Who are we? WeAreCulture24

I’ve learned a lot in the last year. A lot about how we could do what we do better at Culture24 and crucially how confusing what we do can be for others.

Are we a website? Are we journalists? Are we data crunchers? Are we data aggregators? Are we Museums at Night champions? Are we researchers? Are we producers? Are we strategists? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

All of these and more but if you looked at our main online presence www.culture24.org.uk you would never know half of this. The site has evolved from our early incarnation as the 24 Hour Museum and was always triple headed. One face looking to the public offering them news, venues, listings and more. One face looking to the sector offering them information on how to work with us and how we can help them. One face looking to teachers offering them curriculum tagged cultural resources.

As our activities and the online world became more diverse, complicated and interrelated, this website had started to become confused and I believe became unclear to all it’s audiences exactly who we were or why they should bother.

So who are we? Well www.WeAreCulture24.org.uk is our new company website. The online presence of the nonprofit business that publishes culture24.org.uk (amongst other things) and is now home to details of all our projects, services, knowledge and our team.

The site also carries our new branding and logo which was developed with CRUSH creative agency in Brighton. It takes the forward slash from our original logo and moves it into the physical world – literally through placing it in a range of photographs but also by making it 3D in the logo itself.

The thinking behind is meant to reflect how we bridge the physical world of museums and galleries with the digital online space. Clever I think and also rather beautiful. By placing the forward slash in a range of different architectural settings (museum, gallery, library, heritage site, street etc) we also indicate the broad reach of our services across all these different parts of the sector.

Much of the learning from this year has in fact fallen out of my role leading our action research project on how to evaluate online success. Principally, to be confident to admit that we haven’t got things completely right and allowing for that ‘failing forward’ to shape change, iterate and define new directions.

The new site is live and growing and I hope you like it (or at least understand who we are and what we do).

Changes are also underway to refine, tweak and improve culture24.org.uk as our flagship site for culture lovers.

Hallelujah for failure.

Let’s Get Real: Crit Room, Failing Forward and Talk Tables

We’ve been having a great time pulling together some really unique stuff for the conference and have three different session types to offer you alongside the usual inspiring keynotes:

1. The Crit Room

A special troubleshooting Crit Room, where attendees can receive personalised problem-solving guidance in a friendly and supportive environment. Once you’ve bought your ticket fill in our form telling us about the site describing the main problem or challenge you’re currently experiencing. Our panel of experts will review the sites in advance, then offer constructive advice, mixed with practical suggestions and comments/ideas from the floor. The expert panel are Adam Gee, Cross-platform Commissioner for Factual at Channel 4 (Chair), Fiz Yazdi, User Experience Director at cxpartners (www.cxpartners.co.uk), Anra Kennedy, Head of Content and Partnerships at Culture24

2. Failing Forward Case Studies
Partners in our Action Research Project will present honest case studies about online projects they attempted, what didn’t work, and what they learned as a result. We have some wonderful title ….
‘If you build it they won’t come’ Hugh Wallace, Head of Digital Media, National Museums Scotland
‘I Will Never Tweet Again’ Josephine Chanter, Head of Communications, The Design Museum
‘Keeping an eye on my vital statistics’ James Morley, Website Development Manager, Kew
‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ Matthew Cock, Head of Web, British Museum
‘Have you heard of us?’ Emma McLean, Digital Marketing Officer, National Maritime Museum
‘Trying to make the parts add up’ Louise Gardner, Head of Communications, Watershed

3. Talk Tables
Literally a series of tables where different companies/people discuss what they do and how they can offer help to delegates in areas around the conference theme.
They are informal and responsive, and geared to providing a space to find out about technical systems and digital tools, and meet experts who offer solutions to the problems and needs of arts and heritage organisations. You can talk to/about: Google Analytics; TripAdvisor; Building Digital Capacity for the Arts (Arts Council England); Hitwise (Experian); JISC; Cogapp; cxpartners; Loic Tallon (Pocket Proof); Social Media pick ‘n’ mix (Rachel Clements and Elena Villaespesa); Gaming (Danny Birchall and Martha Henson)

Tuesday 20th and Wednsday 21st September 2011, Watershed, Bristol
Last few tickets on sale here.