L Madrigal – Blog Post #1

Going through all the sites, I got easily lost in the different websites and how they constructed their site and provided their own narrative. One website I found particularly interesting was Illinois Institute of Technology’s Building History site. By using Omeka, this site provides an interactive map of the campus and the history of each building. Furthermore, it has the ability to allow the user to interact with the map of the campus and see the transformation of the campus from its first construction the late 19th century to 2016. I found this interaction useful for my own purposes as I am interested in the transformation of physical space in Los Angeles.

However, some other sites proved problematic. The main problem I saw in some of these sites is that they appear outdated in style and feel overwhelming when finding specific information. Sites like The Emancipation Proclamation Project provide excellent sources and the site is not too complicated to navigate. However, it lacks the interaction and complexity of sites that use Omeka.

After reviewing all the sites, it is clear that Omeka  allows for more creativity and functionality to be included into websites. Alongside Omeka, WordPress has become a source for us to navigate the progress of others as well as our own. WordPress allows us to observe how digital history is tackled and to learn from past projects. Also, WordPress could also function as a great historical blog for those who wish to present historical analysis in a more fluid/progressive approach rather than just offering a complete site with a specific narrative.

Overall, Omeka sites tended to function better and provide an easier user interface. Non-Omeka sites such as Valley of the Shadows are showing their age rather easily. The information provided by the site is well organized; however, from observation most non-Omeka sites lack a sleek design and user interface. The information is there, but I’ve come to believe that sites need to provide historical resources and analysis while also maintaining sites that grab a person’s attention and makes it simple to access all information. Also, other sites like Mapping the Republic of Letters provides a perfect example of a site that is easy to navigate, but also provides large amounts of information. However, I think it would prove beneficial to have featured aspects of the site like daily highlights. I believe this would allow people to study and read about a person or event they might have never read about.

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