Title:The Paris Pages Experience: 30 Months and 100 Million Accesses Later
Authors:Norman Barth
Publication:MW97: Museums and the Web 1997

Two years or more ago, just about every Web site was the 'first' at something or another. The Paris Pages was the first Web site dedicated to the City of Paris. This included the first online pages about the Louvre, the Musee d'Orsay, Centre Pompidou, and other museums, and monuments in the City. It has been celebrated in the international press since 1994. The ambitions of the site are to provide cultural, documentary, and educational content. Over the last 30 months, it has grown to 8000+ pages, and 3000+ images, with roughly 6 million accesses per month. It has done near real time reporting of news and events in Paris since 1995. Since November 1996, there has been a true online Boutique with secure transactions. The Boutique sells cultural and educational items, such as CD-ROM by the Reunion des musees nationaux (RMN). The content and technical dimensions of the server are vast enough that we have been confronted with many issues not currently discussed in the general 'Internet' press, and have had to find solutions to them. This has involved creation ofWeb database management tools, HTML creation tools, as well as tools for managing diverse data types (images, text, addresses, telephone numbers, geographic location, metro stops, figure captions, history, current events etc.) in a way conducive to using them in the Web site. Other issues are related handling the correspondence generated by an estimated 500,000 unique 'sessions' per month, and finally, copyright, and financial issues.