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It involves much more than naming ‘target audiences’. We find out the significance or interest that new developments have for audiences and how they are likely to use them.
Revealing audiences, then expanding participation can involve a few hours’ work or participation in projects over a longer period. The work is unique to each organisation and place.
The most immersive audience development work was conducted by Patricia as a Fulbright fellow at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Washington. She conducted formative research with groups visiting the museum and with a group of tertiary Museum Studies students.
Results were applied in the design work of the consultants and the Web team to shape the website, History Wired and choose its name. When it was launched in August 2001, History Wired attracted many more visitors than any previous Smithsonian website.
A small team of researchers conducted sociocultural analysis as well as audience interviews to assist in the design of the National Library of Australia’s Picture Australia website (now Trove). This website has provided access to the picture collections of many other cultural institutions in Australia. Our earliest work of this kind was with the State Library of Victoria’s Pictoria collection in 1997.
It’s inspiring to work on Audience Advocacy with creative people and to see innovative services created through this kind of collaboration.
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