While we have run into some formatting roadblocks, an early draft of the Gwinnett County case site is now available. Regarding the contextual portions I have been working on, my feelings are mixed. I am generally pleased with the amount of content on display, and feel that I’ve been able to relate it to our main subject, Laura Mallory, consistently. Moreover, in the process of writing context, it has not been difficult to connect these Harry Potter challenges to Wicca and the Religious Right, it’s clear based on surrounding materials that these issues were related in very conspicuous ways. That said, the prospect of lowering the reading level of the material makes me anxious, and I am worried about how it will affect the text’s flow, readability, and information density. The landscape theme, while initially meeting our expectations, has proved frustrating to work with in the long term, due to its lack of customizability and strange formatting rules. I expect that we will need to find a way to more clearly telegraph our use of hyperlinks, and that we will unfortunately have to contend with titles being presented in bold by default, as I do not believe that this problem can be solved with any kind of plugin. It may be to our benefit to fall back on other methods of linking to different webpages, like buttons, widgets, or extended options in our navigation menu.
Wikimedia Commons has proved to be a very useful source of images related to the context of this case, and I have yet to run into any problems with attribution. I am having difficulty determining how images should be arranged on each page, however, and even where I do have a clear layout in mind, it is difficult to work with the editor. I expect that this problem will be resolved after peer review. In anticipation of that review process, I feel that we are currently lacking in interactivity and diversity of content, given the emphasis on each in our contract. Much of this has to do with the fact that we were unable to work with certain materials, like Matrisciana’s documentary, in ways we had initially planned. This is by no means an insurmountable issue, we will simply need to focus on our existing content, presenting it in a more interactive format instead of supplementing it with additional content. I would like to see what issues our peers hone-in on specifically, but in any case, I am currently intent on compressing our contextual information. Finally, while I can offer very little specific feedback on this issue, several of our pages, namely our section on the significance of the material, simply require more content. I expect that neither of us have focused heavily on background information and presentation (about pages, the site’s title page, the title itself, etc) because we have been working exclusively with our peers, but considering that we are nearing the end of the course, we will need to prioritize these to ready the site to stand as an independent, fully realized product.
I am also concerned about a problem which I had not anticipated: the issue of considerate language in respect to practicing Wiccans. My abrupt encounter with the Pagan Federation has left me concerned that they may have been offended by the content of the site, and while our ultimate obligation is to a broad audience of non-pagans, I do intend to review the content with respect to the organization’s information on neo-paganism and Wicca.