Monday, April 07, 2008

New Feature! and the Taxonomy of the Museum 2.0 Collection

If you've been reading this blog from the beginning, this post may look like deja vu. I've tried the "rate this post" before. But I seem to have finally found a widget that will allow you to easily rate each post in one click (scroll to the bottom of this or any post to try it out). Please consider rating posts to help your fellow readers (and me!) see what is most useful and compelling content for you. If you are reasonably active with this, I will integrate a "posts by rating" option in the various ways to view posts on the right column, along with "Past Posts by Topic" and by date.

But rating is just the tip of the organizational iceberg. Now that there are over 200 posts on this blog, I'd like to start acting intelligently to organize the content--beyond the tags I assign to individual posts--so that you can most quickly find the posts you most want to read. Ideally, rather than a taxonomy set by me, we could create a folksonomy (in the Web 2.0 spirit) that is driven by your interests and site use. I'm painfully aware of the fact that 60% of you are coming here for the first time and may not be getting what you want. In many fields, this isn't a big issue since blogs are used to report news--and old news is not as useful as new news. But this blog rarely shares breaking news, and you may find an interview conducted two years ago to be more valuable than the posts of the week. The old news is new for many, but it's deep down in the pile.

The challenge with grouping posts by topic (and I constantly struggle with naming and assigning topics) is that our interests are often both highly specific and hard to define. Are you interested in reading posts about case studies at other institutions or learning about tools you can try out yourself? Do you want conceptual frameworks or inspiring products and processes?
The answer for all of us is yes, no, and primarily "it depends." Help me help you by sharing your own thoughts about what you are looking for and what organizational structures would make sense to you. Some of the suggestions I've been considering: --reader-generated tags (right now I set the topic tags for each post, not sure how to do this with Blogger but it could be possible)
  • pumping up the "What is Museum 2.0?" sidebar link into a more clear narrative "entrance" to the site
  • promoting use of the search tool at the top, which is quite useful if you want to know everything this blog has ever reported about a specific institution, project, or term
  • a second site that groups posts in a variety of ways as a sort of index or resource list
  • downloadable "chapters" that group content book-style

Perhaps the best option is to start soliciting from you the answer to these questions:
What are you looking for when you come to this site? What would you be thrilled to find here?

After all, it's only a 5-star experience if you get what you want. Otherwise this becomes just another collection gathering (virtual) dust. And we all know we don't need more of that.

What tips do you have for organizing this content? And what do you personally wish would be "on top" when you get here?

3 comments, add yours!:

Paolo Amoroso said...

What am I looking for when you come to this site and what would I be thrilled to find here? Good questions, but I don't know. Museum 2.0 is a new field for me, so pretty much anything may be interesting.

Anonymous said...

As I'm trying to get people from my museum addicted to your blog, I'd say that a sorting by "museum organisational field" could be useful, but since they're already pretty much in the categories, it might not be _that_ useful...

Susan said...


The posts I love are when you turn our common wisdom on its head, like the recent post on trust. I find myself thinking about those for days. But I use an RSS feed so I read most of your posts.

The sorting of the posts helps my students who then can go back and read on a specific topic. Depending upon the class I head them in different directions.