Friday, November 28, 2008

NDF Conference User-Generated Content Session

This was a really cool session. Some points I noted for us to think about for our new site:

  • Te Ara
    caters to a traditional print-based audience as well as planning a play space for those who are more web-savvy
  • Found the blog didn't generate as much two-way engagement as they expected or wanted – reinforces the idea that you have to work hard to create and build community
  • I liked their simple interface for uploading stories (although they haven't had much success with this in terms of people uploading stories)
  • Our Space set up a Flickr group months ahead of launch to generate media interest and content (and build community too?)
  • Integrated an online and physical experience, an exploration and playful space with little instruction, which is new for museums (but based on constructivist principles which are not new!)
  • Originally user-generated content not part of the brief (same for Te Ara, we need to factor this in)
  • 'Generation C' – content creators
  • Focus groups with 15-24 year olds to help develop the brief. What did they find? Its' all about me now (therefore needs to be instantaneous); young people are digital content creators (they want control and choice and ability to share); they are used to making stuff digitally; curators really need to lose control (become moderators and facilitators); must also have something the web can't deliver (i.e. the exhibition space must be able to stand alone)
  • Applied principles of social networking sites to a physical exhibition
  • Provide visitor voice and platform to interact with the museum, losing their centralised structure and control – how to reconcile this with role of protecting national treasures? (I don't think they're mutually exclusive)
  • Are working with Maori now to get their involvement as a separate project
  • Institutional paradigm shift where hosts now encourage visitors to play and explore; think about viral distribution of information and bit more sense of collaboration within Te Papa now

A great session nicely summed up by Angelina who also ran the Q&A, which meant I didn't have to do anything!

1 comment:

Gillian said...

Hi Lynda,

I think it is quite common that sites have to work hard at building community. People have to have a lot of good reasons to 'hang out' in a space that is created/offered for them.

With all the online spaces available now, and the ease of setting up your own space, I wonder whether many active 'creators/contributors' find they can easily set up their own patch and prefer to do that rather than contribute in other places.

I wonder how many people are happy to be one voice amongst many, when they can easily perform on their own stage.

A lot of grass root online collaborative forums seem to operate within a 'praise' dynamic. That is, people contribute their stuff and feed on the applause feedback. So the 'work' of establishing a community involves endless feedback to every individual contributor, coaxing them to visit again and contribute again.

And I can ponder the effect of scale. One or two responses can be a bit disappointing, but hundreds of responses become too many to read, and turn into impersonal bundles that are skimmed/scanned. Somewhere in between is the measure of success.

Thanks for keeping up this blog and sharing the info!