written on Oct 25, 2012 by loribyrdphillips
In my first post on Community-Sourcing 100 Toys I explained the process behind The Childrenâs Museum of Indianapolis project and shared about the surprising level of engagement it received. Get caught up, if you havenât already!
What I found most intriguing about â100 Toysâ was watching our first attempt at community-sourcing play out in surprising ways. Community-sourcing is different from crowdsourcing in that the organization has an existing relationship with that community segment, and consequently can make bigger asks in calls to action and expect higher levels of engagement. For 100 Toys, the initial goal was to reach out to our existing online community and ask them to share stories and collectively decide the top 20 toys that define childhood. But, what started out as community-sourcing among our loyal online visitors unexpectedly led to traditional forms of crowdsourcing when interest spread to include national and worldwide participation.
Because of the immense amount of participation, the dialogue between participants played out differently than we expected. We had hoped for additional banter in the comments of the story contributions, but this didnât occur as much as we anticipated. In contrast, there were numerous instances where third-party blogs or Facebook pages posted about 100 Toys and prompted an overwhelming amount of dialogue. Weâll never know just how many radio stations and local newscasts mentioned us on air and then went to Facebook to continue the conversation â those that we did find always had comments in the hundreds!
In addition to 100 Toys serving as an example of community-sourcing, it also exemplified my recently-coined concept of open authority. Open authority is the coming together of curatorial expertise and open dialogue with collaborative communities. As I was completing my thesis and thinking through the premise of open authority, I was also helping to develop 100 Toys into a unique, social media-focused, community-curated project, but the two remained distinct in my mind. Looking back, it makes sense that they would overlap, but it took a blog post from non-profit marketing specialist Colleen Dilenschneider to bring it home for me: I wasnât just theorizing open authority, but was living it out in my own museum.
This isnât where the reflection on 100 Toys ends, however. The 100 Toys team has only begun to unpack the elements that led the project to be so popular. So far our list includes:
In the Childrenâs Museumâs next attempt at community-sourcing, we hope to increase the level of recurring engagement and deepen the dialogue between participants. This type of engagement may be the mythical unicorn of social media professionals, but I have a sense that because we came so close with 100 Toysâ¦ if we take these same elements and improve upon them, it just might be doable.
This entry was posted on Thursday, October 25th, 2012 at 4:45 pm. It is filed under ideas and tagged with Children's Museum of Indianapolis, community-sourcing, curators, engagement, Lori Byrd Phillips, museum, new media, Open Authority, social media, technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Lori Byrd Phillips is the Digital Marketing Content Coordinator and Wikipedian in Residence at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. In 2012 she is also serving as the US Cultural Partnerships Coordinator for the Wikimedia Foundation. As a MIDEA/NMC Contributing Editor, she shares ideas and resources for social media and digital collaboration in museums.
Check out Lori's blog "Museums and Motherhood" at http://hstryqt.tumblr.com
Follow Lori on Twitter: @HstryQT
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