Project Draft: My Day on Twitter

For my final digital project, I created a twitter account from which I will tweet daily excerpts from Eleanor Roosevelt’s “My Day” column. The twitter account is @mydaybyeleanor, and I plan to begin tweeting on April 17th. This is something of an arbitrary day, but I wanted to pick a really momentous excerpt to start with, so I chose Eleanor’s first column after the death of her husband, which was published on April 17, 1945. 

I have also created a google sheet with tweets prepared to be scheduled. My method for filling out the spreadsheet began with looking at important dates. I made sure to take excerpts from columns on days that were historically significant, such as pearl harbor, D-day, election days, etc. I then used the index to further find important columns. I pulled columns where people are mentioned that might be interesting to a modern audience (or just me). For example, I made sure to include mentions of people like Walt Disney and Prince Charles, but also people like Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower. I then used the index to look at columns with mentions of organizations like Girl Scouts and the DAR. My next step was to use the index to find mentions of specific places. With every step of the search to this point, I would read the column, find a part I found interesting, then go to that date on the spreadsheet and insert it. This helped me to randomize the order that they will be tweeted because the year is an arbitrary criterion. At this point, I had about one third of the spreadsheet filled out across all 12 months of the year. I want to make sure that I have a tweet ready for every day of the next couple months, so I went day by day in the months of April, May, and June, then randomly chose a year. At some points the column I picked randomly had nothing exciting, so I just looked at the next open date. 

As of right now, I have tweets scheduled for the month of April, with tweets planned for May and June. As I progress, I will add more tweets to the schedule where there are holes. The tweets will follow this format: 

[Date written]: “excerpt.” 

Read more here:[Link to column].

There are certain instances where I might need to explain what was happening in the world to prompt such a column, in which case I will add that to the “read more” portion. Some of them also need to be shortened to fit in a tweet, which I will do as I add them to twitter. 

The link to the spreadsheet is here.

Digital Project Draft: Young Washington on the Frontier

My StoryMap project is titled “Young Washington on the Frontier.” It walks visitors through Washington’s early 20s, from his commission as an officer in the Virginia militia and travel into the frontier of colonial North America in 1753 to his resignation from the Virginia militia after the successful conclusion of the Forbes Campaign in 1758.

The points in the StoryMap have been set up, though a few more might be added. Images have been found for most of the points, but image research continues to fill in the remaining gaps and determine sourcing for some images. The text in the points is still in the first draft stage.

The project in its current form does not do a lot of education. However, once the text has been fully completed, the StoryMap will walk visitors through Washington’s early military career and the pivotal role he played in the French and Indian War – the conflict that set the stage for American independence. Visitors will get to see Washington’s journeys not just as words on a page, but in a visual format that emphasizes the immense distances that George Washington had traveled when he was still in the beginnings of his adult life. Visitors will also learn information about Washington that they likely had not known, since Washington tends to emerge fully-formed onto the scene of American history with his appointment to command of the Continental Army in 1775.

What remains to be done:

  • Complete image research – this will require some additional searching for relevant and usable images but the majority of the StoryMap points have images associated with them.
  • Complete text writing – this will take slightly longer. The text in its current form is a very rough draft. However, I have a full outline for the text that simply needs to be converted from bullet-points to full sentences. This will take some time but I’m confident it can be finished with a few days of concentrated effort.