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 | 3 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 »
Posted: July 19th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Expositions, Inspiration | Tags: art, audience, crowdsourcing, design, engagement, Interaction, participation, public | 1 Comment »
Photo by Amy Halverson on Flickr.
TED Global was way more than stunning talks. In fact, maybe the best thing was the unique blend of inspirational people I met. One of them, artist Candy Chang, makes public installations I’m sure many of you will appreciate.
Her business card says Candy likes to make cities more comfortable for people. Many of her projects close the gap between the public and the often almost intangible stuff that surrounds them. Her work connects people and asks for their contribution.
Candy’s a TED Senior Fellow which means there’s hundreds of thousands of people out there who think she rocks. And one: me. Here’re just three of her projects:
What to do with abandoned buildings? There’re hundreds of them in every city (especially once you start looking for them). For one specific building, the Polaris Building in Fairbanks, people were asked just that question. Plus, they were asked to tell their stories about the building. There’s also a website attached that asks for contributions in a refreshingly simple way. The number of contributions is overwhelming and I’m sure this will influence the future of the building.
Photo by Candy Chang. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 3rd, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: People, Technology | Tags: analytics, engagement, google, measure, model, online, participation, reach, statistics, tools, website | 9 Comments »
Photo by filmingilman on Flickr.com
Every now and then someone asks me how our new media activities influence people’s engagement and participation with our museum. In a quarterly internal report we try to quantify these intangible concepts for the sake of decision-making and project design. For instance, it helps us talk about ROI of different media efforts. In this post (and probably some future ones) I’d like to share some of the experiments we did in measuring engagement, participation and other tricky statistics. They’re by no means perfect, and with your comments I hope to further develop tools to measure online success.
A model to determine different levels of interaction
Not every hit to your website or online collection is similar. Some visits have more interaction, and others less. To make a distinction between different levels of interaction I use a simple model I was first introduced to by Marco Derksen (see below).
At the far left are all visits to your website. ‘Reach’ I define as true visits (not the ones that bounce within a couple of seconds). Good content gets people engaged, and an invitation has them participate. Finally, when participation is acknowledged, some visitors will become enthusiasts about your website or institution and spread the word.
Although you might use different terminology, you probably recognize the rationale behind this model. Every step to the right means more interaction as well as a smaller number of people who actually reach that phase. For a handful of enthusiasts you might need to welcome thousands of visitors.
Read the rest of this entry »