Posted: April 24th, 2012 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Inspiration | Tags: do's and don'ts, guidelines, social media, strategy, trends, workshops, wrap-up | 1 Comment »
Photo by Simone Schoutens of Mediamatic.
Most of the workshops I run I conclude with a simple and effective game I call Bag It or Bin It*. Simply put I ask participants to summarise the main ideas of the workshop and put them into two categories: the ideas they will follow up (these go in the bag) and the ideas they never want to hear about again (these go in the bin). The result is a nicely coloured co-created do’s and dont’s list for the participants.
Minke Havelaar, with whom I run a series of workshops for Mediamatic’s Kom Je Ook?, has made a summary of a couple of Bag It or Bin It games we played about social media marketing strategy with cultural institutions. The result reads like a trend list for social media development in the cultural and non-profit sector. Especially interesting is what people put in their bags regarding the strategic use of social media.
So, what do our colleagues focus on when it comes to social media? Here’s 100s of ideas summarised in six clear trends:
- Quantity versus quality of content
Do’s include writing Tweets and Facebook updates according to best practices (short, images, etc.), the 9-1 rule for writing more about others than about yourself and thinking more strategically about each piece of content.
- Measuring and analysing
Participants planned to focus on metrics and tools such as Google Analytics, but also on writing reports about social media successes and outcomes for management and coworkers. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 8th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: People | Tags: co-creation, crowdsourcing, do's and don'ts, lessons learned, participation, project design | 13 Comments »
Photo by Chris Blakely on Flickr.
This week at the Dish conference in Rotterdam I gave a presentation about all the do’s and don’ts, tips and tricks, lessons and hands-on advice about crowdsourcing from my experience at the Museum of National History. Well… that’s quite a lot to talk about. All in all I came up with some 25-30 little notes, which the audience of my presentation – in a little participatory trick – had to label as do’s or don’ts.
Here’s the full list, now all as do’s, with some additional ideas that didn’t fit in the presentation. Use it to your benefit and please add your thoughts when you feel I’ve missed some.
- Ask your potential participants a clear question or a clear task. A clear question is never ambiguous, unless you’re looking for (and only looking for) different ways to look at its ambiguity.
- Run a couple of real-life test sessions with your question. Even if it’s an online project, ask people in the street your question and see how they respond. Change the question all the time. Once people only respond with the answers you’re looking for, you’ve found your question.
- Ask a question that is meaningful to people. Questions that might be labelled emotional or highly personal are good. Not everybody will answer them, but the answers you’ll get will be so much more valuable.
- Pinpoint very specific groups of people you’d like to reach with your project. Design to meet their demands and answer to their needs. Preferably, involve this target group in the design of your project.
- That said: don’t exclude anyone from participating if they really want to.
- Be extremely clear about your limits to what people can contribute, and keep these as limited as possible. Racism, hate, advertising and unlawful things are usually enough to exclude.
- Accept all other contributions, regardless of they way in which you perceive their quality. Every time a person took the trouble to contribute to your project, this contribution is valuable (you can use peer reviewing to maintain overall high quality). Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 20th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Technology | Tags: advice, do's and don'ts, improvements, simple, tips, website | 2 Comments »
Photo by Luis Alberto on Flickr.com.
Last year around this time I made a list of 28 32 simple and low-budget things you can do with new media for your cultural institution. And it worked… at least in the Netherlands. A flock of blue birds has landed on cultural websites, Foursquare checkins pay for most of my coffee and 2.0 initiatives are launched for things as exciting as needlework samplers. In short: the world has become a wonderful place.
However, going through literally 100s of cultural websites in the last days for our annual Month of History has clearly shown me we’re not there yet. On many websites, it’s more likely to accidentally hit a like button than find the opening hours.
So, a reprise. Again, this is not for the big boys out there with the stunning new media budgets and multi-person web teams. Here’s 12 things a volunteer with a shoestring budget and CMS access can do tonight to improve the visitor experience of the website of a cultural institution.
As always, feel free to add your recommendations.
- Make opening hours & entry prices accessible from every page
A good spot is top right, next to “contact” and “about us”, and/or in the footer. And yes: opening hours & entry prices can fit on one page.
- Communicate when you’re open; make closed the exception
Big font: We’re open Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm. Smaller font: Except on public holidays. Even Google should not be able to find the string “the museum is closed…” on your website.
- First communicate when you are free, then normal price, then exceptions
I’ve struggled through endless lists of different ticket types, only to find out at the bottom an institution was free anyway in the summer months. It’s a good thing to be free, so shout it out. Makes you feel welcoming to people. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 23rd, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Technology | Tags: analytics, community, connections, content, do's and don'ts, experience, participation, return visits, visitors, website | 6 Comments »
Photo by Omar Bárcena on Flickr.
Here’s the textbook example of the development of something online AD 2011. It’s a post on this blog, but in my experience represents most of our online work. In this example, exactly seven days separate launch and oblivion.
Fortunately, the fate of one post does not represent the fate of this blog (or you wouldn’t be reading this, would you?). I write another post, and another, and tweet, and write another post, and tweet. As long as I keep pushing out new content (and preferably a lot) I will not be forgotten.
Having people return to our websites has been one of the things we’ve done some work on at the Museum of National History. Our online KPIs put quite some significance on return rates, loyalty, brand awareness, successful registrations, etc.
The dynamics of returning visitors are completely different from those of new visitors. On innl.nl in Q2, return visitors visited 35% more pages, spent 74% more time and were roughly 26% more likely to visit content pages (rather than ‘corporate’ pages). Other data shows there’s a correlation between return rates and participation with content.
Correlation does not mean causation and it might very well be that visitors who spent more time on the website, visit content pages, etc. are more likely to return.
So, what makes visitors return to a website? And more importantly: what makes visitors come back to old content, rather than continuously having to add new content?
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 10th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Thoughts about museums | Tags: community, do's and don'ts, london, money, museums, relevance, review, social engagement, theatre | 2 Comments »
Photo by sharkbait on Flickr.com
I love London. And, after the recent unsettling events, I would like to take a moment to focus on the city’s finer side: its cultural institutions and its arts. In times like these, I think, London deserves a pat on the back for being an encouraging and inspirational example.
London manages to show how culture can be relevant to (local) communities, socially engaged and at the same time straightforward about its monetary value. It does so in its landmark institutions like Tate and the National Theatre, and in its local initiatives that can be found virtually around every corner. And, by doing so, it provides a sneak preview of what the future of cultural institutions all over the world should be; institutions that connect and engage, within society, without going bankrupt.
One of my favourite places in London is the Camden Arts Centre. Just off the dirty Finchley Road its green garden and quiet café with free Wifi are a resort to parents with children, expat students and the like. The building is welcoming, the coffee is good, the shop well stocked. High quality exhibitions are combined with educational activities, regular evening events and family activities. Yet, that doesn’t make it any different from the many other arts centres all around London. What makes it great is that it is my arts centre. It’s local. Only ten minutes away on foot. And, it really is local. It feels like the local café or shop where I am known and welcome. (It is often the local café and shop.)
Read the rest of this entry »