I have completed a fully functional website. All the links work, it’s doesn’t look completely terrible and the content is pretty ok. The current version of Five Baptism Traditions is certainly a first draft, but I’m well on my way to a finished product.
This week, as I promised, I finished writing all my content. Then, after posting that the first draft was complete on Facebook and getting nothing but spelling corrections as feed back, I put everything through a word processor. I learned that I’ve been spelling baptistery wrong the whole time. At least I was consistent! I cheated on the navigation buttons, they’re just JPEG’s with links, so I have to correct the original file, then go back and replace every button with the incorrect “Baptistry.” I also did a bit of revising and rearranging. There are now subheadings and I tried not to repeat information too much. I am toying with the idea of making set subheadings for each tradition such as “History,” “Baptism in the Past,” and “Baptism in Hebron, CT”, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to capture the unique character of each tradition if I do that. And reading will become monotonous.
A few weeks ago I said I’d find baptismal liturgies, but came up short. I have found ancient baptismal hymns and Luther’s baptism booklet, but finding Medieval baptismal liturgies is much more challenging than I had anticipated! I also ran into a space problem when presenting these primary source documents on the proper pages. Liturgies are long, and I don’t want anyone element taking up more than one screen. My first idea was to put the liturgies in expandable/collapsible text boxes, but that requires knowing Java. I did, however, discover text areas! They’re text boxes that have vertical scrolling. They actually look pretty nice on the webpage. Now I have to figure out how to add historical analysis to the liturgies so they “speak” with the spaces in the exhibit. Ideally, I’d to provide audio recordings of the liturgies spoken in those spaces, but that might be for a future iteration of the project.
I also spent a lot of time getting commenting up and working the exhibits. I’m not really happy about how the form appears. The title “What Do You Think” is not over the form, but under the right side navigation. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to fix it in the plugin configuration or the root Omeka files. I’m also still struggling to make the homepage look nice. No matter what I do, in configuration or root files, I can’t get the text to fill the homepage. Space is still remains in the right to accommodate “Recent Items,” which is a feature I don’t feel is valuable to my website. So the homepage looks terribly boring and squished together. I’m not sure how to correct this.
So, my remaining to-do list: I’ve got to revisit the Hebron Churches to take photographs of their doors. I’ve made JPEG buttons of the schism church doors, and I like how they look (well, I’d like it better if I could get “previous baptistery” on the far left and “next baptistery” on the far right). I’ve got to e-mail the local churches my request for Baptism stories to be printed in bulletins, pasted in online newsletters and websites. The public engagement part of this has been really difficult for me. Even though I live in Hebron and grew up here, I don’t actually know any one who goes to church here. My family goes to church in the neighboring town. I scarcely know anyone who still lives here.