Final Reflection

As my experience with my website is coming to a close, it is now the perfect time to post my final reflections. The website that Dakota and I created was better then we had imagined it would be, even with the flaws we still have to fix. Both of us admit to not being the most technologically savvy people, so what we were able to create pleased us to no end.

We did deviant from the contract in several ways by content and design. Originally, we had hoped to create a digital archive with numerous amounts of pictures and newspaper articles that viewers could see. However, due to peer edits and lack of time, our agenda had to change. Now our site is more of an overview of what our region was up to, along with clipped articles that focus on specific topics. This narrative style is seen throughout the website and on our changed tabs.

The “Home page” deviated from the contract in that it is not as long winded as we had first envisioned. When we had first began creating out site, we had  long paragraphs in mind for our mission statement. As time went on however, Dakota compacted the mission statement into a couple of short paragraphs that worked better and did not overwhelm our intended audience as much.

The “In the News” tab became two separate tabs, “Entertainment” and “Women in War. The “Entertainment” tab stayed close to the contract in that it did continue to state what events were frequently mentioned during the war and had countless articles as visual aids. However, baseball came to replace  the topic of diseases, as with more research I learned the diseases were featured in Richmond not the norm in Wise. The “Women in War” page also managed to stick close to the contract. I diligently listed the organizations that women participated in and added articles throughout. And yet with encouragement and thought, I increased the descriptions of what they did in their local clubs.

The last tab that I had, “The Flu” underwent some drastic changes. With more research, Dakota and I found that the articles I had clipped did not fit the Spanish Flu epidemic. The articles also didn’t fit, in that they were about Richmond and not Wise, Dickenson, or Big Stone Gap. So with a heavy heart I removed them.  I also allowed Dakota to overtake my tab and add in paragraphs he had found within his research. His narrative explained that the flu had been caught within the mountains, but that information was limited. All in all, my tabs deviated a little from the contract, but in ways that I felt improved the website credibility and design.

Dakota’s tabs of “Local Memorials” and the  “Honor Roll” managed to not deviant from the contract at all. Which was a wonderful achievement, as the intended way was simple and to the point. However “The Local Reflections” had to evolve as he was not able to obtain the appropriate permission to digitally scan the booklets. Dakota overcame that obstacle and wrote an essay using lines that conveyed the main message of the authors. Ultimately, Dakota’s tabs kept to what we had intended and contributed to the site in a helpful and interactive way.

For our division of labor, it safe to say that Dakota and I both stayed within the structured parameters. Though as stated above, Dakota did take over “The Flu” tab due to him having more relevant research, both of us used our own contributions of research to complete our own tabs with little to no help from the other. Though we did work together to edit the tabs and make website a success.

In Conclusion, Century America has taught me that it is okay to change your original plans. That both historical research and the digital world is a constantly evolving process that can bring joy, heartache, and frustration. And yet, even with all the days I wanted to pull my hair out or throw my pencil down, I would go back and do it all over again. Century America has taught me lessons I know I will use in both my academic and future careers.

Article Reflections

Hello World

Today I am going to write about two articles I read and my impressions of them and what they said about digital history.

This first article I read was Learning how to write Analog and Digital History (2012 revision) by Andrea Lawrence.  The first paragraph starts out with the author expanding on how historical has been a robust project that has certain perimeters that have stayed mostly the same over the last few years. And that learning to “do history” (A direct quote) can feel like a just soaking in knowledge. While presenting it can be a very limited experience.

I understood what she was saying up to this point. As I have noticed how lately in the modern world how people have stopped at only sharing knowledge through books or conferences. However there is another way to do so and Andrea tackles this in her paper.

She created a class called Histories of Education where she taught her students how to evaluate historiography and experiment with different forms of historical research and writing methods and formats.  Through online discussion, peer review, blogs, critical reviews, wikipedia and other formats; she taught her students what integrity in historical research is, how to structure and how to document.

This article allowed me to reflect on some things I would want to place on my website and how I would want to share history in the future. It also showed that digital history is more then just a new form of sharing history, its a new form of educating, learning and experimenting. It is allowing people to reach new heights and “do history” in a way that is more then soaking knowledge from a page. All in all, I felt her article was very informative if a little ambiguous.

The other article I read was The Accountability Partnership: Writing and Surviving in the Digital Age (2012 revision) by Natalia Petrzela and Sarah Manekin.

This article jumped out at me because of the title. Sometimes I feel like I’m barely managing to keep a float in the Digital world sea. So I wanted to see how other people have managed.

The first paragraph started by introducing our two authors and why they had need an accountability partnership—-a dissertations. Both women had been in different cities and studying two vastly different centuries of history. But they used the internet to connect via email. Both would email each other every day with goals, a schedule of what they were doing, and a reflection on whatever tricky historical question was tickling their brain that day.

Though I found this article sparse on exciting sentences that kept me engaged the whole time, I liked the idea of what they were doing. And felt like it would be a wonderful way to keep on task.

All in all, I felt that their article was informative, if a little too wordy and dry. However I am glad I read their article as it showed me that I would want to avoid blocky paragraphs and cliche catch phrases in my own writing, of my contract and on my website.

Both articles were helpful in sharing ideas and methods which is why they had been originally shared. So I can say that both did their jobs well and I’ll be looking through more articles later.

Until next time.

-Victoria