However, while it has been successful, like any method of working it is not without its challenges. Whilst Web 2.0 services have simplified and sped up the process of conducting transnational work, there are some challenges involved with their usage. The main factor to be taken into consideration is the varying IT resources and levels of skill available to partners. This was particularly significant in relation to services such as Skype, which some partners were unable to use due to firewall and security restrictions.
All project results and documents are combined together into a service model outlining the processes utilised by the project to deliver services and products. This model acts as a reference point for anyone with an interest in thing sites who wishes to research them further, anyone planning to undertake a heritage related project such as the THING Project, and anyone who wishes to explore the use of Web 2.0 tools to deliver their project and disseminate results.
One of the primary outputs of the THING Project was the development of a common website which could be utilised to communicate the activities and outcomes of the project and to engage the wider community in the work which was taking place.
The aims of the website were to:
- Internal Communication and Project Management Tools
The THING Project identified two broad areas of project activity which it felt would benefit from the utilisation of Web 2.0 services.
The term ‘Web 2.0’ refers to a perceived ‘new generation’ of websites and web-based services which go beyond the static incarnation of websites. Web 2.0 services encourage user-interaction, crowdsourced content and participation. Web 2.0 does not refer to a new set of technologies, but rather a change in the way in which web-based technologies are being utilised.
Web 2.0 services are characterised by the following features
The overall objective of the THING Project was ‘to exchange knowledge, specify, develop and test new and improved services for sustainable managements and business development at the Northern European Thing sites.’
This objective was to be achieved by the implementation of key activities, delivered and organised through four work packages (WP).
The THING Project initially developed www.thingproject.eu as a one stop location which would allow interested parties to find out about project activities, but which also provided facilities for project members to discuss work, share documentation, and organise activities. The website was constructed using Drupal 6, an open-source content management system (CMS).