As week four of the semester comes to a close, I find myself thinking about two things: accessibility and our group contract. In many ways, our group it about nothing but accessibility. We have essentially been tasked with “rescuing” old UMW digital history sites and giving them new life. Many of these sites have minor issues, such as broken links, missing text, and odd color schemes. There are many sites were we are simply going to have to recreate parts of them and incorporate them into the final project. Other sites, however, will need a bit more work.
One thing I can say about my group is that we have already started on our project. We have already devised a sort of verbal group contract that we are going by before we officially put everything down in a Google Doc. Myself and Eugene are working on the sites while Ashley and Carson are creating the site that will act as the central hub for all of these past digital history projects. We all have access to everything except the individual sites so far, simply because we are trying to get our bearings on what needs to be done. Earlier this week I actually transcribed the home page of a site that had images of their site’s background and purpose. I simply need to go in and add the text and that one site will be ready to add to the hub once everything is sorted! Eugene and I also talked about having to recreate a timeline on another site, simply because the timeline thinks everything happened in 1970. Since we don’t have access to the Google Spreadsheet the TimelineJS project is in, we need to create a new one. The only good news is that all the information on the timeline is still accessible, even in its unconventional state.
One thing that also came up this week was the topic of audience and viewership. UMW digital history projects seem to be a bit of a niche topic, especially since all of them are located in the same domain. However, our project is also all about providing a service to our audience. We are making old sites easier to use and fixing the information found on others so that our audience can see our efforts in reviving old sites while preserving their message and purpose. Moreover, we want to show that we are not merely remaking these sites how we see fit. We want to encourage people to visit our site so they can disseminate to these other projects. This is basically a much needed rescue effort for digital history projects, one that we all very excited to come to a complete consensus on!