I wanted to capture a few things for 2007 and get feedback from visitors and regular contributors.
- Tour the White House. This may seem odd, but, altho I’ve been to Washington DC on a few occasions and made plans to tour the White House, I’ve never managed to do so. This year, I’ll plan a long weekend in April or so. Any suggestions on how to prepare are appreciated. (camera tripod?)
- Tour or encyclopedia? I’m happy with the look of the WHM site now, but the navigation is starting to get a little unwieldy (the multiple detail articles off the main history pages, for example), and I’m afraid casual visitors will get a little lost. Should it be a more linear experience (taking visitors to, say, 10 of the best known rooms) or more webby and interconnected, like a web encyclopedia? Can it be both?
- Room maps. I occasionally think it might be useful for each room page to display an enlarged map of its immediate area, showing connections to adjoining rooms, but I’m not sure where it should go.
- Furniture and art? I’ve been adding a little more on the art and furniture of the White House, but I’m considering full pages on major pieces. The Monroe furniture, the round sofa that was once in the Blue Room and later in the China Room, the cabinet table W props his feet on in the Treaty Room, and of course the Lincoln Bed. Then there’s Stuart’s GW portrait, the seated Lincoln, and some of the famous non-portraits and sculptures. I don’t want to try to recreate Monkman’s book any more than I want to recreate Seale’s, but certain things may deserve special recognition.
- Games and lesson plans. Given that I’d like to attract schoolteachers and kids, I wonder if it would be of interest to have some pages that are scavenger hunts, trivia, and what-not. I did create a lesson plan page, so I think I’ll discuss it directly with a local history teacher.
- Web forum? One visitor suggested a forum, but I think we have about half a dozen regulars, and it seems the blog comment functionality might be enough. There’s always the danger of a message board attracting political commentary and assassination conspiracy theories. And I don’t think I could stand to read another Lincoln/Kennedy coincidence list.