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Museums and the Web

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

MisterDarwin.eu: A web exhibition based on 2.0 interactivity

Abstract

We have been trying to bring the science center's experience to the Web, at Science Museums of Coruña (Spain). After some years of trying many little things, we have no magic formula and we only know something for sure: the whole institution website is a tough place to start (and tougher in our case, considering that we are three different museums under the same brand: mc2).

So, instead of trying to bring the whole museum to the web, we thought of bringing just an exhibition. Instead of redesigning our whole website, we started creating a new microsite to complement the exhibition: "To the astonishment of Mr. Darwin".

Our approach to an exhibition website tries to go beyond the concept of "electronic brochure". Rather than translating the exhibition's brochure to a web page we tried to develop a multimedia-content viewer, with quick and simple navigation. 

More than creating and intuitive multimedia experience, our main goal was taking to the Web the idea of an exhibit, which is the core of our museums' experience: an interactive element to explore, play, wake up curiosity, make questions and start to look for the answers.

So we decided to go and hunt visitors where they are wandering around in the Internet: in places like YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. The point was using social networks and Web 2.0 services to create interactive online experiences, that connect people with ideas.

These 2.0 exhibits are the core of the microsite we would like to demonstrate at this conference. The web of the exhibition"To the astonishment of Mr. Darwin" has a launch date set on February 12th, 2011, to celebrate Darwin's 202 birthday. MisterDarwin.eu is a multilingual web (English, Spanish and Galician), born to complement the physical exhibition but with its own value, to curiosity u Darwin and evolution. We hope to get people want to visit the exhibition but we also try to reach bigger audiences.

We plan to create a platform based on this microsite, to easily develop websites for our other flagship exhibitions. We are building the tools to get the museum's staff (our content developers) doing most of that work: creating and updating the online exhibits. We also want this platform to be open to other institutions' participation, in a near future. But, first of all, we would like to share our work, doubts, accomplishments, frustrations, needs... with other colleagues and learn of other different approaches of bringing the museum to the Web.

Type: 

Demonstration - show your project

Authors

fuco's picture
Francisco Domenech has a bachelor degree in Chemistry and a Master in Media. He began his career in the newspaper La Voz de Galicia, as a science and technology journalist. He works as a content developer for the Science Museums of Corunna, and is responsible for the intitution’s website since 2006...