Ten digital lessons (or ‘the things I learnt at my first Museums and the Web’) | V&A

If getting to the USA for the Museums and the Web conference earlier in April didn’t manage to happen for you (or us!) never fear! Kati Price, Head of Digital Media at the V&A, has done a great write up of the top 10 things she learned.

Click here for her full article: Ten digital lessons (or ‘the things I learnt at my first Museums and the Web’) | V&A. Some extracts we particularly liked below.

2. Measure what you value not value what you measure

It’s a truism, but it’s more important to measure what you value rather than value what you measure. With Brian Alpert of the Smithsonian and Seb Chan of the Cooper Hewitt, we had a proper rummage around Google Analytics. Working in digital (and I completely agree with Koven Smith who tweeted that using ‘digital’ as a noun is bothersome), we feel that awkward tension between insight and surveillance, between wanting to get our little paws on as much data and stats about our website users, and the more creepy aspects of tracking and analytics that we’re so much more aware of post Snowden.
You can spend hours wading through your Google Analytics data, but unless you’ve set up your goals properly, you’re not going to be able to derive any decent insights that you can act on. And goals are only really meaningful when you’re drawing them from your organisation’s mission (brain achingly tricky, though, to use Analytics to show how well the V&A’s digital offer is ‘inspiring creativity’ or the Smithsonian is ‘increasing and diffusing knowledge’ for that matter).

4. Everyone loves a good metaphor

When you pack for a conference you make sure you’ve got your toothbrush and some clean underpants packed. But you expect your hotel to make sure there are clean bed linens and towels ready for your arrival. It’s the same with museums, says Tim Svenonius of SFMOMA: we may expect you to bring along your mobile or tablet – your toothbrush, as it were – (and should probably have some spare, like the stash of toothbrushes the hotel reception has just in case), but what are the equivalents of linens, towels and fancy toiletries that we should be providing in our museum experiences? The apps, audio guides, the gallery interactive experiences and so on? And how do we make sure we integrate with and augment the devices and social networks our visitors use? All good questions raised in one of the lively professional forums.

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