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How Fares the Wired Museum? (20 Dec 2004)
One of the most compelling issues for this constituency has been how to incentivize museum leaders to fully participate in the online revolution. Digital has often been an organizational sideshow, and digital projects too rarely influence the larger picture of how the museum is organized and driven. Keynote speaker Max Anderson, founder and president of the Art Museum Network, knows these struggles intimately as a leader in demonstrating the benefits of ICT, most recently as director of Manhattan's Whitney Museum of American Art. Anderson's challenge to conferees was that to influence the boardroom, they should develop software to service new metrics that distill audience response, quantifying museums' effectiveness in impacting the community. Funders increasingly demand proof of social impact, and legislators are about to do so too. Anderson cautioned it would be better for museums to evaluate their performance with cutting-edge tools, rather than have government attempt it. He advised museums to prioritize their role as educational institutions, no matter how unfashionable, bearing in mind how analogous museums can be to universities.
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