Nice appearance by members of the symphony at the local mall. I like that they are playing from memory. Feels more organic, though no doubt well 'orchestrated'....
Nice appearance by members of the symphony at the local mall. I like that they are playing from memory. Feels more organic, though no doubt well 'orchestrated'....
Allegra: Our iTunes U and YouTube presence continue to be very strong, but since we last spoke, we also launched a complete redesign of our website, MoMA.org, which features (among other things) an enhanced, centralized multimedia section with media widgets that can be placed throughout our site or embedded in other sites.
[Wow! I'll say you did. The redesign is amazing! Everyone should look and learn!]
This, and the subsequent increase in Web traffic we have been experiencing, means that more people are accessing MoMA’s media content through our own site as well as other channels like iTunes U and YouTube. In addition, we are also participating partners in ArtBabble, the art video site created by the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Our goal throughout is to create and showcase compelling resources on MoMA.org and distribute them to various other channels as appropriate. We also have an exciting series of exhibitions on view currently, a couple of which have accompanying in-depth subsites (moma.org/timburton, moma.org/bauhaus, and moma.org/gabrielorozco).
And when we last spoke, we were talking about the architects’ blog on the Home Delivery exhibition site. Since that time, we’ve also launched Inside/Out, a MoMA/P.S.1 blog that has contributors across the museum. We’ve all been very pleased with the reaction it’s been getting, both externally and internally within MoMA.
Those are just a couple of highlights, but there’s certainly much more!
Okay, we are all completely blown away with your facebook stats. 190,000 fans! Can you put that into context for us? How did you get there? (in 140 characters or less :>) [It's over 200,000 now]Victor: The main reason, I think, is peoples’ interest in and regard for MoMA’s collection, its history, and in a sense, its “brand.” I think people want to engage with the content in MoMA’s collection and be associated with it in some way. MoMA’s collection covers disciplines that people are very passionate about: painting, drawing, prints, sculpture, design, photography, film, architecture, media and performance art. People may look to MoMA as an authority in these areas and want to take part in its communities.
Do you have a strategy or plan or policy (written or otherwise?)
As for specific ROI, there's no monetary investment in social media, so measuring return on it isn't possible."
'For them, and indeed anyone else in the nonprofit space asking how to get value from social technologies, now is the time to take a deep breath and reconsider what social technologies can best be used for and what nonprofit executives can reasonably expect from them.'
I'm kind of intruiged about the assertion that social media is "a surprisingly expensive strategy" - what on earth are people spending money on? If you're spending money on social media, you're doing it very wrong! As one of the commenters said, using social media has zero cost, so any gain from it is a 100% gain, financial, profile or otherwise."
Thanks Jo! You Rock!
About Jo Johnson
After gaining her Batchelor of Music degree from the University of Hull, Jo spent five years working for the BBC, cutting her teeth on the newly emerging novelty, the orchestra website. After four and a half years at the London Symphony Orchestra, running the main website and all sorts of digital activities such as mobile marketing, email marketing, film making and lately social networks, she just about feels she understands what it's all about! Although as soon as that happens, something new comes along and she has to start all over again. She is in demand as a speaker on the subject of orchestras online and is particularly passionate about debunking the myth that social networks are a waste of time.
In her spare time, Jo enjoys playing the violin and viola in orchestras and show bands, and has recently taken up the ukelele. When not at rehearsal she can generally be found in the swimming pool or at the sushi bar.
Please help The Sharing Foundation win the $1,000 Daily Giving Challenge prize by donating on Thursday 10/29/09. The organization with the most unique daily donors wins. Please donate $10 minimum beginning 3pm Thursday till 2:59pm Friday.
Click here to donate.What are we donating for?
Meet Seiha, Sarem, Ratha, Darien, Makara, Sokret, Sowat and Naveth!
These are TSF's first college grads! Eight years ago, Seiha, Sarem, Ratha, Darien, Makara, Sokret, Sowat and Naveth would have said that graduating from college was impossible. Thanks to TSF scholarships to Universities in Phnom Penh, on top of their four previous of sponsored high school, they make a better live for themselves and their families. These young people are the sons and daughters of farmers, not one of whom had a parent or relative who had graduated from high school!
The Sharing Foundation supported each of them.... and that's only the beginning. Here's a great video that really helps us to get a really powerful sense of the success of TSF and impact on people's lives!
I've tagged a few people whose contributions last year made this possible. Thanks!Chris Brogan
It takes so little to get me feeling all warm and fuzzy. What was it today?
I received a little note in my inbox saying I'd been tagged in a video. Huh? What video? How? Who?
Its a greeting from a fellow 1st Fan from the Brooklyn Museum - saying hello to me and a few others from around the country who couldn't be at the May event last Saturday. I've never met her til this greeting, but I was so touched to be thought of. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy. (I said that already.)
But here's the first point: This reaching out makes me feel like part of the community and creates a desire to be more active in the 1stFans - to actually go to Brooklyn - to the Museum! (for more on community - go read or listen to Gladwell talk about the little community, in Pennsylvania where no one every had heart attacks, in his Outliers book.)
Why is this interesting?:
Because at the end of the day, its not about the tools. I know this in my head, but I understand it when I have a visceral experience of it. What is interesting to me is what happens when we just let go and allow our creative spirit to emerge, over and over again.
We can put a video up on YouTube, and so what?
Can we think of 100 creative ways to use a video to build relationships?
Here's a few.... please be more creative then me!!
I am a religious reader of Beth's Blog. And there is rarely a day that I don't learn something interesting there. And Beth is one of those amazing people that shares everything she knows with you.
But this post isn't exactly about Beth, its about the sharing part. I learn something and share it here and with clients. All over the web people are doing amazing things. Just look at Brooklyn Museum, or the Victoria and Albert Museum, or the Boston Symphony, or the New York Philharmonic (shameless plug here). Can we help Beth and NTEN and all our friends in the non-profit community?
There is a hugh amount of expertise in the non-profit community and the goal of the We Are The Media project is to harness that great collective of knowledge and experience and share the love. This month is focusing on the social media tool box.
As the site header says...
Have you experimented with any of these things?
Please go over to We Are The Media, join the group and join the conversation. Your 2 cents makes a difference!
I had the great pleasure of talking with Allegra Burnette, Creative Director of Digital Media at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Allegra and her department oversee all the ‘public facing’ media at the Museum which includes the design and production for the Museum's Web site, MoMA.org, as well as interpretive kiosks and displays. Their focus has been on developing the experience for the online visit, as well as the visit to the museum.
Audio Tours and iTunes U
Using iTunes U to extend network and reach - 20,000 downloads a month
As a result of a Bloomberg Grant, MoMA has been able to make its audio programs available for free, including online for download without being in conflict with any revenue stream. Most museums have to create new content for the web because they have to charge a fee for their audio tours.
“The grant from Bloomberg not only enabled us to offer the audio program for free within the Museum, but it provided the opportunity to repurpose our audio tours for use online. What this means in part is that you can download the programs to your ipod and bring it with you during your visit or listen at home. We recently extended this initiative by working with Apple and becoming part of their educational program, iTunesU, which was recently expanded when it became part of the iTunes application.
Initially iTunes U was a way for colleges and universities to make lectures and material available through the iTunes interface. In October Apple extended the format to include cultural institutions, and MoMA was in the first group of non-universities to be featured. What that allows us to do is to create an ongoing archive of different content, from our past and present audio programs, to featured lectures and other public programs, and includes both video and audio. It also allows us to link back to additional resources available on MoMA.org.”
FINDING iTUNES U
You can find iTunes U, by opening up the iTunes application and opening iTunes Store if it’s not already open. iTunes U is at the bottom of the iTunes Store menu. MoMA can be found in the “Beyond Campus” Category on the lower right portion of the screen. Sometimes it’s also featured in the graphics in the center section.
“Its been great”, continues Allegra, “We’ve had a lot of people get the audio from MoMA.org, but it also really expands the audience for that material and gets it to an audience we are really trying to reach – educators and students.
The audio tours as well as other material is in the iTunes U. You can listen online or download it.
That’s been one of our big focuses - making sure we are reaching beyond our website and reaching our audience where they happen to be. In the case of students, and educators and scholars, they’re starting to use iTunes U for courses and as a research tool.
What’s nice about this is that we can specify the links here, so for example the guides for teachers or things that we’ve added can link back to materials we have. There’s other supporting links. So its a way to broaden where the content goes but also to say, ‘Hey, if you want more information its available here on MoMA.org.’”
Since they launched in October 2007, they've had about 20,000 downloads a month, which includes anything from full video to short audio clips.
Red Studio & Student Created Podcasts
Participatory Culture - Engaging Students
Red Studio is a project where groups of teens are working with educators at the museum and creating their own podcasts. So far there have been 3 groups of teens working specifically on creating audio podcasts- groups of high school students that work for a 6-8 week period on a project. The first group was experimental to see how the project could work. Students come in and work with educators and someone from Acoustiguide, the audio company MoMA works with. They teach the students about creating audio programs, and the kinds of things they need to think about. Students pick works they are interested in, research them, do the audio, learn how to edit it, and do all the nuts and bolts of the process. Burnette is enthusiastic about the project:
“It’s great. They bring their own take to it, but they have also been engaged and learn about how a professional process works. The result is a looser feeling project then what we get with some of the other audio programs but it still has a basis in teaching at the museum.”
There is a whole Red Studio site for teens, with other activities. So some of the students have been working on the podcasts and some are doing other projects like interviews with artists that are turned into videos.
You Tube Channel
From Video Contest to Time Lapse Photography
MoMA also recently started a YouTube Channel. For a recent popular video for their Richard Serra exhibition, they used time-lapse photography to capture the entire installation process.
Currently there are about 37 videos up now, as well as some film trailers promoting MoMA’s film program.
“It started with an online contest with the ‘Residents’. They had a song that we (MoMA and the Residents) both posted, and then people could make their own video to go with the song. The judges were the ‘Residents’ Band and the curator for the film retrospective at the Museum. The finalists were posted on YouTube and screened as part of the retrospective of the ‘Residents’ Films at MoMA. That was our first exploration into using YouTube, which has since grown to our own channel with close to 40 videos currently.”
'Home Delivery' - and MoMA’s version of BLOGGING
A fun project coming up is ‘Home Delivery’ – about prefab architecture. Five prefab houses are going to be installed in the empty lot next to the museum as part of its exhibition.
Architects are working on their projects at their various factories and then will bring them in to be installed. Each architect will capture the whole process in blog ‘journals’. The postings will include images, video or text.
Says Allegra, “We’re not doing blogs in the tradition sense of an ongoing conversation from a single point of view, but using it in a different way to show the multiple streams of production on the project happening simultaneously. It’s going to be a big experiment as there are many unknowns in the whole process of setting up this exhibition.”
The Right Tool For The Right Project -
Second Life - Build or Visit?
Allegra talks about the approach to web interactions....
“A lot of it is thinking about where people are going and how we meet them in that space, not for the sake of technology but which format makes the right sense. YouTube made sense for the ‘Residents” and a type of blog format is what’s going to work for ‘Home Delivery’. But it’s important to us to match the content, the goals, and the technology in a way that they all are able to play off of and support each other.”
Paola Antonelli, curator in the Architecture and Design Dept, hosted an event in 2nd Life not long ago. But rather then try to reproduce the Museum in 2nd life, MoMA felt that hosting an event made more sense. As Burnette notes,
“Somebody like the San Francisco Exploratorium is doing a lot in Second Life. For them it makes so much sense to have a space there, because so much of what they are doing is very hands on and fits, like their 3D activities or flying around planets. For now, event-based initiatives is what we have been focusing on in this space, but who knows where this could lead?”
‘Design and the Elastic Mind’ and Twittervision:
I initially contacted Allegra because of an email blast I’d gotten from Biz Stone. I almost never read them, but for some reason I opened this one last week...
Twitter at the MoMA
Twittervision, a popular Twitter API project, is included in a
show at the New York Museum of Modern Art titled "Design and the
Elastic Mind." The show explores the relationship between science
and design and is open from February 24 to May 12, 2008.
Twittervision, created by Dave Troy is this cool little app that’s a mashup between google maps and Twitter, where you can see twitter posts in real time mashed up onto where in the world they are coming from.
Troy has also created another version called Flickrvision that mashes google maps with photos that have been uploaded to the Flickr photo-sharing site.
These are part of the ‘Design and The Elastic Mind’ exhibit also curated by Paola Antonelli, It is a fascinating look at the intersection of design, technology and science, how they come together and how they play off of each other. The exhibit contains an online piece that captures images and videos from some of the exhibits at the MoMA.
The exhibit includes all sorts of intriguing items, from the video project called ‘Lightweeds’ - of plants that grow and respond based on the weather outside, to the ‘Shadow Monsters’ – which takes your image and then adds ‘monsters’ to it.
Allegra says... “So many of these objects – some of them may not be so eye catching initially, but each as a story about why they are there...” and they look way cool.
A must see for me for next visit to Big Apple.
Shelly Bernstein, Manager of Information Systems at the Brooklyn Museum shared some of her insights and approaches to the social network world with me recently. (Thank you to Elena Park at the Met for pointing me here!!)
Some of the key ideas that surfaced are:
Here’s how they’ve been doing this.
Web Communities are Communities
In 2006 the museum began to look around the web trying to understand what ‘community’ meant in that medium. Because the Museum’s institutional mission is centered around ‘the visitor experience and community,’ this was a key issue. They found that these communities on the web were ‘real’ communities like MySpace , Friendster, and Flickr. Says Bernstein,
“We thought that just like how we extend ourselves in our own backyard, we should do that online as well. We started to participate in the communities and the first thing that became clear is that these are real communities, and not necessarily marketing opportunities. For example, when we’re on Flickr, we answer questions, make sure comments get to the right people, and try to upload interesting content that people care about and really want to see.”
Be creative and flexible and … Just Do It
Since there was a freeze on the current site spending at the time, they looked at what could be done elsewhere that would be dynamic and interesting. They looked at each community and tried to understand what that community was about and what would be the right thing to do for that community.
FLICKR - Find the right activity for the right community
In summer of 2006 the Brooklyn Museum did a show on Graffiti.
“We had a canvas show of graffiti canvasses from our collection.” Continues Bernstein, “When it was installed, a blank wall was put up in the middle of the gallery where people could tag the wall. The changing nature of it was the very nature of graffiti - it would get covered over and covered over because there was so much traffic. Weekly we took pictures of this ever-changing wall and posted it to Flickr.
At the same time, we did an ‘interactive’ where people could take photos of graffiti in Brooklyn and post them on our Flickr profile. People were seeing the real theme that was happening in the street, and at the same time seeing the theme that was happening in the gallery, in addition to the works of art that were in the show.”
Another neat tool was an online drawing application to make virtual graffiti.
That is such a great example of what web 2.0 really means: participatory culture!
Later when they did a Ron Mueck exhibit this last fall, they took behind the scenes photos of Mueck loading in the art. It was hughly popular on Flickr. It goes back to the concept of posting content that people find interesting and engaging, rather then strict marketing.
“Similarly when we started our blog,” says Shelley, “the initial blogs were just a way to put up our postcards. When we really started to blog we turned around and said that wasn’t really interesting. We began to open up the internal process of the museum and provide content that people care about.”
Electronic Comment Book in the Gallery - Street ‘credibility’ - walking the talk
The idea of community has its roots in their gallery. For a long time they have had “Community Voice Labels.” They would get quotes from visitors from the community, and these would be put on the wall, next to the official label. It has a physical presence. Now they have an electronic comment book both in the gallery and online at the same time.
“‘Street cred’ … it’s not marketing, it’s community. It’s making that commitment, and if you make that commitment your audience, I hope will see it. And then you get credibility and they care. We see it in our testimonials.”
Statistics for sites like Flikr and YouTube show that fewer then 1% actually participates in adding content. The rest are just looking. The participation is building. Bernstein says that, “We’re half way into the show and already have 300 comments. We’re building an audience. If you look at some of our older shows, we had fewer comments. This looks good to us.”
Finish what you start – (or don’t start)
“It’s a sizable commitment. If people are going to do this it’s a real commitment, and once you’ve jumped in, you have to keep on going. You have to have the time and commitment to do this right, otherwise, don’t do it at all.”
Bernstein notes, “Someone contacts us and says ‘We want to do a Myspace page just for this show.’ I ask them ‘Why? You spend this effort to build an audience and then just leave them.’ It makes no sense.”
It’s a community effort within the museum to build and maintain their social and web activities. Much of the Flickr content is provided by the education department, interns, and other staff, though all is updated by the IT department. The blog is different because there are many authors and its a direct publish - it doesn’t go through the Editorial, or Public Information Departments, but trust that the authors will follow the policies that have been set up. For projects that are directly related to exhibitions, the curators, the interpretive materials manager, and education are all involved.
ArtShare on FaceBook -Work and develop your social web presence organically
The Brooklyn Museum just developed a new application for FaceBook called ArtShare. This seemed like the right thing to do to engage with their community on this social site. ArtShare allows people to take the art they like and put it on their profile. The application is open and other Museums are using it to add art from their collections. In fact artists are encouraged to upload their own work too.
“The ideas often come up organically, we look at the exhibition schedule and talk about what might be appropriate. We have a conversation (internally), and then maybe come back to it a week or two later. The FaceBook idea came up really quickly, and we decided to do it. Almost all these things happen pretty fast and pretty organically. And I hope that that also comes across because it’s something that we try to do really hard here.”
VIDEO COMPETITON on YouTube - Align your activities with your mission
“…Dedicated to the primacy of the visitor experience…”
As with the other social networking sites, the team asked “What was the right kind of thing for YouTube?” “You have to define what the community is interested in and do that as opposed to constantly pushing your own stuff,” says Shelley. While they do have their own content there, they feel it’s really also about what other people produce. “Its funny,” says Shelley, “when you look at the videos that were part of the competition, they have way more hits than anything we put on YouTube.”
Bernstein is doing a great job on the transparency side too. Here are some pointers on the lessons learned from their video competition.
And let me know if you are doing something interesting and I'll write about it here!
Like most performing arts groups, budgets are tight at the Pittsburgh Symphony, so projects that can be done by volunteers, or as part of someone’s day to day job, or require limited funds, have been the primary focus. This is not to say the senior staff is not interested in social networking tools. Larry Tamburri, the PSO President, is strongly in favor of exploring activities like blogging. A number of basic projects have been undertaken including podcasts, blogs, MySpace Page, video posts to YouTube, as well as some more unique projects like web talk shows, and blog fests.
A strong team atmosphere as well as some key volunteers has been crucial. Says Jeff Tsai, Director of Corporate Support & Special Projects, “A wonderful resource in the orchestra is horn player Bob Lauer. He’s accustomed to bringing a camcorder into places we go or when interesting things are going on.
"For instance we recently played Messiaen's Turangalîla featuring the weird and wonderful instrument, the Ondes Martenot. Bob filmed this whole behind-the-scenes video for YouTube, with a good portion of the brass section and the Ondes Martenot player talking about what it is, and how it works.
WEB TALK SHOWS
“Bob’s also been involved with our web talk shows. We use a technology called ‘Talkshoe’, developed by a former Pittsburgh Symphony Board member, which allows people to host web-based talk shows. After a recent concert, the horn section remained on stage and hosted the show. People could call in, email or use a ‘chat’ function to pose their questions. At the end of the show, an MP3 of the event provided a ready-made podcast. The Talkshoe model also includes a revenue sharing feature that generates ad income for the host, based on traffic to the site.”
BLOGS and VIDEO INTERVIEWS
“We also have four blog hosts for our site. When we originally started our work, we wanted it to be a little different - not just having voices from within the orchestra, but invite outside opinion. The original purpose was to drive more web traffic, and therefore more foot traffic to the symphony. We had this naive idea that the involvement of volunteer writers would somehow duplicate the role of newspapers - magically at 1:00 am after a concert, blogs would appear about the concert, people would flood the site to read and comment, and ticket sales would soar. In reality, blog posts are often a week or more after an event, too late to drive traffic. If one takes away the ‘volunteer’ aspect it derails the purpose of having the blog. In the abstract we hope that the audience wants to read everything, but ultimately it’s the author’s individual voices that are interesting, not the organization.
Other projects have included hosting “blog fests” where members of the local blogging community are invited to come to concerts and then write about them on their blogs. IT Manager, Kevin DeLuca created short videos of upcoming events featuring musicians in the orchestra. For example, Principal Bassoonist, Nancy Goeres talks about the special role the bassoon plays in the Rite of Spring, both the genuine excitement, and real fear, around the unusual solos.
While there is not “risk capital” available for more extensive social networking activities at this time, there do seem to be some openings falling into place within the framework of their overall institutional goals. One of these goals is to build loyalty and create value through life long relationships (from the point of first contact, to their bequest). Key elements include: combining all the institutional relationships with a given household into one unit, building commitment, and creating easy and intuitive ways to connect with the symphony.
Social networking activities could be a perfect fit.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art just launched a new website in September, 2007 that is really taking the ideas of social media to heart. The “Interact” section includes Videos, Blogs, Podcasts, Tags, and the ability to comment. And in serious consideration of the idea of institutional transparency they have a cool ‘dashboard’ that is “an ongoing effort to measure various aspects of the Museum's performance” in areas like Art, Nature, Attendance, Financial, and Greening of the IMA.
Though only up for a few months at this point, the website has been in the planning for close to two years. Prior to the site launch, an in depth analysis of all the site content, and visitor history was made. The log files were reviewed to see what people searched for, and if they found what they were looking for. This in depth analysis was crucial for the redesign process.
Lining up actions with mission is so important, and the IMA really is working hard to match these up. Recently I spoke with Rob Stein, CIO for the museum. Stein came to the museum 2 years ago to help the IMA figure out how to leverage technology to deliver the world’s best art. And its so interesting to see right up front how their work and their mission statement line up…
“The Indianapolis Museum of Art is dedicated to providing a welcoming environment that fosters meaningful encounters between our visitors and the art of different cultures. Through creative use of its buildings, gardens, grounds and virtual space the Museum encourages the discovery and rediscovery of great works of art and nature.” [Underlines mine]
One of the leg’s of their institutional identity includes a tagline of “Its My Art.” They are finding ways to make it easily accessible, open, and welcome to visitor’s opinions. Finding ways to include visitor’s opinions so that they are engaging and interesting to others is also important.
These ideas play in well with social media tools. In fact Stein says that they often look to the social networking sites like FaceBook or YouTube or Flickr as well as some of the academic institutions and universities to see what the latest technology trends are.
TAGGING (I think this is really neat and powerful stuff!)
The IMA is among a group of 9 museums that received funding from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to study tagging. Their joint project is called Steve.Museum.
“Steve is a research project whose participants are building a tagging tool, collecting tags, analyzing data, and engaging in discussion. We hope to apply what we learn to improving access to works of art.”
What is tagging? It is using your own words to describe or categorize something and attach those words to that ‘something’. Think of it as using keywords to search Google, only you get to assign the words yourself. In the context of the museum, you can view the art online, and then use your own ‘keywords’ to describe it. You can also see what words other people used as well. Then you can click on any of the words you used as your tags and see what other art comes up that has the same tag.
For example, I clicked on a link to recent acquisitions and the title “Immortals dancing with a crane” caught my eye, even though the thumbnail image was almost indecipherable. Up came this beautiful, what I thought was Japanese but is Chinese Ming, painting. It didn’t have any ‘tags’ so I took the plunge. I added crane, flute, chinese, ming and dancing.
The IMA uses software called Captcha, to keep spam to a minimum. It’s the software where you have to key in the words or letters that appear in a little window. It is designed to prevent automated systems from being able to enter spam. Sometimes they keep me from entering in stuff too because I can’t make heads or tails of the letters. Fortunately they have a refresh button that gives you another choice or even an audio choice.
Since I am particularly fond of cranes, I clicked on the new ‘crane’ tag I had created and was linked to a page showing all the art work that has been tagged ‘crane’. There were only 2 so far. I just increased the choices by 100%!
When I talked with Stein about the tagging project he said that the project really hopes to find out if tagging really matters. Does it matter to visitors? What are the benefits? The project is in the early stages, but there are some interesting findings.
“If we look at the search logs, people are using different words then we do, to look for or describe things. We tend to be more academic. And interestingly, when people are asked to tag art, the result is twice as many tags when the art is presented without any kind of ‘official’ description or information about it, then if it comes with information. Clearly people also enjoy tagging, and find it fulfilling to read someone else’s tags. It’s also quite interesting to look at the tags that people used, and then to look again at the art to understand where that tag came from – what caused them to use those words.”
Rob noted that research has been done which shows that the longer the period of time that you spend looking at a work of art, the more meaning there will be. And other research shows that people tend to spend 10-30 seconds looking at a piece of art – which seems to be a reflection of contemporary culture. So it follows that finding ways to extend the length of time that someone spends will enhance their experience. One of the metrics they will use to determine their success will be tracking the average length of time someone spends at the site, and seeing if that amount of time increases especially on the pages featuring the art work.
Well, my brief foray into the museum tagging experience proves Rob’s point. I was engaged, and excited to participate and in the process found new ways to explore the museum.
Another question that came up for the IMA was how many people would tag art, and would there be enough volume to be interesting. It turns out that this has not been an issue at all. Even though the vast majority of visitors do not tag, the ones that do easily populate the site. Over 40,000 tags have been added since the site launched in September. (Blacklisting software prevents bad words from appearing. It’s been a very minor issue, with only 19 of 40,000 tags submitted triggering the blacklist software.) Another question for future investigation is the extent to which the IMA will correct tags that are incorrect, say calling a piece of work Japanese when in fact it is Chinese. (Oops that was almost me!)
Although the site has the ability to accept comments, it appears that it is not nearly as widely used as the tag feature.
The tagging software they use is open source and can be found HERE.
VIDEO and YouTube
The IMA is doing a super job of creating interesting video content and lots of it. Stein made the point that historically it would have been an issue for Museums to put large amounts of data online and be able to sustain heavy bandwidth that might be major on one day and minor on another. Now with sites like YouTube, they can post this content and not have to worry about this particular problem. It’s a win-win because YouTube needs lots of great content.
And they’ve done a really nice job of embedding them into their own site as well..
The IMA felt that institutional transparency was an important value. Not only is that apparent in their insider videos, but the ‘dashboard’ lets you see how they are doing as compared to their goals and objectives in real time. Because they are a nonprofit and not in a huge competitive commercial environment, they feel like they don’t need to hide their information. Many of the ideas for the dashboard were driven by Google Analytics which they have found quite useful.
For the museum, it’s a way to measure what they care about. Questions they are currently exploring include: “What are we measuring?” “Are we measuring it in the right way?” And if they aren’t measured on a regular basis over time, how do they know if they are improving those things? They have highlighted 9 statistics that they are tracking. For example, being “Green”, includes the kilowatts used. The system automatically generates an email every month to the person who gets the electric bill. He replies with the info which is entered into the system and then shows up on the dashboard. Other measurements like “attendance” are automated. Thermal cameras track warm bodies that enter and leave the museum. This information enters the system automatically.
Nice job IMA!