Wednesday 17th June saw 150 people gather at the Southbank Centre for Culture Geek - the UKs foremost conference on the role of digital in the culture and heritage sector. Our very own Josh Greencroft was in attendance and these are his three takeaways:
Cultural experiences are now global and have to think and act as such. Jia Jia Fei from the Guggenheim highlighted that 51% of the museums on Twitter are from outside the United States, and that only 10% are local to New York.
It’s due to this global audience that museums have to think carefully about how they use social media. Content strategy can’t just rely on one thing - be that a single channel or a single world view.
Moreover, as a platform, social media is always evolving - but it’s role remains the same: to ‘translate’ art for these wide and varied audiences. How you translate it, in a meaningful and engaging way is can define how an audience sees, thinks about, and interacts with a museum.
Open source is where it’s at (again). The Southbank Centre formally released their new publicly available, open source Drupal CMS platform that allows business users to easily share events and timings with audiences, and for audience members to access the information. The project came out of their Web We Want project, to rebuild the new Southbank Centre website (whilst sitting in a glass box in the foyer of the Royal Festival Hall no less), and is available for other cultural institutions to use as they see fit. They’ve even made their backlog publicly available!
And finally, museums are getting strategic! Chris Michaels from the British Museum gave one of the most interesting talks of the day, sharing his roadmap for the digital transformation of one of the UK's best know cultural sites.
It comes down to three key things:
- Knowing where you want to get to (which for the British Museum equates to more reach, more engagement and more net income)
- Understanding the key themes that will help you get there (mobile, social and Big Data)
- And getting there as fast as possible, but as controlled as possible. How? By taking what you’ve got and making it right; learning from others as to what works; and embracing the risk of trying something new (for those of you asking what that looks like out the other end - the Museum’s first foray into using Periscope saw 40k followers in 20 mins, and increased their reach on Twitter by 5.5m).