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Posts tagged with Museums

cuddly t-rex

The Natural History Museum online: a lesson in copywriting

The Natural History Museum in Kensington, London, has a new online store.

It's responsive, has chunky buttons and is easy to read. However, rather than provide a full review of the website (check it out for yourself), I wanted to highlight the brilliant copywriting.

Hopefully it'll prove inspiring for your own product copy.

van rijn

Give your content away for maximum ROI: a Rijksstudio case study

It doesn’t matter what sector you work in, or what stage of the ‘journey’ you are on (it’s not unlike X Factor), digital entails transforming your products and services in a way that can sometimes feel antithetical.

Whether it’s newspapers increasing their prices, travel companies investing in new technology, or art galleries removing copyright.

That’s exactly what the Rijksmuseum did in 2012, when it put a lot of its collection online and created the Rijksstudio, allowing the public to curate, purchase, download and rework bona fide masterpieces.

Building on this work, Rijksstudio has just announced the winners of its ‘Make Your Own Masterpiece’ competition, with entrants using the collection to design something of their own.

Let’s take a look at this very Dutch and very admirable project.

eight stacked beams

Is digital technology part of our cultural organisations?

Digital technology in our cultural organisations can stand for many things. From websites to APIs, on-site touch screens to audio guide apps, social media to self-service ticketing stations.

Some of it is bad. I can think of many ‘90s and early ‘00s computer panel installations that add nothing to a gallery experience, as well as many poor websites and apps that either need updating or scrapping.

But there’s plenty of good stuff, too - responsive websites with content, ticketing and social running through them; interactive projects by the Tate that allows visitors to add to the galleries’ content and also to communicate with other visitors.

However, the world of art and cultural organisations hasn’t been particularly good at sharing best practice.

To that end, Arts Council England, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Nesta have commissioned independent research agency MTM to track the use of digital technology by arts and cultural organisations in England between 2013 and 2015.

The first survey was taken by 891 cultural organisations, giving an insight into activity, barriers and enablers across England.

I’ve been having a look at the resulting report, to see what digital and culture looks like in 2014. Here are some snippets.


In praise of Tate's digital strategy

Tate has always looked forward in setting its digital strategy and publishing it clearly.

Earlier this year, the strategy was updated, to lead through to 2015. The title of the document couldn’t put it any plainer, ‘Digital as a Dimension of Everything’.

This is a bold claim, and is perhaps more literal a statement than one would think at first glance.

In this post, I share the salient points, for anyone setting their own digital strategy.


Q&A: Steve Gardam on the National Museums Online Learning Project

Nine of the UK's biggest museums have recently launched an online project which aims to make greater use of their websites, as well as providing educational and social resources for students and the general public.

The £1.5m government funded project also involves the British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Portrait Gallery, the Tate, Natural History Museum, the Wallace Collection, Royal Armouries, Sir John Soane's Museum and Imperial War Museum.

Webquests is an online educational tool for students and teachers which pulls together content from the various museums to create projects and teach research skills, while Creative Spaces is a social application that enables users to search across the museums' content and create groups around their interests.

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