I’ve been hibernating for the past few weeks, I’ll be honest! I fell off the horse. The horse did not buck me off its back, it did not rear up in a frenzy and throw me off, I simply slinked off of the saddle and fell into a deep deep coma. I’m awake now, however, and carefully making my way back onto the horse.
During my month long stint in comatose, I did, to my luck, think several funny little thoughts about the Refresh, Restore, Rescue project. It’s really quite technical stuff: Needing to put the websites through WAVE to analyze their accessibility, coming up with a project schedule, blah blah blah (yadda yadda) and even, crucially, blah blah blah etc etc etc. But! There is one idea that sticks out to me. She calls to me with her siren song: The idea of using the website as not just a place to store websites we’ve fixed, but other ADH websites that don’t currently need to be restored, but will need to be in the future or just fit thematically into the websites on display.
I say this because we have about 15 websites and about 5 of them are just broken links. Additionally, there is only a small audience that we can reach if we are mainly uploading niche and hyper-specific broken websites. I don’t doubt that there are people who want to see the UMW 60s Scrapbook, but I do doubt if it’ll be easy to find our website if its primary audience is people who want to see the scrapbook and care enough to spend time scouring the Internet for where a fixed version might be. Alternatively, if we advertise the website itself, how effective will it be if its main pull is people who want to see what the sites look like once they’re fixed, and then move on? There is a two-pronged problem concerning the website’s longevity and its relevance.
Luckily, we can ensure the website’s longevity by ensuring its relevance. We ensure its relevance by creating a website that displays more than just the 10 websites that we’re capable of fixing. This includes things like adding the links for all of Prof McClurken’s previous ADH websites (Not just the 2008 one) and other ADH project websites. There are likely other websites that we could place onto the hub, but if we’re going to be creating a website for the history and legacy of UMW, we should include non-broken websites as well. What this does is that it increases the scope of our audience, provides a functional resource for hard to find UMW websites, and creates a quick way for people to find and report deteriorating websites to the future caretakers of historylegacy.umwhistory.org.
This is my modest proposal. I’ve stepped onto my stupid little soapbox. I think this would be cool. I think this would be neat.