November 12, 2012 by Lorna Richardson
The most important questions we need to pose to ourselves as digitally-minded Public Archaeologists are: why are we putting archaeological information online, and is it useful? Who uses it, and how do they use it? What can we do to improve our provision, and how can we attract new audiences?
The old idea that understanding the success of public engagement with archaeology online can be measured and understood by gathering quantitative data through ‘hits’ or site visits is changing slowly. We also need to think about how to measure unique visitors and bounce rate in our metrics data, and look carefully at the content and frequency of the interactions taking place through our social and participatory media provision. The number of followers or likes may actually be unimportant, if what we are doing has impact. Quality counts – and funding bodies and management need to be made aware that success isn’t just measured in the quantity of website traffic.
To this end, I am launching (yes, yet another) online survey asking organisations from anywhere in the world to share what kind of measurements they use to work out the success of their projects. It’s totally anonymous and the information is stored safely on UCL servers. The survey runs for two months, and you can take part here:
I hope you will want to join in!