Tag Archives: UK

Social media diary 27/2/2009 – UK National Museums

Nine museums in the UK launch Creative Spaces

This week in the UK saw the beta launch of Creative Spaces. An online community and federated search project across nine National Museums, part of the National Museums Online Learning Project (NMOLP) and involving the Tate, V&A, British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Natural History Museum, Imperial War Museum, Royal Armouries, Wallace Collection and Sir John Soanes’ Museum. The core idea is to provide a way for people to find, discuss and be inspired by the collections of all these museums.

The project really has two components:

  1. A federated search, allowing users to search and explore the collections across all nine museums in one place, online.
  2. An online community, allowing people to create notebooks (their own collections combining objects from the museums with their own content), create and join groups and review and add comments to objects that they like (or otherwise, of course).

It’s been an ambitious project, running for a number of years and the outcomes are exciting. The ability to search across and explore the collections is of huge value. But the social elements of the site allow individuals to essentially curate their own experience. Bringing objects from the different museums together with their own content, annotating them and making their own notebook – an exhibition for others to view and comment on.

So what can we learn from this?

This is a great example of using social media and online communities in a museums context. But it is also a great example of When thinking about how to use social media and online communities, it is important for brands and organisations to explore what it is they can uniquely offer. What do they have that they can share with people, and why would people come to a site that they were running to interact. With Creative Spaces, I think these nine museums have got it right. They have not just launched an online community, asking people to talk about art – there are many places you can do that. What these organisations can offer that is different is access to their catalogues, and by coming together to make Creative Spaces they are offering something even more unique – the ability to search the collective catalogues of some of the leading museums in the UK. They have something unique and of value that they can offer to people with this search, and also with the online community they have built to support this. One problem with some online communities is that they focus too much on forums and verbal communication. Other media can sometimes be a more effective way of communicating: video can be a great way to engage some people, others want to express themselves with images or objects. In a museums context this becomes even more important. I may not want to discuss my reaction to an object, but I might want to upload an image of my own as a reaction to it. Creative Spaces lets you do this, and indeed let’s you curate your own collection (they call it a notebook) with objects from the collections alongside your own content or content you’ve got from elsewhere. This is clever, allowing people to react and respond in whatever medium is most appropriate to them. Creative Spaces is a great idea, it brings social media to a museums context and creates a social experience online that centres on the unique content these museums have – their own collections. It’s easy to set up a site and expect people to come and engage there, but this rarely happens. You need to build a site that meets a need and offers something new, leveraging your own position to give a real reason for people to come and engage on your site rather than elsewhere. If you decide to join up, feel free to add me as a contact: Matt Rhodes. (In interest of open disclosure, I should say that FreshNetworks has done some strategy work with the NMOLP to help them launch and grow Creative Spaces. But it would always have been a great example of social media!)From the FreshNetworks Blog
Read all our Social Media Diary entries
Subscribe to updates from the FreshNetworks Blog

Music Spending Habits of the UK Youth

It’s no secret that the record industry is in trouble: Businesses selling, layoffs and Virgin Megastore Closing just to name a few. File sharing is the way kids get their music these days. Ars Technia posted a story about this study done by the University of Hartfordshire. It found that 14 to 24 year olds are willing to pay for their music, but on certain terms. The survey found that 37% of 14 to 17 year olds have payed for 39% of music on their iPods, while 50% of 18 ‘ 24 year olds payed for 50% of the music on their iPods. The survey also found that when budgeting for music, the majority of those surveyed budgeted 60% of their music money for live music, while only 40% was left for recordings. On the upside, the study found that 80% of P2P users said they wouldn’t mind paying for a legal file sharing service, as long as they pay a single monthly fee for unlimited amounts of music. This study demonstrated that the next generation of music buyers will spend money on music and still have the same passion, they just have a certain way they want to pay for it.

UK and US Citizens have same view on the Environment

In a recent study by Project Green, detailed here at Brand Week, researchers found that those surveyed in the United States and the UK had relatively the same views on the environment. One in three surveyed knew of the term sustainable, throughout both the US and the UK. Project Green’s goal was to find out what people in both countries to survey their emotions and feelings on the current state of the environment. Nineteen percent of those surveyed stated that they would sacrifice certain things in order to save the environment. Other views surveyed were: U.S. vs. U.K. consumers who:
‘ Recycle paper: 71% vs. 87%
‘ Purchase recycled paper: 55% vs. 47%
‘ Walk rather than drive short journeys: 36% vs. 56%
‘ Own or lease a hybrid: 4% vs. 1%