Trends, Success & Games, some more Museums and the Web

Trying to fit the rest of #MW2011 into one post ain’t going to work, so I’m taking things three at a time.  Its nearly a week since Museums and the Web and there is just so much to think about!

Grounding Digital Information Trends

Kristen Purcell from Pew opened the conference with an a massive explosion of statistics about evolution of the Internet and its use in the US, from broadband, mobile, social networks and now apps. The information overload was staggering but it really hit home some the key issue: The digital divide isn’t disappearing.  For example:

In 2000 46% of adults used the internet by 2010 it is up to  74%, and 93% of teens (12-17) have internet access. Broadband has become the norm, but only 63% have broadband at home. Privilege and access is a huge issue. Broadband internet access is most prevalent in white, educated households with + $50K income. Who are you not reaching?

How to evaluate online success?

Rachel Clements, Seb Chan and Jane Finnis gave a really interesting session on evaluating online success.  Explaining where they have got to so far with an action research project with Seventeen individual museum and heritage institutions.  I really liked the social media benchmarking across the main social media channels, particularly using the free analysis twitter tools to look at influence and user engagement were from Klout and Tweetlevel.

Gaming the museum

Martha Henson and Danny Birchall gave an excellent workshop on Games. Talking at first about High Tea which is a highly addictive (no pun intended) brilliant game about the tea and opium trade.  Since Jan 2011 High tea has had 2.5 million plays world-wide! That’s an insane amount. They talked about Embedding google analytics in Flash games to evaluate game use and the fact that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to be effective.

Part of the workshop involved us coming up with our own games reusing game formats that already exsist.  This was a really excellent idea; the creativity of the group really brought the workshop to life (after a few terrified looks at the thought of having to do some team work before lunch).   We came up with a First person (shooter) conservator. Cleaning up archive town one work at a time.  Explaining the process of object conservation in a shoot em up stylie and a card game called Three of a kind for a person to person game in an art museum, where three people would be given a card of an art work, a review and a artist statement and would have to find each other over wine.

It was great to think out of the box about what you can do with museum games. Someone else pitched the idea of a ceramics exhibition game: World of Craft Wars. Genius.

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