Nick Poole initialised this section of the discussion by emphasising the need for the Thinktank not to focus on the insular, institutionalised, individual projects but instead to look at the totality of the creative industry and museums collectively.
He broke the museum into two domains, describing it as a publisher as well as a location, and then focused in on the publishing aspect of the museum and what it means to them to engage with this in the digital realm, stating, ‘Its important to realise that its within this context that the Semantic Web happens’. Nick then illustrated this using the Venn diagram below, with showed the four drivers of the Semantic Web from which it then emerges.
One important qualification that Nick made in the explanation of this diagram was the need to talk about many markets rather than individual users, as it is nearly impossible to isolate the individual actions of individual users, however, one can locate large-scale macroeconomic aggregations of activity.
The Venn diagram was used to illustrate the problems generated by demonstrator projects, which have predominantly been driven by funders with an interest in new technologies, neglecting the many markets and museum professionals. Nick described, not only the resentment that this often generates, but the vicious circle that it sets up between the better enabled museums already ofey with new technologies and those that are yet to get initial funding. One of the key issues facing the Semantic Web, therefore, is how to satisfy both groups of museums.
- Workshop One – Leicester, July 2006