Digital Adventures

New game for Kew by wshearer
January 26, 2011, 8:04 pm
Filed under: Engaging audiences, Kew website, Social Media | Tags: , , ,

We’re extremely excited over at Kew’s Digital Towers.  In addition to our usual day job of maintaining the website, developing new features and chit-chatting with followers and fans about Kew’s work on its social media channels… we’ve commissioned Pancentric Digital to develop a new game.  Aimed at audiences aged 25-44 , this will be a new gaming experience for iPhone and Android users that will be equally playable online.

So why do it?

The reason is simple.  We want to create a compelling experience which introduces players to some of the habitats and plants found at Kew including how Kew’s work is associated with them, whilst enabling players to actively participate in their survival.  In addition to this we do have a few objectives in the guise of promoting Kew’s amazing activities this summer, encouraging people to visit Kew Gardens, expand the membership of our social media channels (Facebook & Twitter) and increase the number of people who visit Kew’s website.

What is it?

Those challenges seemed like quite a tall order initially, but during today’s creative meeting with Pancentric we walked through the user flow and fine tuned the concept.  We think that the game will be easy to learn but difficult to master… it will engage players by allowing them to nurture and grow Kew plants whilst receiving rewards for their activity with new levels and real prizes.  The growth and vibrancy of each player’s plant will be influenced by social ‘tweeting’ via twitter. Players’ friends and followers will also be able to contribute to the care and nurture of each other’s plants and collectively to their habitat through tweeting.

How accessible?

The beauty of the game (apart from the amazing visuals and animations) will be our use of technology and the fact that this will be accessible to many people – you will be able to get involved even if you don’t own a Twitter account or a smartphone.  Game play will be limited if you don’t sign up but audiences won’t be completely alienated.  In addition to this we’ll be enticing people to play through our social media channels by revealing tips on how to grow your plant and where to find hidden codes which will help you.

The idea is very much in its infancy but we’re aiming to launch around the end of March 2011 ahead of the start of Kew’s summer festival.  We’ll keep you posted on developments.

– Wendy Shearer –

Blogging, why bother? by claire_w

I wrote this post for UKOLN Culture & Heritage blog on 19 December 2010. Click on the link at the bottom to read the full post.


Following a couple of recent posts that I’ve written for Kew’s Digital Adventures blog (run by the Digital Media Team), Ann Chapman from UKOLN got in touch to ask if I’d share a little bit more about why we set this blog and what we (the team) get out of it.

Why we set up Digital Adventures

We originally set up the Digital Adventures blog to document the re-launch of Kew’s website and create a space for the Digital Team to write about things that interest them and share information and knowledge with each other and the broader sector.

To date member’s of the team have written behind the scenes posts about trips to the Herbarium and the Queens visit as well as more digital focussed posts that reflect on knowledge sharing events that we’ve attended, such as Top hints and tips for making great audio slide shows for the web (our most popular post to date) and Why open data projects are here to stay.

6 reasons to start a team blog

There are many reasons why people get into, and enjoy blogging. The most important thing to remember is the delicate balance at play in terms of blogger motivation. From personal incentive on the one side (what am I getting out of it) and knowledge sharing on the other (what am I giving back). In the context of my work at Kew, here are some of the reasons that I share when talking to people who express an interest in blogging.

Blogging is great because you can:

  • Build interest in your work and inspire others
  • Take part in conversations that are happening online around your area of interest and establish a profile within these communities
  • Invite comments and feedback from readers to increase your awareness of their interests and views
  • Be generous and share knowledge about the things you know so others in your industry can learn and benefit too
  • Provide your peers and interested audiences with unique access to your work, regular updates and exclusive behind-the-scenes insights
  • Use writing as a way of thinking things through and working things out.

Read this post in full – Blogging, why bother?

– claire welsby –

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