I was recently asked for my thoughts on recommendation systems and cultural heritage organisations and it set off a train of thought that took me back to an old idea, one I'm sure I must have discussed with many people and which perhaps someone's working on right now.
The idea is universal login. OK "universal" might be a bit strong, so let's just start with UK-wide, museum website login. For whatever reason (possibly coz it's a rubbish idea) it's not happened yet and I want to think about why, and whether there's a way it might happen successfully. I thought I’d do a quick post on it but it needed some background and rapidly ballooned, with the result that I’ve split it into three posts (four if you count this one).
The first post looks briefly at what museums are doing with registration and login to their own site, as well as touching on some of the other places they encourage “identity-tied” user engagement without having to build their own mechanisms. Then I talk about some of the ways these fall short and speculate on why login is still pretty rare amongst museum sites.
The second post proposes “universal login” as a way to tackle one of the barriers to doing this: the effort involved.
The third post is really the first one I wanted to write, but that would have meant skipping straight to a “solution” without framing the “problem” or describing universal login, which is a necessary (but insufficient) intermediate step. It’s about the more important barrier: the lack of value in creating another login silo.
Finally, there's also a survey to find out what other museums are doing and what you think. If you're involved with a museum website I'd very much appreciate your input, which I'll wrap up into a further post in the future.
Other posts in this series: