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intensify work under the metaphor CultureNet Scandinavia. Meeting on a regular basis, the
objective of this co-operation is to commonly plan and implement projects, as happened for
example in 2000 with a project on Nordic net art. Other areas of co-operation considered
for the future are marketing and web strategies, design and staffing, the use of standards for
data exchange and the circulation of editorial content among the members of CultureNet
From Net to Network
Advancing from a Net to a Network was not an easy task especially as the project was
initiated top-down and membership was not voluntary. As a top-down initiative placed
onto cultural heritage institutions by the Ministry, the participating cultural heritage
institutions did not have a comprehensible understanding of why they should participate,
and the rights and obligations of the members where not transparent. In addition, the top-
down implementation did not give the cultural institutions a sense that they were in control
and able to contact on their own terms.
If national governments opt for the top down approach, they need to provide partici-
pating members with a clear agenda of the aims and objectives in joining the network. In
the case for KulturNet Denmark, the two most important benefits for members was space
on the KulturNet server and support for cultural heritage institutions who wanted to set up
their own institutional web site. In 1996, these were considered valued to most of the
cultural heritage institutions.
Despite this ,,it took nearly six years before the notion of a network among the participating
members became more than an empty phrase."In the secretariat", says Pia Vigh,"we had to
reinvent the whole idea of the network, and also needed to convince the members that a
network was a very productive way of working. But this was a very slow process."
The idea of a network is a very good and strong idea, yet, as Pia Vigh notes:"One should
be careful how to define networks.The strongest networks are those that are defining
themselves and that understand themselves as networks." As such, networks are most
successfully constructed around the idea of sharing: sharing technology, resources, skills,
knowledge, ideas, and motivation.
An alternative to the top-down approach on how to facilitating networks between
cultural sectors is to identify and support already existing networks or intensify networking
between existing communities.
KulturNet Services
Services for member institutions
There are two main services KulturNet offers to its members: On the one hand, the
initiative actively supports its members in creating content by funding selected digitisation
projects. On the other hand, motivating its members to also communicate and disseminate
those contents over the Internet.These kinds of services are like the two sides of a coin:
One cannot build a gateway to Danish culture without content, and on the other hand, a
single access point to Danish culture increases the chances that those digital cultural
resources and services will be discovered and used by the broader public.This is especially
important today, as user behaviour on the net has changed considerably, with users
favouring one-stop access points and thematic portals to idle surfing.
KulturNet Denmark is a service base that offers the following services to the 74 publicly-