Blog 2: Omeka & Digital History

While looking at the different Omeka projects, I found a common theme of blogging and text-heavy information similar to WordPress and other blogging software.  There is a familiarity with text-heavy content for historians since many rely on books for information. Historians are also comfortable with writing in general since part of the job is writing monographs, research papers, book reviews, journal articles, etc.  While historians may be comfortable with this format, I believe that since these posts are published online in the public for anyone to access, there should be a compromise for those who are not necessarily excited to read long essays. This is why I value other aspects of these projects including the audio clips and visual images. 

As Cohen and Rosenzweig pointed out in their text, most history websites are generally not hard to create and “require little technology beyond rudimentary website software.”  While blogs are easy to create and are mostly text on a screen, I am not the biggest fan of most blogs because of this.  They are much like books which are not that exciting for most students nowadays. Having static images makes it a little more interesting, but still not that exciting.  I actually really like how hovering over the Elizabeth Murray portrait gives more context to the image and helps the viewer start to analyze the source. 

I also really enjoyed looking at the Valley of the Shadow project, because of the layout of “walking through” a library for research.  Although it is dated, the concept is still something I believe we should build on.  It’s similar to historical simulations where you can walk through the historical setting, but in this case you are walking through a library for research.  Also, for blogs there should be visuals on the homepage so readers are not automatically burdened with having to look at a bunch of tiny words on the screen.  I genuinely believe that presenting the information as visually appealing and how you would see in a largely funded museum exhibit is important if the goal is to engage a larger audience outside the academic sphere.

TLDR; I do not like blogs where there are a bunch of text because they remind me too much of books.  Blogs with a lot of text but also include interactive images and audio are cooler.

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