Posted: January 21st, 2013 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: People | Tags: advice, colleagues, communication, future, hiring, job description, skills, storytelling, work | 13 Comments »
Photo by marcus_jb1973 on Flickr.
Update: Do you feel you fit into the profile below (and are you fluent in Dutch)? You might want to check out this internship/job opportunity at a new startup I’m involved in.
We’re looking for: People that help museums stay relevant in the 21st century. Job title: community manager, digital engagement officer, online marketeer, audience curator, hands-on project manager, educator (etc. etc.). Your profile: hmm…
In general, the debate on ‘21st century skills’ or – put differently – what we expect in terms of skills, attitudes, behaviour and knowledge from future colleagues is diverse and inspiring. In the museum-context, it might even be more complicated. Studying various reports of such skills (etc.), such as the excellent Museums, Libraries and 21st Century Skills (PDF) and a Dutch one by Kennisnet, most of the focus is on skills that help people design the future. Museums, obviously, and museum professionals also play an important role in maintaining the past. This duality is obvious in the ICOM definition:
A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development (‘future’), open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches (‘past’), communicates and exhibits (‘future’) the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education (‘future’), study (‘past’) and enjoyment (‘future’).
Note that I use ‘future’ and ‘past’ to make a distinction between the internal, traditional role of a museum and the outgoing, also-traditional-but-now-key-to-receiving-funds role that can be considered to focus on the future of the institution.
As museums realise they need to evolve in order to stay relevant, within them a continuous debate begins between the ‘past’ and the ‘future’. And, as much as the ‘traditional’ museum professionals need to be comfortable with the 21st century, the future professionals need to be comfortable with the traditional role of museums in society, which is probably why maybe the number 1 question I get from clients and at conferences is to help define a profile for the future museum professional. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 9th, 2012 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Thoughts about museums | Tags: audience, communication, community building, engagement, marketing, outreach, thoughts | 7 Comments »
Photo by Palo on Flickr.
Whenever I feel like there is an occasion for a party, I always quickly reject the idea. I’m terrible at throwing parties. It’s not that I’m not a good cook, don’t know about wine or have trouble keeping a conversation going. It’s not even that I know my musical taste is a bit unusual or have too few friends. My problem with throwing parties is that I know I will never quite invite anybody, or ever publicly announce the event.
This, unfortunately, is a problem lots of people are having when it comes to their digital strategy. We’re great (or at least getting better) at designing engaging online content, yet terrible at reaching people with it.
Earlier this year a theatre company in the Netherlands made a production about making news. For months they researched how to manipulate the news and how to get topics trending. The accompanying website was nicely made, with bonus materials and even an interactive YouTube video. The only problem: nobody knew about the production. They had studied making news, but forgotten to be news themselves, as the people involved had to admit reluctantly in an interview.
There’s a subtle but important different between providing good engaging online content and actually reaching people with it. I call this difference the difference between engagement and outreach and it’s a tough difference if I consider many of the projects I’ve been advising about in the past months. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 9th, 2012 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Technology | Tags: blogging, brand, communication, images, marketing, pinning, pinterest, social media, trends | 14 Comments »
Photo by Karla Cantu on Flickr.
Almost overnight my RSS timeline changed from “Facebook blah Facebook blahblah” to “Pinterest blah Pinterest blahblah”. There’s so much buzz around this new social network that I’m not even going to explain what it is and why it is the future. Others have done so and have done so better, especially Neil Patel’s marketing guide to Pinterest. A must read, which lists SFMOMA as a brand doing well on the platform. Chapeau.
Pinterest is the perfect platform for culture, if you ask me. It’s the platform most suited to give meaning to our mission statements and values. Among the many, many things you can do on Pinterest (thanks Jenni), here are five I find especially valuable:
- Make your blog more compelling, and easier to fill
Regardless of your topic, an image and strong tagline almost always tell a more convincing story online than an image and a 2,000-word essay. I’m sure a good board can replace many a regular culture blog, reach a wider audience and be more engaging. Plus, it’s easier to get a 5-word quote about a painting from a curator than have her write a 500-word blogpost.
- Create a mindblowing gallery of influencers and influenced
So the Guernica inspired hundreds of artists (and rightfully so)? Make a board that shows a “timeline” of all the art influenced by this piece, and where Picasso took his inspiration from. This makes a great exposition, and – thus – a great board on Pinterest. You could also crowdsource such a project by opening up the board to contributions by your followers. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 16th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: People | Tags: audience, communication, community, connections, lessons, marketing, participation, reach, relevance, stategy | 1 Comment »
Photo by Stephanie Schuldes on Flickr.
To succeed in our never-ending quest to make culture and the arts more relevant in the lives of people, all we have to do (online) is approach the right people at the right time and place with the right message through the right communication channel.
Simply put, don’t tweet about overflowing toilets unless you want to make a point about the pressing need for maintenance funds. And in that case, be sure to ask at the beginning of the month, when people just received their paychecks.
The museum of the 21st century is as successful in being relevant to people, as Google and Facebook ads are. (Or, if you prefer, will be in the near future.) In fact, we can use the very tools Google and Facebook ads provide us to prove that the more relevant we make our content, the more likely they are to engage with it.
In the chart below I’ve plotted a number of Facebook ads we ran. The potential reach of the ad is on the horizontal axis, on the vertical each ads true reach (normalized to a similar number of impressions per ad). The CTR chart of the same data is very much alike.
Without a doubt, ads aimed at a specific target group, with a specific message, almost always outperform the more general ads.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 17th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Inspiration, Thoughts about museums | Tags: audience, communication, community, crowd, ideas | 6 Comments »
Photo by maniwa_pa on Flickr.com
Recently someone used the term critical mass to mean you need a certain amount of followers/friends/fans to be successful in social media. Strength is in numbers, etc. “Of course MoMA can do that, with its gazillion followers.” I dare to disagree.
In primary school they taught me to address specific people when asking for help in a crowded place. An undirected ‘help’ would certainly go unattended. Later I learned this is called the bystander effect. People don’t help when there’re other people around.
A hundred thousand, or even a millions followers/friends/fans is a lot of people. If you tweet a question or Facebook a funding request or e-mail a petition, certainly some small percentage will respond. And maybe a small percentage of many is enough to do the trick. On the other hand, many, many more will not feel any need to respond. Bystanders.
I believe that if you know your audience, are creative and dare to specifically address your questions, you don’t need a lot of followers/friends/fans. Over the last months, every single campaign I did where I specifically asked some outdid those where I generally asked many. Even if “specifically asking some” was semi-automated. Even if the ties between the addressed individual and our institution were weak.
Read the rest of this entry »