Building (and Sustaining) Impact for your Web Resource


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Talk on "Building (and Sustaining) Impact for your Web Resource" given at ARLIS Study Day on "Dip'ping Your Toe In The Water: Digital Image Projects,
Where To Begin And How Not To End".
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Building (and Sustaining) Impact for your Web Resource

  1. 1. Building (and Sustaining) Impact for your Web Resource Brian Kelly, UKOLN, University of Bath Bath Email [email_address] UKOLN is supported by: Acceptable Use Policy Recording this talk, taking photographs, and discussions using blogs, instant messaging, etc. is permitted providing distractions to others is minimised. Also a Creative Commons licence for the talk and slides is available - as this can maximise impact of my ideas! This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 licence (but note caveat) Resources bookmarked using ‘ arlis-2007-05 ' tag
  2. 2. Contents <ul><li>About This Talk </li></ul><ul><li>Building Impact </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethical issues and best practices </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Usage Statistics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengths and weaknesses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Impact Analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Impact Analysis tools and techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 and Impact Analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using Web 2.0 tools for impact analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 is impact </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhancing quality of your services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenging existing orthodoxies </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. About This Talk <ul><li>Context: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You’ve heard how to overcome the barriers to digitisation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This talk will cover: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How to maximise knowledge of and impact of your Web site (your digitised service, organisation, …) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some ethical issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to measure the impact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How new technologies (Web 2.0) can help this process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How new technologies may influence existing policies and approaches </li></ul></ul>Introduction
  4. 4. About The Speaker <ul><li>Brian Kelly: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UK Web Focus – an advisory post which provides advices on making effective use of the on Web (with focus on standards, emerging Web technologies) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involved in Web work since January 1993 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>About UKOLN: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National centre of expertise in digital information management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Based at the University of Bath </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Funded by MLA and JISC to support the cultural heritage and higher/further education sectors </li></ul></ul>Introduction
  5. 5. Building Impact <ul><li>Telling people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real world: press releases, articles, ‘stuff’, … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online: Searchability, memorability, advertising, relationships, … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ My boomerang won’t come back” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Engaging people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Talking with your users, peers, developers, … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supporting discussions and debate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your users as creators </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quality of your Service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content, functionality, usability, accessibility, … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commissioning quality Web sites </li></ul></ul>Building Impact Not covered
  6. 6. Simple Techniques <ul><li>Google is (can be) your friend: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage people to link to your site / your pages (lots of links-Google-friendly) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have links from well-established & trusted services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use Google-friendly formats (e.g. clean HTML) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create your Web site a long time ago! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Have friendly URIs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SAMS: Short, Accessible, Memorable and Stable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stable: independent of technological and organisational changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>See ‘ Cool URIs Don’t Change ’, Ariadne (31) </li></ul></ul>Building Impact InternetHome.hcsp Address of RNIB Home Page
  7. 7. Search Engine Optimisation <ul><li>Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ For only £xxxx I will ensure your Web site is in top 20 in Google ” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Really? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Large organisations & dodgy companies will pay more than you can afford </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are they ethical? (e.g. link farms which create many links to your site to try and fool Google) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clever techniques won’t persist </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recommendations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have quality content, follow best practices and ensure service is stable (there is no silver bullet) (e.g. Google for ‘ exploit ’ or ‘c ultivate ’) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get these best practices in your design spec. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But SEO could work – so share experiences </li></ul></ul>Building Impact
  8. 8. Your Responsibilities <ul><li>Cultivate Interactive : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EU-funded e-journal developed by UKOLN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No. 1 hit (May 2006) in Google search for ‘ cultivate ’  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part of larger Cultivate project </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The and sites aren’t what they were  </li></ul></ul>Building Impact A Web site isn’t just for the funding period! (it’s unfortunate that EU-funded cultural heritage projects make such mistakes)
  9. 9. Review <ul><li>We’ve seen: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple techniques for making Web resources easier to find </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some of the ethical issues, covering SEO techniques we could use and our longer-term responsibilities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Next section: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we measure usage of our services (and perhaps the effectiveness of our outreach activities) </li></ul></ul>Building Impact
  10. 10. Web Statistics <ul><li>Web statistics provide information on usage of Web sites </li></ul><ul><li>Provided automatically by Web server software </li></ul><ul><li>Externally-hosted stats counters can provide extra information (maps of locations of visitors, details of the PC used, …) </li></ul><ul><li>May be issues of long-term sustainability of the services to consider and dependency on JavaScript </li></ul> Use of SiteMeter and ClustrMap Web usage statistics services on UK Web Focus blog (together with statistics provided by blog service)
  11. 11. Usage Statistics <ul><li>Exploit Interactive example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EU-funded e-journal funded from 1999-2000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Steady growth in usage measured by Sitemeter & usage logs </li></ul></ul>Usage Statistics Issues: Is popularity of Web site based on &quot;wrong hits&quot; and growth reflects growth in Internet usage? How can we aggregate usage data in a meaningful way? <ul><li>Deeper analysis: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Popular article on &quot; Are You Linking To A Porn Site? &quot;, April 1999 </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Usage Statistics <ul><li>Usage statistics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can provide useful and valuable data … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… but can also be flawed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Implications: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collect and use as they can be useful for formative statistics e.g. has a new marketing campaign worked; what keywords do users use to find our Web site; … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But also: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be honest about limitations and don't over-hype statistics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use as a part of a portfolio of metrics </li></ul></ul>Usage Statistics
  13. 13. Impact Analysis <ul><li>Usage statistics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Data on who is using Web site and how they're using it e.g. how many visitors are there? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Impact analysis: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attempting to measure the impact of the Web site or the contents of the Web site e.g. how has the Web site visit affected the visitors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Challenges: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More difficult to measure than simpler 'visits' </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires thought as to aims of Web site </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Requires </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objective and subjective metrics e.g. 'possible' indicators of impact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Automated and manual measurements </li></ul></ul>Impact Analysis
  14. 14. Types Of Metrics <ul><li>Automated: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usage statistics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Manual: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus groups, surveys, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hybrid: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs, RSS feeds, social bookmarks, etc. </li></ul></ul>Let's use a case study for the Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW) 2006 Web site – an annual 3 day event for University Web managers Impact Analysis
  15. 15. Link Popularity <ul><li>Why link popularity? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A link to my Web site is an indication that a Web author felt strongly about the resource </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links help drive traffic (and so can boost usage statistics) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links enhance Google rating (and so can boost usage statistics) </li></ul></ul>Note that you can receive a monthly email report, which can provide information on trends It may be desirable to remove links from your own Web site, otherwise growth may just reflect growth in your site Many site analysis tools now provide RSS feeds. This can help Web managers in their monitoring activities
  16. 16. Search Analysis <ul><li>Why search engine analysis? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search engines help drive traffic (and so boost usage statistics) </li></ul></ul>Impact Analysis <ul><li>Technorati: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There's more to search engines than Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Searches Blogs, RSS news feeds, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of tags (e.g. ARLIS-2006-05 ) can help searching services such as Blogs, Flickr, etc </li></ul></ul>Note that having access to recent comments allows you to respond rapidly.
  17. 17. Talking To Users <ul><li>Impact analysis can be carried out by talking to / listening to the user community: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visitor books </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anecdotes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media watch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Such techniques are well-known – but how can technologies be used to support such activities? </li></ul>Impact Analysis – Manual Techniques
  18. 18. Using Blogs <ul><li>Blogs can make it easier to gather quotes & other impact measures: </li></ul>Impact Analysis Blogs provides good indication of user satisfaction and of impact analysis of event &quot;I've come back with ideas to …&quot; <ul><ul><li>Finding Blogs (e.g. tags, Technorati) </li></ul></ul> 2006/06/10_years_of_the.html <ul><ul><li>Blogs associated with Web site </li></ul></ul>Official Bloggers has proved useful: set a standard for others; claimed a tag in tag space; shown benefits of trust; …
  19. 19. Being Open <ul><li>The impact of ideas can be maximising by allowing the ideas to be used freely: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open source software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative Commons licence for content </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CC licences for IWMW 2006 resources allows: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Info about event to be used by others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog articles, news, etc. to be syndicated </li></ul></ul>Impact Analysis workshops/webmaster-2006/publicity/
  20. 20. Providing Mashups <ul><li>You can maximise the impact of your Web site by allowing others to make use of your content e.g. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Syndication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>News feeds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Third party applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Note CC licence for event details permits such reuse </li></ul>Impact Analysis Providing details of your exhibitions allows 3 rd party services to promote your service for free 
  21. 21. Building A Community <ul><li>Building a community for your Web site can: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximise impact by allowing interested parties to discuss their shared interests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide you with feedback & ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow you to provide targetted information </li></ul></ul> Web 2.0 services such as Frappr, Blogger, MySpace, etc. allow Web communities to be easily set up (and may be particularly valuable to the 'Net Generation')
  22. 22. Sharing Resources <ul><li>Social bookmarking tools like </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide indication of impact (others have felt Web page worth bookmarking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support community building (finding others with similar interests) </li></ul></ul> Who else has bookmarked the ARLIS home page? What else have they bookmarked?
  23. 23. Maximising Impact & Web 2.0 <ul><li>We have seen how Web 2.0 technologies (Blogs, RSS feeds, syndication technologies, third party services, etc) can: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximise impact by providing additional access mechanisms for users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimise resource effort needed by making use of 3 rd party services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be used to measure the impact of our Web services </li></ul></ul>Impact Analysis and Web 2.0
  24. 24. The Bigger Picture <ul><li>Usage analysis and impact analysis aren't self-contained, but form part of a bigger picture </li></ul>Usage Analysis <ul><li>Who's accessing the Web site? </li></ul><ul><li>How are they finding site? </li></ul><ul><li>What's popular? </li></ul>Bigger Picture User Testing <ul><li>How do users navigate site? </li></ul><ul><li>What's difficult to find? </li></ul><ul><li>Have they achieved their aims? </li></ul>Impact Analysis <ul><li>How has Web site influenced the users? </li></ul><ul><li>What do the users find interesting? </li></ul><ul><li>What changes do users make as a consequence? </li></ul>Richer Functionality <ul><li>User engagement </li></ul><ul><li>User generated content </li></ul><ul><li>Challenging orthodoxies </li></ul>
  25. 25. Exploiting Web 2.0 <ul><li>We’ve seen how Web 2.0 can be used to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Measure impact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximise impact by engaging with users </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It can also: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide richer (and possibly expected) functionality (“ you don’t let users comment – I’m off elsewhere! ”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenge existing orthodoxies: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Content must be reviewed & created by experts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>We provide quality content – what about a “quality experience” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>We can’t do this due to copyright & other legal issues </li></ul></ul></ul>Richer Functionality
  26. 26. Brooklyn Museum Case Study <ul><li>Brooklyn Museum described uses of Web 2.0 services at MW 2007 to fulfil their community-oriented mission & engage with a diversity agenda (& limited funding): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile phones audio tours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MySpace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual Graffiti exhibition to complement Graffiti exhibition (blended; engage with new audiences; …) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>Building an On-line Community at the Brooklyn Museum: A Timeline , N. J. Caruth and S. Bernstein, <> brooklyn_museum/sets/...
  27. 27. Issues You May Face <ul><li>We can’t adopt Web 2.0 due to copyright & IPR issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk assessment approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trial with resources you own copyright (or resources such as dates, locations, …) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copyright owners may change their views based on new business models (cf music industry) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We can’t trust our users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You do already (see blog posting about radical trust) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We must our IT services, so we can’t use Flickr, Google, … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adopt a risk management approach. See “ Risk Assessment For Use Of Third Party Web 2.0 Services ” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Our council, our trustees, our managers, … won’t let us </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You need a deployment strategy (low-hanging fruit, encouraging enthusiasts, using ‘Friends of Museum’ ..) See ‘ Web 2.0: How to Stop Thinking and Start Doing: Addressing Organisational Barriers ’, M. Ellis & B. Kelly, MW 2007 </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Conclusions <ul><li>To conclude: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usage statistics should form a part of an impact analysis strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A more comprehensive impact analysis strategy is needed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This should be part of a user-satisfaction strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 technologies can help </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embedding Web 2.0 culture (openness, trust, etc.) can help the impact of Web sites which aim to maximise engagement with its user community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot; Impact Analysis For Web Sites &quot;, QA Focus briefing document no. 99, provides further advice – see < documents/briefings/briefing-99/ > </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 changes things! </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Questions <ul><li>Any questions? </li></ul>