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The Benefits Of Doing Things Differently

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During October and November 2009, Mike Ellis (Eduserv) and Dan Zambonini (Box UK) built a museum website in 12 hours from beginning to end, under the title "Museum In A Day".

These slides accompany a workshop we delivered at DISH 2009 with the same title (see http://www.dish2009.nl/node/89)

The workshop uses the Museum In A Day project as a means to frame the wider conversation, and looks at where online museums are in terms of audience, traffic and reach, asking:

- How can we do things differently?
- How can we do more with less?
- How can we be where our audiences are?

For an overview of the Museum In A Day project, see http://museuminaday.com/

Published in: Technology, Education
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The Benefits Of Doing Things Differently

  1. 1. MUSEUM IN A DAY Building a Museum Website in 12 Hours DISH 2009 11am – 1pm, Dec 10 museuminaday.com/slides
  2. 2. The Benefits of Doing Things Differently DISH 2009 11am – 1pm, Dec 10 museuminaday.com/slides
  3. 3. Introduction: Who We Are
  4. 4. Mike Ellis electronicmuseum.org.uk
  5. 5. Dan Zambonini www.boxuk.com
  6. 6. And you are…?
  7. 7. What We’re Going To Talk About
  8. 8. What We’re Going To Talk About • The Wider Context • The Relevance of Museums in This Context – Where We Are – Where We Could Be • Practical, Real-World Ideas – Including What We Tried: “Museum In a Day” – Issues & Risks
  9. 9. Wider Context (1 of 2): Where/Who is everyone?
  10. 10. Acquisitions: $billions .com registered: 11m
  11. 11. http://pewinternet.org
  12. 12. http://pewinternet.org
  13. 13. Most Popular Sites (US) 1. Google 11. Craigslist 2. Facebook 12. MSN 3. Yahoo! 13. Twitter 4. YouTube 14. Go 5. Myspace 15. AOL 6. Wikipedia 16. ESPN 7. Amazon.com 17. Bing 8. eBay 18. CNN 9. Windows Live 19. LinkedIn 10. Blogger.com 20. Wordpress Search Engine UGC Social Media
  14. 14. simplyrecipes.com • Unique visitors (per month) – 1,387,000 • RSS subscribers – 1,464,000 (Sources: compete.com, ratingburner.com)
  15. 15. What about other bits off- site? • over 40% of all Salesforce.com traffic is via their API • $490m (28%) of Amazon revenue is generated by 3rd party sellers • eBay has around 25,000 developers with over 2,000 certified applications http://blog.programmableweb.com/2006/03/20/how-much-revenue-via-apis/
  16. 16. Platform vs http://web2.socialcomputingjournal.com/the_growth_of_open_apis_more_evidence_that_web_services_dri.htm
  17. 17. Q: Where/Who are your audience? 19
  18. 18. Wider Context (2 of 2): What is changing?
  19. 19. Mobile
  20. 20. Mobile
  21. 21. Mobile
  22. 22. Mobile
  23. 23. Mobile
  24. 24. Mobile
  25. 25. Mobile
  26. 26. Mobile
  27. 27. Mobile
  28. 28. Mobile
  29. 29. Mobile
  30. 30. Digital content: less perceived value volume of free content availability of pirated material time
  31. 31. Digital content: less perceived value volume of free content availability of pirated material value of content time
  32. 32. Web Dependence connection speed connection ubiquity time
  33. 33. Web Dependence value of web apps reliance on web apps (Digital services: more perceived value) time
  34. 34. Data Overload
  35. 35. Data Overload
  36. 36. Invisible Infrastructure infrastructure cost accessible computing power Chrome OS time
  37. 37. More, Smaller Companies
  38. 38. More, Smaller Companies
  39. 39. Possible Implications for Museums • Lower digital content value + less big business = less image licensing • Lower content value + Higher app value + Higher mobile usage = demand/resource shift from content to service provision (museum as platform?)
  40. 40. Possible Implications for Museums • More small business = more competition Your audience is a mass of niche communities, being increasingly better served elsewhere.
  41. 41. Context/Where People Are (Summary) • Everywhere but our websites – Social Networks, RSS, Mobile, Blogs, Communities • And it’s always changing, e.g. – Less value on content, more on services – Many small producers on cheap infrastructure • More competition
  42. 42. Q: What changes are you noticing? Q: What implications do these changes have? 31
  43. 43. The Relevance of Museums: Where are museums online?
  44. 44. National museums make up 8 of the 10 top visitor attractions in Britain (Source: http://tinyurl.com/mus-vis-num) Most popular museum website with UK users is the Tate: 1,690th (21,037th in the world) (Source: Alexa) 559th = onemanga.com 749th = xkcd.com 1722nd = brainyquote.com
  45. 45. 2007: 20% of homepage clicks on ‘visiting’ (Source: http://www.archimuse.com/mw2007/papers/haynes/haynes.html) 2009: @zambonini Thurs 29th Oct, Ormeau Baths Gallery Belfast. @zambonini a couple of us visited Checked on site with phone @swanseamuseum in the summer, beforehand to find closing time checked out opening times on website first : ) @zambonini Generally visit museum site prior to a real-life visit. See @zambonini bogota museum of gold. what's on, book etc 3 weeks ago. Website before we went to check directions and opening times @zambonini Serpentine a couple of weeks ago for the Koons exhibit. @zambonini I went to the Reina Visited the website beforehand for Sophia in Madrid on Sunday; I used details. the National Maritime Museum's website a few months ago for opening @zambonini about 6 months ago times. and ditto (to get directions to it)
  46. 46. Collections! Collections! Collections! 2.5 – 15% Visitors £25,000 - £100,000 to put collections online
  47. 47. Where Museums Are (Summary) • Physical museum more popular than website • Websites largely similar to 10 years ago • Collections online, but...
  48. 48. Q: What is the purpose of museum websites? to advertise the physical experience? to educate / provide content? to generate revenue? 40
  49. 49. Where We Could Be
  50. 50. • Offering a relevant service… • in the relevant location… • at a relevant “cost”.
  51. 51. Service Location Cost Provide Access In-Museum Free Provide Content Touring Exhibition At Cost Provide Data Outreach Provide Media Little Time Main Website Substantial Time Group Website ? RSS Facebook YouTube Twitter Mobile
  52. 52. = Museum As A Platform Museums should facilitate, encourage and support the self-organisation of the niche communities that they inherently represent. By demographic, interest, locality.
  53. 53. Why We Should Be There • More future-proof • Size of Audience (Traffic) • Easier (stuff is already there..) • Cheaper • More Effective (audiences are already there) • More engaged audiences
  54. 54. What The New Museum Looks Like • Museum As A Platform – Content / Collections / Community • Case Studies – Brooklyn – Launchball – V&A Design a Tile
  55. 55. Brooklyn museum: truly social media http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/community/blogosphere
  56. 56. Launchball: not museumy
  57. 57. V&A: the tile game
  58. 58. We > Me • From a Me-seum to a You-seum • The Powerful Stories are from Real People
  59. 59. Where We Should Be (Summary) • Where Everyone Else Is • Servicing Our Communities • The Museum Should Be A Platform
  60. 60. Q: What is a platform? Q: How can we support communities? Q: What successful examples do you know of? 52
  61. 61. How We Get From Here To There
  62. 62. Transition: Not Easy Money & Resource Google, Microso$, VC-Funded Apps = Freedom A Little Money & Resource Museums & Ga#eries = Limbo No Money & Resource Kids in Bedrooms, Bootstrapped = Freedom Ideas, Side Projects
  63. 63. The Mindset
  64. 64. The Traditional Museum Project • “Big Budget” • Long Timescales • Many Stakeholders / Funders • Archaic Software • Copyright and Restrictions • Anti-User Centred
  65. 65. Perfection Is The Enemy Of The Good • museums are built around perfection, “knowing”, being “sure”... • ..but....“we didn’t need Einstein to put Armstrong on the moon”
  66. 66. “Fail Quickly” • the tools today are cheap (free) and easy • try something, see if it works: – If it does, great – It it doesn’t, adapt it or kill it and move on • this “Darwinian” approach is very powerful
  67. 67. The New Way • High Speed, Low Cost • Democratisation of Software • Usability • Easy Standards • Cloud / Scaling • “boltability”
  68. 68. Freedom • API • Copyright • Distributed Content (RSS, etc) • Community: Approach & Trust • Tone Of Voice (Devolved Authority)
  69. 69. How We Get There (Summary) • Just do enough, don’t be a perfectionist • Use high-speed, low cost tools • Embrace freedom and facilitate freedom • It’s OK to be wrong, but get there quickly
  70. 70. Q: What stops us using agile/ quick solutions? Q: How can we start using them? Q: How do you approach failed projects? 63
  71. 71. What We Tried To Do: Museum In A Day
  72. 72. What We Did • We endeavoured to build a museum website in 12 hours, start to finish • This time included all planning, technical and design build and content writing / migration • Read more at http:// museuminaday.com
  73. 73. 66
  74. 74. 69
  75. 75. 70
  76. 76. 71
  77. 77. 72
  78. 78. 73
  79. 79. What We Didn’t Do (Yet) • The Community Bit
  80. 80. Why We Did It • Firstly, we’ve both talked a lot about how making (museum) websites should be easier, and wanted to see what we could do in reality • Secondly, we have documented (and will continue to document) the project so that others can benefit from what we learnt...
  81. 81. ...so what did we learn..? • 12 hours isn’t long • Even when software is good, Technical Integration is Always Hard • Small details can take a long time • Sustainability takes longer • In 12 hours, we only managed 2 out of 3 parts of ‘the new museum’ (no community)
  82. 82. Practical Ideas
  83. 83. The Three Components of a Museum Online content collections community
  84. 84. Content Management • Lots of similar choice, how to choose? • Depends on context and budget • How we compared for our needs • Core requirements (editor usability, scalability, support, data lock-in/ standards, tech) • Wordpress
  85. 85. Collections Management • Most in-house CM systems let you publish to web, but this is usually dire! • Look for systems that have standard outputs: – RESTful API – Feeds (RSS, etc) or even CSV! • Omeka is a great example: – good documentation – ease of use – feeds and API – a developing platform
  86. 86. Community Management • There are tools to do this as part of big CMS systems.. • But actually this is more about a “distributed model”: – Google keyword alerts – RSS feeds – Monitoring Twitter – Finding the confidence and voice to respond
  87. 87. What about the risks? • Sustainability – archiving – reliance on 3rd party services – accessibility • Authority • Lack of control • The Patriot Act! • But...what about the risks of not...?
  88. 88. Summary
  89. 89. Summary • Don’t think like a museum • Users are in other places. Go there. • Use existing tools and techniques where you can • Experiment • Let your users do the hard work!
  90. 90. Questions?
  91. 91. Thanks

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