Posted 04 June 2012 - 09:34 PM
I've been reading through all the ideas people have put forward to mark the centenary of the Great War and it seems we have loads of enthusiasm which needs to be given focus. Most posts seem to support the idea of a day to day "report". I think that is a sound workable idea if we could create teams of GWF people who are focused on different aspects from macro to micro, personal, local, national, international. I'm wondering if we couldn't, in fact, reflect the different viewpoints of the whole event which included all of those levels. Everyone had someone contributing to the War effort, every decision could affect any individual. So perhaps a calendar format with teams focusing on the areas that interest them most eg the technology of the project and then the content including eg newspaper reporting locally or nationally, significant diplomatic events, parliamentary debates and decisions, military events in the field, the donkey work of transportation, munitions, supply lines, protests and then also the personal. So maybe we pick a hundred or a thousand individuals whose service papers survive (whether they did or not) and on days which a detail was recorded we enter it on the calendar. I think to make it big enough to honour the vastness of the original and yet still manageable it has to be kept fairly simple but if we can create teams to deal with each particular subject area with members from across the World contributing entries from their locality or knowledge base in a predetermined format the work load will be shared and hopefully the impact will be broader. We can work ahead of time say deadlines of 6 or 4 months ahead of time so editors can spot gaps and fill them or contentious entries can be reconsidered etc. I did like Chris' idea of podcasts etc but maybe that is a format he could create a techy team to work on pulling on data from the core database as well as his own extensive knowledge, contacts and resources.
I understand concerns of cost and placement. I'm a technical cripple so perhaps someone with current information could come up with some costings so us innocents could have a solid base on which to make decisions about how sophisticated a "monster" we are willing or able to create and sustain. As regards placement I would prefer to see the project as a self contained unit. If we can fund and manage such a thing. At the risk of being sworn at extremely badly my other thought would be asking Chris if we could sublet a corner of Long Long Trail. The big issue there would be how the international factors would sit within that setting. It could be presented as a kind of living experience of all that wonderful factual information Chris has gathered. I make the suggestion because the site covers all aspects of the WW1 experience unlike so many others which focus on a single aspect. It could also be made quite clear that it is a separate but complimentary unit. Long, Long Trail is also so well respected. so accessible and afterall it was how I found the GWF. It is a suggestion no more.
Please do pick holes in my suggestions by all means, politely would be good. My main thought was to prompt a move to making a final decision, I am more than happy to support and contribute whatever it is. My fear is the opportunity to do something really good will have passed us by if we let another year drift by with more good ideas but no outcome.