Author’s note: I’m building a museum! I’m working with the Washington State Jewish Historical Society to create a digital museum — essentially a way to showcase the organization’s vast troves of historical content while engaging new audiences to explain how such an organization benefits its local community. This is episode 3 in a multipart series.
In our last episode, I left you with a cliffhanger regarding how our survey’s results turned out. I know, I forced you to wait. But it was all worth it, right? So let’s jump in!
This information was great because we started with assumptions and when the results came back they were, in many cases, different from each other.
Assumption: Jewish people are interested in local Jewish history.
Reality: Not so far off. A majority (56%) have either quite a bit or a lot of interest in Jewish history. The highest percentage, at 39% was from those who had some interest. So we’ve at least got some traction, and some opportunity, there.
Assumption: People will submit milestone events like births, deaths, Bar and Bat Mitzvah, etc. because they miss it following the closure of the state’s Jewish newspaper last year. (Full disclosure: If you didn’t know, I was the editor and publisher of that publication.)
Reality: It certainly wasn’t at the top of the list. But it wasn’t at the bottom, either. What we will be putting emphasis on in this release, which did fall lower (but we have so much content about) is reading about the people in our state who have made history. We certainly hope that once they see the many dynamic people we’ll be featuring that we’ll prove ourselves wrong there.
Assumption: People look to the Jewish Historical Society first when they want historical information online.
Reality: Not even close. Top of the list? Word of mouth.Then Google (or other search engines). The society falls pretty far down the list.
Assumption: Once people know about an online historical museum, they’ll want to visit it.
Reality: They want to see stuff in person, either at a physical museum or at a traveling event. I’ll add the caveat that we didn’t outright say we were doing this survey to build a museum online, so the way we worded the question may not have shaken the idea loose that they might have that option in the near future.
So those are the fun results. We also came up with a name. We didn’t include this as a part of the survey, but in researching domain names and comparing keyword data, we took the names we liked best and found that my favorite, Washington Jewish Experience, got nowhere on the search listings. Washington Jewish Museum, however, ranked very high. So that, my friends, is what it will be. Unless we change it.
Joel Magalnick is the founder of The Refined Story, a content marketing and strategy firm, and holds a Master of Communications in Digital Media degree from the University of Washington’s Communication Leadership program. Talk with him today about how he can help you grab hold of your editorial potential.