So, is this social media stuff worth it?

So, I have posted on this blog for a little bit now.  My goal from the start was to provide a venue for folks to consider means for taking Museums and/or Archaeology to the public.  So from a modest start I am seeing a respectable number of hits for each post.  However, I also know that the number of hits and comments is really not the true measure of whether a blog is meeting its intended purpose.

I have written before that I religiously follow Nina Simon’s blog at Museum 2.0.  So if my loyalty is any indication, Nina’s experience at Museum 2.0 might prove useful.  I dropped her a note and she pointed me to a couple of posts.  The first post is from about a year ago on her own Museum 2.0 blog.  The thrust of the post Nina pointed me to is not unlike another Museum 2.0 post on overrating self-expression in museums.  Simply, in the same way that the majority of folks want to go into a museum to observe and not create, the same for blogs.  She notes seven comments left from over 10,000 unique user hits.  Quite a dismal rate, if comments is what you are after!

She also pointed me to a post on Beth Kanter’s blog dealing with metrics and evaluations – How Nonprofit Organizations Can Use Social Media to Power Social Networks for Change.  The post is quite helpful with a ton of good stuff found within.

The punch line on all of this for me is that if we are going to spend the energy to move toward Social Media or even just Web 2.0 to reach out to the public in promoting Archaeology and Museums, then we should really have some way of measuring the worth – not just doing it because it seems cost-effective when postage stamps and printing continue to climb in price.

Read what Nina has to say about blog comments and what she sees that blogs are really able to do.  Beth provides a ton of resources for measuring the effectiveness of measures such as “audience growth” and “authority.”  At the C.H. Nash Museum I am quite pleased at the return on our input in social media as measured by site hits and the “word-of-mouth” authority type measures such as Google Alert and Technorati (both discussed in Beth’s post).

Is it time for you to assess your digital media efforts to date?  Take a look at posts from Nina and Beth for some ideas.

  3 comments for “So, is this social media stuff worth it?

  1. February 3, 2010 at 3:42 pm


    I love reading and learning as much as I can about Social Media Marketing. Here is what I have learned regarding amping up audience interest and awareness from those offering good advice on this topic.

    The question seems to be…are the demographics there to support the effort? And, if so, what is the best method available to reach the appropriate targeted audiences?

    Your existing blog may just need a little more exposure (press releases, mentions elsewhere on Web. 2.0, word of mouth, etc). Or, if not a blog perhaps you might want to consider: viral videos, social networks, or communities depending on (as “Groundswell” authors, Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li might ask) what your “communication problem(s)” may be.

    Have you looked at Forrester’s North American Social Technographics Online Survey to see if it is helpful in locating your audience in Web 2.0?

    It sounds like your eventual audience is missing out on a good thing. Best of luck!

    And…thanks, robertlfs for sharing this. I am sure Nina appreciates it, too.


  2. February 4, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Interesting – and thanks for the other related links.

    As a blog writer I see and welcome large number of comments as a measure of successful engagement. I really see counts of visitors, and the frequency that they return, and their length of stay as a more useful measure of how worthwhile it is for me to continue blogging as I know that my audience far is much larger than the numbers of people who leave comments.

    But as a blog reader (looking for information, guidance and inspiration) I really don’t want to see lots of engagement. I prefer seeing less than half a dozen comments, each with something worthwhile to add.

    Saying that, I’ll say no more.

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