Museum audience

There is an element regarding audience that need be discussed. A possibility may occur when museum’s, historical societies, etc., won’t have a decision as to what their collection is or what they might be able to show online, which essentially determines audience.

Another possibility is that collections will be truncated to accommodate a more marketable concept/collection. For instance, the wave of titanic collections bring in viewers both on TV and in museum’s, as seen in the recent for profit exhibition. Would those same vendors offer the public an exhibit on clockmakers of CT? This suggests the content needs to be renowned, popular, saleable. If this is partially true or conceivable, what will this do to entire collections. What about seasonal collections?

One might think of places like Salem who recently added Lizzie Borden to the list of celebrities permeating their collective history. But what of lesser known historic figures or figures that aren’t known in the public. I sense that in pursuing audience, in regard to content decisions, one might need to incorporate marketable gimmicks. What makes this history unique? This question and others will need to be addressed.

Perhaps museum web designers will need editors, like book editors, who will seek submissions of content that is only marketable. Thus history will fall into the depth of selection, just as the book publishers do. As it is, what we read is highly highly determined by selective people who determine what’s “hot” or “not,” what’s in, what will sell, what will grab people. Isn’t this what Cohen is really asking the new web based museum/historic society to do? Won’t they need to in order to stay competitive?


~ by disembodiedspirit on November 5, 2008.

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