Silvia Filippini-Fantoni from Antenna Audio promises to give us the hard truth on whether or not museum bookmarking is actually working the way we think it is. I’m intrigued. She quickly moved through some definitions and the how and why of bookmarking, but most of this first part is in the paper.
Does it really work? How many are bookmarking? Four projects resulted in two at 40% and two at 10%, with clickthrough rates sort of across the board. Online bookmarking applications seemed to have the lowest rates of use, but those who used it did seem to return more than once. Physical devices used for bookmarking were more popular.
Why are they bookmarking? Seems like about 50% are “just curious”, but some genuinely want more info. Why are they not bookmarking? Lack of visibility of the feature, unsure what they would be getting from the service,and lack of interest/time. Most interested in the lack of visibility: we have run into this with AOC and Dialog, people don’t recognize features we think are clear. Also some confusion about the terminology of “bookmarking”, and the idea of setting up an account onsite and accessing it later from home.
Is this a “failure”? She says no. People are using it, even if the numbers are low, and they’re seeing repeat visitors. And some of the users who are using it seem to be getting something out of the experience. Also discussed how museums may have focused on the wrong target – bookmarking may not be for the general public, but should be focused on a select group of frequent and specialized visitors. Interesting idea – it seems right, but harder to pitch it?
Bookmarking in the classroom. This reminds me of ArtsConnectEd, she reports teachers are very enthusiastic about the idea of bookmarking artworks online. In this case, the specialized audience is teachers, not the general public — if focused and enhanced with more features, it would have been a killer app. Something to keep in mind as we build ACE2.0.
Summarized by cautioning to have realistic expectations of results, and targeting an audience. Also the importance of keeping the frontline staff informed – two specific cases where a fantastic tool was missed because the frontline didn’t know about. (We used to run into this with Art on Call, although I think Visitor Services is now pretty on top of it now)
We’ve talked in NMI about RFID or bluetooth bookmarking, this was some good information to carry that discussion forward…