Aaron Cope, USA
Most people have no idea what a “tombstone” means outside of otherwise grim and creepy associations. Too many museum collection websites still assume an equivalency of motive and purpose in their use that is, at best, counter-productive and, at worst, actively discourages people from ever having a reason to come back.
More and more, a museum’s website is the first, and sometimes only, avenue that people have to get to know a collection – be they scholars, casual visitors or even the network itself – and we need to get comfortable with the idea that a single interaction paradigm is often doing our collections a disservice.
This paper will discuss these issues using the new Cooper-Hewitt’s new collection website, released as a public alpha in the fall of 2012, as both a real-live vehicle for some of these ideas and as a theoretical guinea pig for future possibilities.