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How to evaluate success online?

How to evaluate success online?

This article challenges assumptions and provides an insight into the way cultural and arts organisations go about trying to measure their success. This article was first published in JAM (issue 48 / November 2012).

Article snippet

Developing effective ways to define, measure and evaluate the success of online activities is an issue faced by all parts of the cultural sector. Organisations regularly invest in cultural websites, social media activities and online services without a clear idea of specifically what the services are trying to achieve, or their intended audience.
While cultural managers are increasingly interested in showing evidence of online success, funding agencies and government departments currently lack the expertise to offer guidelines or set standards for measurement. For many organisations this results in a confusing mixture of statistics and reporting which is time-consuming to provide and reveals little about online user behaviour, engagement and satisfaction.
The Let’s Get Real report was the outcome of a year-long action research project to address these issues, co-ordinated and led by Culture24 and actively involving 17 different UK cultural venues, five agencies and a university. The budget for the project was only £29,000 but it was made possible by the willingness and enthusiasm of the project team and the participants to share data, experience and resources openly in order to improve the effectiveness of their digital output.
The results, published in October 2011, should be looked at in the spirit in which the project was undertaken – open, questioning and aspirational. They offer an insight into the place where many of the UK’s leading cultural organisations currently are when it comes to understanding and making use of the data that they collect from their online activities. The real insights lie not in which tools or platforms the report evaluates but in the shift in thinking that needs to happen at a deep level within every cultural organisation. The lessons can be found through careful analysis of the data against each organisation’s primary objectives.

To read the full article download How to evaluate success online?

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