jaspervisser2[This week’s guest post is by Jasper Visser, CTO at the National History Museum NL]

This week started strongly with Follow a Museum day. Jim wrote last week about putting it together and I guess everybody tweeting for a museum will agree it was a success. According to the comments most participating museums had between 4 and 6 times more new followers than on an average day.

Apart from the new followers, I am most happy with the variety of ways in which museums around the globe are engaging with their audiences. It’s inspiring to see what they do and the effects it has for them.

Also this week, Google announced it was stopping support for IE 6, starting with Google Docs. This is a good development, I think, as this old browser makes many of our online projects so much more difficult and expensive. It is said that making your online project IE 6 compatible can eat away up to 10% of your development budget. Imagine what we could do with this extra money…

The Museum Global Ranking 2009 was presented this week. Steadily on top: the MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Their online presence sits at the top of a survey of some 700 other museums.

I’m not really sure it’s a new thing, but the fourth thing that struck my eye is Europeana Labs. The team behind Europeana will make big steps towards making their software open source this year. This will help all heritage institutions to build upon their work on the semantic web.

The Europeana portal will contain some 10 million items by the end of the year, which makes it probably the biggest collection of European cultural heritage.

Finally, today we celebrate Facebook’s sixth birthday. Congratulations Facebook! The social network has changed the world, in a way. People find jobs, get fired, propose and unfriend, all online.

Cultural institutions also have discovered the platform. ‘Follow a Museum’ Jim is writing a series of blogposts on Facebook and a museum’s presence there. Maybe one day soon we’ll have a “Become fan of a museum” day too.

(NB. What most struck my eye this week had nothing to do with cultural heritage online. It was the biggest self-portrait ever. A must see!)