Museum of London and social softwareOctober 22, 2009 Blogs, Social media, Websites
We’ve been using a number of social media tools for the past few years to connect to new and diverse audience, taking the Museum of London to visitors on platforms they are already familiar with, whether it is a social networking site such as Facebook, a video sharing site like YouTube, or simply a blog site like this one.
Doing this of course takes a lot of time and effort, and this year I decided that I wanted to find out how effective some of this social software is for the Museum in reaching out to, and attracting, new users who end up visiting the Museum’s website, and even better, if users actually end up visiting one or both of our Museums.
As I was also studying part-time for my Masters in Electronic Communication and Publishing at University College London, I decided to base my dissertation on this topic and started my research. I very soon realised how little I knew about web stats and surveys and the sheer number of blogs talking about blogs! By the end of my research, my head was reeling with all the information I acquired and my feelings were yo-yoing from happiness at the results, to being overwhelmed. I wondered ‘how on Earth was I going to write up so many findings, but even more daunting, how was I going to use it?!?’
Social software, what is it?
Now before I carry on, if you have stumbled across this entry and are new to the whole ‘social software’ terminology, then a very brief explanation would be that it is a general term that encompasses a number of tools that enable visitors to interact and exchange information, mainly through the web. These can include Flickr, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and many more such sites.
What did I research?
I decided that I didn’t have the time to look at all our use of social software, so I concentrated instead on our blog site (this one), and our presence on Facebook. During the research, I tried to answer the following questions:
- Does the Museum of London lose visitors through having content sitting on separate social software sites?
- Do visits to content on social software sites result in visits to the Museum of London and its website?
- Are visitors engaging with Museum of London through social software sites?
- Do visitors find information on Museum of London social software sites of value?
- And, should website visit statistics of content sitting on social software sites be included in the official statistics reports?
In the coming weeks, I will be blogging about my research process and what I found, so do check back.