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Evaluating the online audience of a new collections website

TitleEvaluating the online audience of a new collections website
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsJames, D.
Secondary TitleMuseums and the Web
Conference Start DateApril 13-17, 201
PublisherArchives & Museum Informatics
Place PublishedDenver, Colorado, USA
EditorTrant, J., & Bearman D.
Keywordsengagement, evaluation, metrics, on-line audience, statistics, user analysis, user behaviour

Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales's virtual Museum Rhagor (Welsh for 'more') - was launched on-line in 2007. The site focuses on increasing accessibility to the vast number of items that are stored out of sight of the general public. Rhagor makes available the Museum's knowledge and expertise that is intrinsically linked with its collections and objects.Prior to the site's launch, the effectiveness of making this information on-line was difficult to judge. Therefore, as well as practical user testing exercises, post launch evaluation was undertaken over an entire year to examine both widescale usage trends and specific visitor behaviour patterns. The methodology focused on a mix of standard quantitative metrics gathered from statistical packages, combined with a host of qualitative metrics, such as user ratings, comments and submission of content by users.The results have since prompted evidence-driven targets of the site's performance, as opposed to those based on expectations alone. In terms of content delivery, new articles published on the site reflect the style of those articles that were rated highest by users to the site. The site's presence on various social media sites was also studied, allowing an overarching understanding of the effectiveness and reach of data disseminated to wider audiences beyond that of the main Web site. A further requirement of the evaluation was to study the bilingual nature of the site, allowing a comparison of behaviour patterns of Welsh and English users of the site.