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.