Colin Wight, British Library: Cambridge Libraries Conference 2013
MAKING A DIFFERENCEwith online exhibitionsColin WightWeb EditorThe British Library9 January 2013
Introductory remarks… From my perspective, not intended to be corporate boasting! Not a blueprint for success, but about what we’ve learned so far It helps to work in a permissive culture where you can dip a toe in the water It also helps to discuss your ideas within a team I hope some of our experiences will be of interest and of value
Online resources linked to physical exhibitions ‘Henry VIII Man and Monarch’: Summer 2009 Website did not attract as many users as we had hoped, but… Curator’s Blog had 56 posts = 3 every week; 20,000+ views during the exhibition Lots of podcasts, which had thousands of downloads each month
Online resources linked to physical exhibitions ‘Points of View’: Winter 2009 Website did not attract as many users as we had hoped, but there were more comments Curator’s Blog was a great success, owing to a man on a bike with a camera ‘London 1870s and now’ was dreamed up by the web team and added to the exhibition at last minute! Using a Google map & ‘locative messaging’
Online resources linked to physical exhibitions ‘Magnificent Maps’: Summer 2010 Curator’s Blog was actually written by the curator; a first! Just 4 maps from the exhibition, with deep zoom & hotspots Perhaps less can be more Stephen Walter’s ‘The Island’ went viral...!
Online resources linked to physical exhibitions ‘Evolving English’: Winter 2010 Three curators now writing the blog… Lots of podcasts Map your Voice: a genuine crowd-sourcing research project Twitter came along at just the right time for us A near fatal dose of Mr Tickle
Online resources linked to physical exhibitions ‘Royal Manuscripts’: Winter 2011 Curators’ Blog already running before the exhibition opened Decision to build the exhibition in Facebook albums… reaching a secondary audience A very nice iPad app And Turning the Pages online – showing beautiful books as well as we can
Online resources linked to physical exhibitions ‘Writing Britain’: Summer 2012 Not very visual, so only a few key items on the web pages All about showcasing the physical exhibition, which was priced (during the Olympics…) Pin-a-Tale: a genuine crowd-sourcing research project? Moderately successful, in a format we can re-use – surprisingly hard to scope in terms of usability
In conclusion: a few points to consider Fragmentation – do your exhibition objects integratewith others on your site and elsewhere, so they canbe cross-searched, and with similar tools (such aszoom, share)? Rise of the blog / Facebook etc. – you could buildyour online exhibition without a website Copyright and licensing of images: do you have anaccess and reuse policy? CC BY, Public Domain? SEO – do the images have alt tags, keywords? Teamwork – do the ‘curators’ respect ‘marketing’?