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.
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.
©TLC Productions 1999. All rights reserved.