Reflection on History as Told by the Internet Project

Here is my digital project, http://interpretivehistory.tumblr.com/ . I can’t believe it’s finished, but that it is probably because I could have continued trolling the internet for quirky history sources forever had I not had finals in the way.

As suggested by feedback from my pitch, I went with the tumblr route for my digital history. I don’t know that tumblr was the best platform to use for the project I originally had in mind, which was intended to be 5-10 analytical articles on different examples of how the internet has reinterpreted history. It was difficult to use multiple mediums in one post in tumblr and it doesn’t offer the same flexibility WordPress and other blogging tools I have used have.

However, as I began to explore more sources of digital interpretations of history, I found my project evolving into a collection of infographics, videos, articles, blog posts, photos and other links that tumblr was the perfect platform for. When I began expanding more on my posts, I realized that short explanations of each post could distinguish a voice of the thread. The descriptions also served as a way to tie each source individually to the narrative of the tumblr and connect them to patterns in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to do with fewer, longer posts. I did write one longer essay, but I realized that it did not fit as well into the sequence. I am in part to blame for that though, considering that I chose to research conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11.

I like the direction my project took because it allowed me to see how the internet is being used to reinterpret history as a whole, rather than how a few different events are represented. I found that the continuous exchange of information in the digital age brings up historical content that would not otherwise reach a percentage of the audience it does on the internet. I didn’t think that there was much historical significance to a few of the sources I posted, but the amount of communication digital platforms facilitate connect people with the same historical curiosities, no matter how obsolete they may be. I also noticed that people are creating sources for mass communication with a stronger emphasis on visual media. I was also surprised to discover how platforms, both new and existing, are used to collect and catalogue historical context (tumblr included). There are obvious negatives to easily accessed reinterpretations of historical events and figures, and I did post on the drawbacks as well. However I was impressed by the diligent citing of most sources and amused by the creativity and diversity of historical interpretation using digital platforms. If I were to take a next step with this project, I would really work on promoting it to other history-focused tumblrs. I want to start a dialog among the internet history community about how the digital tools are changing the way history is communicated to the public.

I hope everyone at least enjoys the links! There are some really great finds in there if I do say so myself. I’d love to get your feedback!

History as Told by the Internet Poster

 

One Reply to “Reflection on History as Told by the Internet Project”

  1. This is definitely one of my favorite projects and the one I probably had the most fun while looking through.

    First I really like the concept of “History As Told By the Internet”. The mix of topics from really niche (history of cakes) to big (WWII) didn’t seem out of place and worked together nicely through the quirkiness of the internet. Along with your realization as you began the project I think the mixture of content really serves its purpose well. When observing a blog it can at times become dry reading article after article and I like the mixture you have that makes the experience fresh.

    The coolest part I think about the project is that this is something that you could totally continue on in the future if you wanted to!

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