The Future of Museums Lie Online

Considering the increasing number of activities that we’re able to complete online from shopping and entertainment to research and communication in various forms, it’s not a far stretch to believe Sir Nicholas Serota and Neil MacGregor, two titans of the British museum world, when they say the future for these hallowed institutions [...]

Image credit: Getty Images, Grant Faint/Flickr

Considering the increasing number of activities that we’re able to complete online from shopping and entertainment to research and communication in various forms, it’s not a far stretch to believe Sir Nicholas Serota and Neil MacGregor, two titans of the British museum world, when they say the future for these hallowed institutions lies online. With the constant connectivity and immediacy provided by the internet, the two men see museums transforming into multimedia organizations, serving the public as both publishers and broadcasters.

Given the changing dynamics between visitors and institutions, the main challenge becomes how best to involve the audience in the ongoing conversation while maintaining some semblance of control over the user experience. A process that requires curators to balance their role as exhibit architects with a level of smart crowdsourcing.

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Image credit: Getty Images, Ron Dahlquist/Flickr

As important as building a strong digital presence that merges notions of interactivity with global community might very well be in preserving a museum’s relevancy and longevity, its true influence still rests in the power of its physical collection. And no matter how far our technology evolves, it will never be able to replicate the sense of awe one feels when standing face to face with something truly beautiful.

[via Guardian]

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