Abstract The deep trove of information available on the Internet and the expanding connections it affords to new communities online have been a transforming force in museums in the recent past. A single individual can publish thoughts and ideas to an audience of millions with a few simple clicks of a button. The cultural sector has made great strides in adopting these same methods to advance the missions and content of our organizations; however, a rise in participatory culture poses a number of challenges for the role of museums and our place in the evolving culture of our community. A debate surrounding the changing nature of authority and the participatory expectations of society is central to defining how museums can meaningfully engage with contemporary audiences. When making decisions that define how audiences play a role or not in their organizations, museums must consider the far-reaching consequences of these choices on the relationships they have with their communities.
- Robert Stein
Article first published online: 4 APR 2012