Including... the new version of Google Analytics, digital responses to Covid in the short, medium and longer term and Soundhouse by The Barbican.
Hello and welcome to edition 115 of the Digital Snapshot, a round-up of the latest news, guides, inspiring work and good reads as relevant to the arts, culture, museums & heritage sector.
We hope you are all ok. Everything continues to be incredibly difficult for the sector - let's hope the vaccine news heralds the light at the end of the tunnel (albeit a far off light).
Please remember we are here to support you with any research or consultancy needs relating to digital - whether that's to help to develop a digital strategy, understanding your online audiences and digital behaviours, or supporting you with training & mentoring. Please do get in touch for a chat about how we can help.
We also have several events available at the moment that may be of interest! I'd highly recommend signing up to the free Introduction to... Audience Spectrum in the time of COVID-19 session at the end of this month. The TAA team will be walking through a wealth audience data, including the latest insights from our Digital Audience survey.
- Google Analytics has launched a new version that makes much more use of machine learning. More detail on the changes here.
- In a sign of the times, alternative-to-Twitter app Parler has jumped to the top of the US app charts as Trump supporters flock to it. A reminder that human beings tend to congregate online with people we perceive as sharing similar values.
- Really useful: Stagetext is offering 50% off digital subtitling.
- Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey, has been tweeting about an idea they're considering to let people choose the algorithms that filter content in their streams. So many questions on this one...
Useful & bookmarkable
- The British Council has a digital collaboration fund opportunity open.
- Zoom has launched a directory of online immersive experiences (looks similar to Airbnb's online experiences). I'm sure theatres and artists (indeed any creative organisations and individuals) could come up with all sorts of ideas for this and, of course, the benefit of using Airbnb or Zoom - rather than trying to attract people to your website - is that they already have the eyeballs.
- Interesting insights in the latest episode of Substrakt's Digital Works podcast. Sadler's Wells' Head of Content & Audiences, Ankur Bahl talks about digital responses to Covid, in the short, medium and longer term. One quick takeaway - good participatory online workshops can be hugely popular.
- How to write alt text for memes.
- Creation Theatre has released a report, written by the University of Exeter, about their experience of digital transformation during Covid. It includes tips and advice for any other theatres or artists thinking of running performances via Zoom (or similar).
- Another useful report - this time from the Knight Foundation on "digital readiness and innovation in museums".
- Beyond conference is virtual this year and is all about research and innovation in the creative and cultural sectors. More info and tickets here. There is an incredible range of speakers, including our very own Anne Torreggiani.
- Descript looks like a really useful bit of tech for anyone who produces screen recordings, podcasts or videos. It automatically takes audio and turns it into text which you can then edit and turn back into audio - amazing!
Distracting & entertaining
- When the world went into lockdown SBS in Australia set up a phone line that people could call and leave a message, this website allows you to explore the resulting audio snapshots. Neat way of presenting a bunch of different stories.
- Pests is a thought-provoking online game by artist Shonagh Short with illustrator Rob Jackson commissioned and produced by FACT Liverpool.
- Soundhouse by The Barbican is a series of 'listening rooms' with each room "...playing a selection of experimental podcasts and creative radio from around the world.". An exploration of how social distancing has impacted our listening habits.
- MoMA nails the Kim Kardashian private island birthday meme.
- The New Yorker considers what it means to be an audience member in the 'age of virtual theatre'.
- At The Audience Agency, we are big fans of user centred design but 'design thinking' has become ubiquitous and it's increasingly presented as a panacea for fixing every problem (which of course it's not). This deep dive into what it is, and isn't, useful for, is a fascinating read.
That's it for this issue. As ever, if you come across any interesting or noteworthy content please do send it my way. We are here to support you with training, research and consultancy, so please do get in touch. You can find all past editions of the Digital Snapshot here.
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The Digital Snapshot newsletter shares the latest, most important news from the social media and digital world - as relevant to the arts, culture and heritage sectors.