant, amazing things we have happening here in this beautiful building every single day, and can expose first-time visitors and long-standing members to areas they may have never seen before," said Cober.

Episodes are released each Friday on Museum Center's YouTube Channel, as well as on it's homepage for online communities. In addition, all previously aired episodes can be watched by visiting http://www.youtube.com and searching "MyMuseum Center in a Minute."

MyMuseum Center in a Minute follows in the recent social media trends of Cincinnati Museum Center, which is consistently branching further into the online community.

  •     On Twitter, Museum Center updates its status nearly every day, announcing special events, honored guest appearances (e.g. Col. Gregory H. Johnson, NASA pilot), and special discounts being offered at the ticket booth that week.
  •     On Flickr, Union Terminal appears constantly within the "Capture Cincinnati" photo contest, and Museum Center uploads slideshows constantly after major events, such as Barack Obama's inauguration and the recent performance by the Taipei Zhong-Zheng Jr. High School Concert Band from Taipei, Taiwan.
  •     Through Facebook, Museum Center communicates daily to its nearly 3,000 fans with photographs of people from the local community exploring the museums, updates on exhibits and special events, and clues for its most recent online game, The Dinosaurs are Loose. This game has fans following clues on the museum's Facebook page and then using those clues to locate hidden dinosaurs around Cincinnati to win prizes.
  •     Museum Center's levy campaign website, http://www.myunionterminal.org, keeps voters informed with updated information about the museum's levy issues, and lets Cincinnatians share memories of Union Terminal as Museum Center gears up for November's levy ballot.
  •     Friendfeed allows Museum Center to gather all of the communicated data from each of these online sources and group them into one, easy-to-read stream of Museum information.

To watch the most recent episode of MyMuseum Center in a Minute and to learn more about Museum Center's online communities, visit http://www.cincymuseum.org/information_center/hours_admissions_directions/OnlineCommunities.asp.

Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration. As one of the top cultural attractions in the Midwest, Cincinnati Museum Center has served as an educational, research and entertainment resource to millions of visitors from around the world.

Organizations within Museum Center include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children's Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science, the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater, and the Cincinnati Historical Society Library. These organizations combine to serve more than one million visitors annually, reaching out to nearly 400,000 young people through hands-on exhibits and programs.

Originally built in 1933 as a train station, Union Terminal stands as one of the last remaining grand-scale Art Deco style railroad terminals. The building is a National Historic Landmark and was renovated and reopened as Cincinnati Museum Center in 1990.For information, call 1-800-733-2077 or visit http://www.cincymuseum.org.

Cincinnati Museum Center gratefully acknowledges operating and capital support from the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, the City of Cincinnati, Hamilton County and the State of Ohio.

Press Contacts:
Chad Mertz
(513) 373-6592
cmertz (at) cincymuseum (dot) org

Ben Cober
(513) 373-3242
bcober (at) cincymuseum (dot) org

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Chad Mertz

Ben Cober
Cincinnati Museum Center
513-373-3242
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