“Valley of the Shadow”
Pros: Homepage is simple: allows users to distill information without feeling overwhelmed, virtual blueprint helps create spatial familiarity, simplicity of design to access well-employed empirical data
Cons: Statistics could benefit from highlighting of important information, it seems slightly anti-Southern, almost no interaction (Hospitality?)
Takeaways: It feels like walking through a cold, dusty house.
“Gilded Age Plains City”
Pros: I love the strategy of targeting everyone and allowing them to enjoy the site on various levels, the INTERACTIVE MAP!!! (I’ve mentioned a want to do the same).
Cons: Heck of a run-on sentence to introduce the site (is that a ‘pro?’).
Takeaways: Scholarly, yet quasi-colloquial, Wood-esque approach in its writing style. I loved it.
Cons: I got confused and left.
Takeaways: 2 minutes of my life.
Pros: Very easy to navigate and read for 2 minutes or 2 hours
Cons: Although the references are fun for open-ended learning, the site could have more internal links to take advantage of the technology (“Move away from the prose!”).
Takeaways: It would be nice if the site allowed the user to expand his research from the ‘pop history’ featured here, to more in depth primary sources such as loc.gov.
“Mapping the Republic of Letters”
Pros: Cool/creepy Ben Franklin picture on homepage
Cons: The “Video Introduction” would not load. I feel like I’m intruding.
Takeaways: I guess this a “site in progress.” It seems more like an announcement than anything else.
“The Transatlantic Slave Trade Database”
Pros: Seems like a great resource for statistics on the transatlantic slave trade.
Cons: Very text-heavy, gets stifling when attempting to jump-around.
Takeaways: More of a database than a interactive site. I guess, well-described.