Beta testing Lives of the First World War

In addition to continuing to add the current series on the men who rang in the first Army-Navy peal, I’ve begun doing some of the beta testing on Lives of the First World War. A slow and steady approach is being taken, starting with the simplest features, and building in more complicated ones as time goes by, and the bugs are worked out. This approach also means that the site is less prone to being overwhelmed by the initial inrush of users, as accounts are only being given out slowly. Those involved in the testing can also suggest additional features they would like to see, which can then be voted on by others to help set priorities for development.


2 thoughts on “Beta testing Lives of the First World War

  1. milstorical

    Thanks for blogging about this interesting new centenary site, David, which I look forward to seeing take shape. At the British Empire and the Great War conference in Singapore last month, Jamie Andrews of the British Library gave a great presentation on the Europeana 1914-1918 project, the ‘Add your story’ feature of which seems to have quite a bit in common with Lives of the First World War. Is this potentially a case of two sites doing a similar thing, to the detriment of both?

  2. davidunderdown95 Post author

    Possibly, Lives is more focussed on official records (though there is scope for uploading family photos and the like). Europeana also extends beyond the British (Empire) experience of course. That parenthetical Empire brings us to further overlaps too of course, one of the information sources will be CWGC records, so potentially there is overlap with a wider range of projects such as the forthcoming Discovering Anzacs (which builds on the previous Mapping our Anzacs). Early reports of that project suggested it was also going to cover the NZ bit of Anzac, which then introduces overlaps with Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Cenotaph database (which is also being revamped in preparation for the centenary). Then there’s the less full featured Canadian Virtual War Memorial. That’s not to mention the countless locally focussed projects such as my own.

    To some extent I see Lives as fulfilling the function of a Name Authority, and sitting at the centre of a web of other, interlinked, resources. Only time will tell. The problem is always how long some of the smaller projects will actually last – will they keep their websites etc maintained. At least if material can be pulled into one central place there’s a better chance of it surviving.


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