First blog post

As our first post we were asked to review several websites for their content, display, and identify some features we may want to incorporate into our own websites. For this class, I will be creating a website on The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in Western North Carolina so all of these websites have been judged based on how they may apply to that collection. The websites I reviewed were The Valley of the Shadow, Exploring the French Revolution, and Gilded Age Plain City.

The Valley of the Shadow website covers a northern community and southern community during the Civil War. Initially, I like this level of comparison but I am concerned about how singular and independent these comparisons might be. I do like the blue-print/bird’s-eye-view picture of what I assume is an archive building. The layout mimics a timeline and is easy to follow. I also like the fact that they thought to specify collections like the Freedman’s Bureau, which did not exist until Reconstruction. In all this lay out was simple and easy to follow. I would not mind using a program like this though I would like to make it more aesthetically appealing and more user-involved.

Exploring the French Revolution was much more awkward than the Valley site. I found that it stuck to one side of my computer screen and short of clicking on links, did not seem particularly creative. I appreciate the variety of information and topics that were provided but I would like my own site to involve the user in different and more ways.

The Gilded Age Plain City was my favorite out of the sites I viewed because of the interactive map feature. Our meetings with the Computer Science students have revealed that a lot of those students are interested in creating these types of interactive maps. While I am not excited about doing the same as everyone else, I do think that this map is a good example of the user-interaction I am looking for in my own site. There is very specific information, the site is attractive, and there is plenty of background knowledge like what spatial narrative actually are. It also helps that it involves murder, that topic is a big hook for me. I do not know if my collection could support this amount of specificity but I would be interested in pursuing a site like this.

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