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Archive for the ‘Strategy’ category

Approaches to usability

Make sure your investments on web sites, apps or new real-life programs don’t fail by conducting usability and user experience testing. “Usability testing differs from focus groups in that it involves the observation of participants as they actually use the product,” said Ian David Moss, a development consultant who works in the Arts. “They key feature of […]


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What is gamification?

Gameplay has a lot to teach us about motivating participation through joy. ‘Gamification’ is a new term, coined in 2008, for adapting game mechanics into non-game setting — such as building online communities, education and outreach, marketing, or building educational apps. Here are some ideas for how to do it. Achievements Badges, trophies and points represent […]


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Reaching the public via Wikipedia

Wikipedia, the free, online encyclopedia that “anyone can edit,” is a useful way to deliver scientific and cultural knowledge to the public. Wikipedia is the 5th most visited web site, with 400-450 million unique visitors per month. It’s not “merely a larger audience, but a different audience,” says Sara Snyder, webmaster for the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art, who has recently started […]


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Software options for niche social networks

So you want to create a niche social network? And you’ve read the prior post on overall issues to consider? Here’s an overview of over a dozen software platforms you might consider.


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Considerations for new niche social networks

Social networking gives professionals and enthusiastic members of the public a great way to connect and share information about scientific or cultural topics. A niche social network can benefit small, grassroots projects as well as large institutions, achieving many objectives simultaneously. A social network allows members to  e.g., exchanging information, making personal connections, fostering dialog […]


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Niche social networks: Ravelry, ExhibitFiles, and others

Thinking about launching a new niche social network for a science or cultural community of professionals? Think again. It costs a lot to do well, and there’s a major risk of failure. People don’t have much time to spend logging into yet another social network, and it’s hard to reach a critical mass so that the site […]


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Making of the awesome “I’m a climate scientist” video

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There’s a great new video on YouTube, “I’m a climate scientist.” It uses gangsta-rap flavor to bring home the point that a lot of people talking about climate change are not actual climate scientists. Here’s the video, which contains some expletives: If you are at work, or don’t like the word “F##k,” try out this clean […]


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How did National Academies Press make PDFs free?

All publications from the National Academies Press (NAP) are now available for free as PDFs. NAP is the publishing arm of the National Academies, and publishes 200+ books a year on topics in science, engineering, and health. Making the PDFs free is the culmination of a decade of research and sales modeling on how to finance a nimble publishing […]


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Art critic rails against fun, Spring, nighttime party at Hirshhorn

Is the art enough? Probably not. Art museum revenues are falling and museums need to experiment with new business models and ways to build a buzz and relevance with young audiences. Yesterday, art critic Judith Dobrzynski wrote in her Real Clear Arts blog about how an upcoming nighttime event at the Hirshhorn is elitist, flaunted, […]


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Innovation matters. So does refinement & augmentation: Long nose

Innovation takes years, if not decades. An essay by Bill Buxton, principal scientist at Microsoft Research, introduced the idea of the “The Long Nose of Innovation.” In his Jan 2008 Business Week article, he draws parallels to the ‘long tail’ of products. This has applications to all kinds of planning. This is what the long nose looks […]


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