- www.barbarywarfare.com has arrived! I thoroughly enjoyed making the website and look forward to educating the public and connecting to other people through it. It has more pages than I anticipated (thirteen; see below), as I decided to break down topics into smaller units. For instance, “The Tripolitan War of 1801-1805” and “Coup and Aftermath” were originally one page, as were the two “Cultural Legacies.”
|The Beginnings of Barbary Warfare|
|Algerian Captivity Crisis|
|The Tripolitan War of 1801-1805|
|1805 Coup and Aftermath|
|Final Wars of 1815|
|Cultural Legacy- Literature|
|Cultural Legacy- Movies|
As I mentioned in my project proposal, my goals include reaching the public, having a forum to share my own research ideas, and generating discussion with others. The pages feature informative articles along with primary and visual sources; I want www.barbarywarfare.com to stimulate critical thinking about the events and show readers how historians create knowledge. Communicating Design was especially useful in helping me plan my website and spurring me to create personas to simulate my target audience.
Fortunately for me, the definitive compilation of Barbary primary sources was published by the federal government, allowing me to freely include letters and pictures from this six-volume set without worrying about copyright restrictions. The collection has been digitized and is available for free at (http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000367640), although the scans of the pictures are of poor quality. Thankfully, though, my HP Officejet 6500 features an awesome scanner!
Regarding the technical details, I bought a domain name and web hosting services from DreamHost and downloaded WordPress software to use for constructing www.barbarywarfare.com. I selected a theme with a crisp, minimalist design and blue color (redolent of the ocean); I want this website to be easy-to-read and for the pictures not to compete with other graphics. For the header background, I chose a colorful and exciting painting from the mid-nineteenth century that depicts Stephen Decatur and Thomas Macdonough boarding a Tripolitan gunboat during the August 3, 1804 naval attacks. I also installed Disqus to run the comments section, as I want to make it easy for readers to link www.barbarywarfare.com to their Facebook and Twitter profiles since this amounts to free advertising.
In order to maximize discussion and provide immediate context, I have comment sections on the bottom of each page. I also created a separate blog, which I will use to reflect on general questions about the Barbary conflicts and my own research as it progresses.
What’s next? I’m passionate about this website and want it to impact a wide audience. As the Barbary Wars are rarely taught in middle and high school and college history courses, I plan to e-mail teachers and professors and tell them about my research and website. And as www.barbarywarfare.com includes a thorough bibliography of primary and secondary sources, I’ll mention that it can be a great resource for students working on their own projects (although the Barbary Wars are not often taught in school, students can still write about them for research papers). Also, I’ve included my website on my profiles on websites such as Facebook, Linkedin, www.academia.edu, and the various professional organizations to which I belong.
Altogether, I’m proud of what I accomplished during this class, as building www.barbarywarfare.com has been and will continue to be an asset to my research portfolio. I continually want to refine my website and would appreciate any feedback!