Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture - Dickens: London Trails presentation


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The Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture is a partnership between the Arts Council England, Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and NESTA to support arts and cultural organisations across England who want to work with digital technologies to expand their audience reach and engagement and/or explore new business models.

Dickens: London Trails is a new location-based app that links diverse organisations and destinations by curated thematic content.

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Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture - Dickens: London Trails presentation

  1. 1. 1. What is your project? What are you trying to achieve? A digital tool by which London’s cultural quarters can develop collaborative projects based Insert around shared thematic content in order to encourage the cross- fertilisation of and to develop new audiences. Launch April 2012 with Dickens: London Trails, marking the author’s bicentenary
  2. 2. 2. What will your project deliver? Products and Knowledge Research services and skills outputs • Insights into consumer • A new location-based • Build audience perceptions of cultural app, free to knowledge around a key trail apps, including download, that links author’s life, times & desired features and diverse organisations and works functionality and drivers destinations by curated • Peer-to-peer learning and barriers to usage thematic content Insert through partnering • Overview of current • A piece of software and different types of market for cultural design that is part-owned organisations together apps, including by the arts organisation around related content characteristics and • Licensable product with • Support learning of evidence of successful potential to generate cultural organisations strategies modest ongoing revenues around digital • Analysis of app usage • New advertising and/or technology’s use, design data providing insights sponsorship channel and challenges into actual audience behaviour • Implications for wider sector
  3. 3. 3. Who is in your R&D team? How are you working together to make the project happen? Arts / Cultural Organisation Technology providerExhibition Road Cultural Group (project Seren Partners – advised on alldirection) and Charles Dickens Museum (key elements of user experience, designcontent provider). ERCG led the bid and and technological capabilities. SerenDickens content was chosen both to celebrate also advised on all aspects of contentthe author’s 2012 bicentenary and to support generation, including editing some copythe CDM in a year when its physical building is to keep a consistent editorial tone.undergoing a major renovation and closed tothe public from May. Insert Researchers OthersThe research partner for the project, MTM Members of London Cultural QuartersLondon, has worked closely with the core network, plus Cityread (Londonteam to support the development of the app borough library project) – the app isthrough desk research to provide context for being marketed off Cityread’s PRthe project, and consumer research to test and campaign, as the focus of therefine app concepts. Following launch of the campaign is Oliver Twist. We’veapp we will also conduct analysis of usage incorporated Artful Dodger as a ‘traildata to generate further insights and lessons guide’ to ensure the link with the projectfor the wider sector. is explicit.
  4. 4. 4. What are you learning and developing that could be of value to the sector? • Production of a digital tool that will be shared amongst LCQ network members and made available for licence to our members and other cultural organisations at low cost, encouraging the use of digital technology for audience engagement Insert • Cost, time and resource implications of generating sufficient high- quality editorial content from multiple partners and contributors • Consumer focus groups – and their insights – will become a critical element in devising future digital projects for the partner organisations
  5. 5. 5. Where are you in terms of your project’s development? Completed work Still to do Challenges • App launched on 22 • Develop post-app marketing • Technological limitations April 2012 on time and on and communications strategy prevented us linking push budget notification to GPS, forcing • Consider additional content us to abandon serendipitous • Marketing/PR and (subject to funding and mode of the app launch event held resource constraints) • To help visitors avoid hefty • Consumer focus group Insert • Seek potential sponsor data fees, we included map research collated and for some/all editorial content data in the app making it written up moving forward relatively heavy (180Mb) • Market technology to • No info collected from app potential licensees users with data roaming off Evaluate Develop Develop Live to Project launch audience and test and test market data