Posted: June 3rd, 2012 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Technology | Tags: evaluation, google analytics, metrics, mission, significance, success, thoughts | 6 Comments »
Photo by Allison on Flickr.
I recently realised that we, cultural institutions, are using the wrong metrics to measure our online success, because we’re measuring just that: generic success. We’re using statistics and software that is perfectly fine when you’re selling Cokes, but might not be ideal for culture, heritage and the arts.
In the real world we know our success cannot easily be measured in hard figures. Visitors numbers and shop turnover are important KPIs, especially as our funding and financial well-being often depends on it. Yet, these quantitative measures of success are hardly ever part of our mission. Instead we consider ourselves successful when we change behaviour, increase knowledge, spark imagination… Evaluators use complex toolkits and checklists to see if an exhibition had the right impact, an event the expected outcome. In the real world, we are successful if we are significant.
Not online. In almost all project presentations I’ve seen in the past year, success is measured in hits, comments and likes. Sometimes more advanced metrics are used that hint participation, enthusiasm, loyalty. Once or twice I’ve heard people refer to quality of service (search queries resolved). Success, online, is a number.
If online is a full part of your institution, online success is significance as well. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 5th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Thoughts about museums | Tags: end, evaluation, funding, personal, projects | 17 Comments »
Photo by Auntie G on Flickr.com
Those of you, who know a bit about the history of the museum I work for, know it has always been a topic of national debate. Ever since the project started, it has known times of fierce debate between opposing parties in the government. It has been a bumpy ride.
Has been, indeed, as over the past weeks the secretary of state responsible for culture decided to stop funding for a considerable number of arts and culture institutions. Almost every organisation that dared to be different, to educate future generations or discover the future of arts and culture suffers, greatly. There’s also a VAT increase on tickets and other cultural products, making arts and culture less accessible to the general audience.
My employer, the Museum of National History, is one of the institutions that will not get funding anymore. January 1st of 2012 the museum will cease to exist. It’s a pity, and a loss, but there’s nothing more we can do about it. The adventure is over.
The museum had been my home for over two years and I do believe we were still only at the beginning. Projects like xwashier, 100m2NL and our INNL network showed our thoughts about the future of museums, but in themselves were only steps towards the realisation of our vision. We could have done so much more. Read the rest of this entry »