Digital History

An Evaluation of Melissa Terra’s Blog

Melissa Terra’s blog is another Point of View blog and as stated in her About Her paragraph, it is Terra’s personal blog. The purpose of her blog is similar to Trevor Owens blog, in that Terra uses it to express her opinions on issues and topics in digital humanities, digital cultural heritage and academia, but uses it also as a space for her to explore her research ideas and results.

In terms of style, again, Terra is similar to Owens, Terra uses the same layout as Owens. There is no front page with summaries of her posts, rather her posts are displayed one after the other. There is the use of a header where Terra has the title of her blog and a brief description of it, with a background of a light green block of colour.

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There is loads of white space making the posts and features stand out and the lack of a colour scheme means images won’t clash with the layout and style of the overall blog.

As for the posts and Terra’s writing style, this too both matches and differs from Owens. The writing style is in the first person, is conversational and does not use colloquial  language but there is still the feeling of reading an essay or article. Whether this is because the content of her posts are often about her research or projects or because her paragraphs can be a bit lengthy for a blog. The posts, overall, are a bit skimpy with the images or visual media, especially when compared to Owens. Some posts completely lack images while others are almost entirely made up of them. It seems Terra’s uses images where she thinks they would clarify her arguments. This can be a problem with some of her longer posts, one post is 2,106 words long without a single image breaking it up.

Terra’s layout, like Owens, also places the blogs features on the right hand side of the page, following the page as it goes down. Terra’s features include:

  • About Her Paragraph

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  • Search Bar
  • Links to her books on Amazon
  • Links to essential reading on digital humanities websites and blogs

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  • Links to humanities computing blogs

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  • A box showing who her followers are – this could be good for networking
  • Blog Archive Section

It is the simple and clean design of the blog and the limited and carefully chosen features which allows Terra’s blog to use the same layout as Owen without losing clarity and purpose. The length of the posts could be cut down as blog audiences usually are used to posts of about 1000 words and there is the danger of Terra losing her audiences attention. Though this depends on her audience, I would hazard a guess and say most of her audience are fellow academics interested in digital humanities and are used to reading long essays and articles anyway.

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