Title:Virtual Museums Made Easy with New Techniques and Tools
Authors:Carl Thelen
Publication:MW2000: Museums and the Web 2000

Currently, there is often a division of labor involved in virtual museum maintenance. The curator or administrator updates text, graphic, or multimedia content, and submits it to the webmaster, who then fits the page into the overall site design and uploads it to the web server. However, there are an increasing number of ways that they can both save time and hassle by enabling the curator or administrator to update the site herself. Museums whose goals include public education should consider the use of tools that allow non-technical staff to update the virtual museum without having to learn complicated software, style sheets, HTML, FTP, DHTML, and the myriad of other acronyms involved in site maintenance.

Using a content management system, an easy-to-use interface allows an administrator to create new pages or update the content area on an existing page. The webmaster concentrates on the more complicated parts of the page, including the navigation bars, frames, popup menus, sounds, etc.

There are also an increasing number of easy-to-use tools for creating pages. A webmaster can create the standard site template, and teach the curators the few things they'll need to know to get the job done. The webmaster can then focus on the design and template, instead of having to create each page himself.

This paper explores the beginnings of a shift from web sites as technical challenges to web sites as tools for presentation and communication.