Welcome, name current activities. Community of restaurant critics and restaurants, community of female entrepreneurs and investors, community of museums and museum visitors. Alls companies are busy with building and maintaining communities based on content and network (and later perception & marketing comes in). These are networked companies. I will talk today about the networking possibilities in the current age of a museum (or group of museums) and how museums should think, and which questions they should raise and answer when they are in the process of building communities.
Before we talk about what is happening today, I want to step back to the pre-internet networking of a museum. In old times there were: Museum Friends, Museum Card Holders, Museum Clubs, Rotary & Lions Service Clubs, Museum Lessons through School, International & National Art Fairs, Museum Night, Tour Operators, Art Professional Networks These were all Social/Business/Educational Networks. The director for example was part of the Rotary: he knew with whom he could deal and the networking was limited, equal and effective. It was a network with limited number of people to reach. Of course there were rules how to engage with each other, there was the possibility of sharing ideas, of getting feedback, and the friends in your network could be your best ambassadors for the museum. ( I think that we should stand still by the qualities which one needed to network in the old days, as a lot of these qualities are currently attributed to social media attitude, while I think that these qualities were also needed then, but only fewer people were networking) So, the people in your network knew each 50 other people and that was your entrance to a second thier community. The museum could reach these people with networking, and small communities surrounded the museum, and apart from the networking in these targeted communities, the museum would market ad advertise to the ‘ mass market’, by sending their message across a lot of channels (newspaper, books, mailing lists)
In the current climate these existing communities of the museum have gone online. That means that the possibilities to deal with these existing communities is no longer limited to certain offline events. I will get back later what it means for the museum to engage with these existing communities.
The purpose of the ‘so called old- Networks and partnerships were diverse: they would be part of the Museum as meeting place, Let’s Do Something Together (as a Family, as a Group, as Tourists), Watch Exhibition, Networking, Educational Purposes, Fundraising The people in the network were used as Consumers of Existing Place (Museum) The networks were initiated to get people in the museum, as a social visit or as an educational visit, or to engage people to get funding for new acquisitions etc. The museum was there for the consumers, the museum requested something (come and visit this exhibition) and the consumers answered (by buying a ticket), or the other way around: the consumer wanted to get together with a friend to do something and the museum provided that offline space. Or the museum needed money for an acquisition and the friends of the museum would be invited by the museum to an event to raise money. All the networking had as a focus the existing space of the museum, and the museum was ‘sending’ messages and exhibitions to the public.
If we look at internet today, there are many more communities of people, there are many more networks where people are part of. Ilet me state a list quiclky: LinkedIn, Twitter, A SmallWorld, Xing, MSN Spaces, Museum 2.0, Museum 3.0 Facebook, Schoolbank.nl, Ning, Xanga, Netlog, Myspace.com, E-factor, Hi5, Flickr, Plaxo, Pulse, Mindz, The Next Women, Bebo, WAYN, Yelp, IENS, These are again Social, Educational, Business Networks The possibilities to come in contact with peopleand to group into a network are endless. People form many types of online communities, sometimes subdivided in smaller communities, geographically or with a certain topic in mind, or with a certain activity in mind, regardless of the topic. Communities that did not exist or in any case could hardly be reached before internet, can now thrive because of the internet and the social component of the internet. Obviously that is a major change for a museum who is calling upon people to come to a museum; they can now call upon communties.
The various purposes of these online communities is more diverse than ever was possible before internet. Purpose to share photos, powerpoint presentations, video’s or music, or to publish content or one own’s thoughts, to play games, to talk, to network or to microblog or to live a virtual life. Not only do people of various backgrounds and title form communities, there are many more people part of a community than before, while the activity they are doing has no limits. The museum stands in the middle of all these online communities: this means that apart from the existing old scholl communities that are offline, and the online community that these offline communities have formed, there are also a lot of new communities that the museum can chose to be part of. It is clear that the museum should redefine its networking function with these communities. I on purpose talk about networking, as opposed to marketing. For a lot of communities, one should start with the basis of networking to establish a solid base; only after that marketing comes into place. Of course one can do it the other way around, get a huge following through marketing and then start networking with these communities, however the networking part must always be a part of the strategy.
There is one particular feature with the new formed online communities; most of these communties like to meet each other in real life at some point. I mention a couple of online communities and subcommunities which all have organized an offline meeting moment at one point, the social aspect of the networking becomes very important. Museums: use online communities for offline events: use the online communities as new source for a social visit to the Museum
As becomes apparent, for a long time it was what you know, that was enough for a museum, as it had a lot of knowledge, then it became important who you know, and see Saatchi director Paul Arden said: ‘ It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ And its true, a lot of companies are banking on the fact that they know a lot of people, that they reach a lot of people, and that the viral possibilities of knowing people online is inmense. If look to my own Linkedin profile for example, it says that I reach directly about 500 people, and indirectly more than 1 million. But numbers are not enough. The internet has made it possible to know anyone without boundaries, but knwledge, knowing people hard work, great ideas, is not enough. You need to network. But now we say something different: Simone Brummelhuis says: ‘ Its what you and they know, who you and they know and how you and they engage (share)’ Many more relationships can be made, and that’s why more communications, time, money, is needed to meet and connect with the visitors you want to know. If you want to keep your museum running, you need to develop a relationship with your new audience = networking = community building? TO DO: DESIGN A New Community Building STRATEGY Old marketing: Plaats, Prize, Product and Promotion, becomes new marketing Passion, Person, Profile, Publicity, but actually what is said that marketing has become networking A lot of the old marketin tools are not working any more It’s what you know + who you know Museum has the content, it has the “what you know”, but it needs to redefine who it wants to know: possibilties are endless. The Networked Museum has to redefine it self
If you want to design such community building strategy, the following questions are there to be answered: Why do you want to know people online? Where in the online sphere are the people you want to know? How do you get to know them online? Who is getting to know them? And also you need to measure it! A strategy is needed because without it eventually you be lost, ( go nuts..) and you will have no means to prove that you are doing the right new community building.
The first question: Iwhy? Short Answer is: Because They are! In order to decide to connect online as a museum (I.e before, during or after anyone makes a visit to the museum), it makes sense to look at the demographics of your network, and see why they are now or in the future online? Here are the statistics: 75% of potential museum visitors search online prior to visit Demographics of (potential) museum visitors is increasingly to be found: online individually, for business, for networking, for social purposes. (paperless society) Visitors base decisions on reviews (word of mouth marketing) Visitors like to buy online (tickets, guides) Online communities should be reached because they want to socialize offline (museum as a social visit) Planning travels happens online (museum as planning source) People search information online (museum as information source) People watch photo’s/tv online (museum as information source) If you are not convinced you can let yourself dazzled by tons of marketing examples in which companies has gotten enormous attention by people and increased their target market through online activities. Games, campaigns etc. Most of these examples are not about long term community building and maintenance. Museums do not use the new networking possibilities enough, they use the tools but have not thought about the community building behind it. The Why is an important question. I would rather like to point out to Huddle, Obama, Nike runnersworld, who are not marketing to their communites but who are networking their communities, they give, share and keep them alive.
The second question: Where: After one has decided why to connect online, Q has to be answered where are the existing communities to harness and where are communities to be build and created. A museum may not be able to build its own community, but will be able to harness existing communities. (example IENS + single restaurants) First you can use some tools such as Google alerts, technorati, reputation management tools are used to establish where you or your topic is being networked. But you have to do research on the following networks, where are your interest groups, soulmates, markets. General Networks Interested audience on Ning, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Meetup, SlideShare, WAYN, Youtube Museum Networks Online platform for ‘Old School’ Communities + Museum 2.0., Museum 3.0 Business Networks Entrepreneurial networks, Women networks, Senior networks Create, become part of or harness communities Also, one need to distinquish the communities itself from the tools that some communities are (youtube). Online communities are also inter-connected. Communities are further subdivided. Be careful: Multiple Social Network Syndrome
Now that you know why, and where, define your aim what to do with these communities and how to connect with them: Generally you can distinguish 4 features of the museum: Museum as a Social Place Become accelerator/moderator of these communities with the aim of getting these people also in the museum Get the communities to organize offline events in museum Get the visitor from consumer into producer of their own museum visit, a place where you hangout (Applestore) Museum as Educator Inform the Visitor, Invent Games Museum as Facilitator Get the visitors to organize own events (crowdsourcing), and own exhibitions, have them reviewed etc. Museum as Profit Centre Sell tickets, Practice customer relations
Almost a final strategy, but who is going to do this: Director Museum, (see the association of museum directors, do not take lead yet) Community Manager (he/she is a matchmaker, but should not do it self) Museum Guides (they are the ground floor ambassadors) Audience Evangelists, Amateurs, Experts, Forrester Research; don’t focus to much on Creators There are many more Listeners and Users, Participators, Talkers, Creators
Before you design such strategy, address the myth surrounding social media. Find your answers and design your own answers. Free: opp. Costs, paid memebership, Easy, networking was never easy, but can be done now also faceless Great content: distribution is better Traditional community building: no, go places, conferences, rotary etc. with a face! The more friends the better: see twitterlist of museum There are no rules: for networking there were always rules, they have not become less.
As with anything that you start + learn, there are barriers to overcome. Barriers: reason to stop, change, Social attitude: shy have a place Reputation damage: have a set of rules in place when people start complaining, define your brand No message: what are you going to put in the new networks: 1000 youtube films does not give you a community
Effectiveness: define the goals (such as brand awareness, sale of tickets, loyalty, number of reviews) Knowledge: see books, workshops, consultants, but just do it Losing control: use the viral effect, other will make films about you it’s about sharing and the results that give (example of downloadable book in new york bestseller
We have now answered many questions to design the community building strategy. I want to leave you with a couple of thought for the start of the community building. As with old school networking, you have to be patient and very kind in establishing long term relation ships, you have to give (be humble) and true to your self and honest in your intentions and you need to be everywhere in the beginning (online RSS + offline (diiligent). You cannot overwhelm someone, but must be moderate. You have to listen, you have to share your network, ideas.(charity) and you cannot only ask or send. You have to be kind, by giving other credit (retweet, digg) Social media guidelines come up with the new set of rules, but I think they come from the marketing perspective, where sending was always the thing, while in the networking mind,engaging was always within these set of rules. So base you basis strategy on the virtues.
Once however, you have a basis, you need to use marekting principles (vices) if you want, to engage the community further. Profiling of people (vanity or pride) Best reviews on top (envy) Competitions (pride + greed) Lust ( our text, sexy roles) Indulgelgent photos etc. There is a fine line between these concepts f community building & maintenance, give rise to discussion about value of the company. Lust example: extravagance, excessive: you tube, amazon, netaporter Greed: Linkedin Sloth. Laziness indifference:, Google, Envy: I want what she is having: Amazon Pride: Wkipedia
60 90K 6 million Start community to connect with cooks, rest est. become expert in the field and atach to communties (FD etc), Online_Offline events Later traffic en masse User generated content (virtues) Later vices: lists (lazyness), supertaster (vanity), get them mentioned in the book Reward them (greed) Faceless community (profiles can be difficult)
A Business Magazine & Community aimed at Female Business Heroes Old Social Networks AVSV, Hockeyclub, Rachel Ruys Cirkel New Social Networks LinkedIn, Twitter, Meetup, Facebook Online/Offline Funding & Pitching Events, Kitchen Dinners, Meetup
Currently a direct community of 10,000 women who are leading, founding and investing in online companies and indirect reaching 100,000 women. Community built up through website, newsletter, social media, media partnerships A potential untapped market of: UK – 1 million female entrepreneurs with 90k female led start-ups in 2008 The Netherlands – 35k female led start-ups in a year USA – 20 million female founders Europe-wide female entrepreneurs
Harness other people’s communities, we share content
Twitter: aim to become the expert, later traffic, sales of events, opinions Offline events Faceto face community online+offline
Old company, expert, data, publishers Wish of museum trough surveys Harnass the community of museum guides, tourists, experts 1 museum among many makes more sense (antique shop in a street of antique shops) We are looking to the museum as a social visit
THE NETWORKED MUSEUM WHY, WHERE & HOW TO BUILD COMMUNITIES? DISH 2009
‘ Old School’ Communities Museum Tours: Book Clubs: Knitting Clubs: Rotary: Friends of Museums
How to Connect Online? Aim: Museum as a Social Place Museum as an Educator Museum as a Profit Centre Museum as a Facilitator
Who to Connect Online? Tour Guides Speakers Artists Directors
Myth of Community Building <ul><li>Its Free </li></ul><ul><li>Its Easy </li></ul><ul><li>There are no Rules </li></ul><ul><li>Great Content is Everything </li></ul><ul><li>You cannot Build Relationships Online </li></ul><ul><li>The more Friends, the Better </li></ul><ul><li>It won’t Last </li></ul><ul><li>It replaces Traditional Community Building </li></ul>The lament for Icarus
Barriers to New Community Building <ul><li>Time </li></ul><ul><li>Social Attitude </li></ul><ul><li>Reputation Damage </li></ul><ul><li>No Brand </li></ul><ul><li>No Message </li></ul>
And more Barriers to overcome <ul><li>Effectiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Pro’s and Con’s </li></ul><ul><li>Fear </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge and Capability </li></ul><ul><li>Losing Control </li></ul>