Digital Collections as Product

This session will approach the question: "What is the future of online collections?" As many examples move from standalone project to long-running product, what do they look like and who are they for? How do they fit within a museum's digital content architecture—and within the context of the internet as a whole? As they shift beyond an object-centered model focused on data publishing to a user-centered one, how does that impact how they are designed, developed, maintained, and funded? Track:Big Ideas


Unknown Speaker 14:09
So good afternoon, everyone. Good morning, depending on where you are. Good evening. This session is something titled Digital collections as product I'm Dan Brennan. I'm the museum application developer at the Princeton University Art Museum where I've been for five years. And this is a campfire session. This is something that is going to involve a little bit of presenting for myself and David. But hopefully we really want this to also be open conversation that people can participate in. That was that was our goal here. A little background about how we got here. This is one of those sessions that you know, I've been thinking about a little bit and kind of pulled together in response to the particular projects that I've been working on that I'm going to talk about very briefly. Um, but really the overall thing is that myself and David too, I think I can speak for him in this sense, are people who think a lot about how museums present digital collections on the web, and we we think about them, think about them a lot, both from the perspective of how do we do that? But also maybe more importantly, we think about why we do that and who we do it for and the ways that the answers to those questions inform the end products that we build, both in the sense that the products that we've worked on in the past but also how those things evolve over time. And so this is this is something that we know that a lot of other people are working on or working adjacent to and we really wanted to in the spirit of even though this is a virtual conference, try to recreate that kind of atmosphere of let's get together all the people we know to work on this kind of similar thing, and we can just talk about it and throw ideas together. And so So that said, that's kind of the background of this. I'll pass it on to David. So David can introduce himself and we'll introduce sort of some structure to this.

Unknown Speaker 15:59
Okay, Hi, I'm David Newbury. I'm the head of software at Getty. And as Dan said, this is something that he and I and I know a lot of others, as I go through this list are also thinking about what are we doing with collections? What does it mean to have that sort of structure in this day and age? What does it mean? Because we wanted to have that conversation, but we wanted to put some some guardrails around that conversation because collections. We all think about collections all the time, and there are all sorts of things we could talk about. And so I think what we really want to talk about in this session is the form and delivery of collections material and that information on the internet. There's a lot of rethinking things we can talk about, you know, how does this work? But we wanted to say there have been other great sessions given by some of the people in this room around the content of collections. That's not something we're going to talk about here. We're also not going to talk really about the language that we use to communicate that collections information. That's a conversation that we're having internally. I know MANY other people are it's a really good and important conversation, but it's not this conversation. And finally, copyright and fair use is another one of those things that is top of mind for me constantly as we work through these issues. There are other people who are more qualified and should talk on that. So we really want to talk about collections online as how does that structure influence what we're doing. So turn it back over to Dan.

Unknown Speaker 17:29
Thanks, David. Um, yeah, all of that said, I alluded to a project that has been going on at Princeton and this is the project that sparked this conversation. This is something that at Princeton, we are calling Collections 2.1. Before I even dive into this, I should probably explain what collections 2.0 was. Collections. 2.0 was a multi year project that began about five years ago, wrapped up about three years ago, to re architect the entire way that we deliver collections to the web. This was largely a technical project from a content perspective. The modifications I won't say were superficial, but they were not dramatic. What we delivered at the end of that project was pretty similar to what we delivered at the beginning of the project is more about how we did that. Collections. 2.1 is something that's a little more interesting from a content perspective. This was a multi year IMLS funded project to bring together all of our unstructured and orphaned collections content into that existing framework that we had built the years before. What does that mean? That means? Video, Audio unstructured text, pulled from print publications, in some cases, all kinds of things that relate to the collections that the museum holds and really document how we think about them. But that exists outside of the structures that we had there relied on primarily a collection information system to to deliver that to the web. From a technical perspective, this project was interesting, but in the end, pretty straightforward. You're just grabbing data from different places, modeling it somehow and delivering it through some kind of front end framework. The concept behind it was also pretty straightforward. Put everything we can offer about the collection. And this is sort of a brand term that we use in your collection, where people can see it, understanding that we have a singular place where we want to aggregate all of that and that's the place that we expect and know that people go to but then conceptually this was challenging and not quite so straightforward, because the immediate question that gets raised when you start thinking about these things is where does the collection begin and end? Exactly. And that was something that we didn't think a whole lot about before we started this project, but that every as we moved along, and every time we uncovered something we had to ask ourselves I'm just giving a quick example here. Some screenshots of that encapsulate kind of the overall problem we are trying to solve. The museum produces beautiful videos that document things that the museum does. This is an example of one. It's a conservation project with a well known piece of artwork on campus. This is an iconic piece of artwork. It was a very expensive conservation project. It was documented very well. So we made this video we put it up on our webpage, people can view it. This is the page from our online collection that documents this object at the start of this project. There would have been no connection between this and this. And so if we understand that scholars researchers, people who are interested in the art that we have at the museum, are relying upon the online collection to get a sense for what we know about those works of art. Then this is a problem that we had to solve. And so we did solve it so that now those things are merged and in this case I think it's a fairly straightforward answer. But then extend the problem to things like materials that have been produced for K to 12 groups that comes Museum, extend, extend the problem to audio files that document a lecture that talks about this object for 30 seconds. Which of these things meet the criteria of being about the collection? And in the end, I think we sort of decided, you know, most of it did, but we grappled with a lot of questions before we got there.

Unknown Speaker 21:30
So here are some of those things that we had to answer and we haven't answered these definitively and what we've come to understand is that over time and dealing with different aspects of the collections, these answers may change. They probably will. Things like who is the online collection for? If we answer that first question, what do they expect? We are a research university we talk a lot about academic interest in the collection. We talk a lot about faculty and students. But we also know those are not the only people our museum serves. Those are not the only people our museum website serves. So the question then becomes Who are we as an institution and how does institutional identity factor into this? We are Princeton capital P Ivy League, but also is that how we want to present ourselves to every single resident of the internet? Do we want to make ourselves seem inaccessible inadvertently, in the interest of embracing our institutional identity? And further to that as context for all of this we are in the midst of a gigantic building project that's going to last several years. And so we're technically between two museums. We're between two museum buildings. But that also means we're between two museum identities and this is ever shifting. And so if we make decisions around these questions relative to our online collections, right now, how are these going to change tomorrow and beyond? And how do we have to future proof both the technologies we use and the approach so that we can rapidly change those to meet the needs of our audiences? So that's my my project in a nutshell, and we could talk about MANY different aspects of that. could serve as presentations of their own. But that said, I've been turned over to David now who I think has his own version of this project.

Unknown Speaker 23:16
And so we are also going into I think he went back to slide down. Sorry about the colors. We're also going into our own new collections project here that we're working on at Getty and wrestling with the same questions. We have a perfectly serviceable collection online that has lots of interesting data. has good high resolution images. And, but it's also about seven years old and a lot has changed between seven years ago when we built it in now. And so when we said we're going to build up, we're going to update these pages. We didn't want to just do a facelift. They certainly need a facelift. But what we wanted to say where what were the problems that we were trying to solve by doing a new collection? And if we really ask the same questions that Dan is asking, what is the collection for and we said, the main goal of the collection is to serve as that central place to present what we know about the objects that we have in custody. It does have to be pretty has to align with that brand. And that brand gets really complicated as Dan was saying. We also know people want to images we also know that we had some issues around complexity. You know, manuscripts are different than paintings which are different than pottery fragments. I like to tell people that the problem with working at a museum is that we have 150,000 unique snowflakes and every one is different. It's different than the problem we have at that library. But that the real goal of what one of the real goals of what we're doing with our collection was to help users find things that were both interesting and relevant to what they were doing. But it had to really focus on how people use this not necessarily just us presenting next slide. And so what we ended up doing was really saying, you know, and we've had this conversation across the field that we ended up with ensue enthusiasts and professionals both of whom end up using collection. But what collection online really needed to be in our ecosystem was the central hub because there were so MANY access points that people would come to define the collection that were connected somehow. You know, our audio guides connect to the collection. The work we do on Google Arts and Culture does. Our blog and our news articles our news and stories section does. When we do exhibitions, those connect them to the collection when you digital experiments, search and social media. And then for professionals they often come directly to the collection looking for information, but they also come through conservation project documentation or through lesson plans. And what it said, much like Dan was saying is there's all of this ancillary information that surrounds our collection, that the collection can't do all the things that these do, but it still needs to be that central hub of information for what we're doing.

Unknown Speaker 26:10
Next slide.

Unknown Speaker 26:14
And the other things that we learned are the weight our object pages as they exist now don't function this way. They are dead ends. You get to that object description, you read that description, you learn something, and then you close the window because there's nowhere else to go. But that's not true of the data. They're connected and they're connected through people and places and events and building out that network. That ecosystem of relationships, transitioning the work that we do from thinking about the collection as documentation about objects, and more documentation of the network of information that we have in present is critical to making this work. One of the things we learned in the research we were doing on this is we have a really fancy Advanced Search and the main user of that is our staff. Something like 90% of the searches that are done on our site are keyword searches. And the other major search is searched by a session number which is clearly a staff driven thing or a publication thing. And what we said, coming out of this, we ended up identifying for those two user groups, two paths that we saw for non experts, people who weren't coming here to do a job. They were interested in the image and they were interested in context. Around that image. They didn't think of it as set as an object as much as a beautiful picture of something and they wanted to know a little bit more about it and to find other things that inspired them because of those images. And for experts. They want that comprehensive information because they're always searching for that one fact that they've either forgotten or they don't know what they really want our paths out to other sources of knowledge. They're they're trying to research something almost entirely, and they want to know what else do we know that can send them out to other places? Maybe it's inside our good ecosystem, but maybe it's in the community writ large. And so as we thought through this set of problems, I think Dan and I both recognize that we're not really thinking about how do we redesign a web page that displays information pulled from TMS. On the web. We're really thinking about how does the collection online function on the internet in 2021, not as a not as a separate thing from or not as a digital representation of the museum experience but as a thing that exists online and needs to function online as its own. Unique sort of entity. I do not have I don't have the answers to how this all works. But I have a lot of really good questions. And if there's a group of people that I'd want to talk about that with this is probably that group. So, Dan, I think we are to the questioning part.

Unknown Speaker 29:06
Thanks, David. Yes, we have we've gotten to the questions. And this is this is the point at which you know, we have four questions that David and I have identified. They are not certainly the only questions, but they're the ones that that we put our put our heads together and thought about. So we'll walk through these, but primarily, this is the point at which we want to turn this into a conversation and talk about sort of what the experiences of this room are, how they align with the experiences that David and I have, how they align with the experiences that we've learned about from other similar conference presentations and things like that. So the first of these is collections is more than your org chart. And David alluded to this quite a bit. Just how do we move beyond a list of objects and a search box as the focal point of an online collection and Mike, my experience with this so far, has been it's been very difficult to extract the org chart from the collection when it's so deeply embedded into the structures that underlie it. One of the things we deal with is that, like all museums, the pristine restored Museum has curatorial areas, departments in any other vernacular. These for someone who doesn't work in our museum or maybe other museums probably wouldn't make a ton of sense. The divisions are somewhat arbitrary and tied to historical implications specific to the institution. So these are this is you know, one example that I would have of something like this. No, no, David, a few others to jump to.

Unknown Speaker 30:42
Yeah, I mean, I think for us it is. We've got a curatorial department that manages that we've got but the objects take place in exhibitions that are managed by the registrar's and there's interpretive content generated by that team, and there's educational material, and do a user none of that. Those distinctions don't mean anything. But that there, we want to say how do we make how does this make sense not as a series of things, you know, here's the box where the educational content goes, because we know who's fun Silva I'm gonna take what we're curious is what have other people seen that we're talking about in how do we make this more than just those objects? How do we bring in those other perspectives and but still keep it something that makes sense? That isn't, you know, here's the buffet of random things across the museum. I'll put on the page in a context this way. So if you think we've all done Zoom enough that if you want to do the raise hand thing, we're happy to sort of sequence people that way, if people have questions.

Unknown Speaker 31:51
I was a data while we're, while we're pulling for the audience here. What your point about the advanced search also fits very much into this okay for me, because we have the same experience that advanced search was only intuitive to someone who actually already knew a lot about our collections. And we as part of the process that I described it beginning collections 2.0, so to speak, you know, we actually sort of undid our advanced search, we were able to successfully get rid of it because we promised that people would be able to find things. But you know, that's that's still a thing that people talk about.

Unknown Speaker 32:27

Unknown Speaker 32:31
Hi, David. Hi, Dan. Talking here from Amsterdam in the Rights Museum. One of the options, options that we explored in Amsterdam recently or last year, just before, even before Corona started, was exploring and using stories as a kind of edited conglomerate's of all kinds of different objects and editorial content that we put together around objects. So that's, that's another way to explore the collection, I guess.

Unknown Speaker 33:20
I'm curious, they're still their stories. Were they things entirely generated by the institution? Or were the sort of did you canvass outside of the institution? That's always something I find interesting.

Unknown Speaker 33:33
Yeah, that's that's the the weak point. I guess. It's it's completely an editorial construction of the own institute, which, at the same time was interesting because it allowed people to or the institute to add more different perspectives around a collection of objects. But at the same time, the museums still remain in control of everything. Which also didn't allow, in my personal opinion, enough of the outside viewer, and responses.

Unknown Speaker 34:12
Yeah. Yeah, I think we certainly also talked about how do we use storytelling, because so MANY of the good stories are these aggregates of you know, its objects in context. With each other and you can't really do that or object page. Chairman.

Unknown Speaker 34:38
Hey, this year, Dan and David, um, you know, so something that, uh, on the on the thread of stories is like, you know, when you go to a museum website like it, as you said, it's essentially just a parallel of a database, which is to say you can find things if you know how to find things right, or if you know what your terms are and stuff, but like that does not that is not the way that like people experience um, cultural objects right? You know, like when you go to a physical museum, we have entire discipline of people that put things on walls that tell you like this is what you get to see today. You only get to see what that what the what what's available there. I know obviously it's all kind of like blunt all of us but I like I like kind of like starting with this this point. Um, and so like, I wonder, like, how do we get digital collections to I'm not saying that I don't think virtual should like represent just be the physical cuz I think you know, obviously, the medium is the message etc. But, like, when I think about myself as just like a person managing the database, like, my understanding of the collection is very narrative, right? Like, I can say, like, oh, well, you know, in the 60s, we acquired these types of objects, and then the 70s as new director came on, and then we really got into this kind of stuff and blah, blah. And that's not even that's not even like our historical knowledge or anything. That's just like the experience of the institution. No different than the narrative you would get of like going to a restaurant, and then the restaurant is like, well, you know, the owner really wanted to start this restaurant after their travels, wherever, you know, like, everybody's got some good narrative, but like, museums don't really do. We don't really have that a lot. And I think that's actually some of the more compelling parts of, of collections as an idea as opposed to discrete objects. That's not really a question. I'm sorry. I don't know.

Unknown Speaker 36:28
No, no, yeah. Renting is also appropriate and these countries are

Unknown Speaker 36:33
encouraged even barren.

Unknown Speaker 36:39
Hey, this is this is great. I hope this wasn't one of your other questions, but when I or maybe I do, so the longer I work with museum databases. The more I think about how fundamentally as a field we have not moved beyond the current file, the databases card file. And in order to get to this more rich, like four dimensional experience that you're talking about, on the internet, we have to abandon the card file concept. Institutionally, like I think I think our public is wavy on the card file. There. They want to go on a fun, informational journey where every time they turn a corner, there's like a cool thing. And then if you it's like Choose Your Own Adventure, there's MANY different ways of things to ways to explore the collection. And one of the things that I do a lot of work with very small museums, and one of the things I continue to encourage them to do is put less stuff on exhibit, right because they put it all out because they want everyone to see all this stuff. But explaining to even like an all volunteer run organization or somebody with like a very small staff that you can use one object to tell MANY different stories as I as I think sort of the, the way that you know I like to think about online collections is that it would be really cool to know how MANY different exhibitions has this vase been in? How MANY different ways can you tell us you know, how has this thing contributed to a sort of narratives over the 100 years it's been in this collection and I think the the fundamental problem there is that sometimes it's contributed to no narratives. And so what about those collection objects where we post them in? They're all stubs because they're not related to anything else in our collection. There's also that like fear of embarrassment or we don't have and it's like Wikipedia entry, and a journal article for every object in our collection. And I think there's a lot of pure curators that really would like that not to be public.

Unknown Speaker 39:15
So I don't know that we could have planted a better segue if we tried. So thank you, because this the moving on to the next question. And all these questions relate to each other in some way. So people who you still have things to say hang out. The next question just so we can move on what is this question user experience and user expectations? And how do collections take advantage of the affordances of the internet? One thing, my two sentences about this and then I'll let David talk about it more is i I often think about when walking through museum that these objects exist in the world they do not exist solely in the context of museum. And the same I think needs to be mirrored in digital collections. They are part of the internet, as capital is something that exists not just within a single webpage, but they represent entities of the world. And so their digital representations also engage with that and I saw someone talked in the chat about late data, which we can touch on.

Unknown Speaker 40:17
Yes. And I think I think you were thinking about these, these websites as things that live on the internet and are not, you know, one to one proxies of the museum experience. Because they're, honestly, they're really lousy as museums, their their card catalog says and Karen was saying what? People are going to come to our websites with expectations based on what they have found on the internet already. And I think it is, you know, what do people think? Is it going to, you know, are they looking for something Amazon with sort of that massive faceted filtered search so that they can find a particular thing among a huge list of other things? Do they think of us as sort of like a Google proxy where they ask questions, and they get really relevant answers. I think of this as sort of a wiki data Wikipedia style experience, where you're going through narratives and learning and sort of jumping from place to place. These are these are the experiences that people have online. What can we do and what should we be doing to sort of build on that experience, so that it feels doesn't feel like it's a it's a book that happened to be put into a bunch of web pages, but that it isn't experience it feels like the internet doesn't necessarily have to feel like a museum.

Unknown Speaker 41:39
Francis? Hi.

Unknown Speaker 41:44
Sorry, I was just gonna say, in my opinion, taking advantage of the affordances of the internet, the first step is that we have to be willing to let go of that control. And that authorship and that authoritative voice and the fact that we are the interpreters, and we have to give other people the opportunities to make the connections and tell stories.

Unknown Speaker 42:13
And I think it's interesting going off some of the things we've seen in chat around that idea of linking. Because I think we also there's this balance between we want to give people the tools to tell stories, but we also want to, you know, there's a all of the things that you mentioned are are branded is the wrong word, but they are experiences that have a particular set of affordances and feeling that come from an entity. And they are not the definitive, or, In Google's case, maybe they are the definitive entity for search. But I mean, that's the question is, what do we want to be the definitive entity? For? Who do we want to be online?

Unknown Speaker 42:58
That that exact question, David, that who do we want to be online? Question is, you know, we probably fulfill collection searches in our lives. And it's a question Do you want the shopping experience? And everything that comes with that? Does that fit with the institutional model for how we present things and this extends to, you know, again, this notion of giving up control and there's giving up control in that? Yes, we will let people say things about our collections and we will publish those things. And then there's really giving up control, which is acknowledging that maybe we're not the authoritative voice about everything. You know, we have a we have a wonderful Monet in our collection. I don't know that we're the authoritative voice about Monet, necessarily. So how do we represent that if we if we can come to that understanding? How do we represent that in an online collection? In a way that makes sense to people? These are, these are the kinds of things

Unknown Speaker 43:54
and I think, maybe just to jump to that next slide as well, because I think it's the same question which is really what is the person out the organization because what I like to tell people is you know, on the internet, my museum is next door to dance music. We're next door to the Rights Museum. We're next door to the Met. We are, in my opinion, the best, you know, fine arts museum on a hill in Brentwood, Los Angeles. We have very little competition in that particular scope. But not even the only Museum in Los Angeles but on the internet. We are next door to everyone and I don't think you know. There's only going to be one the best encyclopedic Art Museum online, there's only going to be one, you know, this. In order to to function online. We need to know who we are and who we want to be. Because, you know, the the in person museum experience across museums can be reasonably consistent because you never go you know, I'm not gonna walk out one gallery, Getty and walk into the gallery and Princeton, but we all know that's the experience online is that you are going to do that kind of crossing across boundaries of institutions. And so who do you know who you are?

Unknown Speaker 45:16
There's, there's important in the chat. I think Meredith's use the term Field of Dreams, museum online collection, which I think is amazing. But you know, the idea of this and this is a thing I think about a lot. A wedding when it comes to you institutional identity organizational personalities is if we if we consider the uses of our collection, and we're honest about the use of our collection. The fact that a work of art is at the Princeton versus the art museum is probably one of the least interesting things about it. And so it's weird that we build our online collection around that aspect of it in so MANY ways.

Unknown Speaker 46:04
riffing off what I'm seeing the chat it's also awkward. We only get to build one collection. website. And there are millions of potential users and we're not going you know, I'm often asked to build something for everyone and you can't, you know, that doesn't make any sense. There is no this is the right thing for every so who is that audience that we as an institution want to reach?

Unknown Speaker 46:29

Unknown Speaker 46:32
Yeah, hi. I think I have a slightly different opinion about that. But it mainly comes from the fact that the Rights Museum is a national museum. Which as an authoritative voice can count. There is a clearly defined 19th century concept of museums that lies at the heart of what this museum and I think a lot of museums does.

Unknown Speaker 47:12

Unknown Speaker 47:15
I think I don't believe in the fact that giving up control is something realistic. But maybe that's a European standpoint, that I'm not very sure. But I'm kind of doubting whether that is that historical perspective and the history of the institutional history that we have is something that we can't get rid of. But we can contextualize it and open it up and be more transparent about the biases that we have. In the past, then I think in the current time, as well. For me, I think that we want to be, as are one of the things that I being responsible for collection, information and data. Of this collection is the fact that I want to

Unknown Speaker 48:17
allow more flooring for

Unknown Speaker 48:20
focal, a story and information and data about that collection to be widely accessible as possible. On the internet as well. I don't know what these are ramblings. And I've been working all days. But still, I think we're working hard to put our collections on the internet to offer that on that platform. Not necessarily on the platform of specific Museum.

Unknown Speaker 48:55
Yeah, that's, that's a valuable perspective. And I think, yeah, this is Aaron.

Unknown Speaker 49:03
So there's all kinds of great things happening in the chat. But I always asked this question and people, people's hair starts on fire when I asked the question, but my, you know, my question about online collections database is, why do we put our collections online? And I think it's a it's a question that we don't actually know the answer. To. We do it because we have them. Other museums are doing it. We want to create access. But that's not a very good answer to me. Like, is it more equitable? I don't know is it would it be cooler to have more tours of storage? These are just like, you know, questions. And, yeah, Amanda. Well, I

Unknown Speaker 50:04
was just gonna say that I think that people do have at least at my museum, people do have reasons why we put our collections online and they're very disparate, and they are not at all equitable at all. Like I think that you know, curators put their collection online one to kind of shop it out. So that other curators want to use it for their research or put, you know, our objects in their shows or they want to show the research that they've been doing versus you know, education wants to send her the, you know, classroom materials that they're making and you know, they want to put those online and like, overall, there's like the general idea of like, you know, if we hold the collection in the public trust and the public should should, should have access on it, but is an online platform, or at least the ones that we have created, does that actually help the public discover? You know, going back to that idea of centering narratives and centering stories, do we actually communicate that? I would say no, so I but I can't remember who said I think it might have been David who said, like, you know, we're supposed to write for everyone and that's literally impossible. There's, there's no way to do that. And I think going back to what you said Erin earlier, where museum databases haven't moved past the card catalog. I think that when you think about the way the way we like, assume people are going to use the database and that I think that has to tie in with a personality organizing organization, right. They think people think that there's going to like search and try to pull things up whereas the collections, you know, collections online and you know, internal databases, they tend to favor searching over browsing. And there's no real way to browse with what we have right now. And I think that with how the Internet functions now today with like, algorithms that are like trying to, you know, put content together for individual people, that's, you know, our the way that museums are presenting the collection, they definitely don't match with what's kind of going on with the platforms in

Unknown Speaker 52:17

Unknown Speaker 52:19
I can certainly answer you know, I can tell you because this is the conversation that we've had over and over again for the past two years as we've been planning is why are we doing this because it is a there's so MANY different things we could do. And it may or you know, the answer that we've come to which is we as an institution, because we have physical things we have unique knowledge about it and being able to provide that out as sort of a a hub of that information is why we have that online. Because we can be the definitive source of information about something it doesn't mean but we It doesn't is that is totally different than being definitive voice about the thing. There is this reference need because research happens online. I mean, none of our curators and there we have some old fashioned curators like everyone, you know, they start with Google. Everybody starts with Google for research. And if we're going to participate in the 21st century, we have to be a search result in there. We also know we're never going to be the only search result there is going to be for any major work, there's going to be a Wikipedia page is going to have different opinions. And that's a that's fine. And I think a lot of what we're trying to do is how do we make this a site that is as useful as possible for a a dive deeper link for different experiences across the web? That's I think, we think when we think of question, what we're trying to do is to give you that, you know, some Someone should tell a story. And if you want to learn more about the parts of that story, we'd love to be the place where you go for that and we'll tell some stories. But we can't tell them all.

Unknown Speaker 54:03
You know, the very broad answer to that data that we when we ask ourselves those questions is at the end of the day, we can't be doing it for ourselves. It has to be in the service of some audience needs that we have identified. And getting distilling down what those audience needs are, is incredibly difficult. And when you think you figured it out, often you haven't and they change over time. And but at the end of the day, you know this question of we're doing this because this is just something that museums do when we are a museum is not good enough of an answer for us at least. So we have about three minutes if anyone wants to answer this last question. Here because neither David or I have the answer

Unknown Speaker 55:04
I don't know if I could do it in three minutes. But I said some of what I think has been coming up in the in the chat and stuff is is something that I've been recently exploring and that is David White, created this model or archetype for for users online and he has this spectrum of visitors versus residents. Visitors are very much I don't know if anybody else is familiar with visitors, visitors very much approach the web as a tool shed. It's a pool of knowledge. We go into our tool shed, we grab what we need, and then we put it back. And then you have on the other end of the spectrum, which at any given time we can slide back and forth and we can live in any one of these spaces. On the other end of the spectrum you have residents which really tend to live and share online so that you can think of things like forums or social media in particular, where they're, they're living their lives out in a communal space on the internet. So you have you have two, two ends of the spectrum. And I think what I was saying earlier in the chat, which is where kind of museums are approaching their collections is we're very much treating it as this is this is a pool of knowledge where you can grab your tool and use it for academic research. But I think as somebody else is pointing out is that you don't really have these opportunities for discovery and maybe we're conditioned to, you know, really approach the web in terms of search and and that usually implies that we have an intent of where we're going to land. So I think what might be interesting is to think about what's been brought up with the Rights Museum in in your question DAM where you asked whether or not users were creating stories about these objects, and that is we start to push to where we look at collections and how they might live in terms of serving a resident of the internet versus a visitor of the internet and so, you know, where can we create communal spaces where people, you know, have discussions or share stories, and I think that's where you start having those moments of, if I'm active in that community, all of a sudden, I have these moments of discovery because somebody else has shared a story about their related experience.

Unknown Speaker 57:19
Yeah, I think

Unknown Speaker 57:22
I think that's a really good point. And I think at least the perspective that we're coming from is people should have those stories, but they should have them in their existing communities. It's not you know, I am never going to get he is not important enough to to be a hub of a community for anyone, at least in my opinion. You know, that's what Twitter's for. That's what, you know, Ravelry is for their communities that exist out there. How can we be a participant in those communities? How can we enable those communities to be communities, rather than trying to create a little site community that is really just for our staff? Do you wanna wrap us up?

Unknown Speaker 58:07
Yeah, I think that's as good a place as any to wrap this up. This has been fantastic. This was recorded. i The chat will live somewhere. Thanks. Thanks for everyone who has participated. Thanks, David, for going through this with me. Let's keep this conversation going in whatever format we can on Slack on Twitter, wherever it may be, even if it's just reaching out via email to talk about this more. You know, when we talk about these things openly and in conversation with each other, we make collected progress on them more than we can do otherwise by ourselves. So that's it. Thanks so much, everyone. Wonderful day. Thank you all