Including...social media pixels, protests on Reddit and Royal Armouries video game collaborations.
Hello and welcome to the latest edition of Digital Snapshot, bringing you all the latest digital news, ideas, tips and guidance for the arts, culture, museums and heritage world.
- Meta has restricted access to news websites in Canada following Bill C-18 becoming law. The bill requires tech companies like Google and Meta to pay news providers for links, making up for decreased advertising revenue. A similar law seems to be working in Australia so this might be posturing by Meta, and if other countries enact similar laws then it may become the status quo.
- Reddit touts itself as the front page of the internet, and is essentially a collection of forums where users can upvote or downvote posts to determine their visibility. There have been rolling protests - including blackouts and only allowing John Oliver pictures - after the site announced they would charge sky-high fees for using their API, effectively killing off popular 3rd-party apps. Like Twitter, Reddit won't die until there's a popular alternative which figures out how to be profitable without annoying its users.
- Meta have plans to make a Twitter rival. This may have something to do with Elon Musk challenging Mark Zuckerberg to a cage fight.
Useful / bookmarkable
- The Museum of London Archaeology's discovery of a Roman mausoleum in Southwark is a masterclass in PR. Rather than opting for the traditional 'photo of a ditch' they've included a 3D fly-through and an incredibly detailed 3D scan of the site.
- Nicola Barratt has explained what a social media 'pixel' is for the Digital Culture Network. The short version: they are evil little pixels tracking you around the internet, but very useful for tailoring your social media advertising. Evilly.
- Having run a couple of crowdfunding campaigns, I can say that online fundraising is incredibly powerful but also requires fine-tuning of your digital content and marketing. This article on Museum Next is a good starter for ten on what's involved.
Distracting / entertaining / inspiring
- Royal Armouries has been doing video game collaborations off the back of their hugely successful YouTube channel for a while, and now they've teamed up with Square Enix to display Clive's Invictus sword to celebrate the release of Final Fantasy XVI at the Tower of London. Which is cool.
- Netflix has run a marketing campaign based on the first episode of the new series of Black Mirror, in which people sign away the use of their lives and likeness to a streaming giant. If you give Netflix a photo of yourself then you could be featured on outdoor advertising. If that's your thing.
- Leeds Museums & Galleries had to save some ducklings from a railway cart. That's the tweet.
- Nothing describes the experience of the internet better than 'enshittification'. Andrew Curry borrows the word from Doctorow to describe how the rhythm and predation of private equity ultimately destroys products and services,i.e. "Here is how platforms die: First, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die."
And that’s all for this edition.
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See you soon.
Head of Digital, The Audience Agency