Posted: October 14th, 2013 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Expositions, Inspiration, Thoughts about museums | Tags: engagement, fun, involvement, lessons, music, participation, visitors | 5 Comments »
Usually I prefer theatre to museums because the experience can be so much more emotional. It was not a play but an exhibition, however, that renewed my enthusiasm for making art and not Shakespeare but ABBA that has been in my head all weekend. How did that happen? It turns out that in the countries of Ibsen and Strindberg, they’re pretty good at building musical museums: Rockheim and ABBA: The Museum.
Rockheim is the Norwegian national museum of pop and rock music, located in Trondheim. It occupies a colourful box and the renovated warehouse this sits upon and has a small concert venue for live music. The main exhibition is an interactive journey through Norway’s musical history. A lot of space is also dedicated to rooms where you can play instruments, learn about music making, dance and enjoy. Rockheim opened in 2010 and still feels fresh and up-to-date.
Photo by Lin Judy
ABBA: The Museum opened this year in Stockholm on the island Djurgården where you can find many other museum, theme parks and monuments. The museum celebrates ABBA in an interactive joy ride that has you dancing, singing, doing quizzes and taking photos of original artefacts. I’m not an ABBA fan, but this museum is a treat with a consistent level of perfection that is exemplary to museum around the world. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 14th, 2013 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Strategy | Tags: audience, DEF, digital media, engagement, framework, innovation, social media, strategy | 2 Comments »
In May of last year Jim Richardson and I presented the Digital Engagement Framework as a tool to structure thinking about digital engagement in organisations. We published a free booklet to help organisations use and implement the framework in their own projects and organisational strategies. Also, we’ve toured the world giving workshops, masterclasses and training sessions about the framework and done consulting work based on it.
Now, we’re working on an updated version of the framework and (work)book about digital engagement in the cultural sectors based on our experience. And, we need your help.
As with all ideas that are put online, the framework has gone around the world even without us knowing about it. People used it, commented upon it, adapted it and given their ideas back to the community. Maybe you have been working with the DEF as well. If so, or if you have thoughts about the framework, we would love to hear from you. We’re looking for case studies of structured digital engagement as well as feedback to perfect the framework.
Of course, all your contributions will be attributed and the end result will be shared as freely and openly as you’re used to. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 30th, 2012 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Technology | Tags: audience, DEF, digital engagement framework, engagement, outcomes, strategy, workshops | 1 Comment »
I’m on my way back from Sydney, where I’ve participated in Intercom 2012 and given both a Digital Engagement Framework workshop at the State Library of New South Wales, and a masterclass for a group of institutions from Australia and the Pacific region. Summarising almost 2 weeks of intense digital strategy debate is a 500-word blog post is tricky, so I’ll leave you with some recurrent thoughts that might be of great value to you.
I definitely recommend you have a look at my Intercom 2012 presentation and – if you can – attend Sharing is Caring December 12 in Copenhagen, where I will discuss in depth these and other findings from a full year of digital engagement strategy development. For now:
“Readers, not books”
I don’t know who first signalled the change in focus of libraries from books to readers, but this has been a recurrent theme in my thinking the past days. For museums this would translate into “visitors, not objects” and down under I definitely see a growing understanding of this shift. I really think that, generally speaking, we’ve digitised enough objects from our collections for the coming decades and it’s about time we start spending these multi-million dollar budgets on actually reaching and engaging people.
Curators (will) have the sexiest jobs in the world
An article this summer in the UK edition of Wired explained how data analysts might well have the sexiest jobs in the world. With all data in the world available, it’s what you do with this that makes you shine and people who manage doing the coolest stuff will be on top of the career food chain. I immediately thought about curators and how they are the data analysts of museum collections. There job descriptions might have to change a bit, but as culture’s data analysts they will be the quants of a ‘cultural revolution’. 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: November 9th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Inspiration, Thoughts about museums | Tags: audience, community, engagement, participation, relations, science centres, workshop, wrap-up | 4 Comments »
Science centres are all about participation and the joy of discovery. Science centre NEMO in Amsterdam is no exception. Even on a school-week Tuesday the building is buzzing with energy and the sounds of excitement bouncing against the roof. I was positively surprised, therefore, that I was asked by Diana of NEMO to host a creative workshop on specifically the topic of participation and innovative ways of engaging with audiences.
NEMO is looking for ways to have visitors participate and engage with their content in a more sustainable and relevant way. In my own words, they want to build enduring relationships with their audience that go beyond the one-off event a visit to their building nowadays is. The main focus of the workshop, therefore, was how to embed participation in a meaningful way in the activities of NEMO, so that it builds connections between the institution and people, and fosters enthusiasm.
With over 500,000 visitors a year, NEMO has about reached its limits in the number of physical visitors it can welcome. So, not surprisingly, when asked about their future vision for NEMO, most participants drew an image of a science centre leaving its building, and using modern technology and media to take control of the public space.
Most of the installations in NEMO are participatory in a playful, but unconnected way. Often it’s not clear why people should participate other than because they can, and little is done with the effort visitors put into their contributions. Also, NEMO is almost entirely focused on children, with the immediate effect that when I visited them on a school holiday, the place was filled with bored-looking parents. Read the rest of this entry »