Innovators of Culture - #SMWmilan Innovators of Culture - #SMWmilan

Innovators of Culture - #SMWmilan

Here comes the cultural revolution.

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We live in the Web 2.0 era, where everything travels via the Web and everything is spread via Social Networks.

With a simple click, a personal experience can be spread and shared with millions of people. A photo, a post or a tweet allow us to share our everyday experiences with others.

But how can Social Networks contribute at a cultural level?

The Web and the “extended” design, comprising people, are profoundly innovating our society, and therefore also culture.

The digital world in culture

First of all, we need to understand where we are going and the route we are taking in order to see the positive changes that digitalization is bringing to culture.

Maria Grazia Mattei – Creative Director of Meet the Media Guru explains how ideas can be spread via technology: “We like being interactive and participating. We must promote the circulation, not the exclusivity, of ideas”.

What role do social networks play in all this?

Concrete examples

How many times have we noticed that it is forbidden to take photographs in museums? How many times have we been bored during a visit to a historic centre?

Have you ever thought how great it would be to share and give “a personal touch” to cultural visits?

Marianna Marcucci – Coordinator of “Invasioni Digitali” says “Cultural activities often compete with other activities. Leisure time is often spent in other ways” due to the boredom that is sometimes associated with cultural activities.

Starting from concrete data, which reveals that Italy is one of the most attractive countries for tourists thanks to its artistic heritage, the “Invasioni Digitali” (in Italian) project has been created so that culture does not remain difficult to access and exclusive, but can be spread. How? Via Social Networks!

The project involves real "invaders" who, in agreement with the institution or city they intend to invade, collect photos, videos and stories to share art and culture in a personal but not exclusive way.

Who can become an invader? Anyone!

The important thing is to want to promote a corner of Italy in line with the concept of personalising a place. The invader, announcing the intention to invade on Social Networks, can involve other interested people and directly involve the institution concerned in order to communicate the intention to promote it. The invasion is digital, since now we all have a smartphone and a tablet, which are useful for collecting images and videos but especially for posting all the materials collected in real time. The invasion therefore becomes participatory and new technologies play a key role: they are necessary to understand what people want, to listen to their needs and then take action in order to meet their requests.

Digital Invasions”, explains Marianna, “can be considered urban games, as they provide an opportunity for training, an alternative way of learning something”.

So future invaders, you just need to close your mouth and open your eyes to promote Italian culture, the main purpose of this “game”.

Another project to promote culture via Social Networks is “Twitteratura”.

Pier Luigi Vaccaneo – Co-funder of Twitteratura explains that “the project was set up for fun, finding an enjoyable way of removing authors such as Pavese from dusty shelves and bringing them to people”. The “love story” between the book and the reader plunged into crisis a few years ago. Sales of books declined, but the turning point arrived with technology. We all have a smartphone and a tablet. It is not that people do not want to read but the simple fact that the way they do it, the tool they use, has changed. Taking this fact as a starting point, Twitteratura will remove the dust from the classics by involving virtual readers. But how will it do this? “First you read, then you summarise”, says Pier Luigi, because if stories cannot be told in 140 characters, what has been read can be summarised and shared. “We thought we would create writing but we have actually created a community of readers”.

The collected tweets then become concrete projects: the verses of a song, images for an exhibition or a Tweetbook. What exactly is that?

Valeria Di Rosa – Co-funder of Tweetbook, explains that it is an app for the Web, an online platform that allows you to create an e-book, in a few steps and a few minutes, gathering together collected tweets and inserting a key word. An e-book can be personalised with comments and images and transformed into PDF format.

The partnership between Twitteratura and Tweetbook has enabled 20 Italian secondary schools to collectively and jointly rewrite I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed), which will then become an e-book. Pier Luigi also explains that “we all hated “I Promessi Sposi” when we had to study it at school, but only because the teaching method was wrong. In this way, the classic method is complemented by an innovative, technological and digital method”.

With cultural innovation, we are no longer alone but are a community. We must understand all contents and fall in love with books.