• Using Analytics Apps to Analyze Digital Humanities Projects’ Social Networking Efforts

    Many digital humanities projects use social networking to meet goals such as expanding their audience base and exciting both new and existing audiences about content.  As a researcher at MATRIX working on the Quilt Index, www.quiltindex.org, an online resource providing access to images and metadata for around 50,000 (and counting) historic and contemporary quilts, I’ve spearheaded an aggressive social media campaign aimed at expanding and engaging audience.

    Like me, you may already have a fair amount of experience using social media to engage audiences with a digital humanities project.  But you may be wondering:

    • Are my social networking efforts as effective as they could be?
    • How can analytics apps help me focus my social media campaign and more clearly define my audience goals?
    • How can I use information about social networking successes in my project’s future grant writing?
    • What are some simple changes I can make to my regular social networking routine to help achieve better results?

    If these questions sound familiar, this session is for you!  This discussion should be of use to anyone who has done social networking with a digital humanities project, but wants to use (or use more effectively) one or more of the many analytics applications out there to improve their social media campaign, and even to find fodder for grants.

    I’d like to begin by talking about how I have used analytics such as Insights [Facebook] and WeFollow and Klout [Twitter] to expand and internationalize the Quilt Index’s audience through social media, and how staff at any digital humanities project can use social networking analytics apps to gauge how well they are meeting their audience goals.  I hope that the group will generate the bulk of the session, sharing info about other social networking analytics applications out there and brainstorming other ways that digital humanities projects can make the best use of social networking apps.

    Tags: , , , , , ,


  1. ArchMeg says:


    Your session sounds interesting and related to what I’m interested in talking about as well (which is about connecting localized organizations like archaeology societies to one another using online social networks)…I just need to get myself in gear and get my blog post up as well. Terry Brock has shown me some of the analytics, but I’m not even that far along yet, I’m still dealing with figuring out how we best make an effective first-attempt at creating a network. I’ll be very interested to hear your opinions on what has and has not worked for you., in addition to learning about these analytics apps.


  2. sikarskie says:

    Thanks for your note, Meg. The thing that has worked the very best for us is posting an object of the day (we have 50,000 quilts from which to draw, so not likely to run out of content anytime soon.) But we are trying to connect people with a digital collection/repository, rather than connect various groups of folks to each other, so the object of the day strategy doesn’t seem like it would be as applicable to your endeavor. It’s an interesting social networking challenge you pose, and I’d love to talk more about it.

  3. greenshade says:

    Your session sounds very interesting and potentially helpful for the development of a couple projects associated with the museum project where I work (the National September 11 Memorial Museum). We’ve hosted an Artists Registry since 2008 (http://registry.national911memorial.org) and a direct upload site for memorial archival material (http://newmuseumme.national911memorial.org/contribute/newaccount.php) since last year, and have been using Google Analytics to attempt to track our user-base. We haven’t yet thought much about new strategies based on the information from our Google Analytics. I’ll definitely be interested to hear your thoughts.

  4. sikarskie says:

    We actually use AWstats rather than Google Analytics for our main website, but I’m sure they’re pretty similar. We also analyze the stats from our wiki and social networking efforts with other tools. We use the data from AWstats for things like helping to decide what future directions to pursue (for grants) and we mine the stats for numbers to include in grant narratives and reports.

    I’m curious, do you have a Facebook fan page for your Artists Registry, b/c that seems like something with which you could pretty easily do an “object of the day”.

    Looking forward to talking with you further!

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.