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Subject: Online discussion forums

Online discussion forums

From: Jonathan Bowen <jpbowen>
Date: Tuesday, May 20, 2003
The results of the questionnaire, hosted on the Museophile
discussion forums website in 2002, on the use of online discussion
forums by museum professionals are now available. See:

    Web-based Discussion Groups at Stake:
    The Profile of Museum Professionals Online
    <URL:http://www.museophile.sbu.ac.uk/pub/jpb/mw2003b.pdf>

    Roxane Bernier (Universite de Montreal, Canada) and
    Jonathan Bowen (London South Bank University, UK)
    Presented at MW2003: Museums and the Web 2003
    Charlotte, USA
    March 19-22, 2002

See also a related paper on online museum discussion forums:
<URL:http://www.archimuse.com/mw2003/papers/bowen/bowen.html>

Abstract

Online forums aim at stimulating debates and reflection on all
relevant cultural topics as well as providing answers for museum
professionals working in specialized areas (e.g., arts, science,
natural history, education, web design). The main objective of this
paper is to concentrate on the relevance of individuals interacting
virtually within a knowledge process from which to judge the value
of web-based discussion groups. However, little is known about how
museum-related forums target their audience and which subjects are
of real interest to them. It is worthwhile exploring the benefits of
digital networking, not only to investigate the resources available,
but also to learn if they are an effective practical experience for
professional queries. According to the results of a recent
international survey on web museum forums, the authors have
investigated the sociodemographic profile of users and their
preference in terms of information such as content sought and
favourite web-based discussions (electronic mailing lists,
newsgroups and online forums). The outcome of the collected data
should be useful in further binding together the worldwide museum
community as there is great scope for enlivening interactions
through diversified topic areas and therefore help with empowering
individual knowledge in various fields of expertise.

Prof. Jonathan Bowen, Professor of Computing
London South Bank University, CISM
Borough Road
London SE1 0AA, UK


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