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.
Thanks to everyone who helped us yesterday with our tech issues. We’ve changed the theme which fixed our page issue although it did mess up some of our content and the page order. Tonight will be spent rectifying those issues! Have to run to class–thanks again for everyone’s help!
I created a whole page for the secession of Virginia to help better explain the political push towards West Virginia’s secession and then I realized that most of this information is already on the causes page. So after nearly completing it, I had to scrap it. I don’t want redundant information on the website, so it didn’t really make sense to have this page in the first place I suppose. I just put a lot of hard work into something that won’t be on the site instead of working on something else and I’m mainly just frustrated with myself. However, I have finally uploaded the photos on the “Political Profiles” page, so now it is looking even better than before. I want to spice the page up a bit more…but I’m not entirely sure how. I’ve included photographs of the men and I’ve included hyperlinks to two different collections we used to do research for this project. I have also linked the site to transcriptions of documents that came out of the conventions that are discussed on the page. Does anyone have any suggestions? It’s the point of the semester where the creativity has died and I hate every idea I come up with.
Since last week, I have been working on some minor updates to the website. I found videos for the Issue Based Opposition page, which Maria captioned. I filled in some of the pages in the Future section a bit more, though the Alternatives subpage will likely need more content and analysis. I added a bit of text to the Present page, so that it’s not just the StoryMap anymore and the StoryMap’s function is better explained. I also updated the Homepage slightly so that it now better reflects the overall structure and content of our website.
I uploaded the better scan of the family vacationland map as well as some other tourism photographs that I found. I was hoping to get a close-up of McDonald County on the map, but the scan I have is of the full map, so zooming in too close results in a blur of greenish pixels. I think the “Photographs of tourism” page turned out pretty well. It has a nice spread of locations and time periods. I’ll make some edits to the timeline later today.
We got a lot accomplished this week–we’ve changed the structure of the website so it seems far more coherent and much more user-friendly. We’re excited and confident about the changes we’ve made as well as the content we’ve been plugging into them. Unfortunately, it seems that not all of those changes are actually appearing on the website. We’re making sure to hit both publish and update buttons but only some of the changes/content actually appear. I know sometimes there’s a delay in things appearing on WordPress but things that were adjusted last week are still not there. It doesn’t seem to be consistent either–for example, the addition of two new pages under the tab “Quaker vs. Puritans” has appeared but there is supposed to be a third page that says is published but is not there at all even though they were created at the same time. Also our new introduction appears on the homepage but other text hasn’t for other pages. Let us know if you can see things on the site as well–I don’t know if it’s a weird glitch on just our side. We’ll be speaking to academic technology this afternoon but this is just an update to explain if things look kind of weird on our website right now.
I haven’t come across many conflicts with my website updates this time around (except for dumb things that have taken me way too long to figure out like centering a photo, etc). I believe that I have roughly finished the timeline, but I would love to get some feedback on it. It is rough (keep that in mind) and I tried to give a brief timeline of Mormonism as well as the migrations.
I believe that we will be deleting the Mountain Meadows Massacre page, as we can’t give it enough attention at this point in the semester. We are also having some difficulties with headers/photos/and page titles. But, I think that we are going to edit our photos to have the page title on the photo directly, so we don’t have to deal with editing header preferences (since it isn’t working in our favor).
Other than that, the rough draft of our content is all on the website and we are currently working on editing the content and making sure that it all makes sense and looks good.
So Jonas and I have been hard at work on the website the last few days and have gotten most of the first draft completed. Yesterday, I met with Jonas and he gave me a source that he got from the McDonald County Historical Society that gives a great account of the McDonald County secession. It helped me a whole lot with some of the pages that I have created. The other day I was able to put together the page on the McDonald Territory Border Guard and finished editing it today, though I may still add more text content later. Today, I also used the sources we had to put together the Outside Correspondences page and The Battle of Noel page. I plan on adding more to these pages, but more specifically the Outside Correspondence page. In that page I briefly mention that there were talks of McDonald County joining Oklahoma or possibly be given back to the natives, but I have focused on the correspondence between McDonald Territory and Arkansas. I hope to get more info on the talks with the natives and Oklahoma and put a bit of that in there as well. Tomorrow I will work on the Governor John Dalton Speaks page under reconciliation and get that finished up. I think that our project is coming along very well so far.
Just got the content for the “Formation” and “Land Rush” pages done. I wasn’t happy with the quality or content of any of the images that I had, so I contacted Lynn about what the Historical Society may have. Tomorrow I will get better quality scans of some more photos and of the map, format them, and get them up on the site. Also decided to bold the “Next…” buttons and make them bigger.
I got a lot done today. I finished the “Ozark Playgrounds,” “Tourism and McDonald County,” and “A New Age of Tourism” pages. I also created two more pages that focus on photographs. They will hold the extra tourism and secession pictures that we don’t have room to put on the main pages. The main pages will have a “See Also:….” link to lead to them if people are interested. I was also ran across a Vacationland Map in one of my books. I went to the library to scan it, but am not happy with the scan quality. I also didn’t have time to try a different type of scanner since Truman’s library closes at 6 on Saturday for some inexplicable reason. I think I’m going to bite the bullet and push through the “Formation” and “Noel Land Rush” pages tomorrow. And then I think I will be done for a bit. I have put a ton of time into these pages and need to shift focus to other class assignments coming up.