Project site: http://umf.centuryamerica.org/
Century America Project Contract
The goal of this project is to establish a website describing the experience of the town of Farmington, ME and Farmington State Normal School during the approximate time period of 1914-1919. For my site, I plan to focus primarily on the FSNS, but still incorporate the town of Farmington. The town and the school have always been very intertwined, so it will be necessary to describe this relationship. This website will give its audience a better look into what the town and school was like during the time period, how the war affected the town, and how the town affected the war. My intended audience includes students and faculty at my current university and town residents and/or other Maine residents interested in the history of UMF and the town of Farmington.
I will have a navigation page which will come up as the first page when accessed. This will have a slider that describes different highlights of the website. In addition, there will be links provided underneath for various other destinations, such as our course site, the overarching site, and other sites related to F.S.N.S. I envision my actual homepage having a short description of the course, detailing the site, and explaining where to go for certain information. I think a logical place to have our logo is directly on the homepage, so the viewer gets an idea of why this site exists. I plan to have different tabs at the top of the page where the audience can choose a few basic themes to find more information about. The main tabs I will have are: school, town, war effort, about us, further reading/bibliography. For citing sources, I plan to use footnotes on each page so the reader will have the information readily available.
One idea that I want to incorporate into my site, is a school guide in the form of an “accepted student day” tour. I plan to use the year 1917, which will reflect changes in the school curriculum which offered a few new programs. I want to create an interactive way of touring the different things that the school had to offer. I believe that this would provide a fun and easy way for viewers to find what they want. I pictured having certain subjects such as “course catalog” to provide information on different majors and classes. From there, the “tour” could take a number of different steps through given links. By approaching it this way, I believe that the audience can view a wider variety of content in a way that makes sense. This also makes viewing selected content easier. Lastly, the plan is to connect different information through the use of further links that may not necessarily be related to the tour theme overall, but may be related to a specific “stop” on the tour.
For the piece on the town of Farmington, I envision a more traditional description of the town. One element I plan to include is the list of community members who served and/or died in the war. I have already visited ancestry.com and found a list of residents who served. In addition there are also regional records kept on those who served. I am going to create a separate page for those who served and/or died, where I will also provide some details and photographs on Company K, the organization of troops from the area. Since Farmington was agriculturally based, it makes sense to describe the impacts of the war through an agricultural perspective. As a small farm town, losing male workers created difficult situations. In addition, the “plant an acre” for the war effort was critical in the town. Yet at the same time it was uncertain who would run the farms because many farmers were away from home. I plan to discuss how the members of the community responded to these problems. I likely will incorporate all of the town details into one page, because it seems to read more as a narrative.
Another element I plan to incorporate is how the students contributed to the war effort. I have found discussion of participation in Red Cross activities by both the students and community members. This description does not necessarily fit into the “tour guide” setup, and will likely be included under the town section.
The class has contemplated with creating a collaborative video log. I have no prior experience with creating these, but I am open to contributing to the process. In addition to linking to our overarching site, and course site, I will submit a post about the process to my site. If the class decides to collaborate and provide a collection, I will make this available as well.
For the theme of my site, I have selected the Mantra theme. I want to use one that is very accessible for the audience. I also want one that can incorporate images as well. I do not plan to heavily focus on images, but I think that some themes better incorporate them than others. Lastly, I want a theme that is customizable, not too complex as I do not have a vast amount of experience in creating websites.The Mantra theme is easy to use and so far has allowed me get the look I want. As for plugins, the Mantra theme offers a fair amount of what I want, but there are many things that the Jetpack plugin offers which I may use as well. A few aspects that are important and may involve plugins are: allowing for mobile versions, a main screen slider, and navigation (specifically for the “tour” aspect). I think that enabling comments (with approval needed of course) and allowing viewers to contribute to the site is important as well. I would like to keep involved with the site after the course is completed. Although this likely will not involve activity every day, I think that forwarding comments to my email will allow me to stay involved.
I plan to use a timeline for my website. We are providing details for an overarching timeline, so mine will have additional and more detailed information. I will use TimelineJS for my timeline, since that is what I am most familiar with. Additionally, my university has Adobe for editing photographs, so that is what I will be using.
For my site, my plan of action is to get the content done as soon as possible, and utilize the rest of my time for the technological aspect. For example, for my “tour” piece, I plan to put together the information first, and then bring it together in a manner that makes sense. I envision that half of my time will be spent on each aspect. Therefore I plan to be done with the content piece by Friday, March 14. This will leave enough time to bring everything together in a manner that makes sense on the website in order to meet the deadline.
The two photos will be provided by Friday March 7. The 5-10 dates for the timeline on the overarching site will be provided by March 14. In addition, I plan to have a “skeleton” outline of my site finished for this date. On this date I also plan to have the details together for my own timeline. I also will have the details together for my tour portion, and begin organizing them by this date. By Friday March 21 I plan to have the details on my timeline put into the TimelineJS program, leaving the last week before the due date to tinker with the timeline. Also by this date I will have all of my information together and organized, at least on paper, and will have begun putting content into the web pages. This will leave time during the last week to finish adding content and organizing the information. The first draft is due April 3rd. I plan to have the site completed by this date, leaving this time in between for editing and minor changes where needed.