Title:21 Websites in 26 Months
Authors:Christina DePaolo, Kristine Page, Devon Foster
Publication:MW2012: Museums and the Web 2012

For museums of any size, it's challenging to get a website project launched and produced on time. During these tough financial times many website redesigns or enhancement projects have been put on-hold or prolonged due to lack of resources. One way to deal with these set backs is to collaborate with other museums to implement similar web platforms to share knowledge and cut costs.

The Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC) launched 21 websites since the collaborative was formed fewer than three years ago. Working with a handful of developers, the collaborative has migrated many of the Balboa Park museum websites over to Drupal, the open-source CMS web platform. The web development work is part of BPOC's mission to have the Balboa Park museums work with common technology platforms so they can have access to features and tools they normally could not afford. Once a museum is using Drupal for its site, BPOC has the ability to add new modules and capabilities and expand on shared knowledge.  Expanded capabilities installed include shopping carts, collection publishing tools, and calendaring systems.

In this forum, we will discuss how the collaborative model can allow the production of website features quickly working with nimble teams consisting of software developers, museum professionals, and experienced project managers. We will also discuss how this model can help tackle the sometimes daunting issues museums often face when taking on a new website project.