Divide and Conquer: Strategies for decentralizing web content management

Mandy Kritzeck, Corning Museum of Glass, USA

Published paper: Divide and conquer: Strategies for decentralizing Web content management

The digital/Web team of an institution can no longer be solely responsible for a truly dynamic museum website. In the museum field today, this is not a radical statement. As Tate has declared, museums are working towards a model of “Digital as a Dimension of Everything.” In smaller institutions with limited staff, this trend increases the challenge of both content creation and management. In the effort to provide visitors and researchers access to more engaging content and collections online, museums need to take responsibility for formalizing and strengthening their staff’s digital skillsets.

In 2011, the Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) implemented a museum-wide Power User group that, with varying levels of responsibility, actively maintains, updates, and populates website content in the Drupal CMS. With the formation of a new digital media department in 2014, CMoG has evaluated the successes and challenges of the Power Users over the past three years. This paper will address how an institution’s digital strategy can be put to practice in the day-to-day work (and formal job descriptions) of staff from every department and skill level, highlighting important factors to a successful distributed Web-content management process. Key points and recommendations for museums with limited staff or that are looking to decentralize digital content management include how blogging and social media can act as a gateway to digital literacy, the critical nature of top leadership support, and how establishing a Power User group is part of the larger task of establishing a more tech/Web/digitally literate staff throughout a museum.

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