Title:Partners, Profiles, and the Public: Building a Virtual Museum Community
Authors:Bruce Williams, Wendy Thomas
Publication:MW97: Museums and the Web 1997

The Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) has recently launched two Web-based products -- the Guide to Canadian Museums and Galleries, and the Heritage Forum. This paper will examine the issues in developing these products, the challenges that have been met and that remain, and ways in which individual institutions might apply the CHIN experience to their own situations. Issues and challenges include:

  • creating partnerships, analysis of partners' resources and capabilities
  • establishing mechanisms for efficient and effective online data contribution, including authentication of data through the use of user IDs and passwords
  • analysis of audience needs
  • highlighting contributors
  • proving benefits and demonstrating success through mechanisms for tracking site visits and feedback
  • encouraging commitment and ongoing contributions
  • promoting the products within the organizations and to the larger community
  • minimizing costs through the creation of resources that can be re-packaged and re-used