Week 15: Final Project

Gathering all the photo’s for my final project was a bit more of a challenge than i had originally calculated it to be.  I reached out the Historical Society of Washington DC to determine if there was a time outside their normal hours i could pay a visit.  The library is only open on Monday’s by appointment from 10:00am to 4:00pm and on Wednesday the library is open to the public also from 10:00am to 4:00pm.  Via email one of the librarians politely told me they were only available during the regularly scheduled hours listed on their website and directed me to their online catalog.  Unfortunately, that posed a problem for me because i work during those hours.  Then last weekend a email was sent it saying the Historical Society would be open on Saturday for a special hours for those wishing to do research. I immediately contacted the Library, however, by the time i contacted them they were all booked up.

The Historical Societies online catalog did prove to be quite useful, but i missed out on other prints and negatives but not being able to go directly to the library to search through their over 700 negatives on file.

Early on i discovered that the Department of Veterans Affairs has a historian.  I reached out to the VA’s historian who was kind enough to supply me with a two page excerpt on the history of the VA and some photo’s of the Department’s construction.

I also made the trek over to the DC Public Library for a library card to receive access to search their online catalog and information housed in the library itself.

I even paid a visit to the Decatur House and bought a book, “The History of Madison Place Lafayette Square.”

All of these resources coupled together proved useful in gathering the information i needed to successfully complete my project.

There is so much more material out there and several other books i am interested in buying to further expand upon the small block i used to form my research project.  There is a ton of information about Lafayette Square.  Most of that information is on the houses and businesses that make of Madison and Jackson Place.  There is even a lot about the Hay-Adams Hotel and St. John’s Church, but only small bits and pieces about the VA and Arlington Hotel.  That is the nexus behind my choosing to concentrate on that particular block.

Originally, when beginning this class, i had a broader reasoning behind taking this course.  This course has provided me with an overwhelming amount of tools i can use to harness the creation of a website for digitizing history.  I need only to improve my technical skills to better create my broader idea of displaying the transformations of entire cities, which of course start block by block.  Perhaps my next course at NOVA will be web design class.

For now i used Professor Evans suggestion earlier in the course and simply use my blog as the place to house my final project versus a web builder website.  Ideally i would really like to learn how to harness Dreamweaver.  The blog is a little limited when it come to creativity.  I generally write up all my work in a word document prior to posting it online.  I ran into a bit of a snafu when pasting my project from word.  The pictures did not upload.  There is a separate media dial button of Word Press for uploading media files like pictures.  Fortunately i had all the photo’s in a file i could pull from and simply upload them into the media file and them insert them where i wanted into my blog.  There were still spacing limitations and i cannot re-size the fonts in the blog, which was slightly frustrating.  Overall i am very happy with the outcome.  Once i learn Dreamweaver and harness some of the newer 3D modeling stuff that is starting to come out, i can delve into a larger scale project and expand upon the beginnings of which started with the final project on the Word Press blog.  Now the only problem will be finding the time.  If only this could be my full-time job 🙂

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Week 14: Big Picture and User Participation Projects and Crowd-Sourcing

I do not know the fate of the three websites listed below, but i understand how crucial it is to find a way to truly preserve such sites.

When the inevitable software update occurs, hopefully these sites will not lose their integrity or worse off, be lost in the ether never to be seen again.  Given these sites are maintained on the National Geographic and Ancestry.com website, i do not believe running out of funds will lead to the demise of these sites.  The backing of large and popular sites that a well maintained will certainly not hurt the longevity of these sites, but on the flip side that is no guarantee.  

Having the user participation aspect, i believe these sites will last as long as their popularity lasts.  That is as long as the number of participants contributing to the sites remain significant. 

I really like the World Memory Project because there will never be a shortage of people interested in finding out about their ancestors and where they come from.  That type of project could branch out into a much broader project.  The Geneographic Project almost does that for the World Memory site, except through tapping into your DNA versus lost documents newly rediscovered.  

I assume data collection for the Geneographic Project is quite extensive and archived or backed up in numerous digital formats and perhaps saved in some analog fashion as well.  After all, it is said that paper copies should always be maintained.  On another note, i wonder what they do with the samples they collect?

 

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Week 13: Data Visualization

With the explosion of online data comes information overload.  Questions abound about the relevancy, reliability, and accuracy of the data.  Am i accessing the best resource for this data?  Is the data provided the most up to date?  Is the information valid?  Is the data understandable?  If not, is there a better, easier to understand format that could be utilized? How does one determine what is the best of the best information available to them after a Google search returns hundreds upon hundreds of pages of information?  Do you go beyond the first page of search results?  To you go with the trusted and reliable sources only or do you explore what other options may be available?  Are you even putting in the right phrase or words to guarantee the most bang for your buck?  Everything is available at your fingertips with the internet, but that does not necessarily make things easier. 

Data in a graphical format has always driven me crazy.  That is in part due to the dizzying array of data bombarding me.  I have to than interpret that visualization.  Too often data displayed in a visual format is too busy.  The Visualizing Emancipation map is very busy and that is only a fraction of the information.  The data is simplified in an aggregate format, albeit a little over stimulating.  I can click on one red dot to find 15 emancipation events that took place there.  The overlay of the legality of slavery is in shades of gray, and i still find myself staring at the map searching for which spots slavery is impaired versus legal or illegal.

With more digital tools being created and marketed every day, it can be discerned that digital history will take advantage of the tools to present the research to the public.  Given the interactive nature of the internet, historians will even invite input from the outside sources, both scholarly and amateur.  Collaborative efforts to collect information are great because different perspectives add value to a project and bring forth ideas that may not have been thought of or provide information that may not have been found by someone else.  With all the resources of information available on the internet, the more eyes researching something, the better.               

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Week 10: Digitizing and Sourcing Images and Text

Real versus non-real on the web

There is not doubt that there is no replacement for actually traveling to and visiting an historical place.  I find it to be much less of an issue when it comes to the written word.  Text is text, though as the reading this week pointed out inaccuracies in text due occur.  I ran into this problem myself when putting together a continuity binder.  Unfortunately, not all of the documents contained within the hard copy of the continuity binder could be found saved on the shared drive or SharePoint site.  Faced with that I had two choices, retype the documents or scan them into the computer.  I scanned the documents, which come up in .pdf format.  The next step was converting that .pdf into a word document that could be edited (I do not remember the name of the program for the live of me right now).  There was no problem with the scanned documents in the .pdf format, however, converted those documents to Word would put spaces where spaces did not belong or some pieces of the text would be missing.  That goes to show that dealing with text can even be frustrating when it is put into digital format.  I will also point out that when doing the assignment last week, I had trouble because it was difficult to continuously go back to the paper fragments to determine which pieces I wanted to write about.  I actually ended up printing out the fragments and piecing them together.  I could then circle or underline in pen those part of the paper I wanted to return to and write about.  That proved to be much more efficient than clicking back and forth on the computer, trying to remember which fragment it was in, and find the excerpt I wanted to write about within that fragment. 

There is no competition to viewing well-known paintings in reality (unless you count the crowds you have to deal with at place like the Louvre).  Most photographers will tell you they prefer to blow their images up when they print them.  Photographic images that hang on walls are large and unrestricted, unlike the images online, which can only be viewed ideally in a certain.  Though to some extent I like digital images versus when they are printed (at least when it comes to photo’s).   I love how video captures events in real-time.  Though video can be manipulated in the digital realm, which has led to many conspiracy theories.  Sound can be manipulated in the same way.  From that perspective there does exist a loss of integrity, but with improvements in technology much of that loss is also being overcome.   

In another sense, I find putting something in digital format to be no different than an archeologist trying to piece together information based on their findings having little to no knowledge of societies that once existed other than their interpretations of the hieroglyphics.  Digitizing material preserves it.  For Persepolis, that was mentioned last week, without a digital version, the information would be lost.  There are a lot of materials that will not last forever in hard copy, but in the digital world they can be preserved for a lifetime.  There may well be psychological studies that prove people’s realities are distorted somewhere down the line, much like chat rooms were said to stunt people’s social skills without real person-to-person interaction.  For me it is just a different path to discovery.

 

Explain the real world difficulties of digitizing physical items (especially large or three-dimensional items) and putting them on the web

There are several difficulties with viewing maps on the web. One is the size of the print.  Often times the print is so small on the digital version that it is illegible without zooming in.  Once you zoom in on a map you lose perspective as to where you are relative to the rest of the map.  You only see a small section with the rest hidden to you.  Now mind you the eye focuses in on a section but can maintain realization of location looking at an paper version of map due to peripheral vision.  Maps are large, and as this weeks reading pointed out, large formats make it much more difficult to view certain visuals on a standard size computer screen.  I do not know how one would overcome this difficulty where maps are concerned.  For photo’s solutions include compressing files and converting to either JPEG or GIF formats.  Though nothing will ever compare with viewing works of art in their original raw format.  On the subject of displaying something in 3D, that is an area I am interested in and not a lot of materials in 3D exist out on the World Wide Web presently.  Most 3D items come across of flat, two-dimensional items when displayed on the web.  3D is the newest thing in television and is supposed to render a spectacular image and increase the movie-goers experience.  I do not happen to agree with that sentiment.  I really do not like 3D movies, which is a little ironic considering my interest in 3D.  It could be due in part to being forced to wear glasses in the dark in order to obtain that effect, but for me 3D is not as realistic.  There is something about 3D modeling that seems fake to me.  If there was a way to put a more realistic spin on the images I would love that. 

 

What other uses that could be done with this map using Google Earth or GIS?

Google Earth/GIS provide aerial views that could only be guessed in 1897.  A person can actually see tops of buildings.  An incredible amount of zooming in is still required. There is no escaping that.  Google Earth allows for street views, albeit not the greatest quality.  I can pull out a specific building on a map, enlarge it, put that building in the upper corner and show where it is in all the confusion of the map.  My experience with Google Earth/GIS has been restricted to the emergency management realm of plotting where an emergency (national disaster or otherwise) has or is taking place and determine the proximity of my companies facility to that disaster to inform leadership of latest information.  I wish I more experience with Google Earth/GIS. 

 

Write a short explanation of what you can discover about St. Petersburg in 1897 from looking at and analyzing this old map.

There are 12 quarters (Quartiers de Police).  I do not know French, but the police suggests to me that the quadrants are divided up in perhaps police districts.  St. Petersburg is a port.  There are several different channels that flow into the main river – Grandenevka.  I would infer that the city has problems with flooding.  It looks like the numbers represent different landmarks.  Number 381 in the Canal Dekronverksky appears to be a grand building of significance.  The green colored, areas with drawing of bushes or the tops of trees, represent the city parks to me.  The most populated section of city falls in the yellow colored sections of the map.  The amount of roads and landmark numbers increase in that section, and more districts are contained in the area.  It looks like gerrymandering took place.  I can see the locations of several cemeteries (Cimètière de St Mitrophane.  I am not sure what all the black lines in that area represents, but I believe that is on the church grounds.  Another cemetery is plotted (Cimètière de Wolkow) to the right of the first, and I wish I could give a better approximation of the distance, but it is difficult to judge looking at the digital version versus the full paper version laid out in front of me.  There is another cemetery in that area that is not named on the map.  The cemeteries are all in more sparsely populated areas of the city.

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Week 8: The Information Age and Project Proposal

The project i have in mind may be a bit extensive for this course.  I may have to search for ways to condense my idea.  Perhaps by focusing on just one political race versus all 44 elections. 

I struggled with some of the most basic questions posed in the reading surrounding the purpose, and the central theme: “Who is my intended audience?”  Due to my own interest i have always wanted to research more on the topic of presidential campaigns, but not with the idea to reach a broader audience.  Though, if others have similar interests and are able to clean insight from my site, I most certainly would not be disappointed.  So outside of hey, here is an interest i have, i wondered how that is relevant to others.  To answer that question i had to ask myself who would be interested in perusing such a site?   Most likely political guru’s like campaign workers, congressional staff, Political Parties, and political science students.  That seems kind of limited in scope.  In a broader sense who else may be interested?  It was with these simple, yet complicated, questions that my proposal came into fruition. 

PROPOSAL

TOPIC:  Presidential Campaigns http://www.historyofpresidentialcampaigns.com

PURPOSE:  To attract an interested and engaged citizenry (roughly 57 percent of the population in the last presidential election) by creating a comprehensive site depicting the historical evolution of presidential campaigns and political parties.

RESOURCES:  I will use photos, video, possible sound bites, old newspaper clippings, speeches made to the public, and maps displaying the results (my primary source for most of these items will be the Library of Congress).

  • Video: debates, major speeches delivered such as; convention nomination acceptance speeches, candidacy announcement speeches, campaign stump speeches, debates, etc.  I would like to see what is already available on YouTube.
  • Photos:  Official presidential photo’s, photos of opponents, miscellaneous photo’s from the campaign trail. Photos of miscellaneous campaign materials such as yard signs, campaign buttons, bumper stickers, etc.  All photos will be in JPEG format.
  • Sound Bites:  I will use sound bites to collect radio addresses that captured important political campaign feed prior to the invention of video in the same categories of those mentioned for video above.  I will most likely harness QuickTime for this and I would like to have the sound bites streaming. 
  • Newspapers:  Caricatures, photo’s from the campaign trail, announcement of candidates, Electoral College maps, etc. – An online Newspaper database would be great for collecting these types of articles.  I am going to look to free databases like the Library of Congresses, Chronicling America: America’s Newspapers, first.  Any documents will be available in a PDF format. 
  • Maps:  Not quite sure how I will approach creating a map that is historically accurate of the time.  I am not sure what tool I could utilize to create that?

CONCLUSION:  Political campaigns are unavoidable during election years.  By the end of two-year campaign cycle candidates are exhausted, millions of dollars have been spent, and people are sick of and tired of the whole extravaganza.  Despite most of the populations rush for the campaigns to be over, there is something about a campaign that peaks the interest (however short-lived that interest may be).  I suspect during the period of heightened interest, that any site featuring campaign history will see an increase in traffic.  Perhaps such a site could lend its way toward an increase in political participation.   We can do better than 57 percent.   The more people engage, the more people will be informed.  The more people who vote that are informed is even better.  There is nothing worse than an uninformed voter. 

 

Other things i must consider in the creation of a site include; developing ways to reach an audience.  I could harness social media to launch an announcement by FB messaging all my contacts for example.  In that same way i could use the power of email to appeal to friends and family to help spread the word, like those chain emails that go around. Lastly, i could use the oldest networking trick in the book, a business card.

Speaking of networking, the reading suggested networking by reaching out to others with similar sites to the idea.  I put together a list of similar site as potential contacts:

The last, and perhaps most important question is “How do keep audiences coming back?”  Like trying to keep a marriage interesting after the honeymoon period.  I considered the suggestions in the book like the Blog or a comment section, but thought that may be too risky considering the subject matter.  Campaign’s are hotly contested events.  Though i am sure the commentary would be quite entertaining.  The best thing to keep it interesting is to keep updating the site.  That certainly would not be hard with new presidential campaigns kicking off every 2 years.

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Week 7: Copyright

The material covered this week is the reason i am not a lawyer.  I attempted to sum up most of the information to the best of my understanding in the following review.  I am not entirely sure if i accurately captured the information because my brain hurts. 

SUMMARY:

Determining whether information is protected under copyright can be a rather complicated process.  I always assumed materials I would want access to where already in the public domain, since I am a fan of political history.  However, learning that Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have A Dream” speech is copyrighted made me have to rethink that assumption.  That is just one example that proves that even if a person thinks they have cleared the copyright protection hurdle, they may have to think again. 

According to the Federal Depository Libraries website, all Federal Government information contained in Public libraries is free for public use, but just because that information is freely accessible at a library, does not mean it is free to be distributed.  Using materials from the LOC, for example, is not always simple since the LOC does not own all copyrights to materials within its possession.  Although, that is a somewhat recent phenomenon.  I believe most of the information I would seek to use in making my own webpage has been produced by government employees and is, therefore, considered to be part of the public domain. 

Another delicate matter pertains to information contained within materials, like books.  This information can be copyrighted even though the book itself is no longer subject to copyright protection.  Determining the appropriate category copyrighted material is housed in is in and of itself, tricky.  Not to mention changing laws that further complicate the process. 

It is always interesting how depending on the changes in law, dates are crucial to recognize.  For example, copyright used to only be 14 years (the law instituted in 1783) and now lasts the lifetime of the author, plus 70 years after the author’s death.  Here is how the bar has continued to move:

  • The law changed in 1831, extending copyright protection for 28 years, on print illustrations, doubling the previous laws 14-year restriction.  A similar law was enacted in 1909, and applied to books.
  • In 1978, a law went into effect extending copyright for the lifetime of the author, plus 50 years.
  • In 1998, 20 years were added to the copyright protection clause of 1978, to make the new law last the lifetime of the author, plus 70 years (as mentioned above).  Let’s see what happens in 2018!

How the cutoff dates are analyzed from a legal perspective is a conundrum to me due to all the extensions, exceptions, and different editions of works that have occurred along the way.  Thank goodness my interests are strictly domestic because foreign materials are a whole new ball game with troubles of their own depending on when treaties were signed.  I digress, back to my original train of thought.  How was it determined that all works published before 1923 would become public domain?  The law changed and required registration between 1923 and 1963 for copyright.  Then in 1964 onward everything was automatically renewed.  Everything published before 1923 is free to use.  Everything published after 1922 requires attention to how the copyright laws are applicable.  I really like the table in the reading because I was really confused and the table breaks it down in a simple to understand format. 

Just because material was never published, does not mean it is not protected by copyright.  In fact, unpublished works seem to pose an even greater risk and are much more difficult to sort through in terms of copyright.  I always thought it would be cool to find something unpublished, like a discovery (since there are no more lands left to discover on earth).  My bubble has been busted.

Owning original material (as a purchaser) does not guarantee the owner of the original version the rights to display that version publicly.  It does give the owner of the original version an advantage in the sense that the value of owning an original version is high. One, and arguably the most important intention of copyright is the generation of revenue for the author or producer of a work.  Currently, if a book is out of print the book becomes a rare commodity and the value of that book rises significantly.  If an out of print book is published online and becomes freely accessible, the value of the book becomes worthless.  

Making highly valued material freely accessible defeats the purpose because the value plummets when the material becomes easily accessible to the public (of course there will always be collectors).  It is understandable that the creator or even purchaser of such highly valued material would be proprietary of such information and materials.  That is why a person who is on the brink of genius does not share an idea, as an idea is not subject to copyright protection.  Why would someone share their idea with anyone with the means to steal that idea and make it their own?  Any reasonable person would be proprietary of that idea until it is produced or published and copyright can be applied to that material.  It is as much to claim ownership of that material so the posterity remembers the creator, as it is to receive credit and compensation for all the hard work put into making the product. 

On the flip side of that coin, being a student of politics, and understanding the all- consuming desire for profit oftentimes undermines ethical practices, I am glad to know fair use is there to save the day and allow for the sharing of certain pieces of information (contained in the large body of new work) that would otherwise be sealed up and stored away in a vault to collect dust, effectively rendering the people ignorant.  Fair use walks a fine line that pays respect to the original authors of works (giving credit where credit is due), and disseminating information for purposes of educating the people and ensuring the free flow of knowledge. 

Even though the web poses numerous problems when it comes to copyright, due to the ease of reproducing materials, it is relatively easy to make the appropriate adjustments to any material that might raise a red flag (as was noted in the text for this week reading assignment) and avoid a lawsuit.  That caveat made me feel more comfortable.  Though I will add, that in no way means obtaining permission is not necessary.  As the text makes mention of; when trying to make contact for permission: Document, document, document!

As copyright laws continue to evolve to adapt to the ever-changing digital era, it is crucial that citizens educate themselves and stay informed to ensure they are following the rule of the law and avoiding unnecessary legal battles.   At the same time, citizens must be ever mindful of the delicate balance between what is good for the people as a whole, and what is good individual whose hard work and effort produced the work.  I certainly would not suggest using the cliché: “It is better to beg for forgiveness that ask for permission,” here.  Following this general rule of thumb – borrow, do not steal – should keep a person safe from violating copyright laws.   

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The Multi-Talented Blog: Week 5

I find Amy’s NOVA Digital History blog particularly helpful to look at as another student’s perspective on this class (granted a different semester).  I completely understand her comment about not having other student’s perspectives and observations to benefit from.  Reading Amy’s blog lends me that insight I would otherwise be lacking because I, as Amy, I have not had any interaction with the students taking this course in the classroom or any other students who may be taking this class online as well.  Amy’s blog is well put together.  The page is easy to navigate and pleasing to look at.  I like the links to the right side of the page.  That caused me to further explore my blog to see what was housed on the right side.  I may have to delve deeper to see how I might add my own links to the right side of the page, above the default settings assigned by Word Press.  Interestingly, I did find an RSS link to subscribe to comments under the meta link.  Should have known to look directly on the page instead of trying to find the RSS feature on the backend.

Low and behold, my blog is on the page.  I am curious to know what other’s think of it?

The Russian History blog adds the links on the left column of the page versus the right, as I find to be more standard across blogs.  Aside from the links in the introductory paragraph, there are no links at the top of the page either.  The layout of any blog or webpage is at the preference of the author and has no effect on the content, but those are just a few differences I noticed and felt were worth mentioning.

I really like the structure of the Civil War Memory blog; from the use of graphics/pictures associated with each post to the utilization of social media links to share an article friends/followers (which is very common across blogs anyway).  Some posts even harness YouTube to better convey that to which the article speaks.  The “You may also like” tag at the end of each post is a great feature to link people to similar posts.  Blogs are a very good use of displaying your own works and providing yourself with some free advertisement, as Kevin Levin does with his book and speaking links.

Alexandria Past took me to gotonames.com.  It seems like a broken link.  The page offers webhosting and blogs for a fee, which is related to this course as a resource to use, but I do not think that was the page the link was intended to send me to.

The first thing I noticed about the War Historian blog was the amount of space occupied by the blog posts, and the background that depicts soldiers at war (not sure if that is carved in stone as a monument or a manipulation of a picture).  All of the other blogs to this point have largely used white space with no background (though Amy’s had a colored background).  I do not think that takes away from the blog by any means because it is not overdone.  I really like it.  The War Historian blog, like the Civil War Memory blog uses FB, Twitter, and other links to tag and share posts.  Browsing through some of the post, I noticed the author took the time to appropriately source references.  I think the banner to the blog could use some work.  The picture in the upper left hand corner is tiny, but perhaps that was done on purpose because I know what a pain it can be to expand jpeg’s and other picture files.  That often leads to a distortion.  The color is a bland color with a lot of space.

There is something slightly off on the Pennsylvania History and Genealogy blog that I am trying to put my finger on.  It could be that the ads are awkwardly placed.  More to the point, there is not a clear separation between the banner and the rest of the blog.  The site also lacks lines that clearly delineate between different links or pages contained within the sites.  Instead, the links to the right of the page all run into one another creating a slight distraction.  The information is not confirmed (author is unsure of the names of those in the photo’s).

The Lehigh Valley Railroad site is set up more like a webpage judging from the plethora of header pages/links at the top of the page.  The setup of the page seems old school, more like web 1.0 as well.  The comments section is laid out as one would provide a comment to an article on a news site versus a blog.  The bolded font and different colored text is distracting.

I think the WWII History blog would be better suited as a website than as a blog.  The creator of the blog does not appear to post very often which adds value to my initial statement that this site would be better maintained as a website v. a blog.  The design of the blog is aesthetically pleasing in my opinion.  I do not find it to be too busy or distracting in any way.  It is a very plain, dark colored background.  As long as a solid color is used a backgrounds, I think blogs are fine (as long as the solid color is bright pink or similarly too bright that is).

The World War 1 Veterans blog is another site I believe would be better as a website than as a blog.  None of the links in the banner of the page actively work.  There is a lot of information contained in the right-hand column of the page creating a busy feel.  I do not see a statement or the copyright watermark contained anywhere on this blog.  I am not sure if that is applicable to materials contained on the blog (pictures and documents) because WW1 is prior to the copyright date in the text?  The colors seem to work because the headings on each post are in the same color as the light blue background keeping with a themed color.

I find the right column of the Virginia’s Historical Society blog to be a bit busy.  Also, the banner contains what appear to be links to another page, however, that is misleading because clicking on them does not redirect you to another page.  Other than those two items I like the blog.

I think the frequent contributors column on the Philadelphia Digital History Forum blog, would be better placed elsewhere on the page.  Perhaps at the bottom or contained on another page.  The follower’s section on the bottom left of the page should also be moved to the right column. Other than that the blog follows the general rule of thumb of keeping it plain and simple.

I find visuals to be a great aid in determining whether I want to further explore a site or not.  The Steven Udvar Házy site had beautiful photographs as the banner.  The setup of the site does lead you to want to read the blog.  The site is not a blog though, as is mentioned in this week’s assignment.  The site simply provides notable information, but does not encourage feedback/interaction.

The Virtual Architectural Archaeology page looks good as a blog, but I feel it would also work well as a webpage.  As the page expands to more than 5 posts I think it would be worth it for the author to look into creating a webpage.  I love the visuals depicting the transformation and the 3-D reconstruction.  I think it would to interesting to photograph the plot of land where John Mason’s house once stood in its present state.  I have been the Theodore Roosevelt Island a couple of times and did not know that the Mason’s once owned that land.

Of the 50 Best American History blogs, I honed in on the blogs related to the presidency (the American Presidents Blog and the Abraham Lincoln blog) and bookmarked those to further explore at a later date.

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