Working through Shenandoah –getting there?

This is my second update on the Shenandoah Literary Journal I am working on along with the editor Rod T. Smith, his English 453 course, as well as Martha Burtis—who is doing the programming and developing for the theme design. I am kind of a last minute, annoying “concept” guy—so it has been nice to work with Rod who is quite the opposite. He is incredibly funny, but at the same time as organized as they come when it comes to his journal. He was sure to have me on the phone every week to talk about where we are and where we are going, and I found this has actually worked well to push me to develop on a regular basis rather than waiting. Sounds obvious to most, my working with someone like Rod allows me to get the work done in a much more quickly and gives us a bunch of time to build in a lot of possibilities beyond the original project. It is just good all around. What’s more the feedback from the students over the last weeks has been crucial, they all have noted a few things I will actually return to in a bit for advice.

So, as of now the site has almost all the poems, fiction, and nonfiction—which is close to 40 pieces. We still have a few things to finish (and I will list them below) but the site as a whole is coming together, and starting to resemble something close to a finished product. Here is what is left to do:

  • Links each work to a separate discussion page: this will be a space you can link to from a poem that will actually allow for discussion and feedback to the artists. It is not on the page of the work as a means of providing some space. Rod and I have talked about this, and I think moving it to a separate page is inline with allowing for commentary, but not letting it directly compete with the work—are there other ways to consider this we’re missing?
  • Category archive pages: Working on cleaning up the archives pages for each of the genres of submissions. Need to do some theme hacking, and will be working with Martha on these details.
  • Poem Category page list first line of poem –> Kinda like the idnex of books of poetry, etc. Another, neat way to organize the poems, and I am working on a solution for this via excerpt and line break.
  • About the Author–> Author’s Name If you look at a particular work you’ss see under it “About the Author” that will be changes to the Author Name with a smaller link to read more about the author which will lead to ajax box with image and bio.
  • Change Reviews On the Reviews, in order to avois confusion, we will be getting rid of “About the Author” and changing it to About the Reviewer and keep it at the very bottom.
  • Indenting lines easily. Particularly for poetry we need to indent lines easily (look at same basic tab) –> and I am working on some ways to do this. if anyone out there has a quick solution let me know. This should be sovled by April 1.
  • TOC Links in Aricles: Top and bottom of the page link back to TOC (think of this as a small, unobtrusive link back to the main issue homepage with the table of contents, or maybe even a universal info box like solution across all articles.
  • Randon Frontpage TOC: On the frontpage of the Table of Contents we will be randomizing 8 or nine works from the current issue, as a means to equally feature a variety of works form the issue (a much more democratic and thoughtful way at featuring). We are working on this as well.

Aesthetic/Usability Issue

  • Increasing the size of the font on the main page ( http://shenandoahliterary.org/) for the various articles on the frontpage (Welcome, Gallery, etc.). Additionally, we will be upping the size of the white font on the issue page for the TOC  and the author/bio area.
  • A big issue for many of the student interns is the menu at the top of the issue page. If you click the tabbed Shenandoah in the upper right hand corner of the Shenandoah site a menu should appear with the main site navigation. This isn;t working for the students at all.  I wonder if we need to show the tabs, or even use the admin menu bar that appears when you login as an upmost menu throughout the site (which is part of the new version of WordPress). Worth some thought, any ideas?
  • Finally, consistency of header images and background colors around the main site? Does the link jump from the 8 or 9 random articles on the main page of shenadoahliterary.org throw you off when you are in the actual issue? How might we solve this?
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2 Responses to Working through Shenandoah –getting there?

  1. Jared Stein says:

    Color me jealous.

  2. Pingback: Shenandoah Three Years On | bavatuesdays

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