A URL is a radical act… I love these presentation notes on museums, the cultural sector and the web. Lots to mull over:
One of the reasons I think these considerations are so important to the cultural heritage sector is that the act of revisiting is the bedrock underlying the whole idea of cultural heritage itself. The act of re-reading a book, or re-listening to a piece of music or of going to see the same painting or sculpture again and again and of celebrating the evolution of an understanding about those works is what separates cultural heritage from entertainment. Entertainment, born of the moment, can and does become cultural heritage but it is precisely through the act of revisiting that one becomes the other.
The web simply makes those acts of revisiting possible for more people, in more ways, than ever before. When I say these things are possible I mean that the economics of participating in this global network of documents are within the reach of, if not everyone, then more people than ever before. These things become possible because technologies underlying the web are simple enough to meaningfully lower the barrier to paricipation and unburdened by licensing in a way which allows people to share their work and for others still to extend that work to meet their needs.