Museums and the Internet

Community involvement for on-line museums sounds wonderful.  After all, curators certainly have enough to do as it is without worrying about on-line exhibits.  Things get tagged in order to make them more searchable and easier to find, more people visit the site, the museum gets its name and collections out to the public…everyone is happy.  Except… even though volunteers would be doing the actual tagging of the exhibits, who’s going to check up on everything to make sure they are legit?  More importantly, who’s going to pay that person?  What are the implications of working all the kinks out of the programs first?  Can using these types of programs on a website guarantee increased on-site visitation (i.e. revenues)?

All of this increased access and community involvement sounds really nice, but it is something that is going to have to be tried and proved by bigger, better-funded, museums before it is adopted across the board. It should not present the same problems as Wikipedia because taggers will not really be adding new information, but the entries still have to be processed and monitored.  Things always get a little hairy when they are opened up for public comment.

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3 Comments on “Museums and the Internet”

  1. Karin Says:

    I agree with you 100% about the implications of starting these online communites, or even simple taggin projects, with little funding an/or the hlep of volunteers. I love my docents, and I’ve be completely crippled at work without them, but I couldn’t trust their computer skills on projects like the ones we read about (hell, most of them just figured out how to use e-mail.) Using interns fro these problems presents the same problem. I was thinking that if we had a volunteer coordinator, maybe that person could handle the oversite for online projects, but where’s the money for that.

    I love getting perspecitves from people writing from the art museum community. One of these days, they’l realize that art museums are almost entirely different from any other museum, from their amazing funding down to the types of volunteers they attract (I always thing about Charlotte from Sex in the City…a bored “lady who lunches.”)

  2. Hothouse Says:

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Hothouse!


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