Including...the latest Twitter news, ONS Census Data and the release of Wayfinder.
Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Digital Snapshot, bringing you all the latest digital news, ideas, tips and guidance for the arts, culture, museums and heritage world.
I'm doing a free seminar on 20 January 2023 about creating digital content that engages communities. Some of it will be practical and useful, some of it will be spitballing. The ratio between those two elements depends on how much eggnog I have over the Christmas break (please come).
- The ONS have started to publish data from the England and Wales 2021 Census. You can drill down into stats on ethnicity, national identity, main language and religion. (Spoiler: we have turned our faces away from god).
- In little blue bird news: Twitter stopped suppressing Covid-19 misinformation, the EU warned Twitter could be banned if they don't play by their rules, Elon picked a fight with Apple that just...fizzled out, and Kanye West was swiftly re-suspended after posting a Star of David with a swastika in it. Come back in a fortnight for more fun updates.
- Wellcome Collection became the latest institution to be drawn into the cultural wars after a Twitter thread explaining why and how they're closing their Medicine Man Gallery attracted a social media and press pile-on. There's too much to dig into to fit in this newsletter, but one take-away is to remember that bad-faith commentators are always waiting in the wings for anything that sniffs of 'woke'. It doesn't mean we should abandon our work, but it's always worth periodically dusting off your crisis comms document (which was well handled by Wellcome, ala this subsequent statement).
Useful / bookmarkable
- I was on the digital 'expert' panel for the AMA Digital Day last week, but one question we didn't get around to is how we prepare for the death of third-party cookies. To be honest I'm still getting my head around it too, but I found this article on the options a good starter for ten.
- The Heritage Access Report by VocalEyes has found that we basically need to do much, much more to improve online accessibility.
- Someone recently sent me a password through 1password, which was a refreshing change from getting a locked spreadsheet and a password over the phone. Felt like this.
Distracting / entertaining / inspiring
- David Pride made a Twitter bird using Raspberry Pi and the Twitter API which sheds a tear whenever anyone uses the #RIPTwitter hashtag. Watch to the end.
- The National Film Board of Canada released this cute game called Wayfinder, where you float around the landscape collecting fragments of nature and poetry. It's also on iOs (because who actually plays games in-browser?). (I honestly don't know, I have no data).
- OpenAI have released ChatGTP, "a prototype dialogue-based AI chatbot capable of understanding natural human language and generating impressively detailed human-like written text." The fear is that people could corner SEO by generating unlimited, plausible-sounding website copy.
- The New York Public Library smashed their Black Friday video.
- Speaking as someone whose Powerpoint slides look like they were designed by a sick dog trying their paw at graphic design, I simultaneously loathe and worship people with slick presentations. Anyway, Lucie Paterson and Indigo Holcombe-James did a good talk about digital literacy at the AMAGA 2022 conference and published their transcript online.
And that’s all for this edition. If you come across any interesting or noteworthy content or have any of your own projects to share please do send it my way. Don't forget we're here to support you with training, research and consultancy, so please do get in touch. You can find all past editions of the Digital Snapshot here.
You can also post your thoughts on digital and data-related topics to us and a wider community through our newly launched Community forum.
Head of Digital, The Audience Agency
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The Digital Snapshot newsletter shares the latest, most important news from the social media and digital world - as relevant to the arts, culture and heritage sectors.