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17th April 2013 Sara Lock

Culture, participation and the web

By: John Holden


This report looks at the convergence of three trends:

  •  technological change
  •  the way that people engage with culture
  •  the policy aim of increasing democratic participation in culture, with particular regard to audiences described as ‘hard to reach’.

The report discusses DCMS’s project Culture Online and highlights some practical

  • lessons learnt from its delivery. In this context it also
  • considers the ever-evolving concept, function and
  • potential of online culture, today and in the future in terms of policy
  • development, technological change and developments in society.

There is a continuing need for an agency where culture and technology meet. Such an agency should:

  • provide advice to organisations throughout the cultural sector
  • provide finance in flexible forms to meet need 
  • provide advice on where partnership funding may be available for web projects
  •  act as a broker, arranger and introducer for partnerships between the cultural sector, technology enterprises and others, such as user groups  
  • stimulate innovation promote knowledge transfer between the publicly funded cultural sector, academia and the private sector
  • promote the use of social software that involves more user-generated content and helps articulate the public voice and the public will develop and encourage networks to form among project developers.

The future of the cultural sector in the UK will be heavily influenced by what new technology has to offer. In a rapidly developing environment, populated by heterogeneous organisations, large-scale directive government interventions are likely to be counterproductive. Instead, an entrepreneurial, agency-led system would help to promote multiple small-scale innovations. Such innovations must be encouraged and networked together to take full advantage of the energy, vitality and knowledge that the cultural sector brings in its approach to technology.

| Published:2013

Smart tags: website participants participation digital

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