Building upon its core assets and new digital technologies, the Smithsonian has the potential, and the imperative, to reach a much larger audience than the limited number of people who will ever visit its museums in Washington, D.C. and New York. The Institution aims to reach one billion people worldwide by following a “digital first” strategy and new "open access" policy for Smithsonian collections, research, and education resources. We will measure success by the level of online engagement with our numerous websites, social media outlets, and other digital platforms.
The number of visitors to the Smithsonian's approximately 170 public websites is an indicator of our online presence and access to our digital resources. The Smithsonian website "satisfaction score" is a combination of responses to randomly-posted surveys of people using SI websites. The scores are benchmarked against an index of website satisfaction scores for over 125 government agencies, non-profit, and educational organizations.
The number of “followers” on social media platforms is an indicator of audience engagement, and the Smithsonian has an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other platforms.