From the beginning of this class, I knew that I wanted to use my blog to talk about all aspects of archives: technology, education, current trends, issues, news, and humor. My main audience will be those involved with archives and special collections, including both students and professionals. Posting on a weekly schedule, I will work to make my blog well-researched and interesting for my audience. I also hope my make my blog easily navigable and visually appealing, which can be seen in my design sketch below.
One of the challenges I will face will be ensuring that the information I present is both understandable and not “dumbed-down.” My audience will consist of those who know nothing about archives as well as those who have spent their lives in the field. Finding the right blend between these two types of readers will be a difficult balance to strike initially, but will improve over time as my audience solidifies and my understanding of their needs expands.
Another will come from the fact that the archival science community is a small one, and that many competing blogs exist for the attention of this tiny group. There are many great blogs out there, two of which I look at below. By blending the positive aspects of many of the archives blogs I follow, I hope to create an attractive online presence that will help my website flourish.
Fondly, Pennsylvania. Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 2013. Web. 12 September 2013. <http://hsp.org/blogs/fondly-pennsylvania>.
Fondly, Pennsylvania is one of the many blogs run by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Focusing on the society’s most recent projects and discoveries, the blog is a great resource for those interested in the day-to-day happenings of HSP. One of the more attractive visual elements of the blog is the use of preview screens for each blog post. The volume of posts that go through the blog necessitate this step, which makes navigation and browsing on the front page much easier for the reader. The top of the blog displays a short description of the content of the site, which also helps readers, especially those unfamiliar with HSP. Captivating images also help draw the audience’s attention to the posts. HSP has created a great blog in Fondly, Pennsylvania, using interesting articles and a unique perspective to attract and inform readers. As such, this blog serves as a great guidepost as I put more thought into what I ultimately want my blog to be.
Melissa Mannon. ArchivesInfo. ArchivesInfo. 2013. Web. 12 September 2013. <archivesinfo.blogspot.com>.
ArchivesInfo is the blog for Melissa Mannon, an archivist and cultural heritage consultant. The blog focuses on current issues and trends in the archival and information sciences. The blog is visually appealing, and the use of images both in individual posts and the overall frame of the site draw readers into exploring Mannon’s content. Articles use links only when appropriate, allowing the audience the learn more without being bogged down with useless content. Mannon also uses “labels” to tag posts under broader topics, allowing interested readers to explore more of her content. By mixing facts and current trends with her own personal opinions, Mannon’s content serves as a kind of hybrid informational op-ed column. Overall, ArchivesInfo is an informative and appealing blog that serves as a good model for my own.