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The OpenArch Community Manager 2011-2015 Final Report

Thursday, 31 December, 2015
Organised by: 
Dr. Roeland Paardekooper
Number of Participants / Visitors / Audience: 

2011, the OpenArch Community Manager started. This report covers the years 2011-2015. His tasks were to help getting the word out of all OpenArch activities, Partner’s activities and to promote archaeological open-air museums, experimental archaeology, ancient technology and interpretation in general. The OpenArch Community Manager runs two twitter accounts, three groups and two pages both on LinkedIn and Facebook as well as a Vimeo channel (videos) and a Slideshare channel (PowerPoints).

On LinkedIn the number of connected people rose from 236 to 3,877 subscribers. On Facebook we started with 250 subscribers; by the end of 2015 this had risen to 12,300. Our most successful groups are on experimental archaeology (LinkedIn: 2,891, Facebook: 7,835).
On Twitter, the number of followers grew to 1,447 with 6,069 tweets in total. Twitter is not easy but real time impact can be high. During the Conference in Cardiff, 2015, we were trending topic in Wales.

We can safely say that by the end of OpenArch, the Community Manager reaches almost 17,500 individuals. Growth is going slower over the years but that is probably because we have reached a satisfaction point for our niche interest.

The number of views on both Vimeo since 2012 and Slideshare since end 2013 are encouraging. We had 34,995 views of either videos or PowerPoints. The most popular were the video “Iberians, the Secret of the Iron” by C.I. de Calafell (CAT), the video on bronze casting by Parco Montale (IT) and the Powerpoint on Nordic Blade Production from the conference in Albersdorf (DE). We have 126 PowerPoints on Slideshare and 52 movies on Vimeo.

Over the years, we planned and executed several small-scale publicity campaigns on our social media, around the OpenArch conferences as well as around the larger conferences of EXARC, which included an OpenArch presence. Especially the campaign during the conference in Cardiff, Wales, 2015 was very successful. A single campaign, if planned early and organisers share information, can take up to four weeks. The number of messages may vary between three to 100 messages per day during a conference. Besides just sending, interaction with group members or people responding to our messages is of vital importance.

When OpenArch Partners add events, products or staff exchanges to the website, we picked those up and follow up through social media. Again we have not been able to publicize many OpenArch related activities simply because we do not know about those happening in any of the partner’s museums. The number of tweets and messages on Facebook rise exponentially when we are actually present at such activities. Otherwise, we are dependent on the OpenArch partners themselves. Of course we also scan the social media for other activities, usually not OpenArch related, of our OpenArch partners. Often we forward these messages in their original language or move them from one platform (say Twitter) to another (for example Facebook). Unfortunately, the Community Manager cannot be active in all languages our partners represent.

The Community Manager attended several workshops, like for example in Germany, 2014: We noticed how different social media strategies should be part of the daily work in museum and local governments but also learned more about trends for the near future.

A grand opportunity for partners to get publicity for their OpenArch related activities and products was the EXARC Journal, both online and the printed Digest. Partner decided to contribute with several articles. By autumn 2015 we published a special volume showcasing OpenArch. Almost all partners and work packages are included. We printed extra copies and shared those among EXARC members, through the OpenArch partners and several other channels.

We expanded our overview of Archaeological Open-Air Museums on our map of venues ( We have been able to add about 60 new European archaeological open-air museums with a presentation in English. At present, the map includes about 450 such museums in Europe and 75 abroad.

The online bibliography on experimental archaeology, archaeological open-air museums and living history ( helps many students around the world. At the start of OpenArch, the bibliography counted 9,800 titles, at the end 11,400, a growth of about 10% new titles.

The number of visits (users) to our joined websites are as follows:
2011: 11,000
2012: 50,000
2013: 69,000
2014: 95,000
2015: 107,000
Total: 332,000

Overall, we have been well able in reaching people interested in and working with the OpenArch Themes.


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