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The Digital Challenge
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The Digital Challenge


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Presentation given by Nick Poole, CEO Collections Trust on the digital challenge for museums, at the joint CT / Museums Galleries Scotland event on 2 March 2010.

Presentation given by Nick Poole, CEO Collections Trust on the digital challenge for museums, at the joint CT / Museums Galleries Scotland event on 2 March 2010.

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  • 1. THE DIGITAL CHALLENGE 2 March 2010 Nick Poole CEO Collections Trust
  • 2. “ Technology may change, people don’t..”
  • 3.
    • What do you want to do?
    • Who are you doing it for?
    • What is the best way of doing it with the resources at your disposal?
    • Technology for its own sake is worse than no technology at all
    Going back to first principles...
  • 4. Digital opportunities
  • 5.
    • Collections cover everything from physical objects to born-digital and digitised material
    • They include knowledge and organisational records which must be managed as an asset
    • The skills we need to manage Digital collections? Curatorship, conservation, documentation
    • “ Digitisation is acquisition by scanner”
    1. Collections are no longer just physical
  • 6.
    • Technology is good at large-scale repetition
    • It can provide a low-cost way of reaching a large number of people
    • It can’t replace having something useful/interesting to say
    • Technology can be the medium, but rarely the message
    • Digital marketing should only ever be one part of a well-conceived Marketing Strategy
    • Your audience are more likely habitual mobile phone users than Internet surfers
    2. Technology for Marketing
  • 7.
    • A new generation of Internet services are educating the public in a different kind of social interaction
    • Consumers are used to having a relationship with the services they use
    • They expect the right to have a voice, and if you let them talk to you, it’s likely they’ll also talk about you
    • The online environment can be anonymous and hence more welcoming
    • If someone comes into your museum and tells you a story about something in your collections, what would you do with it? Would you replace the label?
    3. Technology for Engagement
  • 8.
    • Your museum is a Small/Medium Enterprise
    • Technology can make a good process more efficient
    • It can also make a bad process worse
    • Your management records (personnel, finance, meeting minutes) are as much a part of the knowledge of your organisation as the catalogue
    • Silos of information are unhealthy
    4. Technology for Management
  • 9.
    • How will you ensure that your Digital service is here in 7 years time?
    • What are the new models emerging from the Digital environment?
    • Freenomics – the principle that when technology enters a market, it reduces costs to the point at which prices tend towards free
    • The transactional content industry is struggling
    • We aren’t at a scale where content or advertising are real options
    • We’re really dependent on downstream, non-economic ROI
    5. Digital Business Models
  • 10.
    • Digitisation has been a priority for much of the past 10 years
    • A digital asset without a delivery channel is a liability
    • Digitising something and putting it on the web does not result in access
    • Again, it’s about first principles
    • What are you trying to do, who for and what is the best mechanism for reaching them?
    6. From Digitisation to Digital services
  • 11.
    • The consumer is not looking for museum websites
    • They are, however, looking at consumer sites, price comparison sites, travel planning sites, Government, e-commerce, social networking, online TV-on-demand and Google
    • We need to go to where the punter is
    • We need to understand that their expectations of quality and usability are forged in online supermarkets and iTunes – this is what your searchable collections database is competing with.
    7. Working with Consumer behaviour
  • 12.
    • Many (most) online models only work at scale
    • Many (most) cultural institutions don’t have the reach to operate at this scale
    • Working together, shared services, collaboration and aggregation are vital
    • Working with established media brands and using other organisations’ market share is key
    • The aim is to work with the web, not against it
    7. Working at web scale
  • 13.
    • Digital isn’t different
    • It’s an extension of the same journey we’ve always been on
    • The skills we have are the skills we need
    • Technology can’t fix a bad idea, but it can give a good one wings
    • It’s very, very, very, very hard to make real, direct money with Digital
    • It offers the opportunity to create a new, deeper relationship with our users
    In conclusion