Earlier this week I posted on our developer blog to ask 'what’s your number one question about presenting museum collections online?'.
Merel van der Vaart (@MerelVaart on twitter), who has just finished an internship with the Science Museum's climate change content team, posed an interesting question in response:
"I'm still struggling to decide what the value of online access is. Not that I think it's bad, but how exactly is it good?"
I tend to think that everyone knows the benefits of online collections - providing access to museum objects and the knowledge around them, to start with - so it's actually a really good question: why are we putting collections online? Who does it benefit? Are the benefits clear to others in the museum, and to our audiences?
I can think lots of answers, but the exercise of stopping and examining my automatic response was really useful. I'm still thinking about the presentation on selling your ideas because it's made me realise the importance of having answers to questions we'd forgotten might be questions.