UK Museums on the Web 2007: Web Adept

The Web is changing – faster, smarter, more personal, more social. The software that drives it and the usage that shapes it are evolving at a rapid pace. Is the museum sector responding to this evolution? And as visible and trusted providers of rich and unique content might museums have, in fact, an opportunity to influence the future Web?

Is it time to become more ‘Web adept’?

From Web ethics, to user-generated content, and from the implications and possibilities of mashed-up content, to the need for new values and holistic approaches to accessible design…this year’s conference will explore the many ways the Web is being transformed around us, and how museums can respond to – and perhaps lead – this change.

UKMW will, as in previous years, be an accessible and affordable event welcoming around 100 delegates. It will aim to bring to together a programme of high quality speakers with a national and international perspective, from inside and outside the sector, offering creative, leading edge thinking relevant to anyone working with museums and the Web today.




Henry Wellcome Building, University of Leicester,


Welcome from Debbie Richards (MCG Chair) and Jane Finnis (Director, 24 Hour Museum)



Sebastian Chan, Powerhouse Museum (Australia) balancing the possibilities with the realities of the ‘social tagging’ of museum collections.

Michael Twidale, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA) on the museum ‘pioneers’ venturing into the ‘Second Life’ experience.

11.15-11.40 coffee break, kindly sponsored by Eduserv



Mike Ellis (Head of Web, NMSI) will lead a live ‘mash-up’ of cultural content from around the Web to demonstrate the possibilities that ‘pipes’ and APIs have for museums.



Drawing upon the work of Naomi Korn (Naomi Korn Copyright Consultancy) and MDA this session will unpick the rights issues that are embedded within the new Web 2.0 environment – not least what permissions and legal questions are associated with user-generated content. Alex Whitfield (British Library) will also help us to explore some of the ethical questions only just beginning to emerge for museums on the display of sacred images on-line.

1.15-2.30 buffet lunch, hosted by Blitz Games



Who curates and who contributes to our museums’ on-line channels? This session will hear from Frances Lloyd-Baynes (V&A) and Mia Ridge (Museum of London) on how the boundaries of shared authorship and authority are being pushed and challenged.



Is the ‘Semantic Web’ already here? Is it being driven by users and the growth of ‘microformats’, or will it (for museums at least) need a more coordinated top-down agreement on standards? And if so, who might lead this coordination? Jon Pratty (24 Hour Museum) and Paul Shabajee (HP Labs) will help to steer us through both the promise and the mirage of the ‘Semantic Web’.

4.00-4.20 tea and cake, kindly sponsored by Eduserv



To what extent are the technology enhancements described during this day (mashups, social tagging, user-generated content, virtual environments …) likely to breach Web accessibility guidelines? Is there a legal requirement (and a ethical obligation) for public sector bodies to comply with such guidelines? In the concluding (interactive) session of the day Brian Kelly (UKOLN) will outline a ‘holistic approach to Web accessibility’ and describe how new accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.0) can provide a more flexible framework for deploying new technologies.


Summing up and take homes

Posted in Archived Events, UKMW
One comment on “UK Museums on the Web 2007: Web Adept
  1. mia says:

    The 2007 ‘Mashed Museum’ hack day was held the day before, here’s Culture24’s post about it:

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