Title:Digital Content, Storytelling and Journalism: A Genuine Museum Experience
Authors:Danny Birchall, , Alice White
Publication:MW2019: MuseWeb 2019

What does it mean to explore a museum digitally? How can digital content do the work
of the museum itself? When does online digital content become a genuine museum experience?

This paper looks at how both science and art museums use digital channels to engage substantial non-visiting audiences with digital media. Using Wellcome Collection, the free museum and library for the incurably curious as a case study, we will look at how digital transformation and a product-centred approach to the website allowed us to build a content team that works alongside other product teams to challenge people’s ideas about health and make connections between art and science.

We ask what the experience of journalism brings to museum content and the role of social media in amplifying narrative content, creating dialogue with visitors and increasing our understanding of audiences. We’ll talk about the challenges we’ve faced in this approach and include the experiences of other digital content people, who have experimented with this approach in museums .

Digital content can address a diversity strategy through bringing new voices in to speak through the museum. We will share insights about our analytics, audiences and how we measure the impact of our work and its value to the organisation. Finally, we ask what difference it could make to museums to commit to a strategy of using online digital content to reach audiences well beyond their visitor base, to participate in public debate, and to add to the overall public engagement with art, science and cultural heritage.