Updated the “about” section….  What do you think?


sometimes I walk out of Monroe and scream

I’m starting to get frustrated.

First, let me say, that I have this other pretty important paper I need to work on (pretty furiously) over the next few days, so my involvement with this, which has been pretty much 90% of my time, will decrease slightly. The combination of the two projects is a significant factor in the tone of this post. Hopefully, the “progress” that we’ve made lately won’t be stalled because of this other paper. But, sorry, I have spent faaaar too much time on the alumni project. Let me know if you want to help me with my 485 because that would be great.

So where am I at, yo? Well, I’ve scanned in all of my sections of the Bullet. 1940-1950: DONE. 1990-present: DONE. Those fellas are all up on Omeka. Most of them are in the T-line. In case you are wondering, the firefox spell check thinks T-line is a real word, while does not recognize timeline. So that’s pretty much all I can do right now.

I’m getting worried that we aren’t going to be able to get to the point where we’re happy with our final product. I want things to be able to come together. I think we’re getting there, but it’s still a far way off in the distance.

My list of things we need to do:

  • Edit interviews: I know Roxanne has done a bunch of interviews that need to be edited. We need to split that up. 1) so we all have plenty of opportunity to contribute to the project 2) so it’s done fassst. I’m talking lightening speed here. Like as fast as it take our classroom to get stinky. THAT FAST! Or am I not supposed to talk about that…
  • A high priority thing, hopefully very (very very very) soon: Look at each of the profiles on the website. If there are people you have interviewed that are not on that list, email me with their names and information for the card. For people that ARE on the list, if any information is missing or can be added to the card EMAIL THAT. That stuff includes: Grad. Year, Hometown, Photo etc…
  • Contact interviewees about sending in their material for our archive section.
  • Put transcripts of each interview into Omeka.
  • Scan questionnaire sheets/put those into Omeka.
  • Scan in the rest of the Bullet Articles.

My problem is that a lot of this stuff is, at least at this point, not in my hands. The frustrating part is that this list has been up on a googledoc for a little more than a week and I haven’t gotten much response. But I guess there is nothing I can do.

My roommate reminded me last night that I could have not done history as a second major. I’m not the quiting type, but can I drop it and still graduate in the spring?


So, what have I been up to lately?

Well, on Sunday Roxanne and I spent about a bagillion hours reading/scanning Bullet articles to put in our collection.  I haven’t really thought about copyright issues, but it’s The Bullet, so who really cares, right?  I went through about a decade (mid-90’s to now) and so there are about 10 more to go.  Woohoo?  Tonight, I’m in the process of putting them into the Omeka stuff.  That’s not fun because there is a lot of information that it asks for that I don’t really feel like typing in/I don’t know.  I have the bibliographic information stuff, but some of the Omeka questions are INTENSE! Almost like “what was the thickness of the original paper?” or “how long does it take to read?” Okay, that was a lame attempt at having some fun.  I failed.

So we’re working on historical content.  That is good, because we don’t have too much of that.  We should get going on that as a group.  All five of us need to do a little, so it’s not as much of a rediculous thing to do.


Hey everybody.

Hope everybody’s spring break was swell.   I went to New York for a couple of days, which was pretty fun.  On the way home, my flight was canceled, so I was in the airport for a while, which was not as fun.  I spent some time there working on a new “maybe” layout for our web page.   It’s in the “maybe” stage now because I’m not sure if I like it more than the other one.  Check it out: here.  The old one is still up here. Right now it’s just the home page. No buttons yet or anything.  I didn’t want to mess with that if we weren’t going to use it.  There are so pro’s and con’s.  Pro’s:  works better for both wide-screen and traditional monitors, less “navy” colors, maybe more “professional”.  Con’s: if on wides-screen there will be lots of blank space, some other stuff too.  I’m sure you are   Ohhh, I love them both, but for different reasons.
Please please please leave me some comments/feedback-   and not just people in my group!   What should I do?!  What can I improve?  Pleasssse help!


Website is up…

On the internet.  The real internet.  You know, the one Al Gore invented.  What with the interconnected tubes and all.


Now, it isn’t nearly perfect (which is where we’ll eventually be) so don’t look at the problems too much.

And I didn’t do nearly as much work on it tonight as I had intended to.  It’s just that Wednesday nights are basketball nights.  Sorry.


See how good I am? I am posting on my blog! Chalk up some class points for me, Matthew Stuart Downs.

Todays class was pretty good in terms of getting things a little more organized. One of the things I’m really happy about is that now we are able to put our site up on umwhistory.org. I haven’t done that yet today, it’s coming tomorrow. I’ll let everybody know when that’s up, and then we’ll show it on Thursday during our 5 min presentation. For my group, I’ll write up a little thing that tells how to get into the FTP stuff, but I don’t know if anybody else will ever want to get involved in it- it might be easier to have a point-“person” that just takes care of doing that.

The other thing we are working on is changing some of our graphics on the website. Hopefully, we’ll have those updates done for Thursday. One of them, maybe, will be a change in the header logo (the one of the top of monroe) to something a little more interesting. I thought the building was kind of lame, but not-creative me couldn’t think of anything better. Austin is more creative/artistic so he’s going to create something that will hopefully work. The other graphic that we’ve been working on is that background image on the profiles page (the one where we had the picture frame earlier). I took some pictures today of the front of Monroe and some other campus sites (ps A sightseeing trip around campus with a camera is really interesting. Lots of people (especially those in this class) will make fun of you. Give it a try sometime.) that we will try to work in there.

For the alumni group, what we need to work on:

  • editing those video interviews to shorter clips, one for each specific topic, then putting those on youtube (should we create a umwalumniproject youtube account?)
  • create a list of topics/events/things that we want to put on our timeline- also things that we need to find and collect artifacts for. These topics are what people have spoken about in our interviews. This is a dynamic list- we’ll keep adding to it as we chat with more people.
  • create the basic profile information for each perso (with name, grad year or years at mary washington, major, what else?)

Some questions for you guys:

  • What do you think about email/phone interviews? There are people that we may just not be able to get to in a video format or those who don’t want to be on a video. People from long distances, with no time, etc. Do we want to still include them just without video? This would kind of be like our “add yourself” section because those people would not have video w/ them. What do you think?
  • Also, what about people that didn’t graduate from Mary Washington? Do you have to be a graduate to be interviewed?

Anything else? hmmmm…

I love posting blogs.

Okay, so I haven’t been posting a whole lot. Not my fault. Excuses, excuses, excuses.  I promise I’ll get better at it.  I just always forget to post after I work sooooo hard on our project.  I’m going to turn over a new leaf!

So what the heck have I been up to?  Well, I’ve been working on the layout/design of our website.  As we said in class on Thursday, we wanted to get a basic template of our site done so we could add to it once we complete each interview.  In creating the layout, we wanted to make it easy to keep adding on profiles as we do our interviews.  Also, a a model I used the “veterans history project,” which is a pretty good website that incorporates a lot of what we want to try to do with our site.  I think we covered most everything else in class.

I thought the presentations on Thursday were nice.  It gave me an idea what other people were doing–  which was really interesting.  It’s funny to see how some things are the same, while other aspects of our projects are so different.


 Oh, wikipedia… what an interesting site.  Such a vast database of information, but oh so many factual inaccuracies.  They try though.  And by “they” I mean wikipedianerds.  In looking at the discussion tab, I chose the Mary Washington wiki site, it became apparent to me that some people are very intense over the integrity of the content.  There is a great debate on that discussion page whether middlesell.com should be listed on the UMW page.  Apparently, it is a HUGE deal.

I took this silly class last year where we had to make a project using a wiki.  One of the things that was most useful to me then, and seems to be very useful on wikipedia, is the  “history” tab, where you can revert the document to an earlier version.  That way if somebody enters something that shouldn’t be on the page, it is easily removed.

The “colabrativeness” is really what sets a wikipage apart from other documents on the web. Everybody who views a page can edit it without having to create a login name, download a program, or have any skills or knowledge at all.  That is the whole deal with wikipedia- the collaborative nature of the site is both the good and the bad.

Emily Chang’s List

That is a lot of little tools to look at…..   Not a huge fan of the organization of the site.

It has a really stupid name, but twiddeo is what I’ve found.  I think for our project we will need to host video interviews with alumni.  There is youtube, of course, as a video hosting site, but maybe there are others out there that might work better.  This is one example of those.  Not really sure what the differences are.  I guess loading time/size/time limits will all be important to look at.

A comment too long for the comments page…

…And a title too long for the title line.

This started out as a comment on Juliann’s latest post about the amazing site she found. It got longer and longer, and I thought I could (and other people) could find this better if I made it a post of my own. Also, I wanted a little credit for my thoughts. So here it is:

I agree. That is a great site. I really really really like it. One of the things that makes me happiest is that it can handle a little bit of video. I imagine us having a short version of an interview (or a comment about a specific event on our timeline) as a video with a short description and then a link to to more information on that interview, with a link to the complete interview (with video). The simile (smile, austin?) and xtimeline that Dr. McClurken showed us are pretty good. But I really like the way circavie looks. Can we keep it quiet so nobody else uses it?? (if you noticed, I didn’t put a link on this page) I know, I know… that’s not what we’re supposed to be doing.

One of the questions I’ve had with circavie is how to put it in our website (whatever type of website we choose). I tried to get one to work on my blog in class, but it didn’t happen. Dr. McClurken, I think, is checking on that for us. I know it won’t work on Omeka either. One option I have thought of is that I have my own personal webspace- with the opportunity to (for free) create somewhere where we can make our website without a lot of restrictions that the blog or omeka would have. Something like ‘www.thecentennialproject.com’ maybe? We could embed that timeline on there, and use that as a starting point for our website. Maybe incorporating Omeka as a way to catalog our interviews? And obviously youtube would be a great way host our videos.

What do you guys think?