Updates from June, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Erin Milbeck Wilcox 7:55 pm on June 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    A few posts about us 



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  • shinyupai 2:57 am on June 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Social Media Plan for Center for Wooden Boats 

    WordPress doesn’t seem to have an insert/upload PDF or Word document, so I am pasting the text of the Social Media Plan that Kelly and I have been working on for the CWB in the post below…


    Institutional Mission and Goals

      The mission of the Center for Wooden Boats (CWB) is “to serve the people in our [the Seattle] community by providing a gathering place where maritime history comes alive through direct experience and our small craft heritage is enjoyed, preserved, and passed along to future generations.” The CWB’s programs focus on preserving and sharing both the artifacts and the time-tested maritime skills of sailing, paddling, boatbuilding and boat maintenance.

      Target Audience for Social Media Plan

    The CWB is seeking to cultivate a deeper relationship with its members and core constituency with an emphasis on its non-youth members. The CWB is interested in using social media to communicate with members and supporters (volunteers, alumni) in a quick and effective way, i.e. to broadcast calls for volunteers or new programs, which could then be further circulated or distributed to individual user networks thereby extending the CWB network. The older generation of CWB members has expressed reluctance to using social technology, though most users are on email and have internet access. The social media plan will seek to cultivate a higher comfort level and familiarity with social technologies, taking into account that most of CWB’s users will be consumers and spectators, versus creators.

    Resources & Restrictions

      Given staffing constraints at CWB, the recommended platform and plan must take an average of no more than four hours a week to maintain; CWB requires a platform that can easily self-maintain itself. Currently, the individuals who manage the organization’s Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook accounts are volunteers who will ending their terms at CWB in June and August 2009. The social media plan must be simple enough to accommodate high staff turnover and varying levels of experience and expertise with social technology.

      Startup Need: Blog

    Step 1.) Select a blog platform
    There are both no-cost and with-cost options for blog hosting. WordPress, Blogger are free; TypePad is a fee-based service with options to allow you to host the blog on your own website or use their hosting service. Below we have summarized these top options and provided resources so that staff can choose which platform would be most appropriate for CWB.

    Resources on weighing blog platforms

    Step 2.) Develop Identity and Content
    Meet to define identity and voice of blog, as well as staff protocols for use, and to brainstorm possible staff contributors. Determine guidelines and ground rules for user-generated stories and content submitted to forums – i.e. word count, content parameters, style, etc. Size and formatting, tagging guidelines to spec for video/photos.

    Step 3.) Integrating existing social media
    The CWB already uses YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter which can all be pulled into the blog (YouTube videos can be incorporated into posts, you can blog directly from Flickr and twitter feeds can be incorporated into the blogspace or comment space, buttons leading to Facebook and Twitter pages).

    Step 4.) Maintenance and evaluation
    Site meter or Google Analytics can analyze visitors, most visited pages, and other information. Comments streams and online conversations could be qualitatively analyzed for concordance with CWB mission and goals. Blog maintenance needs include:

    • Comments monitoring
    • Once a week entry on the blog w/ rotating authors
    • Reading/visiting other boating enthusiast blogs/forums and contributing to these online communities by making comments
    • Guest bloggers of interest (would need to develop protocols for posting)
    • Twitter, Facebook, YouTube – watching these sites for content that could be cross-posted to the blog
    • Cross-posting content to associated FB account

    Start-up Needs: Forum

    This would be a means for CWB visitors to have open discussion on museum programs and opportunities, as well as the common maritime interests that bring them together.

    Example of successful forums for these purposes
    Port Townsend Wooden Boat Foundation Forum: http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/

    Step 1.) Create Platform
    We suggest the open source software site http://www.phpbb.com/ as an easy way to set up a public forum. According to the PHPBB site, the cost of a forum is free, but some monthly costs ($6.95) may be incurred for tech support or for a domain host.

    Step 2.) Decide on Content
    Possible discussion board areas could be devoted to

    • The CWB’s historic boats
    • Finding sailing/boating partners
    • Sail Now graduates
    • Visitor oral histories
    • Discussion of CWB historic oral histories
    • Volunteer discussion/recruitment
    • Buying/Selling/Trading/Bartering of materials, resources and skills

    Step 3.) Maintenance and evaluation
    In terms of management, the forum would need to be monitored weekly for spam, abusive comments, and site-appropriate content, which would require a greater time commitment for maintenance.

    We recommend the following steps to minimize the amount of spam or objectionable material

    • All users must be registered members, the CWB would have the ability to approve or reject any individual before their account is activated.
    • Use of simple verification systems like Captcha http://www.captcha.net/ to avert automated spamming accounts
    • Regular staff participation in forum discussion, so that as administrators they will each be able to remove any problem content and moderate any issues.

    Forum participation and membership are easily kept track of in PHPBB forums. A more qualitative analysis could be undertaken after a period of time, likely no sooner than 6 months to a year. At this point you could evaluate your membership to see if you are getting increased site visitation, rich conversation/comments to evaluate if CWB is moving in the direction in which it wishes to go.

    Simple forum polls could be used throughout the development process to gage success in terms of CWB goals for forum interaction and to get easy feedback about new features/topics. For instance forum members could be solicited for feedback on whether their participation in these social technologies has influenced or increased their real time spent at CWB, engaged in CWB programs or activities. (i.e. finding a sailing partner)

    Promotion Plan

      The technology/blog can be promoted from a link on the CWB website, as well as the http://www.atlakeunionpark.org websites, existing Facebook site, e-newsletter. We recommend adding the address to the signature lines of staff emails, and to future print marketing pieces.

      We also recommend outreach to existing non-CWB boating and museum forums where the CWB forum could be promoted. Staff members would need to spend some time participating on non-CWB forums, posting comments. This would also be useful for other CWB staff people to begin to engage with to become better “social media citizens.”

      Recommendations for Possible Internships to Further Social Media Plan
      • Internship editing oral history video for YouTube/blog content
      • Social Media Intern/Museology Practicum for monitoring content and forums
      (10 hrs a week)

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  • kypine 3:39 am on May 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: client projects, relationships,   

    Social Media Projects and Relationships 

    In working on our client social media plan I have been struggling with defining what the relationship is I want to promote with my plan.  I find the relationship aspect less exciting than the potential a social media tool would have as a resource both for my museum’s stakeholders and a wider audience.  What type of relationship is a collective research project, say like wikipedia promoting?  It doesn’t jive with my idea of a social relationship.   If these tools can be successful (and I’d say wikipedia is) sans relatioships, do we need to plan for relationships, or for intended use?

    • ninaksimon 3:24 pm on May 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I think the relationship is “we’re a bunch of people building something together. Everyone is equal here, and you can do as much or as little as you want.” A wiki is very similar to a group project – you’re even seeing that now straddling the exhibit project across a wiki and real-life project coordinating.

      Also, the relationship of the wiki creator is something like, “I will make this space available for you, comfortable to use, and we will have rules governing how things get here and are removed. I will keep things in order and encourage you on, but mostly, you are in control.”

      Does this make sense?

  • ninaksimon 4:00 pm on April 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Social Media Planning: Questions to Connect with Clients 

    On Monday, we discussed Groundswell and how to approach social media planning strategically.  Everyone will soon be working with real live museums that are struggling to define some aspect of their existence in social media.  Some clients have a well-developed idea of what they need, whereas others are looking for general ways to start exploring and playing in the world of the social web.

    How can you develop a plan that will have the most likely specific value to the institution or initiative at hand?  A strong social media plan should include:

    1. the institution’s specific mission and audience goals.  What is this museum or program all about?  Who is the target audience?  These questions should focus and filter your planning more than anything else.
    2. the new relationships the institutions is seeking.  How would the institution like to alter or strengthen its relationship with the target audience?  What kind of relationship is sought?  Relationship types may include: broadcasting, spreading, listening, sharing, embracing, energizing, supporting, research, exchange, conversation…  Ideally, you will pick one or two relationships that seems appropriate to the mission and goals, although institutions that are looking at comprehensive media plans may need documentation and ideas in several relationship buckets.
    3. the resources and restrictions of the institution.  What resources (time, money, and people) does the museum have to support this effort?  What rules or control issues may prevent certain kinds of interactions?  What are they already doing, what have they tried, and where are they now?  These questions should help you define a reasonable scope for the project and hone in on some tactics that may be more appropriate than others.
    4. the intent of the institution.  How will they manage, grow, and respond to their newly energized communities?  This relates strongly to (2) and (3).  You need to make sure you are recommending something that the museum can honestly, enthusiastically, and appropriately manage in the context of their work processes etc.  This is very hard to ascertain from the outside, but asking questions like, “what will you do with visitors’ comments?” or “what will you do if someone posts something that is inaccurate?” can help.
    5. the ideas.  What are you recommending and why?
    6. the startup needs.  What will the museum have to do to get this going?
    7. the promotion plan.  How can the museum promote the project and reach out to the target audience?
    8. the maintenance needs.  What will the museum have to do to keep it going?
    9. the evaluation plan.  How will this project be tracked and tested against the goals?  How will you establish benchmarks and a starting baseline?

    I know this sounds like a lot.  Parts 1-4 are functionally research elements — things you need to find out from your client and articulate in an understandable way as the basis for 5-9 (your ideas).

    Anything missing here?  Any questions or thoughts on these?

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