American Marketing Association Richmond 18 Oct 2012


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Presentation to the American Marketing Association in Richmond, VA 18 Oct 2012.

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  • Chris Anderson picked up on this theme at the Smithsonian 2.0 conference, suggesting the “crazy idea” of working with citizen curators to turn the Smithsonian into a Wikipedia of the Physical World.
  • This is the model and spirit behind our proposed vision for the Smithsonian’s mobile strategy: to use mobile platforms and experiences to recruit the world to help us in our mission. By collaborating with the people we serve, mobile initiatives will put the Smithsonian not just in people’s pockets and on their mobile devices; we will put the Smithsonian, its work, future and brand in their hands.
  • This practice led to some radically useful discoveries about the origins of the Smithsonian…Louise Rochon Hoover's painting, "Secretary Henry Posts DailyWeather Map in Smithsonian Building,1858." Commissioned for the Smithsonianexhibition at the Chicago Centuryof Progress Exhibition in 1933.
  • It’s about thinking outside the audiotour box…“From we do the talking to we help you do the talking.”– Chris Anderson, Wired, Smithsonian 2.0 Conference, 24 Jan 2009
  • It’s about thinking outside the audiotour box…“From we do the talking to we help you do the talking.”– Chris Anderson, Wired, Smithsonian 2.0 Conference, 24 Jan 2009
  • The Smithsonian, and, as I have postulated, the museum in general is being transformed into a distributed network. The role that mobile plays here is one of being the glue or the bridges between nodes – people, initiatives, and platforms – in the network. The strength of distributed network, as the defense industry inventors of the Internet well knew, is that it is impossible to eradicate from any single center. Distributed networks are systems that are self-sustaining: Smithsonian content and messages can be picked up and circulated by anyone, even if no SI staff are there in a given moment to shepherd or promote them. The role of mobile in this structure is to leverage the size and diversity of the Smithsonian to create network effects, and build a whole greater than the sum of its parts.
  • To tell how something or someone is doing, you have to have some standard or benchmark to compare against. Quality is, as Chris Anderson said, largely in the eye of the beholder and relative to its contemporary context. But against what scale do you measure “recruiting the world?”There’s one benchmark we can use to set the bar – Wikipedia. You’ve probably all seen some version of this pyramid, or an “engagement ladder” like this. It tells us that in fact the majority of that work is done by a tiny number of people at the top of the engagement pyramid: the specialists and enthusiasts in niche subjects.
  • To date we have launched more than 30 mobile apps and websites, and more than that number again of podcasts and other downloadable audio, video and text content that people are using every day on their mobile devices.Today I want to focus on three in particular: Smithsonian Mobile, Stories from Main Street, and Access American Stories.
  • Practical problem: no budget for creating content or maintaining app.
  • So clearlynot all crowdsourcing or community sourcing projects are created equal. They will not all have the same ratios of participants at the different levels in the engagement pyramid. But I’m starting to track this data for the Smithsonian’s mobile projects so we can measure and report our success in “recruiting the world.”The Smithsonian Mobile app, launched in August 2011, is a modest project by comparison…
  • Lifetime downloads: 16,593, over 9,000 with the newest versionHighest rank: #24 in the Education categoryAverage review=3 starsCountries: 87.2% United States; 6.0% Canada; 3.2% Brazil; 1% Mexico; .8% South Africa; .4% Qatar
  • 228 available for playback through the app Tennessee and West Virginia have been our most active states where the exhibition is on tour. We had a single contributor talking about the town where she grew up in upstate New York over ten entries!
  • Here’s another mobile crowdsourcing project: Stories from Main Street. I was corresponding with David Anderson, a crowdsourcing expert from Berkley, about these metrics and how to read them. He had an interesting comment:“…downloading Stories from Main Street (I'm guessing) impliesan interest in supplying a story,whereas downloading the Smithsonian Mobile App (I'm guessing)doesn't imply an interest in contributing comments.So of the two, it's possible that 288/16000 is worse(i.e. reflects a worse user interface or wording) than 70/35000.”
  • None of these apps has had a dedicated marketing budget, but are actively trying to organize events to solicit contributions to AAS.
  • Others seem to satisfy our basic informational needs with a bit more finess.
  • And then you get the zingers, that really make you sit up and realize the potential of Joy’s law: how the crowd can help the museum do a better job.
  • Or let you know what’s missing from the exhibition
  • Amy Sample Ward usefully identifies two different kinds of engagement of mass audiences:“Crowdsourcing invites diversity by encouraging anyone with an idea or interest to participateCrowdsourcing levels the playing field so it isn’t just your “favorites” or those you already know that get to play”
  • In the Wikipedia example, the base of the engagement pyramid is very broad, 400m visitors per month, compared to the 85,000 people contributing articles nearer the top of the pyramid.
  • Here the community base can be much narrower and still achieve the project’s desired results. The community has special skills and interests as well as a very well-developed network, so a smaller number of individuals in the eco-system get the job done.
  • In community sourcing, we are not aiming at such a huge and faceless mass. We know these people, so working with them produces different strategies, calls to action and outcomes.As an example, last year a team of ichthyologists sponsored by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History performed the first survey of the fish diversity in the Cuyuni River of Guyana. Upon their return, they needed to identify the more than 5,000 specimens they had collected in less than a week’s time in order to obtain an export permit. Faced with insufficient time and inadequate library resources to tackle the problem on their own, they instead posted a catalog of specimen images to Facebook and turned to their network of colleagues for help.In less than 24 hours, this approach identified approximately 90 percent of the posted specimens to at least the level of genus, revealed the presence of at least two likely undescribed species, indicated two new records for Guyana and generated several loan requests. The majority of people commenting held a Ph.D. in ichthyology or a related field, and hailed from a great diversity of countries including the United States, Canada, France, Switzerland, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil.
  • In addition to understanding the metrics of success in crowdsourcing, our challenge now is to learn how to set goals for the numbers of “watchers” we need in order to have an engagement eco-system with a healthy number of contributors and even “curators” at the top of the pyramid. Further audience research will tell us how best to engage users at all different levels on the pyramid. We will need content for the watchers as well as compelling activities for the producers, and everything in between to have a healthy crowdsourcing eco-system. It is starting to look like in addition to figuring out how to serve both on-site audiences and remote “visitors” who might download our apps but never visit the museum, we need to learn how to combine an appeal for both the “mass market” and our niche audiences – the communities who identify most closely with museums’ niche collections, content, and subject-matter expertise – in the same mobile experience and product.
  • See also projects at Royal Ontario Museum and in Hong Kong:Augmented reality apps turn smartphones into digital tour guidesApril Fong  Jul 11, 2012
  • I said multiple lightswitches are best – what if everything in our museums could be a light switch?
  • American Marketing Association Richmond 18 Oct 2012

    1. 1. “Recruit the World”So how’s that going for you? AMA Richmond 18 October 2012Nancy Proctor, Smithsonian Institution @nancyproctor
    2. 2. Mobile Approaches to Audience Engagement1. Marketing: Think distributed networks rather than platforms and products2. Crowdsourcing: Think process rather than product (needs different metrics of success)3. Technology: Photography is permitted – use it!
    3. 3. A crazy idea?“The Wikipedia of the Physical World”
    4. 4. SI Mobile’s Vision Recruit the worldto increase and diffuse knowledge Put the Smithsonian not just in people’s pockets, but in their hands.
    5. 5. There is nothing new under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 1:9
    6. 6. 6,000 staff : 6,500 volunteers
    7. 7. Thinking outside the audiotour box From Headphones to Microphones
    8. 8. Thinking outside the audiotour box “From interpretation to conversation. From we do the talking to we ArtAnderson, IMA,June 2010Steward, and Converse”, – Max The “Gather, help you do the talking.” Newspaper, 8 – Chris Anderson, Wired, Smithsonian 2.0 Conference, 24 Jan 2009
    9. 9. The Multiplatform Museum Museum
    10. 10. The Multiplatform Museum Museum
    11. 11. More than multiplatform…
    12. 12. The Smithsonian is a Distributed Network Edward Hoover, 2010, from Flickr.
    13. 13. Our SI:Q is improving!10/23/2012 Nancy Proctor, 13
    14. 14. SeriouslyAmazing.com10/23/2012 Nancy Proctor, 14
    15. 15. Mobile Approaches to Audience Engagement1. Marketing: Think distributed networks rather than platforms and products2. Crowdsourcing: Think process rather than product (needs different metrics of success)
    16. 16. “Recruiting the World”So how’s that going for you?
    17. 17. Wikipedia’s World 1,458 1:5324 77,000 1:23017,682,781 410,000,000
    18. 18. 30+ SI Mobile Projects to Date
    19. 19. Smithsonian Mobile 19
    20. 20. Smithsonian Mobile’s Recruits .01 1:500 ~70 35,000
    21. 21. Stories from Main Street
    22. 22. Stories from Main Street .01 1:55 288 16,000
    23. 23. Access American Stories
    24. 24. Alexander Graham Bell’s Big Box Telephone10/23/2012 Nancy Proctor, 25
    25. 25. Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin Patent Model10/23/2012 Nancy Proctor, 26
    26. 26. 10/23/2012 Nancy Proctor, 27
    27. 27. Access American Stories .01 1:6 105 678
    28. 28.
    29. 29. Crowdsourcing
    30. 30. Community-sourcing
    31. 31. Hypostomus taphorni – from NMNH’s Guyana expedition, 2011 nearly-500-fish-specimens-collected-in-guyana/10/23/2012 Nancy Proctor, 32
    32. 32. The Museum’s Market Niche Communities Markets Mass CrowdsMarkets
    33. 33. Product, or Process?The process of crowdsourcing projectsfulfills the mission of digital collectionsbetter than the resulting searches [withmetadata enhanced by crowdsourcing]. – Trevor Owens cultural-heritage-the-objectives-are-upside-down/ 34
    34. 34. Red Ink Businesses 1. Invaluable collections = highest possible quality 2. Public good = relevant, accessible & accountable 3. „Forever business‟ = must be sustainableMax Anderson, Prescriptions for Art Museums in the Decade Ahead,CURATOR, The Museum Journal, Volume 50, Number 1 January 2007
    35. 35. Non-profit Network Effects• Quality of the overall visitor experience• Volunteer recruitment & crowdsourcing• Community development• Institutional collaborations, e.g. content sharing• Membership & member benefits• Donations• Ticket & product sales• Monetizing user data: enhanced sponsorship value Edward Hoover, 2010, from Flickr.
    36. 36. Augmented Reality http://smithsonian- mented+Reality NPS National Mall
    37. 37. Picasso in Augmented Reality10/23/2012 Nancy Proctor, 39
    38. 38. Google Goggles
    39. 39. 10/23/2012 Nancy Proctor, 41
    40. 40. The NMNH “Bone Hall”