I chose to look at the Our Marathon Digital Archive. I had heard of the event, saw it all over the news, and was just as shocked as anyone; however, there was little personal connection for me, so I see the things in the archive differently, I’m sure. I looked at the blog first, and noticed that it hadn’t been updated for a few days under a year ago. Prior to that it had been updated fairly regularly, but stopped unexpectedly and without warning. I also expected the site to be easier to navigate. It claims to be a community project, so a user friendly web design would help everyone participate more effectively. It took a lot of clicking around to find an actual collection of images to look at, but once I found one (the Boston Marathon Temporary Memorial Collection), there was a large number of images of the things that were left in Copley Square immediately following the bombing. The tags were clickable, so it was easy to see things that were similar, but technically in other collections. It was easy enough to do a keyword search, but since I was not looking for anything specific, I did not test if certain keywords had been included or not.
It was interesting to look at the About page, to see the people who had helped to create the archive. It was also interesting to note that the About page acknowledged that people from all over the world were affected by the Boston Bombing in some way, not only because it was a major tragedy, but also because there were international participants. There were images in the various collections of things people and groups had sent from outside of Boston, showing support for the city, the families, and the survivors. There is the option for visitors to submit their stories regarding the Boston Bombing (which led me to think that maybe the blog posts stopped because people stopped submitting stories). People could share images, words, other websites, audio files, etc.
Overall the site was easy to use once I figured out where everything was, and it was clear what the purpose of the archive is. The site itself was set up so well that it was a slight surprise to find out that it was created and run by students. It is professional and has a wealth of archived material documenting the event.
Our Marathon here: http://marathon.neu.edu/