The Chicago Style of Blogging

From personal experience, all the time that is spent formulating  correct citations for papers or research projects can be exhausting. Being a history major for my undergrad and now being a Public History grad student, it becomes a second nature to cite something in Chicago Style and make your sources accessible to others.  The reality of it is,although tedious, and sometimes annoying to do, citations fulfill a legitimately important purpose. Citations help guide the reader to the evidence behind their arguments, and help the reader form their own. In Bland Whitley’s article “Standards of Citation and the Internet” there is a great point on how “Link Rot” has become quite a conundrum in the world of digital scholarship.  The fear is that people are no longer caring where they get their information from on the internet, that they cite websites that are the easiest and the quickest for them to find what they need. This link laziness induces a sort of lost in translation effect. People that want to track down information, or websites can’t,  putting a damper on the collaborative aspect of scholarship. Without accessible sources, other authors trying to use the  information  to draw their own conclusions wont be able to.

Another highlight of the readings this week was the goal of reaching your target audience with  your professional blogs or  museum/historical society websites.  Professional graphic designers can work wonders, and turn a bland site into something creative and attractive. But there is a fine line between what is too much to cheapen the work, and what is just enough to get the attention that the work deserves.One of my closest friends is a professional graphic designer, and just seeing how she works with different software, and  that she has a book dedicated to hundreds of different fonts, it definitely can be a complex skill set. I do believe that if historians/professional or academic historians want to, without those skills, can make a decent website, especially with most helper sites that give you templates and tell you how to build it.  But on the other hand, I know that any website, or blog that I make would be inferior to the creative/technical genius of my graphic designer friend.I do think that sites that are easier to navigate, have a creative and interesting design and are unique to other sites (not with a generic template) can make it a site people will want to go to more often.  Historians and historical societies need this digital outreach and the right promotional tools to make people aware of their scholarship. If the funds are there why not let a professional help you promote your professional work?

 

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