The New Online Museum Manifesto: Defining the Differences Between Museums on the Web and the Online Museum

Javier Pereda, University of Southampton, UK

The Web has changed how we interact with the world and museums are not the exception. The online museum (OM) has been commonly defined among others as a virtual or digital museum. Nevertheless, new technologies and the way they have been adopted by society and the museum sector, have transformed the OM in such a way that these terms might not encompass its full capabilities. Moreover, these technologies such as Linked Data, The Internet of Things, Embodied Interaction and Ubiquitous Computing amongst many others, have changed how we interact with data and information provided by the museums. These technologies have to be studied from an interdisciplinary approach to understand how society might adopt and use them in the OM.

It is also necessary to consider that in the attempt to ‘become digital’ and to create a presence on the Web, museums have produced alternative Web versions of themselves. Nevertheless, it has been previously observed that in many cases museums produce their future plans misunderstanding the technology and its relationship with society. Moreover, they have been using Marketing and Social Media technologies for instance, to advertise and promote communication channels with their audiences merely as a commercial strategy with no impact in the production of knowledge. Nevertheless, social technology has also been used to promote knowledge and community empowerment thus promoting pedagogical practice. In this sense, it can be then argued that to have presence on the Web is not the same as to have an OM as a space for knowledge.

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