For my digital project, I created a blog using wordpress and titled it dctravelandhistory: The history loving, penny pinching student’s guide to DC sites. I had four goals for this blog: one, to inform others what fun, free sites there are to experience in Washington, DC; two, to teach others about the background history of some of these sites; three, to go and see these sites myself and share my experiences; and four, to inspire others to want to learn and to want to visit these sites. In order to accomplish these goals through my blog, each post contained background history, photos taken at said site (including some of myself), and my experiences and opinions of the site. This was my first attempt at starting a blog. I learned that it is not as hard as one might think to start and maintain a blog. However, I also learned that it is indeed harder than I thought to bring attention to my blog and to get people to actually read it. My intended audience for this blog is the history loving, penny pinching student, like myself. In order to get the content to the intended audience I have been following other blogs and hoping that others follow mine. I have also begun to utilize social media sites to bring attention to the blog by linking the blog up to my twitter page. Since this was my first foray into creating a blog, and since it is still in the beginning stages of the blog, I have not yet reached as many people as I would like to reach.
There are many strategic technical choices that I made with regards to the blog. Why wordpress? I thought that wordpress was the best, and easiest blog site for someone with no digital or blogging background to create a blog. Also, wordpress is a large site so people searching for topics relating to history, travel, and DC will be able to easily find, and then follow, my blog. What about the format? I chose a format that was both easy for me to create and easy for readers to follow. I chose to put the widgets on the right hand side of the text panels because people read from left to right. The widgets I chose were a calendar, a category drop box, archive buttons sorted by date and the amount of posts in each month, and a link to my twitter feed. Originally, I tried out other widgets such as authors and blog stats, but ultimately I decided that those widgets and others did not necessarily work for this blog because they made it more complicated than it need be. I did not want readers to get tied up in cool widgets because, in my opinion, that would have taken away from the meat of the blog, and that is the actual blog posts.
Overall, this was a very neat experience. I enjoyed diving into a digital field that I had previously known nothing about. What was best about this project is that it inspired me to go explore the wonderful, historic city in which I live and inspired me to share my experiences with others. I plan on keeping up this site for the immediate future. Stay posted for any changes, additions, or updates. You can follow my blog at: www.dctravelandhistory.wordpress.com. Enjoy! And, please, share it with others!