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published: March 2004
analytic scripts updated:
November 7, 2010

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0  License

Let's Get Personal: Adding a Personal Tour to Your Existing Web Site
Joey Stocklein, USA

Demonstration: Your Colleagues - 2

While it certainly is nice that technology has placed so many museums at people's fingertips, we must remember that as quickly as visitors come, they may also leave. Since so little time is invested in getting to your virtual museum, visitors won't hesitate to leave if they don't quickly locate something of personal interest.

If visitors don't find something of personal interest within the first few minutes of visiting your museum, chances are pretty high they'll leave and they may never return. Today's Web users are spending less than 15 minutes per unique Web site and less than one minute per page. It's your job to make sure that when they walk through your virtual door, they find something of personal interest, and they do so quickly.

This demonstration will outline the three basic steps for adding a "personal tour" to an existing Web site. A personal tour, as described here, is a collection of personally relevant links pulled together based upon a visitor's response to a few simple questions.

We will discuss the three basic steps:

1. Identify Your Audience

2. Create A Questionnaire

3. Select Appropriate Content

We will then discuss the associated implementation details, and you will learn how to add a personal tour to your existing Web site in an afternoon! We will also examine a few other tricks all geared towards making sure your visitors can quickly find something of personal interest once they walk through your virtual door. The demonstration will close with some general comments on designing in a free-choice environment.

This demonstration is ideal for institutions that already have an existing Web site and wish to learn how to add a personal tour to make sure their visitors can quickly locate something of personal interest.

The personal tour recently added to the Old Schwinn Bicycle Museum will be used as a case study throughout this demonstration.