Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

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Learning from Amazon and eBay: User-generated Material for Museum Web Sites


TitleLearning from Amazon and eBay: User-generated Material for Museum Web Sites
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsDurbin, G.
Secondary TitleMuseums and the Web 2004: Proceedings
Conference Start DateMarch 31 - April
PublisherArchives & Museum Informatics
Place PublishedWashington DC / Arlington VA, USA
EditorBearman, D., & Trant J.
Keywordscreativity, museum web strategies, user-generated content
Abstract

Museums have a way to go in understanding what has long been apparent to commercial sites: you don't have to sweat it out over all your content if you are prepared to allow visitors to generate it for you. eBay and Friends Reunited have sites entirely built on user-generated content, and Amazon is increasingly leaning on users to develop content that adds depth and vitality. Museums can learn lessons from this approach. At the V&A we aim to be the Number One museum Web site for art and design, and our curators are world experts in their fields. In these circumstances it would be easy for the site to communicate in one direction only, but we are keen to ensure the site works in both directions and that we draw on the expertise and enthusiasm of visitors as well. We also want visitors to our Web site to feel they can contribute to the work of the museum and develop their own creativity. We have not yet persuaded a curator to moderate a chat room or ventured into any of those other potentially labour intensive Web activities, but in the last year we have used a wide variety of ways of incorporating visitor-created content into our Web site.

URLhttp://www.archimuse.com/mw2004/papers/durbin/durbin.html
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