The Museum Digital Publishing Bliki won the ‘Best Museum Professional Website’ Best of the Web award at this year’s Museums and the Web conference! Best of the Web is a prestigious annual contest to recognize the best museum work on the web. Sites are nominated by museum professionals from around the world and reviewed by a committee of peers.
The Best of the Web evaluation committee appreciated that the Bliki had been developed through a process of discussion within the museum and publishing communities. The committee also noted that access to the member list reveals it as a thriving, active community. Further committee comments called the Bliki “well-organized and easy to navigate,” adding that “the straightforward, non-flashy design complements the focus on the site’s compelling long-form content. The conference and event wiki is particularly helpful.”
The Bliki debuted at the National Museum Publishing Seminar in Chicago to best reach museum publishers and vendors whom do not generally attend web and technology conferences. Since its launch in June 2012, the Bliki has featured approximately 50 thought-provoking posts providing both practical information and creative approaches. The wiki section allows for collaborative authorship to catalogue bibliographies of publishing conferences, professional development opportunities, relevant presentations and other resources.
The Bliki has 112 subscribers to its blog and 52 registered members. These numbers are not large, but the site is decidedly a long-tail niche interest. Drawing from information provided by the members, the Bliki has achieved its audience goals consisting of a mix of museum publishing professionals, digital media technologists, collection information specialists and trade publishers. Google analytics reveals visits from 31 publishers, 91 museums and other cultural institutions, and 146 colleges and universities. Readers of the Bliki come from 88 countries and visits to the site average approximately 1,011 per month.
To allow for the broadest set of opinions, the Bliki is not directly affiliated with an institution. Liz Neely and Amy Parkolap of the Art Institute of Chicago moderate and contribute to the Bliki. Greg Albers, publisher at Hol Art Books, and Robert Weisberg of the Metropolitan Museum of Art are flagship contributors as well as advisors to the site. Other members have also contributed engaging posts and all are welcome to contribute.
Thanks to you all as readers, contributors, and subscribers for making the Bliki a successful space for advancing the museum digital publishing conversation while building a cross-functional museum publishing community. As the Bliki’s one year anniversary approaches, we’ll be conducting a member survey to evaluate how the site can best meet your needs in the future. We’ll also implement badging to reward and acknowledge participation with the site. These first nine months have established a strong foundation from which to build a robust dialogue around digital publishing in museums.
Congratulations on being part of the award-winning Museum Digital Publishing Bliki!