Ever since the emergence of Social Networking Sites (SNSs), archives, libraries, museums and other cultural institutions have had to reconsider their communication strategies and their mediation policies towards their users.
We consider with Stenger and Coutant (2017, p. 221) social networking sites as web services that allow individuals and institutions"(1) to build a public or semi-public profile within a system, (2) to manage a list of users with whom they share a connection, (3) to view and navigate their list of connections and those established by others within the system, and (4)[which] base their attractiveness essentially on the first three points and not on a particular activity." This definition, as well as the selected perimeters, will be discussed in this thematic issue in relation to the three themes we have identified below.
Faced with the need to attract more visitors, as well as to expand and retain their users, cultural institutions are adopting today's communication methods and technical tools to meet users’ experiential expectations (Dalbéra and Defretin, 2010; Schafer and Thierry, 2011). Although technically easy to understand, communication on SNSs poses many challenges for cultural institution professionals at managerial, organisational and budgetary levels.
The question that the second issue of the journal Balisages intends to explore, is part of a triple perspective. First, it is a question of how cultural institutions deal with SNSs and what strategies are being implemented. Secondly, the way users perceive these forms of communication will be considered. And finally, it is a question of examining the logic of appropriation and (re)patrimonialisation of heritage objects in circulation on the SNSs.
The following questions in particular shall be addressed (non-exhaustive list).
1 - Strategies of cultural institutions on SNSs: towards renewed challenges for communication and organisational policies?
To what extent do cultural institutions really grasp SNSs? Within this thematic axis, we will explore what, precisely, is at stake in terms of organisation and communication:
The evaluation and remediation of documentary and patrimonial collections raise various institutional challenges, among which figures the establishment of a culture of communication. What are the strategies implemented to establish this culture and the communication policies it generates? How do professionals formalise their institution's strategy on SNSs? How does this strategy fit into the institution's overall communication policy? And how does it integrate with the relationships of the various stakeholders?
These communication strategies act as levers for enhancing the value of public action, and therefore they have to be assessed both quantitatively and qualitatively. What methodologies and indicators can be mobilised? How do these assessment methods impact the life of the institution and professional communities? And finally, to what extent are information and culture professionals supported and trained on these issues?
What part do information and culture professionals play in these evaluation mechanisms as part of the dynamics of management? Do the issues mentioned renew the nature of their roles and missions?
2- How these forms of communication are perceived: towards a renewal of the means of interaction?
How do users respond to these forms of communication? To what extent do SNSs promote social cohesion and interaction between the different actors?
Communication and social cohesion
How do SNSs develop social cohesion between the different actors? To what extent does the presence of cultural institutions on SNSs promote social connection between users, between professionals and users, and between professional communities? How are essential issues related to social connection, such as exchanges, collaborations, entertainment and a sense of belonging to a community, renewed by SNSs?
Communication and interactions
Are we witnessing new forms of collaboration and cooperation between cultural institutions and professional communities on the one hand and users on the other?
How can communication on SNSs free itself from the inherant mechanisms of social and cultural reproduction? Is the traditional role of users really mutating through participatory initiatives (crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, user empowerment)?
3- The dissemination of cultural heritage on SNSs: towards new processes of defining such heritage and (re)mediating its parameters
How does heritage circulate on SNSs? What practices and new habits are traditionally observed?
The flow of heritage objects on SNSs gives rise to different appropriation logics. What are the uses and practices induced by the latter? To what extent do they participate in the processes of (re)patrimonialisation and transformation of heritage objects?
Are these forms of circulation and (re)appropriation compatible with economic and market development strategies? And how does the open culture data movement fit into the latter?
The circulation of heritage on SNSs raises the issue of mediation for audiences, including professionals. Who are these audiences? And how to take into account the diversity of audiences in the design and deployment of digital mediation devices.
September 2019: call for papers
14th January 2020: submission of manuscripts (about 5,000 characters’ spaces included, not including bibliography)
10th February 2020: acceptance or rejection of proposals
1st September 2020: receipt of whole articles for peer review
1st November 2020: referees’ reports
15th December 2020: receipt of final versions of manuscripts
Mars 2021: publication of the 2nd issue of the journal Balisages
Manuscripts will be subject to 2 blind peer reviews by a peer review committee whose members will be selected according to their field of expertise, upon receipt of the articles.
Article proposals should be sent electronically as an attachment in.doc,.odt or.md format directly to the call coordinators or to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Authors should ensure that their work is unpublished and entirely original, and does not borrow from any other work of any kind whatsoever, which could engage the publisher’s liability. Manuscripts will be subject to two blind reviews by a peer review committee, whose members will be selected according to their area of expertise upon receipt of the articles.
Magali Bigey, maîtresse de conférences en sciences de l’information et de la communication, Université de Franche-Comté, ELLIAD
Nicole Boubée, maîtresse de conférences en sciences de l’information et de la communication, Université Toulouse – Jean Jaurès, LERASS
Thierry Claerr, Conservateur général des bibliothèques, chef du bureau de la lecture publique, département des bibliothèques, au Service du livre et de la lecture du ministère de la Culture et de la Communication
Simona De Iulio, professeure des universités en Sciences de l’information et de la communication, Université de Lille, Gériico
David Douyere, Directeur de recherche, Université de Tours, PRIM
Alain Kiyindou, Professeur des universités en Sciences de l’information et de la communication, Université Bordeaux Montaigne, MICA
Fabien Lienard, Professeur des universités, Université du Havre, IDEES
Fanny Mazzone, maîtresse de conférences en sciences de l’information et de la communication, Université Toulouse – Jean Jaurès, LERASS
Fabrice Pirolli, maître de conférences (HDR) en sciences de l’information et de la communication, Le Mans université, CREN
Eva Sandri, maîtresse de conférences en sciences de l’information et de la communication, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, LERASS
Florence Thiault, maîtresse de conférences en sciences de l’information et de la communication, Université Rennes 2, PREFICS
Philippe Viallon, Professeur des universités en Sciences de l’information et de la communication, Université de Strasbourg, LISEC