I just returned from the annual ASTC (Association of Science and Technology Centers) conference, where there were LOTS of good conversations and controversy. But the aspect that most excited me were the discussions about active participation in museums. The transition from "visitor" to "user." From curator-generated to user-generated. From closed content to open-source forums.
Yes, these are buzzwords. But the concepts behind them are powerful and useful in the discussion about the future of museums. In some ways, the best thing about the Web is its ability as a platform to rapidly evolve. The Web showed that one way to keep a content delivery platform current is to involve its users as meaningful participants rather than passive recipients of that content. No museum is as flexible or participatory as the Web has become. Should they be? What are the possibilities and challenges in creating "an architecture of participation?"
This blog will explore the ways that museums do and can evolve from 1.0 (static content delivery machines) to 2.0 (dynamic content aggregation and network machines).
If you want to know more about where this 2.0 craze got its start, here's a great (but lengthy) article by Tim O'Reilly entitled "What is Web 2.0?" Or, check out the wikipedia article, which is more readable.