Final Reflection

The website that Kana and I created went far beyond what I envisioned. I am so proud of the work Kana and I have done and feel that we truly did our best to produce an accurate, comprehensive look into Sarasota during the Great War. We managed to get to this point by sticking fairly closely to our project contract and original division of labor.

A key component of our contract was keeping the site attractive and accessible. Kana and I agree that the theme and other aesthetic elements of the website came out well. But, in order to achieve this, we did end up using a different theme than the one we originally planned to use in the contract. Besides solely visual elements, we feel that we managed to find a good balance between images and text. Most importantly, it is our opinion that we were able to write with historical integrity without sounding too academic. Thus far, these views have been supported by members of the Sarasota community who have seen the website. Our parents, friends, peers, and random members of the area have all be able to enjoy the content. Last week I called a local video store for an entirely different project and when I told the owner my name, he commented that he is a member of the Historical Society of Sarasota County and saw my website in an email sent out to Society members. A Sarasota native, he said he loved the site and showed it to all his friends.

Regarding the layout of content, there were a few deviations from the contract. Under the War Effort section, we added a subheading on “Enlisting” and removed a tab labeled “Women in the War Effort.” This change was due to a lack of information regarding a woman’s naval militia that was mentioned briefly in a single source. Instead, the role of women in the war effort was touched upon in all relevant sections and more specifically in the tab, “Woman’s Club,” under “Social Life on the Homefront.” We also removed an intended subheading on railroads under the “Wartime Economic Development” tab. This was mostly due to a lack of time; when it came down to adding the section, there was already a good amount of content under “Wartime Economic Development” and little time left to add more. The last main deviation was moving the section on disease, originally placed under “Social Life on the Homefront,” to its own tab called “Influenza.” A positive addition that was not on the contract was creating an individual page for Harriet Burns Stieff, providing a page where visitors could see all video clips of her in one place and read a bit about her and her involvement in the project.

Our division of labor turned out almost exactly how we planned in the contract. As stated previously, the section on the woman’s naval militia did not come to fruition, and thus Kana did not get a chance to write about that. Besides that, we both read over and helped edit each others’ sections. Occasionally when doing archival research we individually came across sources that were relevant to parts the other person was writing about. As such, we did not maintain a clear division of labor in the sense that nothing was done without some form of collaboration. But, generally, we stuck to our assigned tasks.

Again, we are incredibly proud of our site and grateful for the experience we have had in this class. I think I can speak for Kana as well when I say that we both learned skills that will benefit our academic careers and beyond.

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