Tomorrow will see the second tweetup at National Museum Cardiff take place, in the fancy surroundings of the court room. The first one was held about a year ago, with the intention of encouraging museum tweeters to meet irl - and with the (openly stated) ulterior motive of finding out a bit more about what they had in common, both in terms of good practice and the challenges they faced.
What I came away with was enough feedback to fill a year of work for me, looking at problems that needed solving through governance; organic, tangled-up workflows in need of some pruning, and great projects which needed bellowing about a little more. So I set about updating policy, delivering basic training, as well as more ambitious pilot projects, and keeping a better eye on analytics. I've really enjoyed working with everyone who's pitched in on all the above, and returning to my first love - the internet - in a professional capacity, has changed the way I use the web in interesting ways, too.
MuseumWeek as an evaluation opportunity
Museumweek 2014 had served me well in terms of looking at the overall health of the network - it's a week when even the most timid or complacent museum tweeter is supposed to put something out there - so while it might not be a representative sample of an 'average week' at Museum Wales, it's a week where tweeters are likely to be paying extra attention to what they're putting out and what they're sharing. Museumweek gives a good snapshot of how our network looks when everyone is theoretically giving it their all. So when it rolled around again this year, it was time to check in and see where we were along the road - what had changed and stayed the same, for good or for ill.
Download the summary report
I'm taking a couple of slides with me to the tweetup tomorrow, but I also wanted to give people a chance to look at a more detailed summary, so you can download one here: download summary report (pdf).
It was written with a specific committee in mind, and I wonder what it would look like if I'd written it for you, my imagined reader(s). My background in evaluating learning projects always leaned towards the qualitative (the boxes of children's drawings under my desk attest to that), and so this has been a scary-new experience for me.
Since this is the first report of its kind I've compiled, I'd be interested to know if any sector peers have any constructive feedback to offer on how I've interpreted the data, and the conclusions I've come to. Or how I label my charts, whatever - anything that can help make the process clearer or more useful.
The next key task for me will be to select some snacks for everyone who's coming along. Results from last year's session indicate a strong preference for gluten and chocolate: hopefully these findings will serve me well in the biscuit aisle.