Friday, 18 July 2008

Is Web 2.0 really for Archivists?

Having explained a bit about the kinds of technologies that Web 2.0 offers and shown how they are being used in archives I think that it is possible for archivists to engage with Web 2.0 and they will benefit from doing so.

So I don't think that many people would argue that the prospect of engaging with Web 2.0 is an impossible task for archives. However, there is of course an argument that archivists are busy people and simply don't have the time to be playing around with new technologies. Web 2.0 is not part of their job description and is not something that users necessarily want.

It is for individuals to decide whether they have the time to experiment but I think we should consider that there is much commonality in the purposes of an archive and Web 2.0. We might think of Web 2.0 applications as being frivolous and about having fun on the Internet but they have more serious purposes that mirror some of what an archive is about. Archives, as well as museums and libraries, act as repositories of information and all have a purpose to enable access to that information when required. In an increasingly fast-paced online world, Web 2.0 is providing more efficient ways of accessing existing information and innovative methods of creating and sharing new information. So its not such an alien concept after all.


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