Blog #2 Omeka, Wordpress, and Premade Interfaces.

I really like Omeka because it allows almost anyone to create a digital collection. It’s the same thing as with WordPress and a blog. It doesn’t take the technical know how of coding and just allows for you to create and apply your own expertise. This allows historians to focus on their own research and it’s presentation while creating new projects.

In life, time is a valuable resource so not needing to know how to create a website, on your own or create your own system for searching through a database leaves that time for research or better presenting you findings to the world at large.

For most of the sites, they are great in concept but they become difficult to move through. Ease of access becomes a problem when it gets in the way of artistic vision and sometimes, as with anything biases that lead a page to be well read by the creator can leave a page much harder to navigate for someone else. This problem of a less than streamlined usability combines with the lack of update that some of these sites have received leads to pages feeling bogged down and information not being accessible despite that being the entire point of the project. The Valley of The Shadow is a great example of this problem. The site gives little explanation on how to use it and the layout, while it might be a fine design if one is used to digging through a real life archive, it leaves less than desired for a common person who is trying to find documents from that time period. A high school student that is doing a project would barely know where to start and that is a problem when we are trying spread the information to more people.

If we are going to present data to the public, we need to put it in a form that the public will understand. In the same way that a doctor does not tell his patient that he has Streptococcal pharyngitis but rather says that they have strep throat and, we cannot state the to public that all of the information is here if you can manage your way around a reference center and a 2007 UI meant to look like a research library. We have to speak on terms that people can understand and navigate around or we may as well just write monographs that 7 libraries will buy and put on their shelves.

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