Sunday, September 24, 2006

Group Spotlight

In the Spotlight this week is the 14th Alabama Infantry. This unit is uncommon in the fact that it was initially raised as an honorary unit for holidays and other occasions. They term themselves as mainstream/progressive, with a contingent of campaigners in the ranks too.

Looking at this site, I forgot to detail how I'm going to look at group Web pages. When I look at sites, I judge them by DIGM; Design, Information, Graphics and Maintenance.

Looking at this site, the 14th Alabama seems to have their DIGM down pat in most areas. It has a wealth of information on the 14th Alabama, but its greatest strength is the photo section with the original Daguerreotypes and original item photos. These are fine original sources for unit research, especially if you want to see good examples of "commutation"-style shell jackets. One fellow also seems to have a Richmond II-style shell jacket. These photos should provide a valuable guide to point 14th members toward what their early-mid war impressions should look like. More units should adopt doing this -- providing an important "proof book" for the unit. The photo research section is also a great idea for other reenactors sites to consider.

I also appreciate the explianation of the name "Hilliby" (not "hillbilly") origins and usage, it provides a little of light fare for this site.

The only things I can suggest for this site are to make sure all pages up are functional, check the photos on the regular HTML pages to make sure they are resolving properly, and see if the Coppermine photo hosting package has custom color controls to match those pages up with the rest of the site. I'd also would love to know about the Possum Skinner mess, which would be a draw to reenactors who are into campaigner-style events. Narrowing the focus of the original item photos as they pertain to the unit would be a tweek to consider, too. I think this would make a great idea even better for the group as a whole.

Always a huge plus in my book is maintenance, and it seems the Webmaster has been top of things at least on the front page, which I found very useful.

Just on its usefulness alone, this site is deserving of a bookmark and an occasional re-visit.

2 comments:

Jude said...

I like that idea--DIGM.

I'm a little disorganized at the moment, but I *do* plan to post on the Southern Loyalists site soon.

mntineer said...

I needed a way to look at these sites fairly and give some common-sense critiques. So DIGM was born. It seems to have worked with this group's site.