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Day 2, debate 4, Lee Rotbart
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Day 2, debate 4, Lee Rotbart


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  • 1. 10 Dec 2009 The Participation Gap Framing the debate
  • 2. Defining Terms
  • 3.
    • The gap between what is offered, and who is participating
    Audiences Participants The Participation Gap
  • 4.
    • It’s all about interactivity
    • 3D sites
    • Sites that have conversations
    • Sites that trigger a dialogue
    Web 2.0
  • 5.
    • Cultural and heritage organisations
    • With small budgets
    • Limited resources
    • Managing a gap between hard-to-reach and easy-to-reach audiences
    And you
  • 6. The debate
  • 7.
    • To stimulate ideas
    • Ideas that you can implement tomorrow
    • With very little resources
    • To reach more audiences
    What are we here for?
  • 8.
    • Are we still expecting audiences to come to us?
    • Even in a digital space is the emphasis on them to close the gap?
    • Do we think we’re being flexible when we’re really not?
    • Are we empowering our users?
    • Or are we just giving them more things to play with?
    Why does this gap exist?
  • 9. Views of the panel
  • 10.
    • You will hear a number of different viewpoints and theories
    • If you think about a new and different way of doing things it’s GOOD
    • Tell us about what you’re doing, why you think it works – or doesn’t!
    What do we think?
  • 11.
    • Arts organisations I have worked with that have been particularly successful at closing the participation gap have done the following:
    I am not objective
    • They have not relied on digital alone
    • They have empowered users
    • They ask people offline to take things online
    • They ask audiences to take responsibility for spreading the word
    • Personalisation is encouraged
    • They have made it EASY
  • 12.
    • Older audiences are less web savvy
      • The ones that are, are participating
    • The gap is with the new audiences that are not coming to you
      • You must go to them
    • You must enter their world, work with them and bring them into yours
    • These are younger people who ‘like’ in packs (get one = get all)
      • They are not early adopters
      • They will not take kindly to being told HOW to participate
    Traditional audiences vs. New Audiences
  • 13.
    • We need to do it…
    • Through…
    Close the gap
    • Empowerment
    • Personalisation
    • Entering their world
    • Giving them responsibility
    • Giving them a good reason to come to your site
  • 14. Back to you
  • 15.
    • What have you done to ‘close the gap’?
    • Do you even think the gap exists?
    • Does it matter if the gap exists?
    • If you are getting 80% of attendances from 20% of your audiences are you better off focusing on those already participating?
    • Do the skills gaps in your organisation reflect the participation gap?
    • Does the age gap between those you are trying to attract and your staff make a difference in engaging with audiences digitally?