|Title:||Ten Years On: Hopes, Fears, Predictions, and Gambles for UK Museums On-Line|
|Publication:||MW2006: Museums and the Web 2006|
Over the last 10 years UK museum Web sites have come a long way. The range of content and services now offered is astonishing and inspiring. Public investment has been impressive, and on-line visits to these sites continue to exceed general trends. Ambitious digitisation projects have resulted in a wealth of assets that are regularly put to innovative use, while partnerships across organisations are stimulating an enhanced, networked culture. Of course museum Web sites continue to supply visitors with opening times, tickets and transport options, but research suggests that they are increasingly augmenting, extending and on occasion even replacing physical visits.
If such a dramatic transformation has been achieved in only 10 years, then what can we expect to happen in the next 10? Can we learn from the successes of the past decade? What challenges remain to be overcome? Which dotcom era buzz-words continue to hold promise? Do any seriously new technologies still await us? Can we afford to be complacent, or is there a danger that UK museum Web sites will fail to realise their potential? Answers to these and other questions will be presented in this paper for reflection and discussion, and in the firm belief that the best is still to come.