About Me

My photo
Web person at the Imperial War Museum, just completed PhD about digital sustainability in museums (the original motivation for this blog was as my research diary). Posting occasionally, and usually museum tech stuff but prone to stray. I welcome comments if you want to take anything further. These are my opinions and should not be attributed to my employer or anyone else (unless they thought of them too). Twitter: @jottevanger

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Museums and online logins: the preamble

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:

1 comment:

Rhiannon Looseley said...

For what it's worth, I'd be interested in chatting further about having a website login because I think there's some scope for Learning, particularly for teachers. I'm batting around the idea in my head at the moment of some kind of TES online-style function where teachers can rate and comment on our resources but also upload their own stuff using our material. Let me know if you'd like to talk further...