As ever, we’ve been super busy with the Platform since our last update.
There are two main things to announce this time around:
1. We need your data!
We’ve mentioned several times that we’ve been working proactively with the museum community as we develop the Platform. This is really important to us – we want to make sure that we’re building something that actually helps museums, rather than adding to the complexity!
Over the last few months we’ve worked with several museums who have sent us chunks of collections data which we’ve then worked up into simple online prototypes.
As we’ve gone along we’ve developed a nice workflow for getting stuff into our system – both data and collections images and other media – and we think [gulp] we’re now ready to ask the community for more.
So here’s our request:
We want as much collections data as we can get our hands on – whether it’s brilliant, horrible, well written, badly written, well constructed, has images, doesn’t have images. We want CSV’s, XML exports. We want MODES data, CALM data, spreadsheet data. We want big datasets, small ones, medium sized ones… In short: we want anything you can give us!
Why is this useful to us?
Because the more collections data we can fiddle with, the better we can make robust websites that suit museums trying to get online. It also helps us to know what data is easy for museums to produce so we can make something as simple as possible to create and update.
Why is this useful to you?
Because you’ll get a private, password protected area on the Platform where you can see some of your collections data displayed in all its glory. There is no cost and no obligation*. But it might help you:
- …see how your collection might look online if you’ve never had this before
- …see how an existing collection could be displayed differently
- …see how advanced tools like faceting could be used in your specific context
- …give you an idea into how your collection images look – zoomed or otherwise
- …give you a prototype site to share with colleagues when planning a new project
- …and more
* Please note: your collections data is yours, and yours alone. We don’t share it, don’t own it, and will ask your permission should we want to use screengrabs or anything else from the site we create for you.
2. We’ve (finally!) announced our pricing plans…
This has been (and actually, continues to be!) one of the most interesting and challenging parts of this project for us. We want to make a system which is not only available to as many museums as possible, but is also sustainable over the longer term.
Getting pricing right is tough – many museums are asking us “how much?” – but as we all know, museums are wonderfully diverse and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. This also makes it very hard to come up with “one size fits all” pricing.
We’ve landed on a model which is based around three tiers. In simple terms, this is “small”, “medium” and “large” museums, with corresponding complexities in online collection and other requirements. Each tier gives the museum a set of functions and constraints within that tier.
We’ve then included the concept of “add-ons” which will enable museums to include additional functionality or requirements above and beyond the tiers. Example add-ons include additional support time, content editing help and more.
Having said all this – we’re going to continue to be flexible about pricing – so as ever do get in touch if you have a specific budget that you need us to fit with. For instance – we know that some museums are applying for web development grants and have an initial amount to spend but no ongoing budget – we’re happy to talk to you about what we can do about this kind of scenario!
That’s it for this update – we’ve got a whole other bunch of functionality improvements to announce, but I’m going to leave that to the next blog post.
As ever, please do get in touch with any thoughts, ideas or questions. Join the mailing list using the box below, or follow us on Twitter for regular(ish) updates.
Stay well, everyone!