Experiments with Content: Strategies, Successes, and Failures in Spreading the Mission Online

Lightning Talk
Laura Kleger, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, USA

A museum’s online presence is a dynamic space for engendering interpretation and expanding the conversation outside the institution. The digital domain fosters a freedom to experiment, fail, assess, and try again, in order to maximize its role in serving a museum’s mission. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is an international network comprised of related museums, itinerant projects, multi-institute collaborations, and online manifestations. This lightning talk will share four web-centered strategies we’ve implemented at the Guggenheim and assess their efficacy.

Our Challenge:

Who is the audience?
How have Audience Trends Evolved?
The Guggenheim's position in the ecosystem

The Strategies:

#1: Make it Unique

Each exhibition creates a new opportunity to experiment with communicating with an audience. Microsites can enable a bespoke approach, but also perpetuate fragmentation.

#2: Look Outside the Museum

Laura Walker, president and CEO of New York Public Radio, says we’re in a golden age of audio. Here’s how trying something new helped us gain three-quarters of a million new followers – for free!

#3: Build on your Successes

Our online collection is treasured by the people who work on it and represents a large percentage of our web traffic. We develop our collection technology and user interface iteratively to try to better serve our audience.