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MW18 Lightning Talk: Pinning Art: Data And Stories Behind The Usage Of The Met’s Online Collection


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By Elena Villaespesa, Pratt Institute, United States, Jennie Choi, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA

While the majority of The Met’s Online Collection users come from organic search, a significant volume of traffic comes from Pinterest. These users are normally in a discovery mode, and are looking for something that sparks an idea, stimulates their creativity, or provides a rich visual experience. In many cases they clicked on a pin link and came upon The Met’s Online Collection, they do not come to the website with a specific purpose, so their visit is unfocused and freer.

Web analytics data shows how their behavior is different to other traffic sources and digging into the specific pins we can see how this site brings visits to objects that are not in the highlights of each curatorial department. Thousands of pins have been saved by users in the more diverse and sometimes unexpected boards. From crochet to tattoos, watches or color boards, Pinterest users come to the Collection and find something special that matches their professional or personal interests.

This lightning talk will present data about the characteristics of Pinterest users including some fascinating stories about how people use the Collection artworks. Moreover, we will discuss how these platforms can bring new audiences and the challenges to provide an inspiring experience that will keep them discovering more art on the website.

See a video version of this presentation on the MW Youtube Channel:

Published in: Education
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MW18 Lightning Talk: Pinning Art: Data And Stories Behind The Usage Of The Met’s Online Collection

  1. 1. Data source: Google Analytics (2017)
  2. 2. Inspiration seekers & Casual browsers Looking for a piece of tablet weaving that I am hoping to recreate. I was recently introduced to the work of Herbert Crowley, and I am looking at photos of his paintings and cartoons. Saw something cool and unusual in an area of interest. look at quilts Data source: Online Survey (February 2018, N=388)
  3. 3. 16K objects shared in 2017 on Pinterest Pretty equal distribution of the number of object shares Data source: Google Analytics (2017)