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Case Study: Europeana & Partners on Pinterest

In 2012, our end-user engagement programme explored the value of Pinterest for cultural heritage institutions, taking content from five Europeana partners, the University of Barcelona, Biblioteca de Catalunya, the Swedish National Heritage Board, Varna Public Library and the Swedish Royal Armoury. By presenting their content outside the constraints of the portal and institutional websites, Pinterest provided new visibility and interaction with collections that might otherwise have remained unseen. We were curious to explore the effects of opening up data for re-use on social media, in particular, to see what would happen in terms of social interactions on Pinterest and the nature of the referral traffic.

The project started with two clear aims. We wanted to boost traffic from social media, which currently represents 2% of the overall traffic for Europeana.eu. This may seem like a small amount, but we know that those 2% are good quality visitors. We were also interested to see what kind of activity we could expect from Pinterest users and we would analyse this by looking at the traffic the platform sends to Europeana. Ultimately we anticipated that sharing 225 high-quality images from five European heritage institutions across 10 thematic collections on Pinterest had the potential to reap great rewards.

"Pinterest allows us to highlight and distinguish content from the Biblioteca de Catalunya that might otherwise be hidden; it’s a great way to reach new audiences that are not aware of our Library and the collections we hold."

Eugenia Serra
Director, Biblioteca de Catalunya

The Results

You can learn more about what we did and what the results were from the embedded case study below, or alternatively you can download it.
 

At the end of January I participated in an Open Data Case Studies Workshop in Paris, organised by Europeana and INA (Institut national de l'audiovisuel). Our Pinterest case study will form part of a larger white paper on open data. In order to evaluate the potential of ‘open’, we analysed other real-life examples of services based on open data from the BBC, the National Gallery of Denmark, Netherlands Sound and Vision Institute, and the Polish Digital Libraries Federation.

Next Step – Case Study Version 2

Due to an announcement this week from Pinterest on the launch of their new ‘Pinterest Web Analytics’, our Pinterest case study will soon be updated to include clicks, reach and impressions on the platform. Great news as one of the main pitfalls highlighted in the case study is the lack of integrated statistics, now we will be able to see how content really faired, rather than simply relying on referral traffic as a loose indication.

The Europeana marketing team are planning four more of these engagement concepts throughout 2013, working with partners on the re-use of content on new and innovative platforms. With a strong focus on tracking and measuring these concepts, we will be sharing our experiences with you throughout the year in the form of a number of case studies, so keep your eyes peeled. We are also interested in hearing your experiences, be it on social media, Wikipedia or other platforms – what have you learnt?

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The Europeana Professional Blog is for people working in the field of digital cultural heritage. For more information or to contribute, contact susan.muthalaly@europeana.eu.

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