Abstract- From Cybercolonialism to Cyberglocalization: A Virtual Shifting of Cultural Identity on National Musea Websites
Internet communications technologies change culture and subsequently how a museum represents itself. This is particularly so as national musea websites transform how we view and understand the cultural artifacts they house. Framed by the concept of cybercolonialism, a colonizing of cultures by an array of computing ideologies, this paper examines and compares computing ideologies shaping current website developments at the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia and the Louvre Museum, Paris. The paper asks: How are ideological influences, cultural pressures, and structural constraints giving shape to theoretical, cultural, and applied website developments by the two musea? A variety of qualitative methodologies are engaged - philosophical, historical, and onsite ethnographic observation and pre-structured interview - with analysis of themes and patterns. The concept of remediation is employed to decipher the differing virtual presence of the website to the physicality of actual museum artifacts. Findings will be compared, giving attention to the cybercolonial influence on the IBM-sponsored Hermitage website. The Louvre new website conceptualization towards a less colonizing, global sensitivity presents a micro-model away from cybercolonization. The notion of cyberglo-calization, an adapting of global cyber processes to local situations, will be offered to address and change colonization in the cyber contexts of national musea.