Five Links On Friday – Whales vs Dinosaurs

By Posted in - Audience Research & Content Strategy & Five Links On Friday & Higher Education & Instant Messaging & Research & Snapchat & Social Media & Tools & Twitter & University on January 30th, 2015 0 Comments

He’s gone the way of the dinosaurs… Dippy the Diplodocus is retiring. After decades welcoming visitors to Natural History Museum in London, the impressive dinosaur skeleton is to be replaced by one of a blue whale from 2017 onwards.

The public were appalled, if the reaction on Twitter was anything to go by. The #SaveDippy hashtag sprung up overnight, and a petition has already been lodged at Change.org (with support from Right Said Fred, of course).

However, The Natural History Museum was ready for the response – they had prepared well-thought-out explanations for the change (including that Dippy is a replica and the whale would be the real thing), they compiled a history of previous exhibits to show that Dippy wasn’t as permanent as people might think, and they had experts on hand for all news outlets to respond to any questions. They even Storified the whole thing this morning.

It’s a good lesson in being prepared for an emotional reaction from your audience when you make such a huge change. In this case the NHM made a persuasive argument for the place of the blue whale. I was particularly impressed by the story of NHM scientists in the 20th century proving that commercial interests were bringing the blue whale to the verge of extinction, which in turn led to a ban on their exploitation. This was almost enough to convince me.

But, in the end, it’s Whales vs Dinosaurs – and I know which side I’m on.

#TeamDippy forever.

Back to the links… this week we’re rounding off our month on Audience Research before heading into Content Strategy in February.

First up: Ellie took a look at YouGov’s Profiler, a tool which allows you to find out what the “average” user of a particular brand, product, or company is like. She’s used it to look at the profiles for some of our university clients, and the results are interesting…

Big news this week as Snapchat released an update that added “Discover” to the service – a way for brands to publish longer content. (They also made the “top friends” list private, but backtracked after outcry from users.)

Need to know when is the best time for you to post on social media? While the answer is different for everyone, this guide is a good start…

Another audience research post, from Buffer this time, looks at helpful tools for investigating your audience:

Encouraging students to take part in the National Student Survey isn’t always easy. The University of Salford created a series of videos to get their attention:

That’s it for this week. Let us know if there’s anything we can help you with, and I’ll be back next week with more ideas on how to shoehorn dinosaurs of into our weekly links blog.

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