Culture24: Our vision and approach

| 10 February 2009

Our vision
Culture24’s vision is for a more unified cultural sector that is better able to embrace the virtual world, contribute to the creative and tourist economies, and advocate the role of culture in learning.

Everything we do is concerned with the online world and how new and emerging digital technologies can act as powerful tools to reach different audiences – culture lovers, families, communities, enthusiasts, teachers, learners and kids.

Our role is to collect, guide, interpret and promote culture in ways that meet those audiences’ needs. All our products and services take an entrepreneurial and often innovative approach to using online technologies in ways that are low cost and high impact. The online world is reaching into all aspects of our lives and we need to ensure that our rich and varied culture, in all its forms, both historical and contemporary, is a vital part of that digital world.

Our approach
- Pragmatic and proactive – learning by doing it
- Working with, and building on, what already exists
- Working creatively to ensure value for money
- A culture of partnership

How we work

Our view of culture is not defined by which government department has funded it. We place the needs of users at the heart of everything we publish, valuing the knowledge and interpretations they have of culture. A conscious part of our development work is to address the fragmentation present in the sector and make best use of resources already available in a cost effective way.

We publish a range of websites about culture, aimed at different audiences. We also use our publishing infrastructure and expertise to help support other people’s websites.

As an organisation our assets lie in:

- Technology: a flexible publishing system for creating, managing, and sharing information.

- Data: the biggest publicly funded database of UK cultural places, events and educational resources.

- Network: over 4,000 cultural organisations can be found on our websites with over 2,000 actively inputting their own information into the system themselves.

- Audience: over half a million unique visitors each month visit our sites (figures from Google Analytics).

- Editorial skills: a journalistic and educational approach to publishing content for different audiences that adds value to the data collected from the sector

- Knowledge of online world: informed and experienced team of staff who work with and use a broad mix of online technologies.

We work through a series of established partnerships with key strategic agencies regionally, nationally and internationally. These partnerships, combined with our assets, position us perfectly to now capitalise on our work over the last seven years.

- The development of a joined up national digital strategy and technical infrastructure that has the buy in of key partners regionally and nationally.

- The development of sustainable and tailored online services for families, children, young people and adult learners.

- Cross-sector online data collection and sharing with other broadcasters, publishers and educational providers.

- Building a high profile online presence that promotes national programmes and campaign work in ways that engage search engines and audiences and facilitates participation.

- Maximising the reach and long term impact of the Cultural Olympiad for local communities and cultural tourists.

Key objectives
1. To connect online audiences with cultural content and inspire them to explore the UK’s museums, galleries, archives, libraries and heritage sites
2. To collect and broker cultural data to support the promotion of the sector to the public locally, regionally, nationally and internationally
3. To provide better services to teachers and learners to support them in cultural resource discovery and ignite creativity in children
4. To provide services and infrastructure to the culture sector that exploit the potential of digital technologies and meet the needs of audiences

Our work is divided into a number of programmes and services that map these objectives and are delivered with a range of partners and funders.