We still have to make some of the changes from Wednesday’s class (4/12), including separating the right sidebar so it looks cleaner and creating a better Intro page. It was Easter weekend, so we did not get much done since Friday, I have been home to see my family. Thursday and Friday we did work on some content work, which included going over the Vermont Constitution. For plan between now and Wednesday is to make the 4 or 5 changes presented to us on 4/12 and rework all of the citation done in our pages. Our goal is to make it look more professional and uniform.
This week I spent researching additional details for analysis on the website. During this process I found this map which was interesting, but I wasn’t sure if I could use it as a valid source for why northwest Virginia voted to secede from Virginia. There is certainly a correlation between the counties that seceding, but voting against secession from the Union doesn’t lead directly to secession from Virginia. I’m having trouble finding other sources on this matter, but I am still looking.
I added images to most of the pages and am continuing to search for more. I am also in the process of photoshopping the header. The maps are a little uneven in size so I’m trying to find a middle image that accounts for that.
It took me a while to figure out how to add captions to the photographs, and I still torn on attribution. At this point Kendall and I were thinking of a caption and brief attribution directly beneath the images and a longer list on the citations page with each attribution detailed and a description of which image it applies to.
Sorry, forgot to write that I added “The Secession” as a subpage as well! We didn’t think that people noticed you could click on it and not just hover over it so we added it as a subpage so people could more easily click on it for that information.
Not much to update on for this week. Both Eben and I went through the pages and improve the content/edited grammatical issues that we have seen. I also changed the header image on a couple of the pages (like the timeline one). We are both trying to figure out how to change the bottom of the ‘Home’ screen to something other than links to our other pages without having to change our theme and start our customization all over again. If anyone is using our same theme, any suggestions? We would like the bottom to be links to digital archives to learn more about the Mormon migration.
We are both adding citations to all of our pages while still trying to keep it aesthetically pleasing for our audience. I also changed the background for the timeline so it will all be black instead of a majority black and some white.
While doing a lot of my research this weekend one of the biggest questions on my mind was about coming up with an alternative conclusion for what the Quaker situation is if it isn’t a secession movement from Puritan New England. I think that coming up with something to counter the argument we’ve been building with our research all semester is something that I was not expecting to try to do, and required me to not only come up with all the different examples to support the point we’re trying to make, but to try and think of something opposite of that. It had never really crossed our minds throughout this project that the Quakers were anything but a secession movement, but once I found something in the reading I was doing earlier today, I think that I finally made a breakthrough in the potential alternative conclusion for our website.
So, I am currently finishing up the “Aftermath” page for our site. I think it is going rather well, but now I am thinking about the flow of the website more instead of content. I really am trying to make it so that the pages are cohesive and that they tie together instead of it being a hotbed of information. I’m now starting to think that I might have to break up some sections into other pages so that I can link them to other parts of the website. Unless someone knows how to link to a specific article section on a page…in which case, help? I’m also thinking about analysis in the site. I want to really make sure it’s clear. Like I mentioned before, I think this site is ultimately going to turn out to be a history version of SparkNotes, where the events and people are explained, and then the analysis is on the following page. I really want it to be simple, so that someone in high school doing a report can really understand what happened in the movement itself before delving into analysis. That way, if anything, they can understand the events of the movement. Then, if they want to read an interpretation of the events they can. I think this method really gives people a chance to think about the events and come up with their own interpretation before giving ours to the audience. I think it’s a good way of engaging high school students, because if they read our analysis first, then that is what they are going to agree with and write about instead of taking the time to really put things together themselves (Or was I the only one who was kind of guilty of that in high school?)
A comment made on Wednesday said that some of our pages didn’t have enough content to justify them being actual pages, so I consolidated a bunch of the social media pages and the analysis onto a parent page. Will be asking for feedback about this Monday/Wednesday.
Decided to move the “Next…” links to the right and change them to Header 3 font. Hope that helps with recognition. Also went through and cleaned up the the citations and organized them in the bibliography. Still missing citation info for some of the newspaper articles and apparently the historical society doesn’t have them either. Trying to figure out how to deal with that right now.
It’s been a rough busy week here in the Happy Valley of SUNY Geneseo, but I managed to finish up the opposition voices content of the website. It looks good and I am looking forward to hearing comments because I feel like the comment section was the most helpful part of last class!
This week has been a difficult one for me. I found out on Thursday that the housing I had set up for next year had fallen through, and since then have been trying to find a new place on short notice. As you can imagine, this has been stressful.
Nonetheless, I have made some decent progress on the website. I have written an introduction outlining our thesis for the project and giving visitors a grounding for how to examine West Virginia’s secession. I have also written a page explaining the complexity of West Virginia’s entry into the Union and giving an argument for why it was constitutional despite initially appearing suspect.
I also finally figured out how to set the home page to our actual home page instead of a blog post, and secured permission to use the photographs from West Virginia history On View on our website. Lori Hostuttler at the West Virginia and Regional History Center has also kindly scanned some letters for us to add to our understanding of the Wheeling Conventions.
While I am disappointed that we were not able to complete all of the content for the site, I am confident that we will be able to soon.