Creating software that supports cultural knowledge management brings developers face to face with issues they may not encounter when dealing with more general-purpose applications. Many times cultural specialists will have an unique understanding of all of the data, relationships, and special sensitivities that should be reflected in the interface and structure of software intended for use in a specific field. When general-purpose software is not able to accurately capture these subtleties of culture, experts and developers can work together to create small, focused solutions. This chapter discusses the special issues presented when developing software for cultural or creative organizations, the development philosophy behind targeted applications, and methods to design ecosystems of small applications that can be combined to meet a wide variety of needs.
This chapter was written for Handbook of Research on Technologies and Cultural Heritage: Applications and Environments with Craig Dietrich.