Posted: November 5th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: People | Tags: experience, organisation design, personal, speed, teams, working | 2 Comments »
Photo by Stephen Shrubsole on Flickr.
Time is flying and the end of the year – and with it the end of the Museum of National History – is quickly approaching. Only two more months and the adventure is over.
This week we found a new home for the National Vending Machine, one of our signature projects. It’s time for her to move out, and I wish her well with her new owner, the Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen. Two other projects – the innl-network and xwashier – are still looking for a place to call home after December.
Also, this week another co-worker left, further reducing our numbers. In our quiet office I moved to the room with our curatorial staff and researchers, where there’s still some action.
The close-knit team we’ve become reminds me of my first days in May 2009, when a similarly small team worked around the clock to make our museum happen. And when I still knew nothing. Nostalgia.
I often think of these first months as the best time I have known in the museum. Not in the sense of colleagues (who weren’t there), projects (which were still only plans) or audience engagement (the hundreds of thousands we were to reach were still an ambition). No, most of all because of the speed at which we worked, and the opportunities we created. 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?
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Posted: March 6th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Technology | Tags: connections, experience, online, practice, semantic web, statistics, website | 9 Comments »
Photo by Dan Brickley on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA)
It’s been more than three months since we at the Museum of National History launched our new website. And, apart from the usual glitches, it pretty much does the trick we expected it to do. Besides the website, we also launched the INNL network, a semantic network of historical websites. At the moment it connects over 200,000 stories, photos, people and events from different websites in a – hopefully – meaningful way.
The INNL network is built on the premises that providing your data in a meaningful way to a larger network of websites provides 1) more context for your online information and 2) a wider reach for your information. For a website owner this should mean more high-quality visits and less hours of editing. (I wrote a post about how the network works earlier.)
So, were these assumptions correct? Does a semantic network improve the quality of museum website visits? It’s a bit early to give a definite answer, but with 3 months of stats I feel I should be able to say something about the “semantic visitor” (the visitor coming to our website through the INNL network). The table below shows some indicators I believe are related to the quality of a visit:
* Non-flirts is a term I borrowed from Avinash Kaushik and adjusted to mean visits with either depth equal to or greater than 3 or a duration equal to or greater than 2 minutes. These visits are more than merely ‘flirts’ (hits from Google or Twitter, quick checks to see if anything changed) but potentially interested visits. I’ve added Twitter to compare statistics.
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Posted: January 13th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Inspiration | Tags: do's and don'ts, experience, foursquare, mobile, mobile museum, phones, pilots | 3 Comments »
Ever since I first used Foursquare I’ve been looking for ways to use this platform for our museum. After some unsuccessful attempts, I believe we found a way to use Foursquare that might have potential and some conditions to use the platform well.
Our new website, and especially its integration of Google Maps, made it easy to add stories from our website to relevant places in Foursquare. About a month ago I’ve added 15 stories as tips to Foursquare. And it seems to work! Some of the tips have been done relatively often and between 0.05 and 0.1 % of our website traffic (wow!) now comes from Foursquare.
Here’s what I did (and/or should have done, looking back):
- I looked for things on our website (stories, etc.) directly related to a location.
- Then I looked for a venue on Foursquare at this location with a lot of check-ins (train stations seem to work best) and preferably not too much tips.
- I added a tip with the main body of the information of the story (the length of a tip is limited, so even when you add the core of your message it works like a teaser).
- To the tip, I added a URL. The last couple of them I’ve given the extra attribute ?source=4sq to be able to measure them in Google Analytics. (There’s no other way to measure the traffic from Foursquare as far as I know).
- I measure success using a special Advanced Segment for Foursquare (using the ?source=4sq).
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Posted: December 31st, 2010 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Inspiration, People | Tags: challenge, energy, experience, future, review | 1 Comment »
Photo by RightBrainPhotography on Flickr (CC SA-NC-ND)
I think you’re great! Let me explain why.
There’s about a 50% change you’ve visited this blog before, so I think it’s safe to assume this is not the first post you read. That means you’re one of the people who helped to make this blog go from a couple of hundreds of visits a month to – recently – over 2,500. Cool! Over 7,000 unique visitors from more than 100 countries came to this blog in twenty-ten. Among you are quite some of the people whose work on innovation in the cultural sector I greatly admire. Thanks for joining.
The discussion about the future of culture and museums is happening on many blogs, forums and conferences. Mine is just a small one. The past year has given us many moments where the international community for cultural innovators came together. I think about the ash cloud unconference sessions after Museum and the Web, the comment section of Nina Simon’s ever great blog and events such as #followamuseum and #askacurator (thanks Jim!).
Jim Collins wrote one of the books that have shaped my vision on life and work, Good to Great. If you haven’t done so before, pick up a copy and memorize it. It’s gold. One of his points is ‘first who, then what’, another the flywheel.
What Mr. Collins proves is that if you get the right people together, and you make sure you work on something you really like, can be the best of the world in and earn a sustainable living while doing so, a flywheel will start turning. When you are persistent in doing that thing, the flywheel will get momentum. This momentum makes the impossible possible and will turn whatever you do from merely good, to great. Read the rest of this entry »