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    Sean Kheraj

    Ian Milligan writes: “…it is my belief that in the not-so-distant future websites will be an increasingly significant source for social, cultural, and political historians.” Do you agree? Why or why not?


    I agree with Milligan’s thoughts on the impact of the digital realm. History once was a series of books passed down through time. Now historians have access to websites such as the Wayback machine that can enlighten them in seconds about histories from our past. These stories can reflect the social, cultural and political ideologies of that time period. For example, websites such as blogs can reflect social and political changes such as the legalization of marijuana and the public’s response to it. It is important for historians to understand the shift from text to digital history and to use text to contextualize digital history. For example, a person can utilize GIS software to locate points on land dating back several years, to track the change over time, and visually experience that change moment by moment as if they were there.


    I think Ian Milligan’s quote perfectly exemplifies the changing nature of significant history sources. In regards to social, cultural, and political historians there is so much available on various websites that allow historians to analyze the growing change in all three of these realms. Political stances are being expressed on social media allowing present historians the ability to research various social media outlets. In terms of culture for historians websites have given them the opportunity of performing their research from home and involves a less gruelling process of having to request materials from libraries or archives. The nature of field base research is not as involved in today’s culture in comparison to the internet. This is the debate between tradition and modern practices that are evolving over time and within a cultural lens. Websites provide the opportunity for historians to reach a much larger audience for their research. Various sites like blogs or public forums that allow all users to share their stories encompass political, social, and cultural aspects that historians can use as significant sources because that is where the world of history is moving towards.


    I agree with Milligan’s view. As digital technologies are experiencing rapid development, platforms opened for internet users can expand. People are sharing their views, ideas through websites, and can be useful for historians to collect and analyze for archival and research purposes. Often collecting information may be varied ranging from documents to historical interview transcription; by using websites as a source, it can enhance the accessibility for historians. On the other hand, historians can not find just archival information from any website; the reviewing process will need additional criteria and tools to support. Thus, in the not-so-distance future, websites have the potential in becoming major sources for historians, however with extra tools in historian’s toolkits.

    Connor Pantaleo

    I agree with this. The internet is increasingly becoming more integeral to our daily lives in new ways. It has the ability to bring so many people together. I noticed this change the other day on the YouTube app for my phone. It now allows for content creators to make posts without having to upload a video as is normal on a platform like Twitter. Creating this space in which people can discuss something they have a mutual interest in seems to be a big selling point to sites these days.


    This quote speaks to the changing concepts in what we believe history to be. Websites offer a discussion space which then allows for information to be presented and opinions to be shared. Websites also offer different technologies and tools to understand the content in different perspectives which can be proven useful. the idea that everyone can include their own opinion and findings on multiple platforms allows historians to track the progress and research on their intended field of study. Websites are able to reach a wider audience therefore spreading the message even farther that on paper.


    I agree with Milligan’s argument. Before the internet became an important social, cultural and political tool in everyday life, important documents and photographs were regularly recorded in a physical form such as paper. Now, with the advent of social media platforms, online photo albums/collection sites (such as Instagram and Google Photos), online videos, commenting and even aspects such as online event invitations have changed what will be collected in the future. Because of these online sources many things such as photographs, invitations, correspondence, and personal documents will never even reach a print form. Additionally, since internet websites are so prevalent in society, they would be the most accurate sources to obtain for many future history projects that study how we live.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by amandamarino.

    I agree with this quote! As seen with history, digitizing has become more prominent within historians as a way to convey pivotal points within history. As online databases become more important within society we would be able to see a change within all three realms. Since the majority of society has access to a computer, researches, historians and contributors will use these platforms in order to relay current and future events. This not only provides an ease of access to workers, but they also help promote accessibility to these realms.

    Christina Sanita

    I agree with Ian Milligan’s quote because the digital age has given us access to and the platform to which we can provide access to a wide array of digital histories. Never before have we ever been able to get quick and easy access to information using platforms like google and even wikipedia (sorry if you don’t agree it is a good enough source). For this reason alone, I agree that websites and the internet as a whole will develop into a platform into a significant source for social, cultural and political historians. This not-so-distant future may already be here… historians are using websites, Internet platforms and social media to connect and share ideas. Although they may not be considered sources, the infamous saying “I saw it or heard it on the internet somewhere” may turn into “good enough”. Maybe at that point Wikipedia will be officially deemed RELIABLE…


    Websites will be important in the near future, due to the vast amount of primary sources used in creating many of the sites running today. As historians we are always looking for these primaries and with the sheer volume of information put onto the web on an hourly basis they will be an important tool for historians. Also with political history platforms such as twitter and face book and even things like Snap Chat will be and probably are important to view for historians studying these branches of history. The give insights into feelings of constituents and voters like never before in history, we will be able to use the web to gain a greater understanding of the time in which is being studied.

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