It took a while, but it’s time. At the end of 2011, the idea for WhichMuseum was born and the website was launched on Tuesday, October 13, 2015. The whole process from start to launch took about four years, the last two of which involved intensive work on the project.
The basic idea of WhichMuseum was simple: an ‘as complete as possible’ website on all museums. But what exactly means ‘all museums’ and what actually means ‘as complete as possible’?
Because we have an international ambition with WhichMuseum, ‘all museums’ means all museums in the world to us. The ultimate goal is to offer a complete museum platform. ‘As complete as possible’ thus means a website with information on all museums with a community and associated social platform, a forum, museum integration, etc. Very ambitious and actually perhaps impossible. Or not?
The size of the project and the idea of ‘‘impossibility’’ was one of the reasons why after the initial idea development on the project was slow for the first years. Another reason was that the team was busy with personal affairs and other projects. This made it clear that we were to start ‘small’.
About two years ago, the first steps were taken: registration with the Chamber of Commerce. A special moment that made the project more tangible, boosting the ambition and the excitement for working on the project. What followed was a long period of website development, website design and data collection.
Now, two years later, the first version of WhichMuseum is finished. A bilingual platform has been created for both museums and museum lovers. The platform includes all museums in the Netherlands. Representatives of museums can provide current information, including new exhibitions and images. Museum visitors can find all museum information, but can also participate by rating museums or by writing reviews.
So, the platform is created, but what’s next? What matters to us is to maintain and expand the contacts we have established with museums during the development process and after the launch, so we can keep on offering our visitors accurate and updated information. To make it easier for museums, museums should be able to update their own information directly. On the other hand, we want to allow users to alter information on the platform to be able to better maintain the entire museum database.
In order to realize our international ambitions and to differentiate ourselves, we must add other countries to the platform. First of all, we will travel to Belgium to collect museum data and make the Belgians acquainted with WhichMuseum. What’s going to be the destination after Belgium is not yet known, but it will definitely be an exciting ride!