WHY A MUSEUM IN CYBERSPACE?
Just imagine what a local museum could be if every household contributed all of their historical and unusual things to be displayed. What if a huge tract of suitable land were available and the local zoning authorities said "whatever you want to build will be okay with us, just go build it," and we suddenly found ourselves with funds sufficient to build a dream museum and to pay whatever staff we needed for the next ten years?
In the real world that is very unlikely to happen.
But cyberspace is a different world! We can, in effect create a museum with display space measured in acres rather than square feet. We can configure the space any way we want, and reconfigure it as frequently as we're willing to put in the effort.
Perhaps the most mind-boggling aspect of a museum of this type is that we can, in effect, open doors directly into other websites! For example, from Murray County, Georgia, you can gain instant access from this website to the websites of several hundred museums, art galleries, libraries, as well as English-language newspapers and magazines around the globe! By simply clicking your mouse on one of the blue links in the Gateways section (you must be online when you click!), the door to the other site opens instantly.
Thankfully a museum in cyberspace has none of a physical building's space, size, or style restrictions; the builder of a cyberspace museum doesn't have to deal with permits and zoning regulations. A virtual museum negates concerns about its location and impact upon the community. In fact, the computer upon which the museum resides is in another state, far removed from the red clay hills of Murray. Even so, the reliability of the website hosting service is so high that historically they have provided reliable computer service for more than 99% of the time throughout the year!
With unlimited space, a virtual museum can display items without regard to their size. Want to display paintings on individual grains of rice? No problem. We can show them larger than life so visitors can see all the detail. Want to show an entire collection of antique automobiles? No problem. Items of any size can be photographed so their finest details are as visible as if the visitor picked up the item and held it close. Contrast that idea with the traditional museum where things are locked in display cases and close examination is simply not possible.
A virtual museum doesn't have to concern itself with providing access for citizens with disabilities. There are no obstacles! No stairs, no narrow doorways, no impossible-to-use restrooms. Consequently citizens who are physically unable to visit traditional museums can spend whatever time they want in this unusual museum without having to leave home. And at any time. Even in their underwear! Birthday suits are permitted too—nobody's going to know the difference.
With a virtual museum, we don't have to worry about a staff–yet the museum will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! Guests can visit at any time regardless of the weather! And admission is always FREE.
Concerns for security and the exorbitant cost of insuring irreplaceable items are not high on the list of things someone must be concerned about when the museum exists only in cyberspace.
Visitors can get a much closer view of items that they find interesting—and linger as long as they want at any item without having to be concerned that they might be preventing others from seeing it. They can move through each collection at their own pace and return as often as they wish. They can talk openly with other people who might be accompanying them on the virtual tour—none of the other museum visitors will even know they're there. If they see something they really would like a picture of, they can click a few buttons on their computer and print out whatever is currently on their screen.
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