15 things I’ve learnt about the web and social media at #SMWLDN

This week, webby people all over the world have got in a twitter frenzy about Social Media Week, a series of events put on in cities including London, New York, Berlin, San Francisco and many more.

On Tuesday I attended Sweet Retweets hosted by Sue Keogh and Christine Cawthorne for some social media copywriting tips, and in the evening I went to Building the Social web for Museums, Galleries and Education hosted by BrightLemon, which apparently was the most over subscribed event that week. I can see why, it had a stellar line-up of speakers from the Tate, The V&A, the Natural History Museum, Museum of London & Talis. The V&A in particular, was doing some very exciting thing in their approach to engaging with audiences in interesting ways to build the power of the brand and improve their site.

So what did I learn at these events? Quite a bit actually.

  1. Channel your inner George Orwell. His rules of writing as stated at the end of Politics and the English Language also apply to tweets, e.g: never use a long word when a short word will do.
  2. The more punctuation you use in your tweets the better. That way they are much easier to read and understand.
  3. The most commonly used words in RTs are; follow, ‘positive, how to, top, free’ as well as the phrase ‘new blog post’. Tweets that use nouns are also more popular.
  4. The least used words in RTs are; negative, ‘ing’ verbs and use slang. This includes filler type tweets explaining what the tweeter is up to.
  5. Dan Zarrella is a self-proclaimed Social Media scientist. I didn’t know there was such a thing.
  6. Lots of Museums are crap at SEO. Including the Louvre. Type Mona Lisa into Google, and you would expect it’s home to come up first right? Wrong! It’s actually 6th down the page, after the fan site MonaLisaMania. Some institutions are treating their websites like a walled garden.
  7. The most popular websites are social ones. Even the most clicked on parts of the websites like BBC news are the sections with the ‘most popular’ or ‘most shared’ stories on.
  8. Asking for audience involvement can really add a whole new depth to your work. The Natural History Museum asked for some help coming up with the title and some content for their current Sexual Nature exhibition. Unsurprisingly, they were inundated with ideas.
  9. You can make some very zoomtastic presentations with Prezzi. As The Museum of London did.
  10. Those pixellated internet bar codes are called QR codes, short for quick response. You can even make your own for your site using Kawya.

  11. The web should strive to be open source, with people sharing their data with others. That’s what Tim Berners-Lee (you know, that guy that invented the web) asked for in his TED talk, and as a result projects such as data.gov have been created. Sharing links and data creates a nicer World Wide Web.
  12. A very large proportion of the Tate’s online fans are from outside of the UK. This obviously has a great effect on how a brand interacts with it’s fans, updates can’t be too location specific.
  13. The Tate allows the audience to interact directly with artists, particularly in this nice video Q&A’s with Ai Wei Wei.
  14. There is a hidden Easter Egg in the Chris Ofili painting ‘No Woman No Cry’ that is revealed thanks to the Google Art Project. The phrase ‘RIP Steven Lawrence’ was painted on the work using a special Glow in the Dark paint. As normal gallery goers can only see the painting during the day, the Google Art Project had allowed it secrets to be revealed.
  15. The V&A are very passionate about UGC (user generated content), and in turn this allows people to develop a stronger relationship with its collection. The patchwork pattern maker is a very impressive example of this.

That’s just about what I have learnt for now, have you learnt any special nuggets of information during Social Media Week?

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3 thoughts on “15 things I’ve learnt about the web and social media at #SMWLDN

  1. damn, I wish I had gone! Thanks for your round up though – will be using it at work 😉

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