Where does Web 2.0 live in your organisation?

Last night Lynda Kelly left a comment that pointed me to her audience research blog and to an interesting discussion on fresh + new back in June last year; which in turn lead me to Organizational Barriers to Using Web 2.0 Tools. This post quoted a 'nonprofit user' who:

…pointed out to me that while she sees that social media tools make it easier for non-technical types to integrate technology into their workflow, at the same time there's an ongoing organizational message that says "Leave the technology stuff to the IT department."

Interestingly, (and this is in part based on my experience in different organisations over the years) sometimes the IT department are given the message "leave the web to the marketing department" or the education department, or to the curators…

Given that social technologies are not, by definition, traditional publications like official 'brand' and venue messages or rigorous academic research, and may not yet have a place in the organisational publication program, what is the practical effect of the ownership of web projects in a cultural heritage organisation?

And what happens if the 'participatory web' falls in an organisational limbo, with no-one able to commission or approve applications or content? More importantly, how can we work around it?

I think this is where some of the frustrations Frankie Roberto expressed come in – different departments have different priorities and working practices and are more or less risk-averse (and have different definitions of 'risk).

(However, I don't think you can underestimate the urge to archive and curate that many museum people feel. That archival urge possibly just goes along with the kinds of personalities that are drawn to work in museums. I have it myself so maybe I'm too sympathetic to it.)

Recommendations for AJAX and accessibility

A new Webcredibles article, AJAX accessibility for websites, highlights some of the potential benefits and disadvantages of AJAX technologies.

The section on recommendations for AJAX and accessibility was particularly useful, and a lot of the advice probably applies to non-traditional browsers such as mobile phone users. Basically:

  • Inform users early in the page that dynamic updates will occur
  • Highlight the areas that have been updated
  • Don't change the focus
  • Offer the option to disable automatic updates
  • Ensure the site works if JavaScript isn't enabled