Q: How much does it cost for the mailing list of all 16,000 museums?
A: We do not sell any mailing list, email listings or databases from MuseumsUSA. You can however, contact many of the Associations in our Museum Professional Association Section and many do provide museum contacts in various media.
Q: How do you make your money?
A: We always have a lot of free services. We also charge vendors to be listed in the directory. We do some controlled advertising on MuseumsUSA. We have upgraded services for museums, associations and vendors. We do custom IT jobs. We host websites that we develop. We have some national sponsors. We have small dollars coming from many sources. We hope someday to have some Foundations provide a pot of dollars for our smaller clients to upgrade their IT services.
Q: If you are a for-profit company, why do you use MuseumsUSA.org? I thought a .org was only for nonprofits?
A: We started this business with a 7 year plan. Our social entrepreneur experiment, known as MuseumsUSA.org, is designed to build a financially sustainable portal. That will require the ability to generates all the dollars needed to run the site, manage the data, build additional software, keep licenses current, buy new technology and help fund or underwrite some our less endowed smaller museums. Our goal is to turn over the daily operations of MuseumsUSA to a recognized museum oriented nonprofit. That may be an Association, University or a NGO. We own the software that drives the operations. Our clients own the content. We wanted to BRAND MuseumUSA.org from the very beginning as the nonprofit it will help fund.
Q: How much does it cost to list my museum?
Q: Can you do a website for us?
A: Tough question! Yes, we do a very limited amount of website development.
We prefer not to bid on work. We prefer that you tell us your budget and we will tell you what that will buy from us.
We are not staffed to respond to request and spend days negotiating pricing.
We will continue to do museum, association and vendor IT services on a limited basis.
Q: Who is Stories USA, Inc.?
A: Our company is Stories USA, Inc., a Maryland corporation. We started this business as wanting to help tell all the great stories that are out there with smaller nonprofits. Ever do a search for a small museum? You will find every cell phone company, credit card, Mortgage Company, animal species, X rated video, article written by, press release, bed and breakfast – just to name a few – with the same searchable name. Back on search page 400,407 is the museum website you are looking for. We wanted to help change that internet dynamic. We selected the museum market to test our business model and created MuseumsUSA.org as our BRAND.
Q: Can we show graphics on our museum listing?
A: Our job is NOT to replace you website. You have invested dollars and time in your communication support materials. Our job is to help folks find your website and your museum, association or business more effectively. To do that, we need current, high quality TEXT that describes what you’re all about. We use visual images only to feature limited activities, advertise and to set the visual framing of our website.
Q: Can we place animation, streaming videos, audio clips, ipod downloads on MuseumsUSA?
A: Not at this time.
Q: How do I update my information?
A: First, updating is free. Go to your listing in MuseumsUSA and click on the bottom of your listing page where it says “click here …” A template appears for your type organization. The top part of the template must be completed for validation reasons. You can provide special instructions to our technical staff in the Comment box. Complete the name of the organization and then complete the sections that you want changed. AND SUBMIT. We usually have changed in 24 hours. Someday, we will have a more edit friendly interface with passwords and editing to streamline this process.
Q: Who decides if someone can be listed?
A: We do. If we have a question about an organization, we will usually defer to the state museum association judgment. Stay friendly with your state museum association!
Q: I’d like to work for you. Where do I send my resume?
A: Unless you are volunteering your time, we are not looking for associates at this time. We will be introducing a job bank feature and if we are looking for help, you will see not only our job listing, but a BIG ad!
Q: Where did you get your money? Who is funding MuseumsUSA?
A: We are self funded and a private corporation. We like it that way and expect to maintain control for many business reasons. TRUST is very important to our success. Hard to trust public companies or government funding, in our opinion.
Q: May I ask a question?
A: Believe me, we get questions everyday? Can you find someone to take my 300 guns from the civil war? My great grandmother stopped in Iowa somewhere and signed a guestbook someplace and can you get me a copy of her signature? I have some World War II intelligence uniforms from the German Army and I want to give them to a museum. How much is my grandfathers JHM art work worth? Why did you list the street address for the closed museum entrance – we had to walk around the block? AND – we do get thank you emails.
Most questions are forwarded to our vendors, museums, and association network members who can generally help.