living, working and playing on long island

Invitation to the Island
New York Folklore Society

Annual Conference Web Site

Each year, the New York Folklore Society holds its annual conference in a different location within the state, including programming related to the culture and traditions of the host area. In 1998, the meeting drew folklorists, archivists, historians, and others interested in folklore to the small Long Island community of Riverhead from September 18-20, at the Hallockville Folklife Center and Museum Farm, to consider "Living, Working, and Playing on the Waters of Long Island."

The society, then in the process of developing its first web site, was interested in making use of the electronic forum to engage as many members and potential participants as possible in the organization's programs.

Information provided via the web supplemented and augmented print materials.  In addition, it provided a rich contextual background that laid the framework for a serious (and enjoyable) exploration of the regional traditions of Long Island. In addition to the registration and speaker bio information one would expect from a meeting site, my web prototype offered brief soundbites from a fifth-generation oysterman, telling what it's really like to work the oyster beds these days; it also included a one-minute video that showed watermen working the Sound on their fishing boats. Other sections featured regional recipes, music and dance, and offered a series of photos of the interpretive programming offered at the Hallockville Farm Museum.

"Tracey did a superb job; [she] came up with an interesting, attractive, and easily navigable design that was both harmonious with the template we gave her and bore the mark of her own creativity.  She also developed remarkably complete and appropriate content that not only gives important information  but opens the reader to a wide range of other sources and sites that are likely to be of interest...Tracey also performed admirably as a consultant.  She was very clear, explicit, and professional in all her dealings with us.  She delivered material on time.  She let us know and advocated for her ideas and the reasoning behind them, but she was open to suggested changes and carried them out with enthusiasm..." 
John Suter, Director, New York Folklore Society

The site also easily allowed the on-line visitor to link to other sources of information about Long Island folklore--archives, other museums, national databases with relevant collections, and so on.

As consultant, I developed a prototype on-line meeting invitation, keeping the design consistent with the society's main web pages (which were then under construction). My responsibilities included creating content as well as the architecture.

Although the project was a success, the organization did not succeed in getting this section of its site up prior to the meeting. The prototype did, however, serve to expand their thinking about how they may use the web site in the future.


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