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Film: Audience Research in the Museum Without Walls

Lynda Kelly is Head of Web and Audience Research at the Australian Museum, Sydney. She has published widely in audience research and writes the popular blog ‘Audience Research’.

Lynda spoke at the 2011 MuseumNext conference in Edinburgh about how the internet has both enabled visitors to have a clearer voice and forced Museums (and researchers) to go and embrace new models of audience research/audience development and what this means for museum practices.

Lynda: I’m going to talk about something kind of out of what we’ve been discussing today, which is about audience research, which is my passion and my main job at the museum. Although, from November last year for the next couple of years, I’ve taken on the responsibility of managing the web unit, which is a unit of four people, including myself. Or three and myself. And an audience research person and it’s actually been a very interesting bringing together of two different functions that actually when you think about it and when you dig deep into it, are actually very, very closely related.

So even though my talk’s about audience research, at the end it comes all around to the web and what’s happening in the online world.

Okay, just to go back a bit to what museums are all about, and this guy George Brown Goode was an assistant director of the Smithsonian in the late 1800s, and he was also an ichthyologist, and a practicing research scientist and he really got the idea that museums were about certainly advancing knowledge and collecting and researching and getting that out, but also the dispersement of knowledge to all kinds of people and not just to his peers. He was quite an interesting museologist of the time, and unfortunately he died quite young, but he was very inspirational, and there’s a really good book about his work and you can find out more about him on the Smithsonian’s website.

I’ve just been toying with a few ideas recently about this world that museums operate in, and what I am thinking is that we operate across three spheres, and these spheres are increasingly coming together. So of course we’ve got the physical site, and this is my museum. It’s a classic 18th century building. It’s an anthropology and natural history museum. It’s the oldest museum in the Southern Hemisphere, established in 1827. We’ve got massive collections, and like most museums only a proportion is on display.

We get about 350-400,000 visitors a year to our physical site depending on what’s on. They are people from all over Sydney, and all over Australia and increasingly we have quite a large tourist market that visits our museum.

We also have a very large online presence and actually our online presence is much, much bigger than a our physical presence. We went online quite early. The museum’s website first was established around 1994, which was very early, and because it was more led by our researchers and our scientists, who were very much engaged in the tech world at that time, it’s really about content. We never saw our website as a marketing tool or as a how to visit us tool, it was really all about the content, and that really translated to the new site, which you can see here.

Similar to what Hugh was saying, we were quite lucky, because we thought a lot about our redevelopment of our website for many, many years. And I think if we’d have gone and redeveloped it earlier than we did, it’s only been operational for almost two years now, I think we would have had a very different site. But what we’ve ended up with is a site that’s very much a two-way interaction site.

Every page is comment-able, we don’t edit comments. The only thing is that people have to sign up before they can make a comment. We’ve only been spammed twice, although Shelley tells me in three years time, we’re going to have bots attacking us and all of kinds of things, so we’ll just wait for that.

And also we’ve got very much a distributed CMS model in the museum, so even though I am the web manager and I have a team, we don’t actually manage content at all. It’s all managed by the people that are the content owners. Anybody can edit anything. I could go online now on my phone and just go on and edit the site, if I so desire. We decided to do that because it’s all about getting people using the web as part of their jobs, and seeing the web as just another vehicle for them doing their work. It’s actually worked quite well, and all we do now is we have a Thursday morning web clinic where people can come down and bring a memory stick with some content or ask us a question, and again it’s all about them doing the work, and not us. So we’re kind of enablers, not doers.

And the third sphere that I think museums are increasingly operating in and again, Hugh mentioned this as the mobile space, and I see that this is a space that’s going to actually really change the way that museums operate and the ways that they engage with their audiences, because, again, as Hugh said, there’s so many stats that show that everybody is going mobile and that’s where people will be, certainly in one to two years time.

To come back to audience research, museums have been interested in their audiences for a very, very long time. As you can see some of the earlier studies by Benjamin Gillman, who is one of my heroes, he did research at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and he made it his life’s work to photograph visitors in very uncomfortable positions, not being able to see objects, bending over, looking up. And to my great pleasure, I like doing that as well. I take pictures of people in museums doing the same things, not being able to see objects, being very uncomfortable, and I think that often we don’t pay a lot of attention to the visitors and we really haven’t learned from a lot of the stuff that he was talking about almost a hundred years ago now.

So there’s other kinds of different ways that audience research has evolved, and there was a lot of emphasis on exhibition evaluation, on measuring, very much on technical stuff about measuring, and being very quantitative about the work. A lot of the work that was pioneered here in the UK, in the Natural History Museum. Then there was audience research talking about visitor learning and more what people were experiencing and what they were taking away, long term kinds of things.

And then we got into looking at well, what are visitors talking about in our museums. What are they doing? What are they saying? How are they actually engaging with the experience? And then we’re coming to this idea of well, what does Web 2.0 mean in terms of the visitor experiences and how is that changing the way audiences interact with us? And then of course some people are starting to write about the mobile museum, what that actually means.

So what does this all mean? What I’ve been thinking a lot about lately too is this idea about what do we have to do as organizations to change, to meet this new mobile, physical and online world? And if you look at what Elaine Gurian said, the actual issue here is not about tech issues. It’s not technology that we’re looking at, it’s actually underlying, philosophical, how we operate, how we think about our organizations and how we think about our jobs and what it is we’re doing. And I don’t know that museums are really thinking about that deeply yet.

(Denspot?) did some very interesting work in the museum he was at, I can’t remember what it was, but there’s an issue of The Exhibitionist, which I tweeted a link to on the stream, there’s a whole issue of The Exhibitionist that was about user-generated content, and how that all worked. And he spoke a lot about the work that he was doing, and this really resonates with me because as he says, “If you invite people in to participate, then you must actually change the museum itself.”

Many of you would have seen or been involved in the The Horizon Report. There was a museum edition last year, which is a really fantastic read. If anybody hasn’t looked at it, it’s certainly worth following up. And the kinds of things that The Horizon Report’s saying is that we’re looking at rich media now, so certainly we’ve done a lot of studies with audiences about what they’re doing online, and watching TV, watching videos is always number one and is certainly taking over lots of other things that people are doing online.

Digitisation and cataloguing again is a really important issue, and it was very interesting, we’ve heard a few examples of how people are actually getting into the collections through the online site but at the physical site and that’s actually quite exciting. This idea of people connecting with social networks wherever they are, and I’ll come back to that at the end, and that’s my whole premise kind of underlying this Museum Without Walls idea.

The Horizon Report talks a lot about the role of educators, and what I would actually say is it’s not only the role of educators that’s changing, it’s actually the role of everybody in the museum who is changing. Our jobs are changing. The ways we interact with each other and with our audiences is changing, and also ideas around authority and access to knowledge. Issues about copyright, which have come up a little bit today. are all being blurred and changed.

Those who talk about the trends for twelve months to three years, and I would say this first one, mobile and social media is actually not a trend, it’s here to stay and that’s what happening now. Talking about location-based services is very interesting and we’ve been doing a lot of experiments at the museum around foursquare, and even though a lot of foursquare at work is around (nawalls?) and very, very tough (nawalls) at the museum, but what it’s about is – and why I’m getting a lot of staff involved in that – it’s about thinking about what does location-based actually mean? How can we use it to locate our collections? Where they are in the museum? Where they are in the physical space? Or where they originally came from when we took them away from wherever they came?

Gesture-based computing is another interesting thing for us, and I know that Jim very early on was talking about Xbox Connect, WAYN, and things like that and it’s interesting again when you look at WAYN and how they’re actually developing that stuff, and they’re using older people to test this kind of information or this kind of use of a computer on and I think gesture-based computing is something, again, that we need to keep our eyes on.

So, as I mentioned in one of my first slides, we’ve always been interested in audiences, and ardencies have always been changing. It’s not just that all of a sudden things have changed, audiences have always had changing expectations. There’s always been a changing world, there’s always been changing relationships. But what I see is happening with the web, with social media and with mobile is that actually it’s the expectation of audiences and how they want to engage with us that’s changing and it’s the tools that we use now are very much more accessible than they were in the past.

People want to have deeper relationships with museums. I remember interviewing some young Aboriginal kids probably about six years ago for a study that we were doing for the Australia Council, and what they were saying was that yes, they wanted to have a really deep relationship with the museum, they didn’t want to come in and visit, they actually wanted to access their own material in our collections, and they wanted to come and they wanted to work with museums, they wanted to do that kind of stuff. They wanted that kind of relationship. So I think that even though we’re talking now about people wanting to have different and deeper relationships, that will has always been there, it’s just, as I said, the tools that we use now make it a lot more possible.

Back to audience research, and audience research has always been about bringing the two parts of the museum together, if you will. Like the market-driven aspects, which is the audience, what are their needs, what are their interests? What they know about a topic? What really gets them about something? What do they expect? How do they learn? That kind of thing. And also what’s called mission-led, which is actually: What does the museum want to say? I think sometimes in this new world of everybody crowdsourcing and user-generated content and whatever, we often forget that actually we do have a message and we have collections and we have research and we have things that we do want to talk to our audiences about, and I think that we shouldn’t shy away from that. I think it was someone that was saying that we need to build the tool and then we need to let the audience do what they want with that tool. I think it was Shelley who said that. But just to remember that that’s something that’s still very much at the heart of what we’re doing.

And what audience research does is bring those two together, so it’s looking at Okay, well what do we want to say? What do we want to do? And what does the audience actually want? How can we work that through and then how can we put it through into program developing. And again, as I’m saying, it’s increasingly now, not just physical exhibitions, which we often still talk about, but it’s also what we’re doing on lien and what we’re doing mobile-y. I don’t think that’s a word.

What I’ve been thinking about is this fourth pronged approach to audience research now. I’m not saying that one’s better than the other, I’m just saying that it is an evolving process and that we need to look at everything that we are doing in a different kind of framework. So as I keep saying, we need to change our practices and the way that we’re thinking about our jobs. That’s what I’m doing in the audience research sector. So what it is actually that we need to do and change?

First of all we’ve got the classic Social Science model. You’ll all be familiar with this. You do your classic visitors’ survey, you do focus groups, you observe people in your institution, you track them through an exhibition. And it’s really about kind of a one-way model. It’s actually the museum to the audience, so it’s finding out about what they’re doing but where it’s still saying that this is what we’re going to do.

We recently did a survey on smart phone use for two different audiences, a young audience and an older audience, and again, we used the social science method, so we used a very strict survey, the way that we analyzed it and then it was all the statistical tests and all of that kind of stuff, so it’s still a very important model, but it’s one that’s going to evolve because it doesn’t actually – its’ still a one-way model, its’ still us finding out what we want to know from the audience.

The second model that I wanted to just quickly run through is this whole idea of consultation. And again, museums have been consulting with their audiences for a very long time, and particularly at the Australian museum, we’ve been working with indigenous audiences I think for about sixty, seventy years now, and certainly over the last twenty years that’s really evolved a lot. So consultation is an important model for audience research and for audience engagement because it utilizes the same methods at the social science approach, but it often involves workshops or community visits or going out to people and actually talking to them, and finding out what it is that they want. Again, it’s still very much a one way model because it’s more about the community or the audience telling us what it is they want us to do, or what we should be doing for them, which is great, and that’s fine, and I absolutely celebrate that because especially in indigenous areas it’s very, very important for us. But it still is kind of one way that one person tells the other something and then they go away and do something with it.
The next model I want to talk about is what I’ve called user-generated and there’s’ so many different terminologies here. There’s co-creation, co-curation, user-generated, user-something else. But I’m just talking about user-generated. And what this actually means is it’s where we sometimes take the additional tools of the social science model and we actually get audiences to generate and to actually be very closely involved with our generation of content or programs or whatever.

Just to give you an example, this top row here was a piece of work that we did around an exhibition that we were going to show at the museums called All About Evil it’s from the Troppe Museum. Is there somebody here? Yes, hi. So we had this amazing exhibition that looked really fantastic, and again, to go back to the social science model, I took that out of focus groups and started talking to audiences about well this is the kind of exhibition, what do you think in an Australian context? And basically – and I apologise if they were like, “Boring, boring, boring” and they wanted to have a lot more input into the content of this exhibition. Certainly in an Australian context. So our director wasn’t quite happy with what I’d come up with and wanted us to do some more exploration.

So what the exhibition project manager and I decided to do was to set up a blog and we deliberately hosted that blog not on our website, we made it unmoderated, and where I just ran it and what we did was what I call repurposed a lot of content. So we had a lot of content written about what we might put in the exhibition, the evaluation and we literally would spend a Friday morning together just cutting and pasting, putting it into this blog, and trying to generate some kind of user input. I have to say we found the blog very unsatisfactory for that and there’s reasons that I’ve speculated which I think are mostly technology, because if you have to go into a blog, you’ve got to have a Google name, you’ve got to sign up to go do this that and the other.

But then when we went and looked at our Google figures, we actually found there was thousands of people reading this blog, which was kind of a real lift. But what we decided to do was to try and get some discussion happening, so we set up a facebook group called All About Evil and I think within a week or two weeks we had 500, 600 people actively contributing on this site. Talking about topics. We’d put out a question or a bit of a discussion and they’d get back to us and it was really good and they’d interact throughout the museum, they’d interact with each other, they’d upload photos. All that kind of thing. And it was really, really very good. But it’s an example of a failed project as well because well, at the time it was a fantastic initiative and we got a lot of people engaged. What kind of happened was that the project manager left. She went to another museum. I kind of lost a little bit of interest. The museum couldn’t decide whether they were actually going to put that exhibition on, so we didn’t have anything to show these people and I think in hindsight what we should have done, and some other museums have done this quite well, is actually gone back to that community and actually said, “Hey, we’re not sure what we’re doing here, we’ll just close this down for a while.” But what I think we’ve done is just let it sit. I guess if there’s any lessons in that it’s about – and I think the Tate does this – it’s knowing when to have an exit strategy when you’re doing something in social media, and I think that’s a very good lesson to learn. So sorry if you were in that group and you didn’t hear from us again, but that’s just the way it is.

Another thing about user-generated models in terms of audience research is the idea of using Twitter. I love Twitter and as you know all of you people love Twitter, but I love it as an audience research because in 140 characters you can get from someone their whole experience at an exhibition or a show or something, and to me that’s quite amazing. It’s very raw, it’s very real, it’s very personal. And this is a tweet stream from a project that we had run earlier this year called Jurassic Lounge. It was a really fantastic, phenomenally successful program. It was 12 weeks, a evening program. You could come into the museum, you could drink lots of wine, you could listen to music, and you could interact with the exhibits. It was targeted for 18-35 year olds, and we did quite a few evaluations and we certainly hit that mark.

But what I loved about it was again, it was the Twitter stream about people saying not only, “I’m getting pissed at the museum, isn’t this great?” or “I’m hooking up with somebody” but we actually got people tweeting about things that they’d learned and experiences that they’d had. The other thing that we did with Jurassic Lounge, and again I’ve tweeted the link to this, is that they had a guest blogger each week who would come in, and again for me as an audience researcher, to see that person going around, interviewing people, making short films, writing people’s impressions, was just gold. It was something that I didn’t have to do, but then we could actually mine that and say, “This is what people thought.”

As I said, we still did a couple of studies using the old social science model, because we really wanted to know where people were and get some kind of demographic and psychographic profile, but it was able to be augmented by social media, and by this idea of user-generated model.

One thing I will say was we also used Jurassic Lounge just to try out different ways of getting feedback from people. Our Assistant Director decided that we needed a Jurassic Lounge app and we thought well – I didn’t think we did, but anyway, he thought we did, so we thought well, we’ll ask people what goes in an app, and we had this big complicated conversation about well, we’ll put a computer here, we’ll do this and we’ll do that, and we finally just said let’s use post-it notes on a piece of paper. So I guess the lesson for me there is just don’t forget that actually pen and paper or picking up the phone and talking to people is actually just as good as this technological stuff.

And the other example about user-generated content here is I’ve got a frog here, we’re just like most museums delving into the exciting and probably as yet untested world of app development. We’ve got one app almost in store at the moment called dangerous Australians, and yes it does include a drop bear as a dangerous Australian. For those of you that aren’t Australian, there’s this urban myth that you go to Australia and there’s kind of double-sized koalas just drop on you. So we’ve got that app in store. That was a very interesting learning experience about how not to do an app, I have to say. A very long, drawn out process using an external contractor, using staff in the museum and I can talk to you about that separately.
Then we got funding to do a series of field guides, museum field guides, and the first one we decided to go with was frogs and the reason that I actually chose to go with that was because frogs are easy to do. They’re good environmental indicators, and plus I like them and I like the people who work on frogs at the museum. That’s very important, that you’ve got to be able to get on with those people.

So what we’ve decided to do is under the spirit of user-generated content is to use a rapid agile development approach to this, so I’ve got a pretty good budget for that app I have to say, but under the rapid agile development, it’s like well, just spend 4% of your budget and we’ll see how you go and test it back out with your community. So we’ve got a whole range of people that are frog enthusiasts. We’ve kind of identified the personae of the app user as the person who is an interested environmentalist that has a great backyard that likes to find out about what’s in their backyard. So we’ve got that community of people that will keep going, we’ll rapidly develop something, go back to them, get their feedback, their user input, do another four weeks, spending about 5% of the budget, that’s kind of the way that we’re planning in doing that. And if I come back next year I can let you know how that goes.

The final audience research model that I wanted to talk about was this idea of building community. We’ve heard a little bit about communities today, and there are two examples that I wanted to give. This is where you’re really having an ongoing conversation with your audience, and social media and social networking tools are the actual difference here. This is when you can use these very powerfully to do audience research and to actually build community around a particular area.

The first program I want to talk about is our Kids Colleges. We work with a group called the Coalition of Knowledge Building Schools, which is schools all around New South Wales, they’re all different kinds of schools, pretty poor schools in pretty bad areas to very posh, rich schools in very nice areas. Ages 5-18. From all across New South Wales as I said, and every year or six months we get them to come in and we work with them to do something. You can see here these two photos are from our Climate Change Kids College that we had because we were having an exhibition on an associated website about climate change. We wanted to talk to kids about well, what does climate change mean to them, what can museums be doing about it?

In the spirit of using your rock star god person, this young woman here, Paris, she was about 14 at the time of the kids colleges, and she was one of those real get-goers, she was in the WWF and all kinds of things and our web manager at the time said to her, “Why don’t you write a blog for us?” And she writes Cut the Carbon. She’s now 16 I think. She’s very passionate about the environment, but she’s also adding content to our website, and she’s getting that out to all of her peers, and that’s a way that we could never attract or even reach those people that are interested in that topic, and that are that age. So that’s a really nice example of using an onsite physical experience to actually then engaged somebody online.

We also talked kids a lot about text. And this is an example here of some of the books, the journals that they keep and we spoke to them about text last year in preparation for our new exhibitions which is Birds of Paradise, and we actually filmed them talking about their responses to Birds of Paradise. We put all of those films up on our website, and again, the idea for me is to kind of bring together this online, physical and mobile and so whenever I do a study, or whenever we do anything it’s about getting content to our website, as well as on the physical floor.

So we put the films of this kind in the exhibition and then we got them back, I think it was three weeks ago, and got them to go into the exhibition and said, “Well, actually did we listen to what you said?” Most of it we got right, but a lot of it they were saying, “Well, actually, you didn’t do this, you didn’t do that.” And then we filmed them again, we put those films back into the exhibition, again, just to show visitors that this is how people have responded to this particular exhibition and this is how we work with our audiences.

Let’s skip through that. So the second example I’ll give is kind of where we bring the three spheres together, the physical, the online and the mobile. I have to take issue with Jim here when he said we need tech in our museums that are as good as Xboxes and whatever. Well, we really don’t, and kids in particular don’t want that, they want to be able to interact with objects, with their friends, and as they’ve said to me many, many a time, “We’ll just Google everything when we get home, it’s no problem.” That’s the way they think.

Ralph Appelbaum said that visitors will come into the museum with more technology in their pockets than we can ever provide. We’ve got several interactive-y kind of spots, but we can never compete with what you get on a simple iPhone or your iPod or whatever. Then there’s this whole discussion at the Smithsonian event about what are we doing? Why do we have websites? Do we need them. Wired Magazine talked last year about maybe we won’t have websites in the future, we’ll all be in app-driven world. So it’s kind of like well, where is everything going?

What I’m thinking is that the final stage of audience research is all about audience development, and this idea of visitors as partners. I call it living with your audience. This is an example. And I’m hoping by the end of these two days that Mr. Blobby will be somebody that you really want to interact with on facebook because he’s really cool. Mr. Blobby is a specimen in our collection. He was featured on a very popular Australian show that was all about advertising. The thing that he was featured in was how to sell the unsellable, which was this ugly fish, which we actually took exception to, because he’s actually quite handsome. So within a day we’d set up a Facebook page. This show gets millions of people viewing it. We set up a facebook page, people kindly tweeted and facebooked the link, and I think within two weeks we had about 800 people liking this page.

What we then did was we brought Mr. Blobby out of the collections, into an exhibition space, and one of our interpretive officers set up a Letters to Blobby kind of a thing. Se again, we were getting the physical and the online and the social networking together. And Mr. Blobby also attended a very prestigious black tie event and tweeted from the red carpet. And then someone also made a nice Mr. Blobby fluffy thing.

But it’s not just about having fun, although that’s a really important part of what I see as audience development and living with your audience It’s also about the science behind it, so again, we interviewed the scientist very quickly. Our fish collection manager now fish, the fish guy, just a very quick ten minutes, “Tell us about Blobby.” Then we had that content on there.
So it’s about having fun, it’s about talking to people, but it’s also based in the science of the museum, which is very important to us. We’re also going to be using Mr. Blobby to do some front-end evaluation for our new Deep Oceans exhibition, so you’ll be hearing from Mr. Blobby throughout the year, and as I said, if you like him, go and like him on facebook and follow him on Twitter. He’ll be very happy.

Just to kind of finish off, how are we bringing all of this together? Again, what we’re trying to do and what I’m really conscious of is getting content for our website and for our mobile devices. We’re experiencing within the news, which is a very quick response to something that’s happened in the media. Se for example there was a sperm whale washed up on one of the Northern beaches of Sydney, and so of course our collections manager couldn’t hide her glee because she wanted some stuff for our collection. So what we were able to do was very, again, quickly go, using just a blogging, a simple blogging camera. I was interviewing her off camera, someone was filming it. What does this mean? How do we get this stuff into our collection? Put it online? Put it out on the floor with a very simple label.

And then the next part of the test, which if we’re right in the middle of in the moment which is very exciting to me, but it’s very small, but I guess my idea is to start small but to have big dreams. And my big dream is to integrate this all together.

This is our oldest display case. It was built sometime in the late 18th Century. It contains a couple of crocodiles and a couple of snakes and it just kind of sits in one of the corners of our museum. A lot of your museums probably have these kinds of things, and there was a decision made to restore this case, so we’ve got a heritage restorer, we’ve got an archivist, we’ve got an exhibitions prep person, we’ve got our conservator, because they’re actually cases, and they’re very delicate. We almost, as you do, broke several parts of it and then our archivists found out that actually these snakes were cast in 1894, and were seen as the premiere examples of work at that time, so after that panicked moment of almost breaking it, it was fine. What we’re doing here is she’s blogging our process on the Rare and Curious Blog and it’s good for her, because she’s not really a prolific blogging person, but I keep telling her all you’re doing is cutting and pasting what you’d be writing in text panels or whatever anyway. And then I’m also blogging on our exhibit blog from that side of things about how the exhibition side works, so we’re getting online content.

We’re also going to, instead of putting labeling within the case itself, because it is a heritage case, which means it’s listed under the New South Wales Heritage Register, so we can’t really touch it. We have to just take everything out, clean it, put it all back in. We’re not going to put labeling there, but instead we are just going to have a touch screen that reproduces that and then has different layers of information, and then, again, through what Hugh was talking about, through HTML5 and some kind of magic, which I don’t understand but our tech people know about, we’ll be putting that onto a mobile device.

So this is my big dream, to actually bring those three things together and then figure out how we are going to get people to share their experiences and their understanding and their memories of the museum? Because this is a historical artifact which provokes memories from people about their experiences visiting. So this is what we’re trying to do with this.

So to go back to George Brown Goode, where I started, and he talked about what he saw as the people’s museum, and he was saying that it’s more than specimens, even though they’re very important, it’s about ideas. So a people’s museum would be more than a house full of specimens in glass cases, it should be a house full of ideas. So I started to think, well, what would George Brown think the people’s museum is in the 21st Century? And I think it’s this. I think it’s a place that enables learners, users, visitors, or whatever you want to call them, to participate, to interact and to share ideas with the museum and with each other wherever they are, however they choose and whatever tools they have on hand. And this is what I’m calling the Museum Without Walls.

That’s all I wanted to say. That’s our website. Join up with Museum Three. There’s some interesting discussion on there about this whole – I actually posted up there about the three spheres of museum, and a lot of people have gone on and commented and said, “I don’t agree” “I do agree.” So it’s a very nice, rich conversation that you can join.

Lynda Kelly is Head of Web and Audience Research at the Australian Museum, Sydney. She has published widely in audience research and writes the popular blog ‘Audience Research’.

Lynda spoke at the MuseumNext conference in Edinburgh about how the internet has both enabled visitors to have a clearer voice and forced Museums (and researchers) to go and embrace new models of audience research/audience development and what this means for museum practices.

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Ryan Dodge outlines how a headline exhibition at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum gained a new lease on life. The exhibition was also made...

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