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.