Thanks to reader feedback, Know Your Own Bone just got a major facelift.
A new and improved Know Your Own Bone website redesign has launched today and I am excited to share it with all of you! I am grateful to have been receiving some informal feedback regarding this website’s layout and functionality in the form of tweets, messages, Facebook posts, and emails over the last year or so. After all, the best audience insights are often already in front of our noses. I knew that it was time for a major change to better meet the needs of the thoughtful professionals who not only hang out in this little corner of the web, but consult it when considering strategic operations within their cultural organizations.
Then in preparation for a redesign, I actively spoke to colleagues, clients, and readers to gather feedback about how I can best help this website help them. And, boy, did I learn some rather humbling and exciting things about how you all are using – and want to better use – Know Your Own Bone.
I tossed the feedback and my ideas to the folks over at Orbit Media, and we developed this website and made some big changes. Please have patience as we work out any possible kinks as the site launches. This announcement will replace my regular, Wednesday post, and we’ll be back on schedule next week!
Here are some of the bigger changes in this new Know Your Own Bone! Head to the homepage to check it out.
1) Evolution from a blog to a resource website
Sound like a matter of semantics? I thought so at first, too – but it turns out that this website has evolved. It is used more as a news and information resource than a traditional blog. As it turns out, the concept of a “blog” is a barrier to engagement for executive leadership and folks who rely on this site most heavily. And the kicker is that readers aren’t even using the site as a blog! (This blew my mind a bit.) While there’s interest in the newest articles, people are searching through KYOB for data and analysis relating to decisions that they are currently considering within their organizations. Recent articles are just as important as past articles.
This makes sense: I may not serendipitously share data about building expansions (for instance) during the same week that an organization is at the peak of considering an expansion (or the development of a mobile application, or a blockbuster exhibit). It’s probably a good idea to make that information readily available for discovery when an organization is indeed considering these things. Sound like a no-brainer? It took my (former!) blogger-brain some time…
Henceforth, Know Your Own Bone shall serve as a resource website and not a blog – both in terms of functionality and in my approach to content.
2) Featuring discovery alongside new information
The fact that folks use this site as a living resource is important feedback… because finding previous articles has been pretty darn difficult on Know Your Own Bone. (Yikes!) The focus was heretofore on recency rather than helping folks find previously shared articles. To be fair, I should have realized this sooner. I’ve received messages nearly every week over the past few years from folks saying, “I know you wrote about this topic, but I cannot find it.” That’s not good.
The most recently published article will still be featured at the top of the Know Your Own Bone homepage each week, and recent articles will be shown below it. However, topic categories now line the top of the page, so readers can dive into areas such as marketing, earned revenue, access programs, visitor experiences, fundraising and membership, or learn more about the current condition relating to audiences and the industry. KYOB regulars want to read what’s new – but you also want to find what you are looking for when you are making strategic decisions. I hear you, and I’m on it.
3) Professional print layout
I understand that many of you print articles and bring them to meetings. (I’ve even seen a photo or two on social media of folks in meetings with the articles printed!) While executives often bring printed articles to my own client meetings with them, I didn’t pause to consider that folks may do this regularly even when I’m not in the room. (I simply thought, “Gee! This person really pays attention!”) To help with this, we’ve added a “print” logo alongside each article in the sharing column, and have formatted the articles for a better print layout. A professional print is getting worked out (if it’s not up and running smoothly yet), and will be a key bonus of this new site.
4) Web team support
Heretofore, I placed a risky level of trust in my basic knowledge of HTML and YouTube how-to videos to carry me through broken plugins and widgets and whatsits (technical term) on the back-end of this site. No more! When something breaks, Orbit Media will fix it. When a change needs to be made to make this site the best that it can be, there’s a team in place to help make it happen.
5) Mobile optimized
My mobile optimization feature broke last year and I didn’t know how to fix it and… Okay. There’s no excuse. This is embarrassing. Let’s move on…
6) Specialized, data-fluent editors
This isn’t a website redesign change – it’s a structural one that officially took place a few months back. With 80,000 views and counting from cultural professionals each month, I’ve requested backup to make sure that I’m keeping my own confirmation bias at bay and delivering the most helpful information possible. Thankfully, I have incredible, select colleagues at IMPACTS who now read and edit each post before it hits the website or your email inbox. Don’t worry – you can still count on my nerdy, frank, camp-counselor tone. (Stay pumped!) But you can also be sure that a data-fluent human or two – who also works with cultural organizations – made sure I didn’t fall off my rocker and onto the “publish” button.
7) New logo and branding
It took me some time to get used to the recommendation of switching to a logo centered around my name rather than the words “Know Your Own Bone.” As it turns out, more folks seem to refer to this site using my name rather than, “Know Your Own Bone” so we reversed the order to match what comes to readers’ minds first. (Upon discovering this, I felt like I’ve been trying to make fetch happen.) I’m a millennial (hence the Mean Girls reference, perhaps) and this switch is still weird to me, but it makes sense. The new branding also focuses on my three, core content types: data and analysis, thought-fuel, and fast fact videos.
Thanks for reading Know Your Own Bone! I am eager to learn your feedback and I hope that this new website makeover helps KYOB better meet your and your organization’s needs. I am grateful for the support of IMPACTS and that my “day job” increasingly involves working with and impacting organizations through this website.
I’ve long noticed that KYOB attracts a certain type of subscriber. It’s a person who is curious, thoughtful, and aiming for impact. This site attracts change-makers who are unafraid of facing industry realities and thinking hard about how these realities may apply to their organizations – and how to take them on effectively. People with thinking caps strapped on are my favorite, nerdy people. That’s you, reader.
Thank you for being here. Thank you for thinking, reading, talking, and sharing. Most of all, thank you for working hard to fulfill your organization’s mission of educating and inspiring audiences. You make the world turn in a more passionate, knowledgable, and inspired direction.
I’m humbled by the idea that I may be able to help.
“Do what you love. Know your own bone; Gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw at it still.” – Henry David Thoreau