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A Marriage of Convenience: Museums and the Practice of Business Doctrine in the Development of Sustainable Business Models


TitleA Marriage of Convenience: Museums and the Practice of Business Doctrine in the Development of Sustainable Business Models
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsPantalony, R. E.
Secondary TitleInternational Cultural Heritage Informatics Meeting: Proceedings from ichim03
PublisherArchives & Museum Informatics
Place PublishedÉcole du Louvre, Paris, France
EditorPerrot, X.(d 2007)
Keywordsichim, ichim03
Abstract

The purpose of this paper is not to simply survey the various business models in the development and distribution of online museum content. The purpose is instead, to provide some reflection upon the marriage between business doctrine and museum mission and mandate to determine whether there is indeed, a point of equilibrium or harmony between them. There have been some great changes and distinct upheavals in the business world over the last five years. Various museums considered entering into the “dot.com” economy and some, in fact, experimented with it. With this economy evolving, museums, in this author’s opinion, are at an interesting crossroads. The type of economy is changing from a product economy to an experience economy and audiences/visitors becoming more demanding and less focused, due in part, to the diversity and shear volume of entertainment available. Museums are, like never before, required to understand and expand their “market share” and compete for audience so that they are able maintain their relevancy. Ignoring or downplaying audience satisfaction in developing museum programming may no longer be an option. The paper examines and defines the experience economy and outlines a four-factor test developed by Stephen Weil, against which the development and distribution of museum content may be benchmarked to determine whether this sort of new museum programming meets standards of “quality”. The four factors apply regardless whether the content being developed is an exhibition in the physical or digital environment. And they would certainly apply to determine whether a business model for the development and distribution of museum digital content was “sustainable”.

URLhttp://www.archimuse.com/publishing/ichim03/009C.pdf