The genre I chose to analysis for the job of a museum curator is websites. Websites aren’t the only genre museum curators use but it’s one of the biggest ones for the public. Other genres museum curators use are emails, grant letters, and prepare programs for the artifacts and the exhibits. I will mainly be focusing on websites. Websites for museums have different aspects to it, but every museum website will contain hours, pricing, donations, and some information about the museum and what they do. Others will have more than just the items listed above. It is important for me and other to understand because museums need a quick and efficient way to communicate with as many people as possible. When a website is created and the information is put on the website then anyone can see it and access it. I will be analyzing how the websites are used and who will use them. Along with the content on the website. Analyzing these websites will help by showing me how websites are built and to get ideas on how to build a museum website in case I need to build one in the future.
I have analyzed three different museum websites. he first museum I chose is the Betts House. It is a smaller museum and shows what kind of genre I will be coming across if I work in smaller museum. The next museum I chose is the Cincinnati Museum Center. It is a more medium size museum. The Cincinnati Museum Center has a few museums within it, but they all share the same website. They have different tabs on the website. The last museum I chose is the Smithsonian. It is a big museum with many attractions and many different people working in it. It also has many museums within it. Most of them share a website, they just have different tabs on the website. Only the museums where the customers have to pay have their own web address so people can buy tickets to it.
The Betts House website is used whenever someone wants to know more about the museum and what they have to offer. This website doesn’t have any other formats. It is the basic essay format. The topic it address is the Betts House. It answers the questions of school trips, when it’s open, price or tickets. Under the visitor information tab, the website says, “The Betts House Will Be Closed March 17-31, 2017.” (The Betts House) They are asking the question and the website is answering it. The writers for this are the museum staff. The Betts House has three people listed as their staff on their website. There is The house and program manager (curator). There is the Museum Properties Chairman, and the President. The writers must know about the history of the house and how the museum runs and what programs they are getting. The circumstances they write under is to get the information out there. They aren’t really rushed. They could write in teams but the website is small that they probably don’t need to. The coordinate with others about what programs will be coming to them though.
The Cincinnati Museum though has a couple different formats. It has essay format and has an informative format. This website interacts with a different type of genre. It interacts with the blog genre. The Cincinnati Museum Center’s website answers the same topic questions as the Betts House. The website has more topics to it though. It goes into detail about what exhibits they have and what artifacts. It also gives information about the history of Cincinnati. Its blog has different information about different parts of history and goes into detail about what items the museum may offer or has offered so people never miss learning about the item. Cincinnati Museum Center has multiple writers for it’s website. This museum has a blog section they have to write who wrote that post at the bottom of the post. There most recent blog post is about x-ray shoe fitting. “The piece also advertises that Stahley’s offered “X-Ray Shoe Fitting”, a common service in shoe stores starting in the 1920s and peaking in the 1940s and 50s.” (http://www.cincymuseum.org/blog/post/4265/XRay%20Shoe%20Fitting#sthash.CCMuaVd4.dpuf).They need multiple writers because the website is so big they need a good amount of people to maintain it.
The Smithsonian is the same as the Cincinnati Museum expect it has more links and it is a bigger website because it is a bigger museum and has multiple museums within its museum. It also has a couple different types of genres interacting with each other, like blog and essay. The Smithsonian answers the same topic questions as the Cincinnati Museum and the Betts House. It also has more to it’s website than both of them do. With the Smithsonian having many different museums within its name it has a bigger website with details about the different types of museums. The Smithsonian has multiple writers for the website. This museum has a blog section and the writers write who wrote the blog at the bottom of the post. The Smithsonian needs multiple writers because of the blog but also how big the website is. One of their blog entries is about Abraham Lincoln’s contemporaries, “Who were Abraham Lincoln’s contemporaries? They included many fascinating people beyond the politicians and military leaders of the Civil War.” (https://www.si.edu/Exhibitions/Details/Lincoln%27s-Contemporaries-5993).
There is more than one type of reader for this text. The people who read this text are the people who want to know more about the museums. The websites are for people who are wanting to visit the museum or know more about it. There can be more than one type of reader for this genre. Anyone can read it. They are the reason the website exists in the first place. Without them there wouldn’t be a website or anything to read. They are the genre at their leisure or when they are thinking about visit the house. They want to draw new people into the museum. They want to get as many people as they can to read their website so they can try to increase visitors. The writers write this genre to inform the readers and the readers read it to be informed and learn more. It makes them more knowledgeable.
The content on the websites usually includes facts. Opinions are usually excluded because museums want to get the history out there to as many people as possible. They don’t want to offend people with different opinions. The websites stick to facts. They have facts about the museums. What their hours and how much they cost and the different attractions they have. That is generally the extent of the website. Some websites will show what artifacts they have currently or what artifacts they had in the past or will get in the future not all museums have that though. They will also talk about the different exhibits they have.
The rhetorical appeals that are used are logos, pathos and ethos. The rhetorical appeals are mainly used to get people to come to the museum or to buy year round passes or to donate money to the museum. They are trying to make sure their museums are funded so they use appeals to do this. Like on the Cincinnati museum website they have a tab that is clear and saying buy tickets. Also at the top of their website they have different tabs to buy a membership or to donate to them. When you click on the donation tab the tell you why you should donate to them. They use pathos to do this by saying “Because you share our belief that life is too big to fit into a classroom.” (http://www.cincymuseum.org/support). They also use logos by saying that a donation is tax deductible. This is inductive reasoning. The Smithsonian and the Betts House also has a donation tab.
The texts in the genres are structured either by bullet points or paragraphs. The websites have the most important information on the front page or more easily accessed. The other information is a little harder to get to. The format is usually paragraph. A common layout is for there to be a picture at the top and then be text explaining the picture. Museum websites use a lot of pictures so people can see what they are reading about. The text can sometimes be long but it is usually shorter. The typically use simple sentences. They will sometimes have more complex sentences but I have noticed they use simple and easier to read sentences. The sentences tend not to be long but some can get pretty long depending on what they are writing about. The diction is simple. They don’t use a lot of complex words. They tend to stay away from jargon and slang. They want to appeal to all types of people. The writer’s voice is neutral. They want to get the facts out there more than anything.
The participants have to know the museums are generally non-profit organizations, so they will push for donations or people buying passes. They mainly want to get facts out there so if they don’t find history interesting it may be boring for them to read the articles they have. Everyone is invited to this genre as long as they have the will to learn. Anyone can read it. It was meant to bring people in and keep them in so it is easily read. The only people who are excluded are people who don’t find history interesting or don’t want to learn about it. It encourages readers and writers to get out there and learn something new. They want everyone to see what they have to offer. They don’t want to discourage anyone from learning. Their values, beliefs and goals are all based on learning. They believe everyone should learn. The value knowledge and what it can do. Their goal is to spread as much knowledge as possible. They are strong with the facts. They also keep everything simple. They consider the facts most important. I don’t think they ignore any content. This genre makes learning possible and getting the word out about their museum. I don’t think this genre makes anything difficult. They like to keep it simple so everyone can understand and learn. They love readers and wants as many people as possible reading what they have to offer. They want to get knowledge out there. They want everyone to learn and understand them.
Cincinnati Museum Center, http://www.cincymuseum.org/support. Cincinnati Museum Center, accessed 22 Feb. 2017.
The Betts House, http://www.thebettshouse.org/p/history_22.html. The Betts House, accessed 22 Feb. 2017.
Smithsonian, Lincoln’s Contemporaries, https://www.si.edu/Exhibitions/Details/Lincoln%27s-Contemporaries-5993, Smithsonian, Published May 2016, Accessed Feb 2017
Gampfer. Scott, X-Ray Shoe Fitting, http://www.cincymuseum.org/blog/post/4265/XRay% 20Shoe%20Fitting, Published Feb 2017, Accessed Feb 2017