JaneFinnis[This week’s guest post is by Jane Finnis, Director, Culture24]

Portal pain and Wikipedia love

Why is the European Commission still convinced that people want their online culture served up via a hideously named “one-stop-shop” portal?

Last Wednesday, instead of watching the new episode of Mad Men, I sat down to read the latest EU report (120 pages) and the first of its nine recommendations goes like this:  “Develop, implement and promote an online access point and guide to ‘European culture’ for all cultural disciplines using a ‘one-stop-shop’ approach linking to the multitude of already existing offers, improving these where appropriate, enhanced by Web 2.0 and other functionalities…”

Save us please! Isn’t it even an oxymoron to have one-stop-shop and web 2.0 in the same sentence?

Surely as user attention online gets ever more competitive, it is the services and sites which have a clear personality, voice, specialism, community of enthusiasts etc that will be the doorways people choose to explore their love of animation, design, archaeology, Folk Art or whatever?

It is a shame, as the report itself is actually pretty interesting and the wealth of stuff happening across almost all the European countries is staggering and most of it didn’t exist 5 years ago.

Let’s hope that others feel the same and through the application of some of the other more sensible recommendations like physical meetings and provision of training, we can get the message across that the web has moved on and so should the EU.

You can download the summary and recommendations here or download the full report here (warning: it’s long!) here.

I also wanted to pick up on a conversation on the MuseumNext Ning site recently that caught my eye: “would funders ever accept that you’re spending their money on staff time editing Wikipedia rather than putting together a shiny new web presence which they can point at and be proud of?”

For some time I’ve been playing with an idea to try and fundraise to do exactly this. Maybe it might be a great way to deal with the current Renaissance underspend?

I’m going to take the idea to the Wikimedia workshop at this years Museums and Web conference and am interested in talking to anyone else who would like to help me make it happen.

Thought for the week: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”  Harry S. Truman