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Subject:

Events aggregation

From:

Ruth Harper <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Museums Computer Group <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 18 Jun 2012 14:47:59 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (159 lines)

Hi everyone, 

 

We've got some questions for you, but first here's a bit of context:

 

Culture24's working with a range of data-sharing partners to get the
word out about what museums and galleries offer the public. Our BBC
partnership is our most high profile - we sign venues up as partners
then feed selected events listings through to www.bbc.co.uk/thingstodo
(and via that site to all regional bbc news & other pages). It's a great
opportunity for free promotion but relies upon those events being listed
in our database.

 

For smaller (and some medium-sized and larger) museums, this means
individual engagement with our online database and extensive use of
everything else that we offer including best practice work etc. many of
them log in and enter their info manually on a regular basis, which is
much appreciated. 

 

For some larger museums, and local authority-run venues, there just
isn't the capacity to get this involved with Culture24 as they're
dealing with so many events. So our database ends up a bit skewed
towards smaller organisations.

 

We've started doing bulk uploads of information, straight into the
database, for those venues dealing with hundreds/thousands of events
each year.

 

We've spent a lot more time hunting for large data sets and found a few,
but actually not nearly as many as we expected. Instead, we've found
ourselves scraping websites, transferring information from locked PDFs
to excel and then to the DDE system, cutting, pasting and rearranging
spreadsheets to fit our format, and generally jamming round pegs into
square holes...

 

So, the issues are:

 

There isn't a standard way to collect and distribute events data

A strong focus on collating and publishing events via printed media
often excludes effective digital distribution. This also means that
often, local authority and larger museum websites' events pages are
being powered through the least efficient method (entering information
into a standard CMS, and using HTML mark-up to make it look like it's
data-driven).

 

I'm hoping the museum tech community has the answers.

I'm beginning to wonder if this data isn't, in fact, available - just
not in a way that's immediately obvious to the press, marketing and
events people with whom we usually have dealings. 

 

Are there room booking systems collecting info? Or ticket booking
systems? What about exporting it from the website? Is there an
administrator somewhere who has had enough of pdfs and is using
spreadsheets to manage their own workload? Does your venue publish an
events API (we haven't found any yet)?

 

Who is actually making the decision about how this information is
collected, stored and shared in-house, and how do we begin to approach
them?

 

Do you know of spreadsheets or data feeds of events that might be
kicking around and shareable? How are you storing events data in your
organisation?

 

A special mention (and possibly a bottle of something) does go to the
team at National Museums Liverpool who have set up a structured CSV feed
on their website that we can pick up once a month (or more often, if
there's a lot in the feed), fit to our format and upload. It's been an
absolute revelation - and if anyone else has the capability to do this,
we'd like to know about it!

 

We'd really, really love some help and feedback on this issue. What has
your experience been? Where do we start with getting this to work? Email
on the list, or email Ruth Harper (um, that'd be me) directly. Any help
or feedback you can give will be hugely appreciated.

 

 

Kind regards

 

Ruth Harper 

Network Officer, Culture24 

 

 

Direct Line: 01273 623278

Main office: 01273 623266 

Follow: @culture24 

 

________________________________

 

About: www.WeAreCulture24.org.uk <http://www.weareculture24.org.uk/> 

Supporting the cultural sector to reach audiences online

Enjoy: www.culture24.org.uk <http://www.culture24.org.uk/> 

Your arts & heritage guide online

 

Museums at Night: www.museumsatnight.org.uk
<http://www.museumsatnight.org.uk/> 

Annual festival of arts, culture & heritage 18th-20th May 2012

Culture24 is the official cultural data provider to the BBC 

 


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