Publication Details

Lawson, A., Eklund, P. W., Goodall, P., Wray, T., Daniel, V. & Van Olffen, M. (2010). Designing a digital ecosystem for the new museum environment: the Virtual Museum of the Pacific. In H. Yeatman (Eds.), The SInet 2010 eBook (pp. 227-239). Wollongong: SInet UOW.


The Virtual Museum of the Pacific is a social media platform for a digital ecosystem, which enables a variety of user communities to engage with the Pacific Collection of the Australian Museum. The success of the system depends on facilitating the development of culturally relevant folksonomies and encouraging a conversation between online communities. In this paper we explore the relationships between stakeholders, folksonomy and taxonomy, to reveal the design strategies which inform this digital ecosystem. Our analysis defines the scope for the social tagging component of our information model and discusses how users might interact with objects (in terms of their knowledge base) and also contribute to ongoing taxonomic definitions. Given its capacity to span both collection management and community access issues, we contend that the Virtual Museum of the Pacific is a significant model for online community interaction in the contemporary museum environment.

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