Productive Failure Blog

Developing a website has not been a smooth journey. Even though I consider myself lucky to have worked with this group and topic, we definitely had our struggles. More than anything, I would say our biggest challenge was time-management.

Time-management became a real problem later in the project. All of us, especially Andrea, found regular time to go over the collection at the beginning of the semester. For a while, we were all taking in information, keeping notes, and trying our best to be efficient. However, the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival is a huge collection. We eventually realized that we would not be able to cover it all and began to cherry-pick documents by date. Our struggle really set-in as the semester progressed. We all separated into our own topics and began working more independently. The one time a week that we could all meet was the most inconvenient time for all of us. As communication waned and commitment was spread across other major projects, we all drifted into a production-limbo. Our biggest rush was right before the first draft. Since we had become distant and idle, there was a lot of scrambling to find out what everyone had been working on, how much was there left to do, who was covering what. It came out that our website template was very difficult to deal with and that I could not even access it. Needless to say, our first draft was not spectacular. Unlike breaking something or editing text, we had developed a habit that could only be broken through diligence. After our first draft Andrea and I took a better look at the website. We all decided to change the template, the fonts, the colors, and resolved to let Ethan and I work through his login. Since then, we have regularly met and communicated. We are constantly coming up with To-Do lists for the next meetings while keeping the work as individual as possible. I think the resolution to our problem was persistence. While it was easy at first to find time for the project, as other classes picked up we all had the tendency to put earlier deadlines before MDFF. Staying vigilant and making this project a weekly requirement was essential to completing it.

Despite the unfamiliar complexities, I never felt cornered. There was always someone to reach out too. If this project has taught me anything, it has taught me to the value of our library staff, Special Collections and Media Labs included.

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