This paper asks:
- What does the content museums choose to display on the web reveal about their commitment to certain audiences?
- How do special audiences discern the differences between commitment and special-project pandering?
- Have we failed audiences by judging our best efforts according to low standards?
It looks specifically at the target market of children, reviews the progress of a number of USA museums and makes recommendations for the future.
While most museums no longer fear new technologies, they are slow to embrace all the opportunities offered by new technologies. With regard to our web sites, our goals are either impossibly broad or ridiculously modest.
In general, art museums aren't thinking about children as a major audience, if we did, we'd have something for them on our homepage. We apparently don't expect them to arrive and navigate within our museum site any more than we expect them to get into cars and drive to our physical facilities.