What Does Digital Offer: Building Digital Capability


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Presentation given at 'What Does Digital Offer' symposium for cultural leaders.

Overview of online consumption of cultural services currently and ideas for ways to engage audiences online.

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  • Money image source:http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/12/30/1293726391663/piles-of-pound-coins-007.jpgCrowd image source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescridland/613445810/
  • Have you selected the right technology? How do you decide what technology is right for your organisation?Have you got sufficient budget to purchase the technology, to train your employees and volunteers?Are your employees confident with technology? If not, can you help them to be or do you need to get in additional staff?Some technology can quantify the benefits for your organisation e.g. online shop/ online ticket purchases, others such as Twitter help to promote your organisation. Some of this promotion and social interaction will convert into ticket sales but it may not always be possible to track and it may not be for the activity that you intended, it may be for an event months down the line, so although there are benefits, they are not easy to track.Some organisations may be able to invest in multiple digital activities e.g. online ticketing, online shop, interactive online events and play ideas + physical digital activities in-situ at their venue. Other organisations may only have sufficient budget for one activity, so you need to identify what your audience want and where you will see the biggest impact. This may require outside specialist support.The recession is a perfect time for innovation as audiences need new ways to engage them and make them likely to try something they wouldn’t ordinarily try. However, organisations have more limited finance and limited opportunity for funding than previously so they may be nervous of investing in ideas or technology that don’t offer a certain return even if they only engage their existing audience.
  • Statistics source:Ofcom, (2011), Internet Use and Attitudes, 2011 Metrics Bulletin, Ofcom, UK, p8, accessed March 2012 at: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/media-literacy/media-lit11/internet_use_2011.pdf
  • Statistics source:Ofcom, (2011), Internet Use and Attitudes, 2011 Metrics Bulletin, Ofcom, UK, p8, accessed March 2012 at: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/media-literacy/media-lit11/internet_use_2011.pdf Wireless hotspots statistic:Office for National Statistics, (2011), Internet Access – Households and Individuals 2011, Statistical Bulletin, Office for National Statistics, UK, p3, accessed March 2012 at: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_227158.pdf (also has alternative figure of 45% for mobile phone access)Additional thoughts on mobile phones and the arts taken from Arts Council Digital Audiences report, p20:“Ticket purchasing is much less common on mobile internet than on a computer, reflecting security concerns,low user confidence and limitations in mobile sites. Watching/listening to live performances and uploadingcreative or artistic content is also relatively less common on mobile phones, probably due to costs ofnetwork data charges, limited technical capability of many mobile phones, and smaller screens that canpotentially limit user enjoyment.There are two additional activities that can only be conducted via mobile phones, and they illustrate theincreased convenience and immediacy of mobile internet access. Of those who use the internet on theirmobile (n=792)33:• 9% ‘used GPS on your mobile phone to get arts and cultural listings in your area’ (which equates to 3%of the whole sample)• 6% ‘tweeted whilst watching a live performance’ (which equates to 2% of the whole sample).Whilst these proportions are relatively small, take-up is likely to grow rapidly. These mobile features provide an exciting marketing opportunity due to their ability to offer people information that is location and occasion specific.”Source:MTM London, (2011), Digital Audiences engagement with arts and culture, Arts Council, UK, p20, accessed March 2012 at: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/doc/Digital_audiences_final.pdf
  • Key point for cultural organisations is that there is a willingness to purchase online, however that does not mean that they will purchase what you are selling, especially if the customer is not confident in navigating new websites or new types of activity online.Statistics source:Ofcom, (2011), Internet Use and Attitudes, 2011 Metrics Bulletin, Ofcom, UK, p9, accessed March 2012 at: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/media-literacy/media-lit11/internet_use_2011.pdf
  • Source:Williams, J., (2010), Will expected demographic changes impact participation in culture and sport? Analysis of the Taking Part Survey, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, UK, p7-8, accessed March 2012 at: http://www.culture.gov.uk/images/research/TP_Demographyreport.pdfFurther information on cultural demographics and digital usage can be found in:MTM London, (2011), Digital Audiences engagement with arts and culture, Arts Council, UK, accessed March 2012 at: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/doc/Digital_audiences_final.pdf*Post- presentation N.B.*Audiences I had a very interesting conversation with Chris Bailey of And Co (see other speakers at this event) about the various surveys available for the cultural industries to use, so if you would like to do more work on this area speak to him.
  • Participants in the Digital Audiences survey (p24), identified that they would like to have digital content for viewing clips of performances, learning more about exhibitions, seeing ‘behind-the-scenes’ features, learning how to do something, finding the location of events and subscribing to exclusive information. Whilst existing audiences may want/ need information relating to events they are attending (or intend to visit) new audiences who do not perceive themselves as ‘arty’ or ‘cultural’ and may find events intimidating and will benefit from digital content that they can view before purchasing tickets or walking in to a gallery space. You can provide digital content such as learning resources, information on artists, clips that show humorous parts of the show or extra features that help to set the context for a performance so that someone who feels like they are not culturally aware, won’t feel as though it is beyond them to go in and watch. The image used on this slide is a screenshot of the Victoria and Albert Museum Channel homepage in March 2012, this is a site dedicated to learning and information resources about exhibitions present and past, there are interviews with creator, curators, the audience and experts. The V&A also provide further information through their main website.Source:MTM London, (2011), Digital Audiences engagement with arts and culture, Arts Council, UK, p24, accessed March 2012 at: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/doc/Digital_audiences_final.pdfImage source:Victoria and Albert Museum Channel, taken by Hannah Goraya, 2012.
  • In addition to straight forward, ‘dry’ information about your exhibitions or activities, you could provide interactive features on your site that create added value for online visitors. For example, if you had an exhibition for a particular artist you could provide a ‘create your own’ game like the Jackson Pollock website (2003) for each of your exhibitions/ performances. Audiences could play with it at home, learning more about why an artists chose a certain medium, how complicated (or otherwise) it is to replicate. This would be beneficial to them as a learning resource, it would be useful to your organisation as something which engages audiences. Additionally, as a potential income source you could provide an option to the customer of printing the image at home or they could purchase the image from your organisation which you then print, frame and post to them for a fee.Idea inspired by JacksonPollock.org made by Miltos Manetas in 2003.Image created by Hannah Goraya using JacksonPollock.org in March 2012.
  • A simple and effective feature you can provide your audience with is clear instructions regarding your digital content. The Arts Council ‘Digital Audiences’ report found that 95% of survey respondents were concerned about downloading illegally (2011, p31). If your organisation are clear about what customers are and aren’t allowed to do with your downloadable content, you may find that they use it more often and more appropriately to your intention (i.e. can they share it, put it on their own blog, keep it on their PC for personal use etc), additionally you will be making a contribution to your audiences’ digital inclusion. Source:MTM London, (2011), Digital Audiences engagement with arts and culture, Arts Council, UK, p31, accessed March 2012 at: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/doc/Digital_audiences_final.pdfImage source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_2OkjDfnMF1U/TTE1P0lIbWI/AAAAAAAAAEc/SB1VYJ74_ks/s1600/2006-09-16.gif
  • Example of replicating your offline service online: http://www.ysp.co.uk/shopMost websites list that they have a shop but don’t enable customers to buy products online. If you offer something that people can’t get anywhere but at your shop it should be available online. If you offer products that people will associate with your organisations e.g. books on artists they’ve seen at your space, plants they’ve seen in your gardens, postcards, CDs of concerts at your venue etc, etc make them available online. If you sell products that lots of other places sell and which are available online, consider matching prices to your online competitors and/ or setting up online shops on websites such as Amazon.co.uk where you can sell the products alongside your competitors but using the space to appeal to your audiences’ perception that buying from you is making a cultural or local contribution to an organisation they identify with.Image source:Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s online shop screenshot taken by Hannah Goraya, March 2012.
  • The National Theatre Live initiative is one of the more famous examples of innovation in the arts using digital. For organisations who are large enough to do this, it is a great way to promote your organisation and your performances. Through streaming nationwide the National Theatre were able to increase the number of people who were able to see a performance which they could not necessarily have got to from their location, however they were not a ‘new’ audience. Ninety-one per cent of the cinema audience had been to a play that year Only 4 per cent said they had little or no knowledge of theatre. Audiences for NT Live were also regular cinema goers: 77 per cent had visited the cinema in the last 12 months.Source: NESTA, (2011), Digital broadcast of theatre, learning from the pilot season of National Theatre Live, NESTA, UK, p39, accessed March 2012 at:http://www.nesta.org.uk/library/documents/NTLive_web.pdfImage sources:Image 1: Screenshot of the National Theatre live broadcast on the Showroom Workstation website taken by Hannah Goraya, 2012.Image 2: Breakdown of costs for National Theatre live taken from NESTA report referenced above.
  • As an alternative to the high costs of live streaming, theatres (and organisations who put on performances) could instead make their existing projects more engaging with videos and images of the cast practicing or interviews with the cast and director about the production that make the event more relevant. This will also help audiences who don’t see themselves as ‘theatre types’ to make a connection with the production before they are in the room.Image source:Talawa Theatre Company’s website promoting their performance of ‘The Colored Museum’ in 2011, screenshot taken by Hannah Goraya.
  • Smaller organisations can use free social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to record and promote their activities an example of local groups doing this are Art in The Park and Heeley City Farm. However, they are doing well because they use it to interact with others and promote others, not just spam people about their events. Be wary of seeing social media purely as a marketing tool, it’s more like a pub you have to be social to get the most from the experience.Image source:Hannah Goraya’s screenshots of Art In The Park (@artinthepark1) and Heeley City Farm’s (@HeeleyFarm) twitter pages, taken March 2012.
  • What Does Digital Offer: Building Digital Capability

    1. 1. Building Digital Capability Hannah Goraya Sheffield Hallam University, Barnsley MBC @yorkhannah http://bit.ly/disydocsonline: #wddo
    2. 2. Building Digital CapabilityHannah GorayaWhat Does Digital Offer?30th March 2012
    3. 3. Who am I?
    4. 4. Research Findings• Employee confidence needed to be developed• Technology needed to be made relevant to audience and employees• Intervention points should be mapped• Networks (informal and formal) connect ideas
    5. 5. Benefits of Digital
    6. 6. Challenges• Technology• Costs• People• Quantifying• Investing wisely• Balancing conservatism with innovation
    7. 7. Who uses the internet?• 80% of 16+ Age differences: - 90% of 16-24s say they ever use the internet - compared to 25% of those aged 75+.
    8. 8. How do they use it?• 72% from home Age differences: 57% of 16-24s access via• 32% go online via their phone compared to 2% of mobile phone. those aged 65+• In 2010-2011 the use of Geographical differences: wireless hotspots almost 33% urban participants doubled to 4.9 million users. go online via their mobile, compared to 23% in rural areas.
    9. 9. Go to your audience if they aren’t coming to you• 27% are “broad users” • 71% of those with home of the internet (carrying internet access say they out 11-17 of 17 types of buy things online and activity). this does not vary by sub-group BUT other• 33% of those in activity e.g. Looking up ABC1households are information on public broad users cf 13% in services is higher in DE households. ABC1 (48%) than DE (19%)
    10. 10. Digitally Excluded• People aged 65 and over• People with disabilities• People with no educational attainment• People in social classes DE
    11. 11. Cultural audience• People in early middle • The pattern is different age MOST LIKELY to for sports activity – engage in cultural participation peaks activity BUT the among those aged 16- difference between 19 years before falling them and those in their steadily for each 20s is only marginal. successive age group• Activity levels only tail off drastically among those aged 70+ years
    12. 12. Crossover• Broadly, those who use digital are from the same groups that consume culture.• Those who are digitally excluded are also less likely to consume culture.• The big target audience for both digital inclusion and culture are people aged 65+
    13. 13. IDEAS
    14. 14. Learning opportunities
    15. 15. National Theatre Live
    16. 16. Alternative theatre engagement
    17. 17. You don’t have to be big to impact
    18. 18. What I just told you, but in summary.1. Employees/ volunteers understanding is key.2. Identify the desired outcome.3. Select an appropriate technology to achieve outcome.4. Be realistic – seek advice and don’t underestimate costs.5. Invest (money and time)6. Review.
    19. 19. • Identify service Servicedesign/ review • Identify audience/s • Is anyone else providing similar services?Co-ordination • Are there any exisiting resources we can use? • Who should we work with in our organisation?Collaboration • Who should we work with externally? • Of our intended audience, how many are offline? Connection • How will we help them get online? • What will make it informative and (where possible) interactive? Content • Who will be needed to test its accessibility? • What will make the end user confident in using this service? Confidence • Which employees or organisations will promote the service? • What will ensure those promoting the service are capable? Capability • How will we track customer usage to ensure they are capable? • When will we review progress? Continuity • How will we identify and integrate new technologies?
    20. 20. Questions?