Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ad placement

Blogger tells me this will be post #99. Not bad. It also tells me I haven't posted since November 7th - 20 days ago. That's not so great.

Every several months I get the urge to go out searching for new museum blogs, and I google search and I google search and wade through pages and pages of results... I was doing this, quite a while ago now, and I noticed something.

If I search for "museum blog" on google, the Ralph Stanley Museum Blog has a sponsored link on the results page. It's an interesting tact. They don't have a sponsored link on the results page for "museum blogs" though. Nor do they have one when you search for "Ralph Stanley," interestingly enough.

I don't know what I think of this tactic. It's interesting, certainly, but I can' imagine it's terribly effective in directing traffic to the blog. My google analytics doesn't show anyone search for "museum blog" in the last month, though there is one search for "museum blogs." And this blog is on the same page for both (third).

It does separate the Ralph Stanley Museum blog from the crowd of results, but it's such a specific search to choose. Then again, it's an interesting way to publicize a museum blog (although the Ralph Stanley Museum blog tends toward being an events board), and one I'd not considered until I noticed this. With a wider application of the ad to a greater variety of search results, it might have some noticeable efficacy. Then again, maybe not.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Putting my money where my mouth is

As part of my job, I've been asked to think about the design of our website (which does not exist yet) and consider how more interactive possibilities might be incorporated. A link to my collections management blog, obviously, or if we could get it in the frames without leaving the main site would be better.

But what else? Podcasts are out (don't have the time, the tech, or the passion). Something where people can talk back, but not just a link to an email address. Full out forums are too big and too... well... dated (not that they don't work, but those are really designed for super committed special interest groups). Starting a Flickr account would be awesomely cool - and flickr has some widgets that look great on blogs and which could be interesting on a museum website. Twitter? Twitter seems cool and hip and all that, but is the user base really large enough that people would understand it and buy into it?

I think what I want is like "Guestbook 2.0" or a mini forum board. Where people can leave feedback and it shows up on the site immediately and can be responded to by museum personnel (ie, me), but requires little to no tech savvy from the end user, but doesn't look, er, lame. A guestbook with comment threading? Does such a thing exist?

And what else? Easy to use, easy to understand, and minimal work investment on our end. I know you're creative people reading this feed; let me pick your brains.

Edit: Gadunk! A Facebook group/profile! This IS a college campus after all. That whole guestbook 2.0? I want something like The Wall from Facebook to be on the site (except comment threading instead of wall-to-walls). Now where does one get such a thing....