Mar 252014

Today I am delighted to have been asked to liveblog another of the ARTIST ROOMS Research Partnership events, this time hosted in collaboration with Generation: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland, a forthcoming exhibition at the National Gallery of Scotland.  The seminar has been organised by ARTIST ROOMS and engage with funding from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland. Tweets can be followed on the wider #artistrooms hashtag.

The event, Gallery Education: Developing Digital Resources, is of particular interest to me as EDINA lead the development of a number of innovative digital resources, and I’m particularly interested to hear more about some of the challenges of digital resources around the arts because of our own work on the Jisc MediaHub service.

As usual this is a liveblog so I apologies in advance for any typos, omissions, etc. and welcome all comments and feedback on the post. And if you enjoy today’s post I would recommend looking back at the MOOCS in Cultural Heritage Education liveblog, which now has a number of additional resources and references added. 

Welcome – Sarah Yearsley, engage 

Sarah Yearsley, engage, the National Association for Gallery Education

Sarah Yearsley, engage, the National Association for Gallery Education.

Today is the second event that ARTIST ROOMS and engage have collaborated on looking at digital learning, and part of a series looking at best practice. We also are running the event in collaboration with GENERATION: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland, which is running events across the country. This is a busy year for ARTIST ROOMS. Engaging with young people is a common theme when we talk about engaging with young people in the context of both ARTIST ROOMS and GENERATION.

Welcome from Damien McGlynn, ARTIST ROOMS.

Damien McGlynn, ARTIST ROOMS.

Damien McGlynn, ARTIST ROOMS.

Damien is giving an outline of the day which will include two discussion groups and an opportunity to see the Louise Bourgeois exhibition, and to play with the Art Hunter app and my colleague Tessa, who produced that, is also here today.

We are running this event with several partner organisations: ARTIST ROOMS, GENERATION and the ARTIST ROOMS Research Partnership. Our colleague Professor Neil Cox from Edinburgh University is here today so do ask him any questions about the research partnership. Now over to Rosie who will chair the morning session.

Morning session: Mapping the terrain and producing content for your audiences.   Chair: Rosie Cardiff, Senior Producer, Tate Digital

Rosie Cardiff, Senior Producer, Tate Digital

Rosie is giving some background on her role, looking after much of the digital learning content on the Tate website. I also manage a small team that manage the Tate Kids and Tate Collective (resources for young people) part of our site, I just wanted to highlight these learning resources. One of these is Circuit, which is working with young people across the country, the website launched recently but will be showcasing digital content produced by young people over the next four years.

Another project which I thought might be of interest, done with Tate Collectives – a young peoples space around the galleries, where we did the 1840s GIF Party – GIFs based on the 1840s gallery. We provided training on how to make the animated GIFs. This was hugely popular. The girl in the grey dress has had over 77k reblogs, but we have also seen a huge spike in interest in the painting itself in the gallery as well.

So those were a couple of projects I wanted to highlight – but do talk to me during the day and ask me about the projects we have been up to recently at the Tate.

So now over to our first speaker, Jen Ross, who is director of the MSc in Digital Education, and also a tutor on the eLearning and Digital Cultures MOOC, which I have had the pleasure of doing and really enjoyed!

Content is just something to talk about: designing for active online learning’ – Jen Ross, Programme Director, MSc in Digital Education, University of Edinburgh

I’m not sure I need to do anything now that Rosie’s shown the work that Tate has done to engage people digitally in the collection… I will be talking about how we do that at the University of Edinburgh. Really the thing that I want to say, my contribution to this day, is “yes, content is amazing, but content is really just something to talk about” whether thats online or face to face in gallery or schools spaces. I will talk about what you can do in the online space, as sometimes its easy to think about what we might do in a gallery or a face to face space just because

“Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about” – Cory Doctorrow

Jen Ross, Programme Director, MSc in Digital Education, University of Edinburgh

Active learning has been a huge movement in teaching and learning spaces. You see spaces where learning takes place around tables – like today – rather than lecture theatres. And digital spaces can be a way to encourage that active learning without needing to reconfigure the space. the barrier to creativity is lower when we talk about participating digitally. And you can really evidence that work you do with people – the Tumblr page that Rosie showed is an exceptional way to evidence the impact on young people they are trying to reach.

So as you think about these spaces today I want you to think about these spaces and how they can be connected, intimate, busy, creative, exploratory and inspiring. Its not just about putting content in the digital space.

So I wanted to show you some good examples of work that our students have done around digital creativity. We have a module “e-learning and Digital Cultures” which is part of the MSc in Digital Education. This was the starting point for the MOOC, it was also the first module we had run that was entirely openly shared – students had to be enrolled but what they produceed was all shared openly online. And we really asked students to make multimodal work, to express what they had engaged with in the course. So in 2013 we asked our small masters group to engage with the much huger MOOC course and how they had encountered that. So people made videos, they shared things on Pinterest, we had people creating visual people and making interpretations around the. And also using onlione resources that only exist online – for instance “ThingLink”. Some of our students are really digitally savvy, but even those who are not can use the big list of interesting resources to create engaging materials.

That process worked really well and so we set, as a final assignment on our 5 week free global #EDCMOOC course, we also asked for multimodal assignments. Not everyone commits to the course throughout but those who did were asked to create a digital artefact, which was peer assessed by others on the course. And we have gathered these publicly. So this padlet I’m showing represents only about 300 of those produced but it gives some sense of scale. But if you ask people to create things they really respond.

Image showing the padlet of #edcmooc artefacts

I also wanted to show you a trailer for a game which some of our students on our game based learning module did, “Tomorrow Calling Trailer”, this was so much more than was required for the credits for the course. If you give students the right content, and something to create with some relevance to them personally and/or professionally, than they really do respond.

This Open Badges and Open Accreditation open education resource is something that was produced for my module Digital Futures, and again this is so much more than you would expect in a postgraduate essay, and it’s lives on beyond the class.

Sometimes students go further still. And here we see a multimodal dissertation ( When you open these avenues up, then you really see unexpected things like this take place.

This is our Dissertation Festival, which takes place in Second Life. This is a space for collaborating and sharing experience with each other. These kinds of spaces and collaborations are another way to think about what you can do in an online space which are not about just creating new content or resources. A Digital resource can just be about making a space for interaction, a space for people to work together.

And this is a project that some students did, totally separate from their coursework, asking students learning online to reflect on the playlist that has inspired their work ( Again these are projects emerging from the context of the Digital Education programme, but come out of people engaging in digital spaces and being involved in things that they are interested in.

So what I want to leave you with… whatever you are thinking about or planning, do think about not only good content or resources but also how it can be a great active learning space for your learners, for your audiences.

‘Digital fear & beyond’ – Rohan Gunatillake, Co-producer, Sync

And now over to Rohan, co-producer at Sync a collective supporting technology and the arts, and he’s also been working in the Digital R&D fund for the arts:

What I’m going to do is talk about… well I don’t have a background in education but I have spent the last four or five years working with arts organisations and technology and digital. And talk about some of the issues either supporting or getting in the way of really interesting work in the arts. A lot of that for me is about recognising that working with digital technologies isn’t about technology, but about people.

Rohan Gunatillake, Co-producer, Sync

The story sort of begins… I moved to Scotland four years ago. Mainly for love, but also because I got a gig with the Edinburgh Festivals! I came to start a project with the Festivals called the Edinburgh Festivals Innovation Lab – Edinburgh Festivals is the group of both the very big festivals and the smaller and much more niche festivals. The question we have here was that, like you, these are great organisations and very busy and in the domain of innovation and digital practice they are doing what they think they should… but where are the other opportunities? What other possibilities are there? What have they missed? So I was looking across the 12 festivals to look at that. Some worked well, some worked less well but all were really useful for trying new ways of working.

One of the big core things we did with the festivals was that obviously the festivals are a rich resource… and Edinburgh University has generated a great technology and start up scene… but they didn’t talk to each other. So the thing Sync is best known for is for the Culture Hack Scotland 2011 which was this big event to bring these groups together. Scotland is not a big enough country for those sectors not to be talking to each other.

And then Creative Scotland liked that festivals work… and wanted us to do that across Scotland. So we had a two year project called Sync and again this was about creative relationships, not just transactional relationships. And we carried on running the Culture Hacks – these are 48 hour opportunities for technologists, producers, artists, arts organisations, all getting locked into a room to create stuff. Amazingly each year people come and about 30 projects get made. And we have supported that with the Geeks in Residence programme where we’ve taken developers to arts organisations from the Royal Opera through to arts organisations in Eigg. We wanted organisations to see what it would be like to have a technologist in your organisation, in your building coming up with ideas and projects specifically for you. And that’s been really interesting and challenging. We’ve also created this magazine, Sync Tank, highlighting this type of practice across the UK and across the world.

I have also been working on the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts – this runs in England and Wales, and on a smaller scale in Scotland – which funds experimental projects (about 60 each year) around galleries, often around education as well. I am a “learning partner” – I listen across all the projects and pick up the themes and the big stories, and tell the story of that to the wider sector. We do that through the website and also through a print magazine which will be printed in the summer.

Even summarising the insights from Sync takes a long time so I just wanted to highlight three things coming out of these three strands of work. And these are in the context of what makes the most

How we are arts organisatins can move past the commissioning mindset. The pastiche of how the arts work with technologists or digital agencies is that, I give you £5k, technologist goes back to studio in Leith. And when they come back everyone is unhappy. That’s been how we have commissioned in the past, often about websites. Often these projects are approached like physical builds – big plans, fundraising, and unexpected ongoing costs. That’s the pastiche. What Sync – and others – have tried to do is to break that. Sometimes that is the right approach – if you know what you want to achieve and have requirements to deliver again. But when we see the kind of experimental work Jen was explaining, the Tate Digital world… where do those ideas come from? How do you assure that those are strong enough ideas? Sometimes your team can do that, and that’s great, but often the best ideas come from conversations with others coming from another perspective, an outside point of view. We can easily think our audience want the same from our work as us. So arts organisations can feel that metadata is really interesting – really useful for them but is it what people want to do? Maybe a niche! So you need to try to establish what users really want. We’ve seen that where that really works, two things happen. Firstly the organisation lets the digital talent to bring their intelligence into the room in a really open way, not just give them things to do. So in our Geeks In Residence programmes I went and interviewed directors of the organisations wanting a Geek, they talked about collaboration, and when the Geek showed up they closed into a commissioning mindset. We used the mindset that if you have a photographer in residence you wouldn’t tell them what to take, what lens to use, what shutter speed… as they began to understand that metaphor, that you would never do that, then something more constructive could take place. So as long as you think about what you want to achieve, but not be too perscriptive, that goes well. And the other thing that works really well is co-creating with audiences, involving them in the design process. And we’ve seen Unlimited Theatre doing fantastic work here. That’s one big message.

The two cultures thing?. We like to tell the story of technology and the arts as being two cultrues… but what I notice in practice is that the clash of cultures is actually the “deliver the project” methodology that people are using. I said people approach digital like capital builds. there is a gantt chart or basecamp… that’s how they see digital project delivery. But there is another part to the process in start up and web culture around prototyping, iterating, testing in public, taking feedback to improve. That iterative model is very different approach. It’s like Prince2 versus Agile. What we have found is that some arts organisations really understand that… they are used to the culture of the rehearsal room, to creating that way. Others are cautious, if not terrified, of showing something half made in public. Because of how they normally present work. Agile and Lean are thrown about but if we want to successfully do that stuff, it can require a different mindset.

Digital Fear. Part of what Sync does is take people out to drinks. Once every three months we invite four or five people running arts organisations out for a drink, with an invite along the lines of “when it comes to this digital stuff, the common complaint is I don’t have time or don’t have money. Tell us what you really feel”. That invitation tries to create as a conversation… the Festivals work was around a big data project, technical challenges that were solvable, there were business issues which we solved, and then we still had the “I’m just not quite sure about it” factor – the emotional part. And thats the most significant and most under talked about part of digital innovation in the arts. We call it Digital Fear. What comes up in these conversations re things like “I’ve been an expert in my field for 20 years, now I’m not an expert”, “I speak to the web developer and I feel like I’m talking to  my children”. That’s real stuff. That’s messy emotional gut stuff that is much harder to solve than the business or technical challenges.

As a coda to my kind of “drunk uncle” speech/provocation here… we are a relatively small player, we’ve been invited by Creative Scotland to bid for another two years, and we are placing three things at the heart of our proposal is:

  • Practice – if whatever digital work you are doing isn’t about your core practice then you will never get senior buy-in. If it’s not about what’s on stage for you, then that’s not what you should be doing. How are digital tools changing your core practice?
  • People – it’s the people who actually make the work. You hear about amazing work but behind all great digital projects is a very tired and very brave digital person!
  • Process – we often talk about projects… but the risk is that if you just fund projects we just have lots of nice projects but no organisational or sector embedded learning. So how do we embed innovative learning and processes into our organisations. This is a much more sustainable way to build this stuff – the teach a man to fish idea.

So that’s Sync, and that’s us… thank you!

Discussion group one: Audiences and digital content

We are now moving to discussions in our groups (I’m on the Purple table) so notes here will be sparse as we get chatting but I’ll be capturing the reporting back to the room shortly.

Rosie is introducing our discussions here drawing the sheet on each asks us to consider:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • How will you measure the success of your digital learning project?
  • How will you produce content for your audience? Can you repurpose existing content?
  • How will you engage and interact with your audience? Where will that be?
  • What will the ongoing legacy of the project be once it is produced? How will it be maintained and sustained – not just technically but to keep things fresh.

So, we will be thinking about and discussion these for the next 50 minutes. And I’m sure anyone reading the blog today would be encouraged to do the same and to tweet any comments to the #artistrooms hashtag.

Discussion group sesstion

Some thoughts from our group:

We have been talking about our own contexts and backgrounds, and the kinds of projects we are working on. There is a fairly common focus on young people so we are just unpacking that a bit: thinking about how to make young people feel welcome in the space, using the right language for young people, the use of the right spaces (such as Tumblr, Twitter, Instragram, and custom websites) and a focus for young people as co-producers in these space – posting to the accounts for the night etc, and to some extent training young people in the skills and confidence to use these technologies, and the meaning of doing so on behalf of an organisation (professional skills). Ownership and active contribution are being flagged as the most effective way to create better digital projects, and to build ambassadors in those groups.

Some discussion of practical issues and kit: phones, ipads, that can be used, laptops within the office – but the logging on/take over of accounts takes place when they are in our spaces – we log them in. Discussion of a real sense of caution about how acceptable that stuff is, how much control the organisation can and should have, and what challenges some submissions can raise – do you show critical work? what is the impact of that? Can raise really thorny issues, so you need processes in place to deal with that. The more you involve your audiences, the more those issues are raised. When content is out of copyright, this stuff can be easy, but often you are much more restricted than that… that area of IPR is tricky. You cant let people use the artwork, maybe they have to be inspired by it instead… you have to think laterally. And then when you do ask for contributions you have to have clear guidance, clear terms, ways to ensure that any clear problem can be dealt with but there are lots of grey areas.

We are now discussing the types of projects we might have in mind… one of our participants talks about schools groups coming to a museum in the same building, but not tending to come to the gallery. And real challenges around creating materials for teachers during the time ever changing exhibitions are running. But a recommendation: Group for Education in Museums, part of the Scottish Museums group, which are the generic resources/activities called “Hands On” – a downloadable PDF. And Glow also offers potential – you can bring an archive to life, getting artists to talk about their work – almost creating little programmes, setting a series of challenges. Glow Meet works really well as it’s live and interactive and at the end there are resources to explore. An online platform to use… but it hooks in pupils but also teachers and parents now primed for involvement. But schools work is obviously working with the teachers, not necessarily the young people. But there are also new youth arts club ideas that take it out of formal spaces… that’s happening this year. There will be 12 hubs around Scotland, a different way to connect with young people. Also Code Club (for 9-11 year olds) learning online coding, also apps. We have kids using Scratch, and now HTML, and working with an online gaming company whose staff volunteer – as part of staff development. That company are now looking at accreditation. But code clubs are free to do, need to be volunteer run, there are free resources to use. And it seems effective and really creative – lots of ideas and collaboration taking place, a whole group to continue working with… skills based and bipassing and teachers’ own Digital Fear. And it gets interesting as the youngsters start encountering code used in industry.

And we are moving onto the idea of measuring success and how one might do that… depends on the aims, and how clear those are. And about what the audience thinks is working for them, what they would change, how they feel about it. Changing attitudes in an organisation can also be part of what you are measuring. Also discussion of Retweeting young people’s comments, using texts to reach people. Discussion of what counts for an organisation – just about the physical space or can organisations appreciate online engagement? How does that take place? How is that measured? Are likes etc. useful? How do you reflect richer interactions and what ways can you find to encourage that. Discussion of how to stay cool – Tumblr is engaging but niche, Instagram is big, Google+ Hangouts offer great opportunities for live Q&As.

Questions and Feedback

Red Table: we talked a lot about young people as our audience. We talked about finding platforms to use, in consultation with groups. We also talked about working with groups for longer periods of time, and leaving space for platforms to be changed or developed over time. Copyright came up in relation to the challenges of engaging with modern contemporary art.

Blue Table: we talked some of the projects taking place, particularly the GENERATION projects. The audiences often quite different as within gallery sector and artist educators. Talked about th eneed to provide something to different, not to replicate what you do, not to replicate what others are doing – e.g. why would we replicate MOMAs online courses. We talked about successes and moving away from the idea of numbers, and followers, and hits, but instead the quality of engagement. Hard to do, people don’t always comment or respond. It can look like you are failing – people can have a good experience without feeding directly back to you, so we talked about how you can understand that people enjoy what you do. And we also talked about organisational change and cultures. Also talked about the time and cost and challenges of suiting multiple platforms. And also social platforms – how we interact rather than push things out, and how that builds your organisations reputation. Also briefly talked about legacy – short term digital and social contractors result in expertise just leaving with the person.

Yellow Table: talked about sometimes the need to use digital is communicated, rather than the use of technology coming from the audience, and being about their experience. About focusing more on content than on technology delivering it. Some digital fear. Real feeling that many of the stats funders require are not actually that useful, that qualitative feedback is key and that there are better ways to capture that stuff. Then there was also the feeling that once digital content is out there you can find unexpected audiences…. seen to be a good thing but then do we respond to that… do we have more opportunity to learn from that inside of a  project – not just use in the next one. Lots of interest in Geek in Residence approach, the scariness of iteration too though and the organisational change required for that to work.

Green Table: We had a fairly wide ranging discussion. One thing that hasn’t come up yet… a kind of internal issue that we can be quite object focused, that the engagement with a particular object and the mediation of that encounter with the object. Lots of work already there but more to be done there. Talked about some local authority challenges – how things like ARTIST ROOMS or GENERATION can create opportunities for trying things out, to feed into other projects. Words like “risk”, “trust” and a fear about sharing a not fully formed project or website, that can be quite scary particularly in this economic climate. And we did mention the word copyright.

Purple Table: We spoke quite a bit about audiences. The majority of us were working with young people, schools or teachers. And the challenges of that. And talking about what success looks like – is it museum or gallery footfall? Or can you change organisational culture to count those engaging online, what does success look like there. And we also talked about some of the challenges of asking young people in to participate – and what happens if contributions are critical of your organisation or of your funders and how you deal with that. Also some concerns around very quick turnaround exhibitions,lots per year, and how one can generate content or resources to meet that schedule – and the possibilities of generic resources to help in those scenarios. Also talked about platforms… maybe drift from Facebook, where are young audiences going… and the potential of Google Hangouts – guiding people around a space at a distance. We had on our table some people who don’t have collections to work with, some fully formed apps, through to young peoples groups. Real diversity there so real opportunity for more sharing around these models.

And now more questions and discussion:

Q1) I wanted to ask about “bring your own devices” – I’ve heard schools talking about not investing in hardware but encouraging their students to bring their own devices…

A1) We allow students to bring their own devices, but have a device pool for accessing our app on site as well. It’s just launched so will be tested this summer.

Comment) Nick would just like to mention the Warhol MOOC with Glyn Davis, from the school of design. For those that want to try that technology.

And now we will move into the lunch part of the day…. so the blog will be quiet again for a wee bit!

Lunch – An ARTIST ROOMS exhibition Louise Bourgeois, A Woman Without Secrets will be on display in Modern One (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art).  In-gallery ArtHunter app demonstration will also be available.

Image of Damien demonstrating how the app works on an iPad outside the New Acquisitions exhibition.

Damien demonstrates how the app works outside the New Acquisitions exhibition.

Image of a group Testing out Art Hunter at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Testing out Art Hunter at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Welcome back, Christopher Ganley, ARTIST ROOMS

So I just want to welcome everyone back with some thank yous. Thank you to Nicola for blogging today – we will circulate the link after the event. Thank you to Rosie, Rohan and Jen for this morning’s session. And above all a huge thank you to our funders for making this event possible.

Afternoon session: Marketing and evaluating digital resources – Chair: Tessa Quinn, Head of Digital, National Galleries of Scotland

I wanted to start off by talking a bit about what we do. We are quite lucky in having a digital team. We’ve been doing things including the Art Hunter app, and  the Titian and Diana iOS7 App for iPad, that latter was something our funders were really keen for. We are also creating a mobile version of the website, and that has included some changes and decision making around the website. I have also been developing a Digital Engagement Strategy and there are four key areas of that: Working collaboratively within and outwith the organisation – digital is no longer just for the geeks but about part of the mainstream; To Open up our collection; To grow our audiences; And to increase income.

Our strategy says we want to grow our audience by learning more about them. We did talk a bit about analytics, about what is or can be useful. And we want to know them to design for them, not for what we think they want. And with all this learning, we need to take some action. So you need room to look at your learning, look at your analytics, and look for possible change and improvement.

Tessa Quinn, Head of Digital, National Galleries of Scotland

Even though we have a digital team doesn’t mean that we don’t learn or make mistakes…. what we found useful was WeAreCulture24 Action research – they brought organisations together to talk about sharing analytics across 22 organisations. It allows you to see the differences and similarities across the sector, across the organisations. I highly recommend the report “Lets Get Real 2” – and we really started to learn how to learn. When we look at redesigning the homepage we learn from where people click. Every department wants a page there but that’s not how visitors actually use it… and that’s about coming up with a question, then seeing if the numbers will give us an answer.

One of the things that we are trying to learn is that for ten years we have been trying to build digital content, some great stuff… but we are terrible at telling people about these products, making sure they find them… its something we could be much better at. And with that in mind I want to introduce you to David Craik Director of engagement consultants Bright Signals, he’s also formerly head of marketing for S1.

‘Agile Marketing’ – David Craik, Director, Bright Signals

I’m going to talk today about Agile Marketing – a good marketing buzzword (because it is). I will tell you a wee bit more about what we do. We set up Bright Signals about four years ago. We really create content. We do digital marketing for Tennants lager, working for Channel 4 for the Commonwealth Games, working with Ambition Scotland, also the National Piping Centre.

Hopefully what I’ll get across today is that marketing is really changing. The days of pushing and cajoling are over. Marketing is about giving people what they want, content they want and enjoy. Either we all work in marketing, or – maybe a better way to think of it – none of us do!

So we are about lots of creativity, but there is also increasingly an expectation that we can measure everything. There are many more channels than we ever had in the past. The pace of change is very fast! So one approach here is Agile Marketing. So to explain what this is… a history lesson… way back before 2001 most IT projects were based around bamboozling Gantt chart. And as digital began to explode it became clear that this “waterfall” approach didn’t work for digital – they were delivered late, over budget, and worst of all they didn’t deliver what users wanted. So a bunch of techies in California came up with the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. This set out principles that highlight flexibility. Away from that idea of project management, structures, etc. towards this flexible stuff. Did it catch on? Yes, it really did. Google for instance is all about changing based on what the audience wants. Mark Zuckerberg talks about “moving fast and breaking things”.

So what does this have to do with marketing?

David Craik, Director, Bright Signals with one of his slides

David Craik, Director, Bright Signals with one of his slides.

Well traditionally marketing has been about “big bang” campaigns, TV stuff, etc. With marketing… John Wanamaker said “I know half my advertising is wasted, I just don’t know which half”. It was about knowing it wasn’t working, and not knowing how to measure that. And then we have the HIPPO – the most HIghly Paid PersOn’s decision. Often who drives decisions, but rarely represents users need.

So Agile marketing principles?

  • Less big band campaigns, more small scale experiments
  • Less subjective opinions, more evidence
  • Less talking, more doing

We work every week on content, we develop a “back-log” of relatively small scale targeted marketing activities – or break up the bigger stuff – each with defined performance measure. And we deliver in short fixed cycles of creative and content development, then we ship, prototype etc. And we re-prioritise all the time in response to those measures.

Does anyone use Google Ads? Well if we look at search results to hotels in Glasgow… you would bid on a click on that advert (e.g. £1 per click). Advertising is interesting here because of the side of the audience. There are 694,000 searches each second. And that audience is pretty close to the point of conversion, the point of buying. On facebook the ads might be distracting or annoying. If I’m searching Google I probably want to buy or book things. And all that makes ads a great way of getting insights. Not necessarily sales but insights into what audience wants.

So if I’m setting up a wine shop I can set up an A/B testing ads… I’m trying to work out “wine order” or “ordering wine”, and “deliver wine” or “wine home delivery”. I place two ads, I use the two different words. I find out which one people click on. I don’t even have to set up delivery to test what will work. So that’s an example of how this can work….

Thinking about that pipeline… we use a tool called Trello, like a virtual stickies board. So we have ideas in the right hand column. Loose notional thoughts. Then it moves into a development phase…. might not go anywhere, might go into development and cost checking. And if it goes into production we then usually commission others – techies etc… and then it goes to live. There are two live columns that we use – Live – proven, Live – measuring. It only moved to Proven when run several times and engagement checked – e.g. on facebook it would be likes, comments and sharing. Only when it hits a level, e.g. 1% it moves to proven. If it doesn’t work it shifts to ditched….

So, for example… Brooklyn Museum had an exhibition of Indian Paintings. They set up a thing online where you saw a painting for a few seconds each and asked users to rate their favourites.

Looking at stuff we do every day… we work with Hornsby’s Cider – asking poeple to identify a building; project for Channel 4 called 9point88 about the Oscars; and for Tenants Lager about fixtures etc. None of these are directly anything to do with the product…. it’s tangental… that Brooklen Museum is example is just about the product. You in galleries and museums are so lucky in that you have great products, people care about that. For many brands there isn’t always that sort of devotion to the content. People are passionate about your product…

David Craik, Director, Bright Signals showing examples of new, innovative museum experiences.

David Craik, Director, Bright Signals showing examples of new, innovative museum experiences.

So how do you bring content into the museum experience. I was lucky that I was able to attend South by South West last year – and learned a lot. I made a point of attending a talk by Leslie Walk on the future of digital content for museums and galleries. She said “museum attendance are in decline. and hat;s partly because there’s something missing from most visit experiences… Play”. Now we can argue that perhaps but the examples she went on to give, about play in a good way, was the Cleveland museum of art and something called the “Gallery One” project. Now this had a £20M benefactor. But one of these ideas was just asking participants to take a picture of themselves replicating a sculpture – using an Xbox basically so quite cheap, similarly making a face like a sculpture, and then a bit interactive wall to engage with the content in a different way. Now this latter screen was so costly and perhaps more obvious. But the cheaper fun stuff – those statue and sculpture exhibits – were so much more engaging because they are playful. And that’s the tone of the brilliant Art Hunter app we’ve been trying out as well…

We are seeing Google putting the gallery exhibition tour online through google maps. We have Google Glass on it’s way and, by all accounts, wearables will be a big sector. The hardware – the hard to do stuff – has been done. The opportunity potential is content relevant to the location of the person wearing them. A relatively easy way to add content to the user experience.

And there’s a project called Google Tango, which uses 3D sensors to measure the space around you… making it much easier to put a layer of interactive content around it. Would cost a fortune to develop but this will be shared by Google very soon…

I wanted to talk about conversion iteration – facebook does this all the time because tiny tweaks make such a difference. SkyScanner, for my money the most successful digital company to come out of Scotland, they also iterate. They also do a form of A/B testing. They have a button that gets you to book, and that generates income for them. They started with “book”, they decided to test out “continue”, “select”, “go”. Which do you think led to the biggest improvement. Most of us think the latter…. The actual results…. for “continue” they had +0.95% clicks; “select” had + 6.41% clicks; and “go” saw -1.80% clicks. Now any increase is massive for their income. But I would have guessed, like most of you did, that “go” would be huge. Now you can test this easily… and in some markets they saw a 30% increase for “select”. So testing is so crucial here. Now Skyscanner has a really clear focus on a clear metric. They develop hypotheses from task-based one-to-one user testing. They keep it simple – isolate on A/B at a time. Senior Management respect the data. And they test this stuff with Google Analytics – which is free. And this process makes a huge difference but is ongoing, it needs iterating over time…

So, to summarise… we have issues like HiPPos, we need to be flexible, AdWords are low risk and low cost, interactive experiences can bring digital into a physical space…. and to remember Skyscanner’s approach to A/B testing…

Q1) I suppose you had Google Glasses on there… there is a company bringing out better virtual reality hardware – the Occulus Rift – will that be better?

A1) Really it’s all about content, what’s useful to the user…. don’t overthink it about what’s new and spectacular or cutting edge. You have content. That’s what people are interested in. It’s about how you connect up that digital thing to that real thing. The planning for that Cleveland gallery and that huge interactive wall… they wanted to create interactive experiences in the gallery… but they pulled back to focus on enhancing the real pieces of art. It’s about what layer of content can you apply to enhance the real thing…

So we now have table discussions…

Discussion group two: Evolving and marketing your digital resource

Tessa is outlining our key points for discussion:

  • How will your target audience find out about your digital learning project?
  • Is there anything else that can be done to help people find it?
  • What analytics will you collect? Is there A/B testing you could do?
  • Is there any other information you would like about how your audience responds to your learning project? How might you collect it?
  • How will you use this information? When will you use it? This is the key one!

Again I am on the Purple table…

We are discussing the silos between marketing and other teams…. and also how low conversions may be between social media activity and website information about exhibitions, and then to the exhibitions themselves… but the possibilities of competitions etc. Marketing can have a lot of control over channels which can complicate things… and how to challenge silos… and how to provide guidance to staff…  talk of QR codes and iBeacons (largely used in retail), the idea of something that detects your location that can be used inside… And of the potential unattractiveness of QR codes and potential for crafted objects… and of Augmented Reality (e.g. Layar).

Thinking about A/B testing, analytics… and how people find our stuff. We find that things on EventBrite helps… getting the band out there… interesting stuff like engaging with other cultural events, sitting near other events… if we want a younger audience being grouped by which bands etc. have gigs can be really useful. Affiliating yourself with things that your target audience are interested in. Noting that Tumblr gives a good visualisation of key influencers in material going viral… really useful to see that visually. Also talking about the importance of having something physical in the space that points to the digital… Physical spaces and physical/print materials… and the importance of memorability. But then working out what works…  There are also challenges. We really market stuff we know will sell well sometimes, for complex reasons. And there is audience awareness beyond your control…

Old stuff has value too… especially unique stuff. Make stuff findable for a much longer life… make sitmaps, tag stuff, add sharing buttons, Wikipedia is great for that… connections from there generate lots of referrals. Use unique materials or expertise in your digital resources… that makes a big difference. Exploit what you have.

How do you go further than the obvious local channels? Building your mailing list and audience helps… how do you push beyond that? The App Store is another channel to promote stuff… there is no arts area – there is leisure, travel and education. Can seek reviews etc. and have your team be ambassadors… A lot of this goes right to the top… your programme will attract different audiences in the same way… and appeal to different demographics, keep them aware of other shows coming up… Programming does make a difference, and won’t always align with your target audiences/overarching strategy. Discussions also of deep engagement with the work… that being the goal not necessarily numbers. And how one measures the quality of engagement. Visitor books can help in person…. but so many people don’t fill them in… A way of surveying people or recording that visit. Just writing down good comments etc.  Sometimes this stuff is ad hoc. But you could potentially do that digitally.. people like to see how others respond to the work. I was at the Oceans exhibition at Fruitmarket Gallery – collecting water from the seas, collecting stories alongside. That’s got such huge potential!

Feedback from Groups

Red Table: Had a meandering discussion about what digital learning is. About analytics and Google Analytics. We talked about a project on a closed forum – not as obviously relevant to analytics. We talked about interpretation, and relating everything back to the collection (where you have one). This came out of the Brooklyn Museum aspect,the ideas of the collection as asset… an archive of learning objects, or images, looking at content again.

Blue Table: We mostly ignored the prompts and had a sort of impromptu Google Analytics training… talking about what was possible, what could be done… what could be got in terms of demographics etc. And understanding who is using what and how useful that data might be. And we talked about better targetting online and offline… things like making sure you do promote digital learning adn resources on your website, linking to relevant works, etc. Doing what Google does in offering the right things for what people search for. And also about making sure that things are prominent in the physical space – like use of the Art Hunter logo at exhibition entrances and gallery entrances. Also about A/B testing and Google Analytics… try changing labels perhaps to see if clicks change.

Green Table: We had an interesting conversation. All day we’ve had problems thinking about our audience, and whether we know enough about them. Similarly around analytics – what we collect, how best to do that. Had some really interesting discussions about digital, about the possibilitis of the second skin, if you like, on top of what is already exhibited in collections. Also about if we are using social media and trying to market things… do people who are very busy fail to open emails? Twitter feeds are on our websites… are our websites as effective as they could be… or do we just change one thing on the site to make things better – like the button tweaks. So really how to make exhibitions more personal, more interactive, how do we get their responses? Do we still rely on paper? Is that wrong? Is a piece of paper in the post effective? Should we be doing that if advertising digital learning or resources. David’s point about not making things too difficult… and really think about what your key message is, and your key measures… people said they had used measures but probably not regularly enough.

Purple Table: We had quite a wide ranging discussion as well… augmented reality… tracking locations in other ways too… also how you are set up organisationally… that marketing targets might be different to what you want to achieve, and how you can get around that… we also talked about the importance of the physical space and the linkages around physical and digital resources. For some audiences, particularly older audiences, print can still be important. Talked about digital resources potentially having a longer lifespan – through Google, through Wikipedia, etc. And really thinking about what the unique selling points of your organisation might be, if you have iconic items or key unique expertise, then you have something unique that no-one else has, you can really help get other things out there. And talking about digital stuff – reviews being important for instance. Asking your audience to share and support it and be ambassadors for you, influencers that reach more people… etc.

Yellow Table: Also a wide ranging discussion. Talked about how flexibility to respond sounds good but some concern about timescales. Discussion of social media… could we do it better? Could we do it for each other and help each other? And talking about quite physical digital resources – creating material that can be brought out into the space, not just online. The HiPPo thing struck a chord. Thought analytics and data could be really useful from that regard. Got a bit confessional about making assumptions – and the wrong assumptions – about what people want. Research being important here. Also we may not know what we will change… but we may go back and ask different questions. To find quick wins and small changes.

Panel discussion with speakers (David, Rosie, Tessa)

Image of the Panel Discussion, showing David Craik, Tessa Quinn, Rosie Cardiff

Q1) How have you monitored Art Hunter in the last year? Also how could it be used in events or one off things – not just artefacts

A1 – Tessa) There is an app evaluation package, called Flurry, which allows us to see downloads, usage, how many items they are collecting etc. tines of day being used. But so much data… we needed to find the questions we wanted to ask. We saw a spike when we launched it. We currently have around 100 downloads per month of each version (iOS and Android). And because we are about to redevelop it for GENERATION we have been able to use that data to help us do that. We found, for instance, that 60% of people use it outwith gallery hours… we don’t know why but we can now ask those questions… and we want to also see what we can do that takes it beyond the gallery space to see how to make it more useful. And we have also been doing some research on gallery visitors about whether they have used the app, and how it has impacted their experience.

We have tried to keep the app as open as possible with unlockable content. We have the button called “Extra” – could be any number of things which could include events. We did try using it for two Friends events. But for partner offers our partners wanted to track a lot of what was going on which was harder to do… but for GENERATION we’ll think about that again.

A1 – David) In terms of analytics…. Google Analytics has several thousand measures. We talk about “the critical q” – for any organisation there are key questions – probably three of them – that really matter, and those need to be questions you can actually address. So conversion rate (e.g. for Skyscanner) might be on of those measures.

Q2) Was wondering about that Lets Get Real report – and the key findings there…

A2 – Tessa) that one question “why did you visit the website today?” was just part of the website. Of those only 30% wanted to visit the gallery that day, but our website was so focused on that. There was so much more being looked for… and a need for consumable, browsable data…

A2 – Rosie) We found that we had about 40% international visitors… so they may not step foot in the gallery. Particularly in terms of learning resources they have an interest far beyond those who visit… but is that what your organisation is about? If you are all about attendance and ticket sales that might not be useful to focus upon. To have those priorities…. I think each person in Tate would have their own response. It would be hard to get a consistent organisation-wide view of that. We all want to give a great experience… but we have very different ways to do that.

A2 – David) With Critical Q it doesn’t really matter if they differ… having your three for you to focus on is useful.

A2 – Tessa) One way to do that is to have different dashboards for different parts of the organisation…. to help deal with that.

A2 – Rosie) We are trained in how to use the analytics but… you can do brilliant against your metric but noone else might care!

Q3 – Rosie) One thing about the Agile Marketing… how do you measure the successful things….? We have 1 million Twitter followers…. we aim at a number of retweets… but what are you measuring as success.

A3 – David) Measurement for small scale actions like a post is about engagement…. we use various tools to grab that. Likes, comments or shares. for Tweets it’s replies, retweets or favourites. Poeple can get hung up on it. Reach can be useful… even if people don’t “like” it. Engagement helps us judge things… each sticky in Twillo for us is a theme, we have maybe 10 posts around the themes…. we divide clicks or comments or like by the number of page likes. So you can see the engagement proportionate size (e.g. 0.1% engagement).

Comment) our group talked about success being about getting funding for your next project!

Q4 – Christopher) This morning we talked about copyright and contributions etc. Are there examples of people working around copyright issues…

A4 – Rosie) It can be a real challenge. That can be very tricky to manage. And worse somehow as a Google Image search might well surface materials that an artist’s estate will not permit you to use or share online. At Tate we have to be really really careful about it. We are protecting artists as well as creating a great user experience. It would be good to look at themes that the artist addresses, that their work addresses, and activities for interaction broadly around that…. With Tate we did a kids activity around Lichtenstein but not branded as such, about artwork from dots. But there are things you can do… and thinking around what the artist address. That 1840s room was brilliant that we could just put the artwork out there… if only we could do that for everything… but we can’t! Getting other artists involved – a contemporary artist interested in that work – can be another way…

A4 – Tessa) I think every year the artists are becoming more flexible. When I was working 10 years ago just getting images on the website was difficult, now most artists are keen. Certain artists are particularly complex. There were moves to trademark the name “Picasso” for instance. So you have to think about this stuff first. And then you need to be creative about how address the issue. And if you are shooting video for instance then just including images you are fine to include.

A4 – David) This stuff is a creative challenge. What’s the human angle? Is there a twist? So for the Commonwealth Games we are looking at making a water cooler device with a secret beer dispenser for locals…. so there’s a human interest factor… the human interest is that there is a huge audience coming to Glasgow, will drink lots of beer, and the twist: what if we don’t want them drinking our beer…. and so voice recognition (not too complex at all – a phone, a computer, a human listening in!) will mean that those with a Scottish accent get beer, those without get water…. there’s a human angle and then using the public to give it a twist.

Q5) Thinking about sponsorship, or partnership… any examples of more creative ways to work with sponsors through the digital platforms that you have?

A5 – Rosie) Not particularly about working with sponsors. I’m not sure how interested they are about being collaborative with us…. with technology companies and developers though – as Rohan said this morning – is about a more collaborative aproach. A lot of the funding out there – the NESTA/AHRC fund for digital arts – are looking for more collaborative work here.

A5 – Tessa) We still find it hard to find sponsors for digital projects… maybe we don’t pitch it right, maybe our regular sponsors aren’t interested in digital. When we have had funding often part of the bigger funding process. I think the NESTA thing taught us the benefit of a real relationship with your digital provider. But that’s trickier with procurement processes – already a procurement type relationship. But maybe there is a need to restructure tendering processes. But the NESTA fund means you partner with the provider in the bid. But sometimes the technology provider may also own the idea… can be collaborative though. You don’t put digital to one side once done… you have to iterate.

A5 – David) Speaking from the point of view of brands. Savvy brands know that ads aren’t interesting any more, content is. Most stuff we do has cultural aspect. Markleting spend moving from ads towards content, to jointly created content. Questions here about “selling your soul to the devil” but otherwise huge potential for making content that’s genuinely engaging to audience, to customers, etc. And reach new audiences. But it’s about picking the right partners.

A5 – Rosie) we have challenges with sponsors. BP sponsor a lot of stuff but we have campaigners who oppose that. They look to us to boost their profile, but that also impacts on our too.

A5 – Tessa) And the approval too… everything needs approving for some sponsors. Really challenging for the practical arrangements.

Round up of the day

Christopher is starting to round up the day by saying that this is the sixth event in 13 months with engage. We will send round a link to the video

Sarah Yearsley, engage 

Keywords I found interesting today:

  • iteration – and the process of developing content online
  • play – really important
  • content
  • experimentation – liked hearing this. A lot of what loearning people do is about experimentation
  • failing small – making small changes and building upon them, to make bigger changes perhaps
  • be clear, think carefully – think about the benefits of what you do
  • unexpected outcomes
  • sharing models – engage, ARTIST ROOMS, and GENERATION really help here
  • digital space to meet – not just about content and structures, but spaces for people to meet
  • hidden content – loads hiddden on our website… great learning resources but can be hard to find. maybe where A/B testing comes here
  • digital fear – maybe still some of that but if we start small we can then think bigger as useful…

Sarah Yearsley, engage

Comment from David: the digital fear thing… the biggest challenge is the creativity, the ideas for content…. ironically people in this room are great for the hard bit, the content, the creativity… the technology is easier by comparison!

Back to Sarah:  And I will say what I say at the end of every event: There are some evaluation forms on this table. Please fill them in and let us know what you think. Either on paper or via SurveyMonkey.

Christopher: this event was a wee bit different to the london event because of feedback of wanting more discussion.

Sarah: the next engage event is at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Where we will hear about how we engage with audiences away from the gallery space – in the community, through games, etc. Also a free event. Please do book and come along – 23rd April.

Finally thank you all for coming, thank you to the galleries for hosting, thanks to Nicola for blogging, and finally thanks again to all of our speakers!

And with that we are done….

Find Out More

Related Resources

The delegate pack included a wide range of resources which will be of interest both to those who attended the event, and those following the blog (only). “These online resources were suggested by contributors as background reading and reference for the seminar. The selection aims to offer some starting points; from projects that contributors have found useful and inspiring, to details of many of the projects referenced by contributors in their presentations.

Mar 102014
Jisc Digital Festival - watch live (inspired by ©Jisc and Matt Lincoln (

A brief post to let you know that on Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th March myself and various EDINA colleagues will be taking part in the Jisc Digital Festival 2014.

I will be livetweeting throughout the event – you can view all the tweets on #digifest14 and you can also view a stream from the event via the Jisc website. There will also be materials shared on that site following the event – including my own (see also below).

I will also be running a social media surgery on Wednesday 12th March (9.30am in the Chill Out Lounge) – if you have questions you’d like answered then do come along or tweet them to me. Even if you are not along in person, I’ll do my best to tweet back an answer ASAP!

The full programme of EDINA participation in the event is:

 Tuesday 11th March 2014
11:30-12:15 Increasing the offer to FE Surgery (Chill Out Lounge) Speakers include: Anne Robertson and Conor G. Smyth, EDINA
All Afternoon Going beyond Google (1): content-rich mapping for the classroom and the field Tech demo (Hall 3 Gallery, Demo Pod 3) Addy Pope, EDINA
All Afternoon Going beyond Google (2): using the right media Tech demo (Hall 3 Gallery, Demo Pod 3) Andrew Bevan, EDINA
14:30 – 15:15 Location aware apps: design patterns and solutions surgery Surgery (Executive room 2) Ben Butchart, EDINA
Wednesday 12th March 2014
09:30-10:15 Increasing the offer to FE Surgery (Executive room 2) Speakers include: Anne Robertson and Conor G. Smyth, EDINA
09:30-10:15 Social media best practice surgery Surgery (Chill Out Lounge) Nicola Osborne, EDINA
9.30am and 10.30am Fill your repository from around the world: Repository Junction Broker (RJB) and its potential to increase open access content in your institutional repository Tech demo (Demo Pod 2) Muriel Mewissen, EDINA
9.30am and 10.30am Going beyond Google (1): content-rich mapping for the classroom and the field Tech demo (Demo Pod 3) Addy Pope, EDINA
10am and 11am Going beyond Google (2): using the right media Tech demo (Demo Pod 3) Andrew Bevan, EDINA
11:00 – 11:30 The strategic developer: a new role for HE? Expert speakers (Hall 10a) Paul Walk, EDINA
14:45-15:30 Stronger together: community initiatives in e-journal management Panels Speakers include: Peter Burnhill, and Adam Rusbridge, EDINA


Materials from the Social Media Best Practice Surgery

My session was a surgery so I based the format on an open discussion and question and answer session. There was no central presentation as such, but I did create a brief prezi as a jumping off place for discussing topics in more depth. The prezi links to other presentations and materials and can be found here:

I also produced a resource lists which you can download as either a PDF or a .doc. I am happy for anyone who wishes to edit/update and reuse at their own institution to do so if they would like.

 March 10, 2014  Posted by at 11:23 pm Events Attended, Social Media at EDINA, Week In the Life Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
Mar 062014

Today and tomorrow I am in South Manchester for the 1st Digital Personhood Network Meeting.

The network is funded under the RCUK Digital Economy strand and supports a number of projects who will all be presenting over the next couple of days.

As this is a LiveBlog please note that there are likely to be some typos or small errors. Corrections are welcome and I will be updating the post with any errors that come in.

Welcome note – Mike Chantler

Rcuk economy funded, also some nemode Rcuk funding.

Some here from sandpit projects, some not. These projects came out of a sandpit session here which ran for a week in later 2012.

Idea today is to come up with something that expresses your research interests, the research landscape and challenges, any potential multiplier for impact stuff. Today we will mix things up eye. Tomorrow well set up a document that captures there search landscape taking on board your research interests….

Why do that? Established and well funded communities tend to have road maps and plans. Good to have to characterise an area, to refer to in proposals, and so ewe can present to digital economy advisory board so they understand what the network is about, what challenges and drivers there are.

::: cue an icebreaker chat :::

Digital economy – dr john Baird

This will set the scene…and talk about impact, of bigger picture. This work is really important and stuff you are doing is new, showing new interdisciplinary projects. Add press coverage matters, David Willets has noticed one of these projects which is great.

And this strand came from reviews of digital economy work, which hazel was involved in.

Previously pseuds corner of private eye rather trivialised this stuff so we need to get great coverage that overcomes that trivialisation.

What’s the vision?

The DE vision: rapidly realise the transformational impact of digital technologies on aspects of community life, cultural experiences, future society, and the economy.

Indeed steve jobs said: “technology is not enough, interdisciplinary is key”. And indeed we have are really huge range of people here, across digital economy but also in this room. We have three research council partners of EPSRC, AHRC, ESRC and workkmh across communities and cultures; sustainable society; IT as a utility; new economic models – four challenge areas, they are open shops.

Great example of digital personhood – economist front cover on Facebook, highlighting people giving their data. That’s at the heart of things…

Major DE theme investments… In 2008 gave funding of £120m. So set up three (12m each):

– horizon – Nottingham and Oxbridge, Brunel, Exeter on footprints etc
– social inclusion through the digital economy – Newcastle and Dundee
– dot.rural – Aberdeen

These end next years… So what’s going to be next?

We also have doctoral training centres – thematic, £5 each, five years, 100 student pa

– web science, Southampton
– digital entertainment – bath and Bournemouth
– my life in data – Nottingham
– financial computing and analytics – UCL, LSE and imperial
– healthcare innovation – Oxford
– high wire – Lancaster
– Media and arts technology – QMUL
– Intelligent games – York
– Digital civics – Newcastle

These have retail, football club, banking connections, having a real impact.

Other major investments:

– Digital city exchange – £5.9m looking at smart cities to boost capabilities, internet of things enabling transport routing, dealing with costly peak demand, data in health, social and other areas.

– framework for research and innovation in media citrus (FIRM funded with AHRc) – just finished but included BBC and ITV

– also sandpits in:
– designing effective research spaces
– changing travel behaviour
– design in the digital world
– digital personhood
– empathy and trust in online communications.

Also 4 networks
– bridging the urban and rural divide
– research in the wild **
– transforming technology with demand…?
– economy and copyright (Glasgow)

Popular press coverage
When I talk about these projects I like to pull out ToTEM (Tales of things) and Annie Lennox’s dress – free half page in Sunday times and it was clear who funded that work – couldn’t have paid for that sort of coverage and working with oxfam and did get commercialised and led to shelflike project, personalised 3D chocolate, daily mail pick ups on older people and sensors and data from Newcastle work and Phillips’ ambient kitchen, digital sensors a in new scientist, student placement at double negative and his work went into inception and prizes won by student and film

So in the future?

Had a scheme under previous administration around particular cross disciplinary challenge themes…. But no real government drivers here to continue on in quite the same way with these themes… So How do we make the story about what we fund and should fund next…

These are sort of T shaped people, we want to stimulate through fellowships in: IoT, NEM, and Social computing.

Also research now more mature… Some ready for users, for commercialisation, and more goes back to fundamental research…

So trying to come up with next stage centres – 4 or 5 critical mass sized centres drawing substantially on and consolidating outputs, know how, positioning and demonstrations resulting from previous DE theme funding. Societal impact, committed routes for exploitation and growing pool of DE trained interdisciplinary researchers. Lever 100% additional funding – gross size for each centre between £5m and £8m.

Strategy meeting – what is future of DE in next delivery plan (meeting around June), post 2015/16? Consultation, cross section of community will generate ideas, want to convince government to put more money in…

This current government has very different idea about ways it’s going. So driven by industry strategies and 8(+1?) great technologies….
– big data
– space
– robotics and autonomous systems
– regenerative medicine
– synthetic biology
– energy storage
– advanced material
– agri-science

Quantum technology – £270m extra. A great new tech area? Have cryptography areas etc…. But… Seems to go into big chunks. £180m for big data. So we have to sell big blocks of activity in these ways.

Chris hankin, institute for security science and technology

John didn’t mention the £650m that the government gave to cyber security, not all to research councils.

Thought it might be useful to run through an overview of a project we couldn’t talk about at the sandpit session.

Part of our work was to try and characterise what identity was… I want to mention briefly the WDYTYA (who do you think you are) sandpit – a global uncertainties sandpit – and I’ll say now that tone disappointment is that it would be good to see more link up there’s between this and that area.

So when we looked at characterising identity for Go science Future Identity project we saw that it is:

– identity shaped by context
– ascribed versus elective – how people choose to present themselves
– multiple versus single
– changing or static
– hyper connectivity and online versus offline – included as an external driver

The WDYTYA sandpit asked us about how we establish confidence in the identity of the person or entity with which we are interacting and how we manpintain confidence over time. what does identity mean particularly between human and electronic persona or device interacting on their behalf. How do identities fuse, etc.

Several projects out of this

– SID (Super-I’d) static and behavioural measures of identity – biometrics – in both real and cyber world. Eg how you swipe a touchscreen as confidence measure for height…
– IMPRINT project – happily give data away to scorecards. But if DWP less willing to. This project looks at identity management, identification of taboos and production of artefacts
– Uncertainty of Id – spatio temporal aspects of identity in virtual and real domains
– identiscope – multiple identities

So onto Go science future identities. This is a foresight project under government office for science. This was looking at ten year cycle. Previously did climate report. Currently working on digital cities *** tend to look out 30-40 years and are based on 5 yrs work. But the future identities work was all in one year, and looked out ten years.

Report based on twenty detailed driver reports. Typically if you look at longer term foresight projects they will have fewer reports. We looked at something like 1000 piece of literature. Final report can be downloaded from go science page.

We found various drivers. Technology change, economic change, demographic change, environmental change, political and government change. Interested in how changes would be expressed in terms of behaviour – criminal behaviour such as radicalisation and extremism, social cohesion/integration, individual weell being.

The way foresight reports work is to use evidence to draw out key areas, and expose those key messages to policy makers. One of the key messages for me is that policy makers need to begin to think about privacy, security, but also identity into policy from the word go. Should not be an add on at the end.

Future identities – drivers for change… Some trends may be slow… E.g. Looking at demographic change for growth of population from mid 2010 to mid 2035. We recognise that society is becoming much more pluralised… But technology will help give a sense of community and cohesion.

The report particularly tries to give advice to policy makers in each area… In terms of drivers and key trends…we. Got this model of identity a cross three components. Social identities (with others), biographical (can change but are kind of written into us), and biometric (literally written into us) we really focused on social and biographical identities. A key aspect is multiple identities, that thinking of identity as singular is not helpful.

We developed personas to illustrate some of these ideas of identity… Bringing in factors such as financial status nationality, religion… And we also mapped on contexts such as work, home, voting in general election, and when using social media online. A way to understand these complex interactions and dependencies. Identities are complex. There is some co-creation of identities. We sawin the report that identities could be a resource… E.g. Looking at McKinsey global reports on manipulating people’s identities. And a real skills gap there for computer scientists and social scientists.

Also key trends for next ten years:
1) hyper connectivity
2) increasing social plurality
3) blurring of public identities

So for (1) noting use of connections at home rather than work…(oxis) And impact of mobile phones: differentiation of online and offline will disappear…

(2) social diversity – immigration trends,change in trends of immigration patrons – no longer ethnic immigration but white immigration from Central Europe and they disperse into the community whereas historically clusters of areas occurred so rural communities get influx of immigrants they may not have had before; but also less cohesive and virtually linked at once

(3) Blurring of public and private identities – see oxis data on social network set up. Attitudes to privacy are changing. Real issue of privacy and trust.

So… More on policies – see report.

Final slide here now on some research issues:

– privacy – particularly in the context of data aggregation, interested in this with my day job in mind here, protection of anonymity real challenge

– anonymous recognition techniques – exposing only part of your identity in a transaction

– the law in cyber space – many issues, some very good reports from prof David law from Durham. Real issues in law and identity in uk. Law cannot keep pace…

– digital permanence and the right to be forgotten – EC who I occasionally advice is talking about new data protection law… Moving away a bit from this context.we do have the right to be forgotten (e.g. Facebook pages for unborn babies, or people without any online presence also recorded online by others – eg names and activities of civil servants).


Q1) did you look at inauthentic identities that might be easier to portray online?
A) we did from various perspectives. Quite strong presence. Imprint project looking at that with artists and media participants
Q) implications for cyber security, to protect ourselves
A) whole of WDYTYA sandpit really addressed that issue… Clearly are important implications. Some as aspects of foresight report of interest there. Particularly interested in converse of coin of identity theft… Fraudulent identity etc, if interest.

Q2) what are security services doing!p? Will putting out fake ones to infiltrate,,, but interesting to disambiguate. Good to know about inauthentic identity in tripadvisor etc.
a) interesting to switch identity in terms of digital back story
Comment) some work I’m involved with looking at grooming etc… Often about language mismatch to assumed identity…

Q3) privacy changing. Hear this a lot… We did work on different ages and attitudes and. Strategies change quite radically, think it’s more nuanced and varied than that
A) did look in more nuanced way… Attitudes changing is flippant. The young don’t care isn’t right… They care about different things. See driver report, and body of report.we. Recognise subtleties…

:::: more tea and coffe and icebreaking::::

Digital prosumer
Looking at how people can make money and capitalise on their own data and productions. So what is a digital prosumer? Well it is made up of those that both consumer and produce digital content within their digital personhood.

The aim of the project – make money out of your data. Legal framework. Micro exchange. Do use design sites. Moving towards demonstration and evaluation of theses sands. The legal framework is the mandatory underpinning for meaningful exploitation.

So we are getting these prosumers to place their data into a digital locker, aggregated into a digital vault, use data mining algorithms for persona identification and matching processes, to tradable persona products. And the other arm of this is the exchange. So people give data for financial rewards. And yes, we are talking to supermarkets.

Over to Audrey who is talking about legal progress. So literature review has take. Leave on data and persona products and privacy and data protection laws on uk and eu level, also literature review on financial products and futures markets. Ongoing development of legal framewok.

From there: legal status of data – current gal around prosumer taking charge of own data for instance. Etc. and also financial law aspects – mx – the exchange – doesn’t fall into standard financial regulation so need to make sure project is compliant with FCA objectives – protection of consumer, competition etc. and looking at contract law.

Next for project…. Migrate to cloud, legal aspects, and a digital persona survey to gather views on personal data. See link (to follow).

Creating and exploring digital empathy – andrew
Looking at empathy in digital personhood as we think it’s much ignored thus far.

Digital empathy: diary study and lab study – trust based game in lab, how you share and communicate trust. And how to sense that… Voight-kampff machine, webcams, all sorts of aspects. And we a re interested in colours and lighting – mapping emotional states to colours. Brainwaves linked to lighting in lab (empathetic lighting). Planning to link up lighting in labs for empathy. And then, I’m not naturally religious, but the church popped in who were keen to see what happens. Linking with London wide church network. We are interested in the candle lighting process in church, if we can network that, link it to church fonts and holy water to communicate how we feel about things. WHAt about networked churches, or cross faiths….

Over to Bill…. And I’m interested in the ideas of designing interactions,,, the idea of hot and cold media…and looking at various project here…

April 2014 a four candles and networked fonts with ts peter de Beauvoir – sharing though and dropping your roubles…

TRYing to move interaction model to trigger conversations,as king why something is happening.., one of the things about melt ya is that it really requires a conversation, it has to be two way…

SO this far we are designing empathic interactions. So we have four real (but electronically lit) candles and interface.,,,

Sandpits lead to other things,,, speaking to future cities catapult, with guide dog association.., walking people around how we feel about place… With visually impaired people … We will be using that group and the blind dogs in phase two and that work has been filmed and will be on tv next week: and @projectcede

Charting the digital lifespan – Wendy moncur

We want to understand how uk citizens make sense of digital personhood across the lifespan now. To envision possible futures where the uks digital natives approach adulthood, become parents have retire, generate social, cultural and technical insights. To innovate new technologies,a me to raise digital literacy, and to raise awareness in policy makers.

We are looking at 18-22 year olds, easier than younger people.,,, transitioning from school and university. Also looking at first time parents. AND looking at newly retired people.

This is interdisciplinary – psychologists, computer scientists, etc.

Digital anthropology is being used, many don’t even realise they are online as so ubiquitous. Loads of data from interviews with young adults,,, one finding us that pope,e have lots of multiple identities. W are using design fiction – getting oaicioants to respond to these and seeing what ideas emerge.

Also using design artefacts in the home, speculative devices, to be used in a reflective process. In Terms of technology probes we also use diaries and intro and exit interviews as well.

John in Sheffield is developing techniques to mine images based on context turning social media into meaningful structured data, and enabling us to develop digital literacy tools…

So ewe are solidifying great sandpit ideas. Integrating work packages. Ambitious in the short timescale, but it’s an exciting and intriguing topic. Inherently innovative.

Generating insights as clearly as we can, publishing, book chapter etc. opportunities I came out of disseminating at Cheltenham literary festival.

Reel lives: personal documentaries – pam Briggs what matthew aylett, finola Kerrigan, haring alanine, Elaine, etc

Fragmented selves don’t support social learning and individual empowerment. SO wanted to create personal editable documentaries or reels from digital data – how could we have predicted that Facebook might do something but at least we have ideas about how to do this rather better.

There are also a New York group called reel lives so we have made contacts there – they film disadvantaged young people.

So just to talk about the work packagers here. Birmingham and Northumbria are the more nontechnical work. So from Birmingham side, wea re leading what we think is really interesting first phase doing several things. Working with film organisations like FBI,nf+Mand running film competition with deadline for end of month for artists to submit. That’s here on our website (#filmmakers required). They pitch the idea and the specific person they will work with. And they will get help from the project to mine and aggregate that data. Uta. Require that no original filming can be part of this. As we want a real idea of just what is possible and how that feels for participants.

In the meantime we are looking at ogher things out three in terms of aggregations like Facebook films, like Intelsat museum of me…. That is built on Facebook data for instance. We are working with triads of people, mainly younger people, getting them to watch own museum of me and think about attitudes pot what they see, Andre fleet on what matters, what the gals are, what parts of your life are not app reign digitally. Also looking at scrapbook ideas, some great work Microsoft on this about curating materials, multiple personas etc.

There are a lot s here doing data mining who we should work together…

Other to Elaine. WE ARE WORKing with open university. They are scraping data from Facebook and twitter, imposing structure, and looking for entities,a didn’t value for data. Then passing to use. And we. Get XML database, easy much have a n image because this will be filmic documentary. Using units with data. Also take n narrative target – a story that can have a. Different structure. Out in what kind of story or narrative you want. WILL have audio soundtrack. An do. Will extract featured, do a voter I search, and the. We render as a video… Can be saved and sahard… It will have the same semantic data it came with… SO there’s the generation process, and we also have this lattice. But we allow individuals to change their story, to choose images for each unit, will find next best match and coherant… And a Story…

Being there: humans and robots
Our story was that we wanted to look at digital technologies in the public realm, in the sense of Richard Sennett. Ways of experiencing difference. Often digital technologies are presented as treats, theatre the notion of the public realm. So we wanted to think about how to use these technologies in ways that are privacy preserving but public enabling. So wanted instrumented public space with capacity to analyse group emotions an d accurately track locations in 3d – a living lab. And explore interactions between people and robots in public space. And we want to do that with privacy preserving protocols – in terms of issues of anonimisation. Deanonimisation…

Strands: Magneto-inductive localisation – dealing with indoor very challenging & Fingerprinting techniques; automated analysis of group emotions; robots and telepresence using 3x NAL robots; and privacy

I am a social psychologist by training,,, I am interested in behaviour synchrony in groups, looking at how people act together in time and the behavioural synchrony, implicit social influence. Testing by speed of tapping and the psychological behaviours around that and the last of influence… Have a nice model for implicit social influence and how they ripple out in public space. Can also look at effect that robot and human interactions might have in these interactions. Here we use the NAO and the relationship there and influence tree.

Other work taking place on telepresence and trust. Not just between humans and robots, telepresence and robot proxy itself, looking at effects of appearance and nature of different robot forms etv,

In terms of embedding impact… We are engaged with the company I-she’d. Involved in creative economy SMEs, microcosm panties, artists and community groups, both to produce the living lab and a creative commission….

Digital economy and ESRC – Rachel Tyrrell
Rachel’s slides will be available on the website.

ESRC are the uks major public sector funded of social science research and post graduate training with an annual a budget of approximately £200million. The 13/14 funding splits around 26% on training and skills at all research life! safeguard and collaborative research is about 25% but other areas include material a and other activities…. Currently work up new strategic plans but reviewing our current strategic objectives as part of this.

Doctoral training centres network is a bit different, it is not thematically driven, but otherwise similar to model described by john earlier. Note that there are a huge range of training courses and opportunities across the ESRC, take a look at the NCRM in particular, and I would encourage you to put in a bid for the ESRC Festival of social sciences. And I should add that we have a new project with undergraduates focusing on quantitative methods, understanding that this understanding needs to be built in earlier in the research career.

A quick word about the cross council funding agreements and remit – this is an agreement to ensure no research ends up unfounded because it falls between research councils. This process is an everyday thing. In interdisciplinary field it’s totally fine to contact us to ask us questions about this, that will save you time, it will help you to target the right research councils.and once that’s in process projects can be fund by several research. We do have boundary agreements across research councils… But often projects aren’t that clear cut.

I was asked to talk about digital economy. WE Work with all of the four challenge areas but I decided today to to focus on social media.

TO GIVe you a quick view of erecting activity in responsive mode – calls completely open, open to all social sciences. Responsive awards are totally open, and include digital personhood sandpit in November 2012; emoticon sandpit in an 2014 (first ESRC led sandpit); de social media workshop in Bangalore (feb 2014) – often what I do is a sort of academic speed dating… We did this event for hat point of view, fostering relationships partnership etc; emerging priority of social media – big data network (call TBA but info on website). Sign up to ESRC newsletter for more information. DO keep an eye on this call.

Q) some of us were at international meeting for social media in April….

Yes, should have mentioned that, there was an ideas for an international centre for social media. That’s different. All interested but still trying to find best areas on that. BUT IF ANYthing comes through from that I’ll let mike know, to share onwards.

Also I wanted to talk about international collaboration’ you can involve coinvestigators overseas in responsive bids. We work with European partners. We also look to strengthen collaborations in several key territories (us, India and China).

SME other areas of ESRC schemes: uremic grants mechanism for immediate research work,me.g. The threats on twitter around Jane Austin banknote. There is also the transformative research call – genuine transformative research, pioneering theoretical or methodological research. Stuff here can be risky and the work can look quite different because of that. It’s A bit sanity because we use pitch to peer sessions. I also thought that research seminars might be. Interest, an annual scheme and a focus on international here too. Also some targeted strategic schemes – including secondary data analysis initiative – using any previous data resource. Some really exciting awards there’s!

There is a research catalogue online where you can find details of all ESRC funded research projects and their outputs. Search by keyword and by date so you can find calls, projects funded, press releases etc. so if you are looking for a potential research project do have a look through.

So any call or activity that goes live goes up on eNews. Really useful as. We do come up with strategic schemes or annual schemes that dong nabe regular timelines. And you are very welcome to email me with any queries about ESRC funding. Really open to emails and chats.

Impact – Laura hood

M yhe Conversation. I’m an editor, part of a team witch journalists. The idea is to get academics to work with journalists to talk about research in an accessible way. Started in Australia about three years ago. We launched in the uk 10 months ago. We pick out content that fits into the mainstream news agenda but it’s written by academics and highlights research work. SO In the morning, the team meet and discuss big news items of the day, we get them to write a 600 word article that we edit and publish. I work with digital economy researchers . We have funding from twenty universities and from recur under digital economy strand. So there at the moment for instance Eerke Bolton at university of Kent has been writing on the NHS, digging into the actual documents. He thinks there has been some media hysteria so he has been digging through presenting what he sees as the actual concerning areas and from his research perspectives. Also o there is work on issues around grinder on HIV and AIDS prevention work – not as tied to news agenda.

So you can get in touch with me when your research area is on the news, or you can just contact me about your research area. For instance a recent post here is from Wendy moncur on Facebook and death – a response to their change in policy. Similarly google brought a a company called deep ins, and press speculation over that purchase. I did some journalistic digging to see that deep mind originating at UCL, I contacted matthew Higgs, an author I work with regularly , and we had a story no one else did as he is a researcher in this area and already knew about deep mind and what it does. And when we publish it’s restive commons licensed and we have dedicated staff who pitch to other press and we get stuff reprinted in guardian new statemen, ars technica, new York times happened last week. And as an author you can see traffic to can article, tweets about it. This is great for impact, for speaking to funders, to help with promotions. And this is great exposure for RCUK and we are working with them to expose that type of data for stuff they have funded. AUTHors are approached by other media outlets as a result of writing about their work here. Really is quite good for your profile as an academic. I am here to help you write for a general audience, turn your work into something AT&T reads well. Get in touch, tell me what you are working together to create articles.

John: contracts, consultancy, impact and exploitations ice of this is brilliant, see Nottinghamshire work on Airbnb. And actually dot rural work on birds gets 1.2m Retweets or something. Every single project in this theme has people at the heart.he big added value here is that what Laura does is to get your words and have ownership of them, but in language the public understand. With other press you lose ownership and can find your words distorted.

Laura: post NSA there is so much interest in this sir of stuff. It’s a great time to be doing stuff here. And yes,we. Cannot publish until you approve an article. And your name goes on that work. fad that includes the headline.

Comment: that is so important as I’ve seen journalists write up a consortium project before it was ready and without consultation.

And with that day one was over. As much of day two will be discussions I will just be blogging highlights from the talks.

First up Mike Chantler is discussing the objectives for the day, which will start with us mapping the digital personhood research landscape in various breakout groups. We will produce narratives, names of participants, draw a diagram, and name the area.

After a lovely breakout group, we are back for brief summaries from our groups. I think I’ll leave the details to follow from the digital personhood network website. Not least because I was presenting our group, and our super memorable visual analogy: “the kebab of digital identity”.

And now over to john Baird totals about impact.

Importance of Impact – John Baird
Impact is an issue for all researchers. So I wanto give you an idea of three things to ask for in pathways to Impact.

A thirty second potted history here… The language has changed here over the last Wendy years. “Realising our potential: a strategy for science, engineering and technology” a 1993 report talking about a need for greater growth and impact of research funding. Ten years later in march 2006 suggested next steps. In 2007 RCUK moved towards this language of excellence with impact. And increasingly terminology is growth.

DE Theme Impact review – was led by andrew Herbert with 11others. Showed de in a good position for success. Strong multidisciplinary angle, good scien, genuine impact on the community.

Comments included:

“To achieve impact a research activity must have a clearly defined and measurable target and a strategy for using research reuse….”

There was concern about researchers articulating the impact of their work, highlighting areas for possible reasons, including narrow focuses on the rarer but also concerns about recognising impact at key stages in the project. Indeed impact has to be part of the research pla, and during. And throughout the research project life cycle.

The key thing really… Academics don’t have to do all this stuff, it’s positioning your work so that you enable pathways not impact….think about people secondment and exchange. Many aspects here… Also Publication costs, knowledge exchange, and of course public engagement.

Back to Mike Chantler… And stories of unplanned and planned impact. Why does this matters? Well there is a spending review for the research councils coming up, around April 2016. That matters to any of us with a Grant or looking for one in the future.

With that we break out to discuss impact and briefly join again to hear again from john Baird on the impact ecosystem. He emphasises that there are Research council “impact acceleration grants”. These enable follow on or extended impact. These are funds held at thirty one universities in the uk. You need to be the catalyst for impact. YOU sow the seeds, the impact activities are the water and sunshine that allows that stuff to grow.

One thing to add here… Who should be in this network in the future? Who else should be here – google and Facebook perhaps?

And finally back to Mike for some summing up. W really wanted to form connections and mix you up acrossdisciplines, across interests. That can be really exciting. A really difficult area to fund to leer review which is why these types of events are so important. We also wanted to capture research interests. And we want to raise awareness of impact areas and opportunities.

Ace with that we are done. The report from the event is already largely written based on our group work and Wellsorted submissions. Watch this space for more links and information to follow.

 March 6, 2014  Posted by at 2:50 pm Uncategorized Tagged with:  No Responses »