Hello everyone! Today, I’m bringing you a small update for our Convergence Center project before the first big presentation. We ended up scheduling most of appointments for our interviewees for the week we return from Spring Break. We will be interviewing Hurley on Monday and quite a few people on the following Friday, so we will be quite busy. I’m not too worries since we all had training for the upcoming interviews.
We had some trouble with the test site that we were messing with. We needed a way to link pages and posts together and luckily, I remembered how to do that. I didn’t do it for all the pages because I wanted everyone in the group to be okay with it. They were, so we ended up finalizing our domain name after being unable to add-on to the actual UMW website. The name of our site will be explorehcc.umwhistory.com and if it works out in the end, whoever manages the UMW website can merge our site with existing Convergence Center one.
The last thing we ended up accomplishing was gathering some files from John Morello to help expand our timeline. Since only one member from our group, Andrew Steele, was able to meet with him, I can’t really talk about the files, but I will do so in a future post once I see them for myself.
I was given the task to look at the Discussion and History tabs of a few Wikipedia pages, so I decided to look at the featured article about Myles Standish and a random article about Jacob van Ruisdael. Beginning with the Discussion tab, it was actually a lot better than I expected it to be. I was kind of expecting it to be in the same tier as the YouTube comments. Meaning, I thought the users were going to be pretty bad and not cooperative. Referring to the Standish page, they are mostly discussing facts about Standish and letting others know why they edited a piece of the article. Some users even had a discussion on how Standish’s first name is spelled because the article itself keeps going back and forth between “Myles” and “Miles”. In the Discussion tab for Ruisdael, there wasn’t that much, but the few users did discuss if a certain spelling for Ruisdael’s last name was helpful to the article. They ended up deciding that it wasn’t, so one user removed it. They were also worried that they may mislead someone with the image listed on the page. Some may think it is an official painting of Ruisdael even though it is stated that no one knows what he looks like later in the article.
Looking the History tabs of both articles, there isn’t really anything that stands out to me personally. The Ruisdael article is slowly being worked on. It began in 2006 and since then, it was edited 44 more times by 20 users. Compared to Standish’s 98 edits by 42 users, it’s pretty small.
To conclude this section of the blog post, I have the say that the users of Wikipedia are actually pretty friendly and are willing to help each other out on various articles. The discussions show how much the contributors care about the articles they work on and how much they want to make it the perfect article for informing the reader of whatever topic they may be looking at. It makes me wish more online communities were more like Wikipedia’s. The History tab was also pretty interesting in the fact you can compare all of the edits together to see how the article evolved over the recent years. I like how it’s there for public viewing, so you don’t have to use an extra tool like the Wayback Machine to view the article in its early years.
For our future Convergence Center website, we probably wouldn’t use a Creative Commons License since we are most likely going to pass the finish product over to the university once we finish and they can decide whether or not they want a license. If I had to choose one though, it would be the ShareAlike license, so that each of us could still be credited for the foundation of the website.
Copyright isn’t much of a problem for our project, be we have to make sure that if we do a video trailer or walk-through, we need to use some CC music and not a copyrighted song to avoid the videos form being taken down. We also need to make sure that our interviewees sign off on a form saying that they agree on being part of our project.
Recently, we met with Kyle Allwine from Admissions to discuss the ways we could bring traffic to our future site. The talk went swimmingly as we constantly threw ideas at each other. We talked about putting up billboards around campus to encourage students and faculty test out the various technology within the building. We also came up with the idea of having QR codes around that would send anyone to our site, so they check out the rooms and services for themselves.
After a group discussion, we decided to to keep the option of video interviews open to everyone, but we believe that we have to video interview President Hurley since the building has his name. We have fourteen possible candidates to interview and it would be great if we could get to them all, but if worst comes to worst, I believe 7 or 8 should be enough input on the building and their involvement. We plan to split up and do the interviews in order to get them all.
Before I conclude this small update, I would like to talk about the group’s plan for this week. We each will be doing our own research on the Convergence Center while also trying to the perfect WordPress theme for our site. We need to make sure that it works on both mobile and desktops if we plan on doing the QR codes mentioned earlier. Part of that research requires us to take a small tour around the building to make sure we understand everything ourselves. Once we do that, our next step is to put together the timeline for the building.
I have to say that I am pretty excited to begin working on this Convergence Center project. We will begin immediately next week by talking to admissions and doing some thorough research on the building’s history and its primary uses. In class today, we briefly discussed as a group what we wanted to do for the future interviews. Should we record video or just record a short audio interview? The latter would reduce the risk of losing footage, but we decided to leave it in the proposal just in case we do decide to use video for the interviews.
If we were to do video interviews, we would use a format similar to that of the show 60 Minutes. For now, we will focus on the research and setting up the future interviews with the people involved with the planning stages and others that we need to meet with in order to make the final product what we imagine it to be.
The more we discuss the future of the HCC website, the more I realize how important it is for the school. We could potentially bring in more students and increase overall traffic to the building. Like I mentioned in the beginning, I can’t wait to begin, but there will always be that thought of messing up and not getting enough publicity,making it unappealing, etc. haunting me everyday until most of the hard work is complete.
One finall thought before I conclude this post. It would be great publicity for our website and even the other groups websites if we were able to advertise in The Blue and Gray Press, the town paper itself, and their online counterparts. I’m sure they will bring in some early traffic once all of the websites are up and running!