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Book Review

Museum websites & social media. Issues of participation, sustainability, trust and diversity

Citation
Bonacchi C (2017) Museum websites & social media. Issues of participation, sustainability, trust and diversity. Review of: Museum websites & social media. Issues of participation, sustainability, trust and diversity, by Ana Luisa Sánchez Laws, New York: Berghann , 2015, 212 pp. ISBN 978-1-78238-868-5. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 23 (3), pp. 291-292. https://doi.org/10.1080/13527258.2016.1232301

Abstract
First paragraph: 'Digital heritage' is a fluid expression, as showed by the current lack of consensus over a definition for this subject area (Sánchez Laws 2015, 48, 49). The latter has received increasing interest from researchers and practitioners alike, and especially so since the beginning of the twenty-first century, when a more interconnected kind of World Wide Web started to establish itself within networked pockets of the 'network society' (Castells 2010). Despite this growing attention, however, an extensive and accessible discussion over the role of social media and more traditional websites in and for museum engagement specifically was still missing. The author of Museum Websites and Social Media contributes to bridge this gap, building on literature concerned with the history of museums and computing, digital heritage and New Museology, amongst which Ross Parry’s work is noticeable and highlighted (Parry 2007, 2010). Sánchez Laws provides a very useful resource to guide the development of reflective practice, by articulating the theoretical underpinnings of different types of social media(ted) museum engagements. In doing so, she addresses three under-investigated issues. The first concerns the very nature of digital heritage and its relation with the characters that are recognised as being distinctive of heritage. The second issue pertains the need for a deep analysis of the actual potential of digital technologies in the heritage domain – where museums are situated – beyond ingenuous techno-centred enthusiasms and marketing-oriented aims of audience expansion. What can the application of digital methods bring to heritage organisations and groups acting in different social, physical, cultural and political 'spaces' that could not be achieved otherwise? What drawbacks can be expected? The third issue revolves around the dynamic links between ‘benefits’ and 'costs' in the longer-term maintenance of digital resources and practices.

Notes
Output Type: Book Review

Journal
International Journal of Heritage Studies: Volume 23, Issue 3

StatusPublished
Author(s)Bonacchi, Chiara
Publication date31/12/2017
Publication date online09/09/2016
Date accepted by journal01/08/2016
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/28243
ISSN1352-7258
Item discussedMuseum websites & social media. Issues of participation, sustainability, trust and diversity, by Ana Luisa Sánchez Laws, New York: Berghann , 2015, 212 pp. ISBN 978-1-78238-868-5

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