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Community Management: Operations


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An operational look at the work of a community manager, case study:

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Community Management: Operations

  1. 1. Operations Management and Improvement Plan By Justin Fenwick 1
  2. 2. Executive Summary (OMP)! Overview! 4 4 Current Condition! 5 Target Condition! 7 Summary of Changes! 9 Operations Management Plan! Physical Process - Current Condition! 9 9 Demand Projection! 11 Capacity Management! 12 Process Design! 12 Work Scheduling! 13 Physical Process - Target Condition! 13 Production Redesign & Improvement! 13 Obstacles = Opportunities! 15 Managing “Supply” in the Future! 15 Financial Impact! 16 Costs (Y1)! 16 Revenue! 16 Appendix 1! 17 Appendix 2! 18 Appendix 3! 19 Appendix 4! 20 2
  3. 3. Appendix 5! 21 Appendix 6! 22 Appendix 7! 23 3
  4. 4. Executive Summary (OMP) Overview The history of is unique. This project grows directly out of the Washtenaw County Cultural Master Plan, a county-wide effort with the arts and cultural community to put words to action. Led by the Arts Alliance, a local nonprofit, it sought to determine the best course for the arts and cultural community and ensure its longevity and success locally. The creation of responds to the #1 request of arts/cultural organizations and artists: provide assistance to help them market themselves and their offerings more effectively. The Arts Alliance has created a county-wide arts and culture web portal in response to artists' and arts/cultural organizations' plea for a centralized online arts site. This site has been under development with extensive community input since early 2009 and is planned to launch on March 26th. (The URL will be - the "a3arts" stands for Ann Arbor Area arts.) The Arts Alliance has created on online home for all things arts and culture in Washtenaw County. This arts and culture portal serves as a gathering place and connection point for art producers and art consumers in the greater Ann Arbor Area and serve as the web base for the Arts Alliance. Art producers consist of working artists, non-working artists, performance venues such as theaters, exhibit venues such as galleries and museums and the like. Art consumers consist of those commissioning or purchasing physical art, performance or exhibit ticket buyers or those observing or appreciating art in any form. While art producers and consumers are the main audiences, the secondary audiences consist of those needing more information about the Arts Alliance and other arts and culture information gatherers. They would typically be looking for facts and figures and unique perspectives. This would include members of the media, policy makers and economic developers. Challenges The main operational challenges include creating content that is appealing to and identifying with the culturally rich urban center without alienating those in the rural surroundings. The second challenge is motivating art producers to contribute content to the site. Perceived gaps in content will have to be filled through Arts Alliance’s efforts. Art producers will need to contribute art, experience, events and learning opportunities for the consumers as well as resources for other art producers. It will only be THE online source for arts and culture in Washtenaw County only if there is significant original content and activity on the site. Combined, this creates a complex operational web of production. Product Users can create personal profiles to show examples of their work, swap services, and link to their own home pages. The site is welcome to artists and art forms of any category (musicians, painters, writers, etc.), and is also capable of carrying photos, audio samples, and video clips. Additionally there are three other main components of the site beyond the profiles: Events, 4
  5. 5. Share, and Thoughts (fig. 1). These represent the bits of information, or product, in care of the operations of and its community. Customers will bring expectations that will shape the product variety. (Figure 1) Customer Definition Very simply put,’s customers are any visitors to the website. There are also users to which featured ads will be sold, an additional customer category. The specific population to be served by this project will be the artists (visual, performing, and literary) and cultural organizations based in Washtenaw County. According to the Artists Census conducted by the Arts Alliance in 2008, there are some 2,530 individuals who identify themselves as artists in the county. Based on the NEW Center database of nonprofit organizations, there are over 125 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in the county. Inasmuch as the creative producers are able to communicate their offerings more effectively, the true beneficiaries of this project will be the citizens of Washtenaw County. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Washtenaw County's population of 323,000. This project will change community behavior as the web portal becomes recognized as the "go-to" website for all things arts and cultural in Washtenaw County. On the one hand, potential audiences, arts buyers, policymakers, funders, the media and others will go to this site as their primary choice to obtain cultural information. The breadth and scope of the cultural activities listed on will encourage more people to take advantage of more types of cultural events, and will support efforts to attract tourists and others to the area. The wealth of information about individual artists will graphically demonstrate the size and breadth of this population, which will help to change public recognition of the importance of the cultural sector to Washtenaw County. On the other hand, will provide a virtual gathering place for area artists to find each other, share information and ideas, and post work samples (audio, visual, and literary). A common complaint heard during the cultural plan project was that artists felt extremely isolated and disconnected from each other. As artists and arts promoters/presenters find each other on the web portal, new collaborations and sharing of resources will take place, among other activities. Current Condition The website is currently live in beta testing on During this time the Arts Alliance is encouraging the arts and cultural community to register on the site and begin using it. The general public has not yet been formally introduced to The goal of this period is both populating the site with users and readying content so it is worthy of consumption for our new customers once the site goes live. Currently, the site has over 100 registered members. 5
  6. 6. Information, the product, comes in four major varieties: Profiles, events, share ads, and thought posts. Because the site is open to anyone, the production is completed by the Arts Alliance as well as any registered users. The entire operations is the responsibility of Justin Fenwick, Arts Alliance’s Outreach Manager. While is his primary responsibility, he is also responsible for a yearly conference, networking groups and volunteers, and general office support. For the most part, site functionality, content, quality, rate of participation (production), moderation, and evaluation are his to manage. The only function not entirely under his umbrella is the sale of ads located in the featured sections of the site (fig. 2). Fenwick’s supporting staff consists of three other employees and one significant marketing volunteer. These individuals are not trained in web content and have other significant responsibilities. Finally, the remaining components involve social media Figure 2 outlets where the Arts Alliance has presence. This includes You Tube, Facebook, and Twitter. Because of the interconnected nature of information online our product flow and creation knows few boundaries. This is both an asset and complication. Essentially, the Arts Alliance is forced to deal with many of the complications surrounding outsourcing production. Yet, since the customer is also part of the production team, there are unique advantages to be had in better meeting and reaching their needs. Fenwick’s efforts have been very focused on community outreach and less focused on the product. During this outreach he is offering free community trainings on the topic of internet marketing to initiate an exchange of value. This olive branch is essentially the main employment tool. The recipients of this value now better understand’s purpose and are more willing to create useful content, of which a very basic criteria is shared. For now, these efforts have served as going to see the “production floor” and learning through invitations to share and perceived experiences. Fenwick is using this to go to the source, to view these community members as they experience their “first day on the job.” Through this they are exposed to Facebook and Twitter, also parts of the information production line. Hopefully each person participating in the training will join somewhere along the production line in the near future. The responsibility of content is internal as well as external. Fenwick has focused much of his efforts on Facebook and Twitter in the build up to the website launch. Mainly, this is because there are few customers visiting To date, the following guidelines for internal content generation are: A. Useful information, news, announcements not related to Arts Alliance you think others would find of value; B. Asking questions of others, chatting with others, and responding to others who initiate an exchange with you ; C. Information and posts of others, spread other's good news; D. Recent news about Arts Alliance; and 6
  7. 7. E. Sharing personal tidbits and thoughts and opinions. This represents a production schedule. The product flow is regulated by a goal to produce equally of each, with no concern to order. For example, the product flow could be AABCEDDBCE or EBDECACDBA because each maintains the equal production goal. While this is a posted guideline on every internal staff member’s monitor, there has been no tracking or review. To date, only one other staff member other than Fenwick actively participates in production. While the operations are off the ground, has not seen any indication of real demand for its products. Fenwick, in addition to the trainings and on no particular schedule, collects feedback and solves identified functionality problems, moderates calendar posts for complete and accurate information. Other areas are currently set internally in the CMS (content management system) to allow immediate posting from the users. The CMS serves as an access point to the website’s database from which information is stored and displayed. Most immdediate posting delays will exist or not because of the settings in the CMS. The varying levels of controls have advantages and disadvantages to be tested out. It is imperative that the expectations of a visitor to the site are met. A visitor brings with them expectations that dictate the product they prefer, no matter a new or return visitor (Appendix 5 & 6). Each visit is a work order and ideally the customer is met with what they need because it was already produced and waiting. There is no strategy behind this at this point. With the site launch soon around the corner, the influx of demand and customer needs will dramatically increase. So too will the number of content creators available to produce the right amount of variety necessary to drive more traffic. Because in the end, project sustainability depends on a steady revenue stream, not grants. Satisfied customers with their needs met will view our subtle feature advertising offer with trust and be more willing to drive its value up. Target Condition To differentiate itself from competitors and be as relevant as possible to potential visiting customers, needs to provide a few key experiences. (1) Identity; (2) Reputation; (3) Trust; and (4) Creation of Site Content (Appendix 6). Below is a description of each target condition as it would be when the site reached maturity in a few years. The web portal is will serve as a gateway to all things arts and cultural in Washtenaw County. As such, it has three key functions: 1) to help users find and link to the web sites of the region's arts organizations and artists, 2) to provide a virtual gathering place for area artists to find each other, share information and ideas, and post work samples (audio, visual, and literary), and 3) to offer a convenient information resource for arts managers, audiences, media, advocates, teachers, and others seeking events information, reports, studies, and other data about arts and culture in Washtenaw County as well as best practices elsewhere. Identity 7
  8. 8. This site is the online spot to initiate a physical connection to arts and culture in Washtenaw County. Arts and culture in Washtenaw County is based on the physical existence of people and experiences. These people and experiences, to some degree, are unique to the greater Ann Arbor Area and need to express this. The stories of these art producers are shared as a differentiation point, create a sense of place and provide a constant drive of original content. These perspectives shed a light on things such as being an artist in Michigan, being part of the art culture in Ann Arbor, arts and culture outside of Ann Arbor, art and culture’s impact on Michigan’s economy and specific art insider experiences. The site should demonstrate the importance of the arts from quality of life and economic standpoints. The arts should be made accessible to all via this portal. Goals: (1) Site users report new relationships, economic gain, higher turnout at events, and sharing of resources as a result of being a member of the community. (2) Site users report a strong sense of purpose and identity and state that it highly influenced their decision to become return visitors. Measurement: Responses to a survey sent to site users. Success: Respondents, on average, strongly indicate benefits in all desired areas Reputation Is a online Washtenaw County arts and culture destination that represents the county in an honest and authentic way. Errors in information are at a minimum, including user generated content. The content is current and relevant. This requires a significant user base, with greatest emphasis on art producers creating the content that best represents their community. Reputation management is robust and protects the brand and Arts Alliance’s abilities to successfully promote the site (Appendix 3). Goal: (1) Is THE place for arts and culture in Washtenaw County. Measurement: The writing quality of all content on the web site. Quality will be determined by the number of event postings that are moderated (removed, moved, or edited) each week. Success: 25% or less of listings require moderation Measurement: Site content is being used, duplicated, and reference on the web. Success: Weekly outside references as tracked through Google Alerts are made to content Trust Art producers feel comfortable to connect to other art producers to share resources and ideas and art producers to connect to art consumers to allow for the promotion of the arts. These users become informal influencers and evangelists that promote and drive traffic to the site on their own accord through positive contributions to the brand. Goal: (1) More site promotion is being completed by external users than internal staff. Measurement: Use incoming site statistics to determine where site traffic is coming from. Success: A majority of site content is driven by external efforts, posts, and site Creation of Site Content 8
  9. 9. The users provide a bulk of the content with the Arts Alliance providing specialty information for the customers. The arts and cultural community comes to share their stories, which are unique to the region. Goal: A sense of identity, reputation, and trust creates a core of users active in created all variety of site content. Measurement: The number of artists and arts/cultural organizations that have entered their information onto the site and are creating site content regularly. Success: 450 - 849 registered users , 45 - 85 are active on the site Acceptable: 250 - 449 registered users, 25 - 45 are active on the site Unacceptable: Fewer than 249 registered users, 25 or less active users This target condition assumes that when quality of the process is improved so will our revenue opportunities through ad sales. Additionally, not previously mentioned, authentic value provided to the community means that the site will be able to see revenue, that is support, from grants. It is also very customer focused because that should be the driver throughout the work process, especially the best case scenario is that our customers become workers on the production line of information. Summary of Changes The changes proposed are loosely based off of the living systems principles as presented by H. Thomas Johnson and Anders Broms in their book “Profit Beyond Measure: Extraordinary Results through Attention to Work and People.” These include self-organization, interdependence, and diversity. The changes are focused around spreading responsibility, consolidating resources, reducing the production time of information, and engaging customers so they make the conversion to producing valuable content on Operations Management Plan Physical Process - Current Condition The current condition of the physical process describes the cultural “as-is” state of expectation and understanding. As the current operations manager, or equivalent, for this process Justin Fenwick wears many hats. As seen in Appendix 1, Fenwick’s broad process includes listening to the customer and future producers; being agile to different types of supply of information and improving to accommodate, ensuring cohesiveness of content, brand, identity, and reputation; and finally accountability to a safe and trusting community as well as accurate information. The loop is closed because there is mutual influence in all parts of the process. Fenwick is the most significant bottleneck in the process, expansion of staff is limited by the funds of the Arts Alliance. Some examples of process time for certain tasks include: An average of 10 minutes for review and moderation of a posted event; trainings usually take 4 hours including preparation, travel, and set-up; each user question takes about 5 minutes to answer; and monitoring all 9
  10. 10. conversations and engaging where appropriate (Appendix 3) across social media and takes about 2 hours each day. So while Fenwick is an essential part of production, any significant increases in demand would break the capacity of the production system. He must turn towards a larger and free workforce, the customers themselves, to spread out job responsibilities. Looking at the entire production process is difficult because it weaves in and out of the internal walls of the Arts Alliance. When looking at the appendix diagrams you see three major components: (1) Internal content creation; (2) External content creation; and (3) Shared content creation. Internal being Arts Alliance generated, external representing all other parties, and shared indicating where the process is not entirely completed by one or the other. Additionally, there are two different modes of production: (1) Dedicated & (2) Organic. Dedicated production is either internal or external users that directly create content with few steps involved in creating the content. Organic production involves mostly external users that must have a user experience first, on or off, before deciding to create content. There is a conversion from organic to dedicated that can occur. It is first important to understand the various points of dependency between these worlds. (1) Internal content creation is best represented by Appendix 2 & 4. It depends on the expectations of a visitor and learnings from feedback and conversations online. It also depends on monitoring and exploring new online content not directly related to the Arts Alliance. There is also various decisions to be made via the content’s purpose and intent, in line with internal goals and customer expectations. Ideally, the variety is triggered by visitor interest and allows determination of the production schedule via the guidelines of internal content creation already mentioned. CMS approval processes can be avoided with internal information. (2) External content creation is best represented by Appendix 4 & 6. It depends on a desire to post on, guidelines for content, the discerning eye of Fenwick. This content can depend on the user experience and whether or not it is positive. Finally, not so well represented in the appendices is the influence of community outreach and marketing efforts. This includes participating in community conversations elsewhere online that reference or the Arts Alliance. This is a continuous experience shaped by the Arts Alliance in conjunction with the site users themselves. (3) Shared content creation is best represented by Appendix 2, 3, & 4. It depends on potential site content generated elsewhere on the web that is digested and reposted. Interaction efforts outside of Arts Alliances realm may entice content posting on Lastly, agreements may be made with influential individuals to replicate content they are already creating or create new for the site. These partnerships are with information suppliers and working towards that information being “made to order.” These dependencies represent strategic points of influence along the value chain. Facilitating these processes to be more efficient, especially in the exchange of customer information, ensures there is no intended value lost in the production of information. It requires strong communication 10
  11. 11. in and outside of the Arts Alliance walls. At this time there is no particular attention being paid to these areas in operation. (1) Dedicated production is best represented by Appendix 2 & 4. It depends on influence from existing content, sorting and prioritization efforts, site rules and guidelines, and internal goals. The main distinction of dedicated production is that orders for production or gathering of certain information could be issued. This would either be part of the process or creating full content via assignment. (2) Organic production is best represented by the journey through Appendix 5, 6, and 4. A user finds themselves at with some intention or expectation. From here it is a series of stay or go decisions based on the identity, reputation, and built trust of the site. While a user might not stay to experience all, each influences a return visit. Eventually, if enough trust and shared identity is built, they may contribute to site content. Dedicated content is more immediate and well trained, whereas organic content has delays in moving a user to being a contributor. Currently, there does not exist any order system, just verbal requests. Organic production depends on quality production already in place so the user receives the information and experience they expected to build enough trust to feel comfortable contributing. The opportunity is being able to better manage user experience, worker recruitment, through content that meets customer needs. Since the information included on needs to be extraordinarily user-generated, training sessions occurred before the public launch of the web site and will continue after. The training on internet marketing includes such elements as the purpose of website, overview of online communities, profile and account creation, sharing thoughts and resources. This is the only tool being used to train and orient users to the culture and process of the site. It is obvious that more repetition of these traits are needed. Demand Projection Two other comparable, popular community websites have different levels of membership according to their local population. These sites include:, CAR, (5,500 registered users) and the Raleigh/Durham, NC "shop local" site,, GoLo, (13,700 registered users). In these cases, the registered users, as a percentage of population, ranges from 0.06% to 3%. The CAR site has been active for 4 years and GoLo for 2 years. This means an average user growth rate of 1375/year - 6,850/year, respectively. Washtenaw County is a smaller population center. Accounting for both length of time and population size, could expect 49 to 4,845 registered users in the first year. CAR has had over $1 million in investment since 2005 but is more specifically geared to provide information to and for the Chicago artist population. GoLo is a local news and web community for Raleigh, N.C. and has a broader intended audience. It would be sufficient to say that should fall somewhere in the middle. Applying the participation rates from CAR and GoLo to the arts community statistics cited in above in the Customer Definition leads one to believe that will grow at 400 users a year. 11
  12. 12. Registered users is much different than site traffic. Site traffic is proprietary and estimating systems are notoriously inaccurate. It is difficult to predict site traffic. A rough estimate would put it at 5,000 visits a month within the first year potentially rising to 20,000 visits in the coming years. Capacity Management There are a number of variables that contribute to determining response to various demand scenarios. The first is content management, which for a calendar event takes about 10 minutes. Following the 90-9-1 rule (, 5,000 site visits will yield ~500 users creating content and ~50 heavily engaged. If the 500 create content quarterly and the 50 weekly, then that is about 90 produced bits of content and potentially 15 hours of content management each week. That is half of Fenwick’s allotted work hours. This also means within a year or two another staff member or equivalent solution will be needed to complete this task as a full time job. Second, we can take a look at content creation. Fortunately, with increased site population there is inherently increased production. Using the first year prediction, content will be created at an average of approx. a piece of content every 1.8 hours; this is a rough takt time for the whole system where actual cycle times would very greatly. This does not include Arts Alliance generated content, which depending on the content can take anywhere from 5 seconds to a couple of hours to create. Fenwick will be stretched as it is, then especially if you include other aspects of maintaining and developing the site (Appendix 1). A system of continuous improvement should be explored to reduce content management times as well as determining unnecessary tasks in monitoring all content. A quick note can be made about the web hosting service being used. There are limits on both data throughput and storage. Since average data throughput is not yet known, capacity will be the measure used. Images are limited at 2MB each, with 400 registered users a year being able to upload up to 11 images and other content. The host’s limit is 4 GB of storage, a threshold that could be reached at 200 registered users. Immediate plans will need to be made for a new host. Process Design Beyond a privacy policy and user agreement, there isn’t any set standards for the tasks and their output. Some exist as opportunities in the process, they include: Brand Management/Promotion (Appendix 3) - New learnings that inform decisions, determining the value of found content online, maintaining information on local influencers on and offline, and common practices for responses online. Community Generated Information (Appendix 4) - Further clarity on the exploratory process information located elsewhere on the web. Site Visitors and Traffic (Appendix 5) - In some cases this is the beginning of the production line, ensuring the right message reaches users involves target outreach and educational activities. 12
  13. 13. Lastly, separated out, are site statistics and user feedback. This is a gold mine of information about the customer that could affect and inform all aspects of the process that regular review by internal and external producers should generate better content more consistently. The redesign will look at addressing these various opportunities. As the site grows, it will be important to look at ways responsibilities can be exported to external groups or individuals and broken down into smaller components. The blurred internal and external barriers indicate that the production process may mimic a living system. It will be important to pay attention to the trends in self-organization, interdependence, and diversity. Insight here may drastically change the perception of the process reality. Work Scheduling There is the internal content schedule mentioned above of A-E, but this doesn’t sufficiently consider the other modes of production and creation. These product varieties include content more specifically categorized to the site: Profiles, events, share ads, and thoughts/comments (P, E, S, T, & C). For the Arts Alliance, this is a two-part production combining both production indicators, for example A-T would be a “Useful Info. Thought Post.” These combinations have not been explored as part of the process in detail. P, E, and sometimes S can be issued as pull orders, when an organization/individual doesn’t have a profile or an event not listed, the Arts Alliance can either enter it in for them or notify them of the opportunity to fill that gap of information. S, T, & C can also be filled by the Arts Alliance or keep influential individuals “near by” for easy access to their ability to generate content. Their engagement, interests, and expertise tracked so they can be called in as needed to contribute information. In overarching areas like strategy, goals, and guidelines can be applied via review of all processes by stopping the system when necessary. Trying to better understand the development of each content type and the process that goes into it in more detail would surely expose new opportunities. There may be room for synergies in duplicating content. Also understanding in more detail what a users “goes through” when creating a profile or any other content would provide insight into how to improve each of those processes. That exploration might help the Arts Alliance discover their own steps in creating a T vs. S. Physical Process - Target Condition Production Redesign & Improvement Since the production and operation of may, more than most, represent a living system, its process should be organized that way. These represent potential improvements to be applied to the dependancies mentioned in the “Current Condition” section above. They also seek to grease the wheels of the system outlined in the appendix. The different suggested changes will be marked with Y1, Y2, and Y3 to indicate potential implementation one year, two years, and three years out. 13
  14. 14. Self-organizing Spreading out responsibilities among employees (Y1) - Suggestion is in Appendix 7. Creating a volunteer team (Y1) - Arts Alliance will work closely with a volunteer team of Curators, Experts, and Moderators to assist arts/cultural organizations and artists in using the web portal and maintaining the quality of its content. These volunteer web managers will be invaluable in encouraging others to use the site to promote themselves, to lure new audiences to the site, and to curb inappropriate postings that would diminish the effectiveness of the web portal as a marketing tool. Document new learnings in one place (Y2) - This information could be open to feedback from the most active customers/producers and shared as a resource as a way for all to be more effective. Found information compared with new learning and the site’s statistic profile (Y2) - Found information should be documented for why it was interesting, use to create score card to aid in value determination. Set goal takt time (Y1) - These goals could be set for different levels of site traffic. Measured over a sample period of time, the information could be used to determine work schedule internally for content generation. Insist on “flag as inappropriate” throughout site (Y1) - This tool could be used by the user at any time to identify a problem. This should be a necessity of final development of the website. Set trigger points and put calls out for information to be posted (Y2) - Try and empower the working users to fill the gaps. Interdependence Create step by step exploratory process (Y2) - (1) Check interests and demand. (2) Scan, read, and act. (3) Determine content type. Create and regularly modify message outreach plan (Y1) - Components include: Google AdWords, all social media, press releases, email, phone calls, meetings, and etc. Provide links to tips or “how-to” text next to online forms (Y1) - By including this a bit of customer information is available to the user generating content, improving quality, quantity, and hopefully shortening delays. Create shared partnerships in content creation (Y1-3) - Getting permission to cross-duplicate information only strengthens both networks. Work towards making information modular (Y1) - This may be a form that breaks content into pieces allowing it to be assembled as one surfs the web, only simplifying the end process. Newsletter to users about site statistics and needs of visitors (Y1) - Do everything possible to let customer-worker relationship define every step of the work. Diversity Create weekly “user profile” (Y1) - This process will help begin to inform who is using the site and setting the tone for goals and process over the next week. This will be presented at a staff meeting. This could also be sent to the main contributors and active members of the site. Have regularly updated list of influential individuals (Y1) - Keep note of their value added interactions with Arts Alliance content to later prioritize engagement. 14
  15. 15. Increase customer and user/worker touch-points (Y1) - By going to the source more often, deeper understandings and clarifications can be gained. A weekly/monthly “Tweetup” lunch might work. Create mentor/mentee relationships with underrepresented groups on site (Y3) - Practice, method, and coaching. For example, the younger crowd may be hesitant to add this site to their repertoire. By working with an individual or a group to get in the habit of posting quality content, the effect will ripple. All of these are aimed at reducing cycle time to meet whatever goal takt time is set. More importantly each reaches towards solidifying’s identity, reputation, and user trust. As with all new practices, extensive repetition will be needed both internally and externally. Obstacles = Opportunities The biggest potential obstacle is time and discipline. Without a coach or mentor Justin Fenwick will be seeking to employ new process without direct help. This is in addition to any time pressures that already exist at work. The ability to accomplish some process improvements may rely on technological systems that do not yet exist or buggy workarounds that aren’t worth the trouble. There may be a skill gap between the dedicated production and organic production. Trainings are costly and take time to implement. Often public trainings, even with invitations, do not attract the users desired to show. There is also less control over workers not actually employees in a production system, this will have serious impacts on quality. These obstacles are opportunities to seek help from the community and any tight knit committees formed in interest around the site. Managing “Supply” in the Future Managing users is directly related to supply. By recruiting the right users and giving them the right information they serve as suppliers of information in the future. The better the relationship, the closer the Arts Alliance is towards the information. Marketing campaigns are needed to engage both the content contributors (art producers) to populate the site on a regular basis and the art consumers who will utilize it to identify opportunities. There needs to be a low barrier for entry and community outreach to individuals and organizations for content contributions. These campaigns should include search engine optimization techniques and extensive online and traditional promotion via regular email updates, advertising and grassroots methods. This will be towards two main audiences: 15
  16. 16. • • Art consumers (those commissioning or purchasing physical art, performance or exhibit ticket buyers/patrons, art appreciators, those seeking arts educational opportunities) Information gatherers (those seeking arts facts, figures, and best practices, such as media, policy makers, and economic developers, as well as those seeking more information about the Arts Alliance) The greater the supply, the greater value that will be placed on the site featured advertising. Financial Impact Costs (Y1) Web Manager (Justin Fenwick) Intern: 2 semesters 21 Trainings @ $750/ea. Marketing TOTAL $18,750 $2,500 $15,750 $10,000 $47,000 Revenue Any increase in site traffic will increase demand for advertising. Proper execution of this plan will only result in increased revenue from ad sales. Additional revenue not calculated could come from trainings, webinars, guidebooks and consulting on the social web as identity, reputation, and trust of the brand grows. Even ad revenue alone has the potential to cover expenses making grant writing not as necessary. The pricing is based off of our potential audience size in comparison to Using their online advertising pricing as a model, these prices are generally 1/5th's. Product (available spots) - Prices Weekly Home Page Feature Box (8) - $120 Artist Feature (15) - $20 Venue Feature (15) - $20 Organization Feature (15) - $20 Banner* (8) - $75 *must meet certain artistic restrictions Total Revenue Weekly (not including membership) at Capacity: $2,460 Total Revenue 6 months at Capacity: $63,910.80 16
  17. 17. Appendix 1 17
  18. 18. Appendix 2 18
  19. 19. Appendix 3 19
  20. 20. Appendix 4 20
  21. 21. Appendix 5 21
  22. 22. Appendix 6 22
  23. 23. Appendix 7 Tamara •General vision and direction for & Arts Alliance site •Fundraising for overall site •Member of editorial direction team •Oversees Arts Alliance site content Justin Fenwick Functionality: •Liaison with Skidmore •Routine maintenance of overall site •Updating of info and Arts Alliance info as needed Content: •Reviews appropriateness of postings •Member of editorial direction team Cultural Participation: •Develops and presents workshops to area artists and cultural organizations •Responds to user questions Evaluation: •Leads in developing and monitoring metrics to track usage by cultural and public visitors Dorrie Functionality: •Liaison with e-Tapestry Content: •Interacts with members to encourage site usage •Events Calendar Cindy Functionality: •Back-up liaison with e-Tapestry Cultural Participation: •Handles all financial aspects of advertising •Events Calendar Patti Content: •Curates Arts Alliance photographs/video •Develops Arts Alliance site content •Chairs editorial development team Public Marketing: •Develops & oversees implementation of activities to increase public use of the site 23
  24. 24. •Develops partnerships with appropriate collaborators Cultural Participation: •Develops & oversees implementation of activities to increase participation in the site by artists and cultural organizations •Creates ad sales materials Evaluation: •Assists in developing and monitoring metrics to track usage by cultural and public visitors 24