Museums and the Web

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Congratulations to the MW2010 Best of the Web Winners!

Best of the Web's picture

By Best of the Web - Posted on 16 April 2010

Congratulations to the following sites, selected as the Best of the Web at Museums and the Web 2010.

Category Institution, Site and URL



Museum of Modern Art
Meet Me | The MoMA Alzheimer's Project: Making Art Accessible to People with Dementia

Panel comments:

  • [they] deliver what they set out to do
  • an example of how to design a clear, usable and inspirational site
  • teaches and inspires
  • provides a wide variety of resources for those who serve this under-represented demographic
  • an excellent model for presenting other pedagogical tools
  • clear videos and audio
  • beautifully edited
  • really professional touch on every page
  • offers downloadable resources, guides for how to set up a similar program in your institution, even a filtered calendar of events, all from one site

  • My one quibble with the site is the name: 'MeetMe' does not really indicate what the site is about 


Exhibition (Honourable Mention)


The Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Panel comments:

  • full of engaging content
  • users contribute their own content ... the very nature of the site is to invite, allow, even depend on community input
  • ambitious collaborative project
  • succeeded in drawing different parts of Philadelphia together online
  • embraces multiple ethnic groups and neighborhoods
  • good content in educators section
  • uses technology to support the experience, rather than dominate it
  • I hope we see more like it

  • performance .. the related content (tour, related media, related topics) took a very long time to load and sometimes didn't load at all 



Museum of Modern Art
Bauhaus: Workshops for Modernity 1919-1933

Panel comments:

  • I learned a lot about the Bauhaus from this website
  • comprehensive
  • works beautifully
  • aesthetic that perfectly fits its subject matter
  • slick, slick, slick!
  • the addition of behind the scenes video was also an interesting view on the whole exhibition process
  • I love the way the timeline works – the way it expands never results in getting lost or losing content

  • would benefit from allowing users to print pages or images, and browse using more accessible standards (not Flash) 




Royal Observatory, Greenwich
Solar Stormwatch

Panel comments:

  • excellent use of crowd sourcing to advance scientific discovery
  • not just connect users, but to actually DO something
  • engaging videos
  • draws you in, step-by-step
  • makes excellent use of existing resources, such as Flickr, and the 'astrotagging' concept from last year
  • what could be more deserving than a site that actually makes a meaningful difference

  • doesn't hold up very well against accessibility testing, the execution there could be improved 





Panel comments:

  • a veritable portal to cultural heritage in the UK
  • the museum of, really, everything
  • nice online place to wander and seek surprises
  • has brown impressively since its launch in 1999
  • its work collating information and sharing data is amazing
  • has definitely stood the test of time
  • There is a kind of problem if you want to find some exact information – from a huge collection of museum sites and information, themes, objects and media — it's simply impossible to know beforehand what to seek


Museum Professional

Museum Marketing

Panel comments:

  • clear an direct target audience
  • integrated site, with podcasts, video and myriad of other web-based resources
  • I enjoyed it so much that i joined and bookmarked the site for future use
  • really useful content
  • The Carnegie Mellon lectures are a fantastic resource
  • a good community site
  • they've added a toolbar which makes very clear the different site offerings and functionality
  • provides helpful aggregations of apps and other tools for social media marketing planning
  • it really could apply to anyone working in small business or nonprofit marketing

  • seems to have some useful information regarding museum marketing, but it could be more advanced and up-to-date 



National Museum of Australia
National Museum of Australia's Audio on demand program

Panel comments:

  • a simple but content rich way to engage the audiences
  • I just love being able to sit on the subway, on my way to work, listening to interesting topics from seminars I would never be able to attend
  • the interface is easy. I love being able to navigate through word clouds
  • adding transcripts is a very nice touch
  • quick navigation to the Audio on Demand content is available across the site

  • How do I know up-front if this content will ultimately be interesting? It could benefit from a bit more  synopsis, an outline of highlights, or more visuals 



Victoria & Albert Museum
V&A Search the Collections

Panel comments:

  • V&A did a great job, presenting the complete collection, open API, and image ordering in a visual, attractive way
  • It's very impressive that in the sort time that it has been live, they have enabled a mobile site, and also added a crowd-sourcing app for image cropping
  • love all of the metadata!
  • love the recommendations from an object record
  • has raised the bar
  • Three cheers for the API!
  • I have only minor quibbles about the design, which i feel could be a bit bolder to make it more clear what was clickable.



 Dulwich OnView Paul Nash art competition, 2010

Dulwich OnView
Dulwich Picture Gallery

Panel comments:

  • This is an impressive effort, with rich and engaging content. It succeeds in reflecting the vibrant community that the museum is part of
  • there is a powerful model in here that could be widely applicable to other communities – on little to no budget
  • broad and rich content, all community-based and much of it community-contributed
  • a long list of contributors appears in the Who We Are section
  • it is impressive that so much of this great content is primarily volunteer-driven, and updated regularly (seems like daily!)
  • the big win with this strategy is that this is a 'fan' site that was not set up by the institution – it's the organic outgrowth of passion for the DPG.  
  • pulling a museum at the heart of a community is an interesting future model, especially small communities for whom a museum might serve as a singular point of distinction

  • on the downside the content does go in all sorts of directions. I can see why they're having to re-think the information architecture 


Social Media


Picasso Museum
Museu  Picasso Online Community

Panel comments:

  • the interface is clean and easy to use with good visual hierarchy and information visualization
  • an impressive prototype of cross-institutional social media development
  • clearly profiles and unites all the different social network channels for the museum
  • initially I was concerned that the comprehensive nature (facebook, flickr, twitter, youtube, blog, etc.) would leave the whole effort diluted. But each category had highly engaging, and (were applicable) visually interesting content
  • genuine invitation is given for people to participate
  • well thought out social media strategy, using a wide array of existing tools effectively

  • it could strive to be more than just an index of external links; it could work to integrate the social media content inline 


People's Choice

A man staring down Washington street, showing the double-exposure of past and present on

National 911 Memorial and Museum
Make History

Panel comments:

  • pros : user-generated content, lots of images and video, deep personal meaning
  • connects the past with the present, by overlaying images from 9/11 onto current street views
  • in some cases, user-contributed content helps families of those who died


Best Overall

Indianapolis Museum of Art

Panel comments:

  • ArtBabble is terrific. It provides an engaging, easy-to-use, and extendable platform from which art museums can launch video content, and integrate it with so much more.
  • it truly connects people with art and artists in new and exciting ways, harnessing the power of the Web
  • This site is quite simply utterly brilliant
  • the quality of videos that I viewed was exceptional – thoughtful, visually fluid
  • The commenting and the reference feature on the playback bar took me a while to figure out, but I came to appreciate it once I understood it. A remarkable site.
  • I have to admit, I've loved ArtBabble since it came out. I shared it with all my art friends
  • it brings together many institutions to delivery content about art, not just about the museums themselves
  • build on Amazon Web Services, which means that it will be able to grow to include almost any kind of functionality this coalition wants to deliver – as opposed to creating a You Tube channel, which would be very limited in its functionality
  • the Indianapolis Museum of Art has stuck its collective chin forward and said it will lead in the issue of transparency ... bravo!
  • ArtBabble gives a community of peers a place to store, share, and augment content

  • I would like to see ArtBabble better encourage transcription (for those with vision impairments) and closed captioning (for those with auditory impairments) 
jtrant's picture

These are the winners from last year's MW2010. The Categories have been updated for MW2011. See the descriptions here, and yes, they include one for Mobile.

j. trant co-founder Museums and the Web | partner archives & museum informatics

Conxa's picture

I suggest to include in this page the comments of the Jury (those that were displayed on the screen while the ceremony).

First because when your museum is mentioned, you get so excited that you can barely listen to their valuable recommendations and, besides, it would provide useful info about all the sites awarded.

Thanks again




jtrant's picture

i'll follow-up with Douglas Hegley – who made the presentation on behalf of the Best of the Web Panel – about this.


j. trant co-founder Museums and the Web | partner archives & museum informatics

jtrant's picture

the comments from the Best of the Web panel have been added to the list of award winners now.

j. trant co-founder Museums and the Web | partner archives & museum informatics

Conxa's picture

Thanks a lot, Jennifer

What a display of listening and of efficiency;)