Saturday, October 26, 2013

SHAFR Seeks a Website Designer/Developer

Call for Proposals: Website Designer/Developer
Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations
Deadline: November 25, 2013

The Society for Historian of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) seeks a Website Designer/Developer to enable the organization to have a dynamic online presence for its members and for others interested in foreign relations and international history.

SHAFR promotes excellence in research and teaching in the history of U.S. foreign relations. The organization’s mission is to promote the study, advancement, and dissemination of knowledge about American foreign relations. Our members work and live in over 40 countries and in fields ranging from U.S. history, world history, international relations, area studies, and beyond. They include historians in colleges and universities, government offices, archives and museums, nongovernmental organizations, and secondary schools, as well as graduate students.

The current SHAFR website provides information about the organization and its activities, and facilitates SHAFR activities like conference registration and annual elections. It is also an important resource for members and others interested in foreign relations history, with links to SHAFR publications, to teaching resources, and occasionally to online commentary on current issues in foreign policy. SHAFR also has a Facebook page and is on Twitter.

SHAFR’s goal for a website redesign is create a site that makes SHAFR activities and resources more easily accessible and extensively utilized, and that is a more effective social media presence for the organization and its members.
The current website is powered by WordPress and uses the Event Espresso plugin for conference registration services. It has the following components: 
·         The Home Page has basic information about SHAFR and links to other pages.  It features current news, including calls for papers, with an image slider for important highlights. The new Home Page should make the full array of site resources more apparent to all visitors, and should highlight both SHAFR activities and commentary on current matters in foreign policy and international affairs.

Previously the Home Page had an opinion blog, however it fell into disuse. Some form of dynamic display of news and commentary is needed, including, perhaps, links to op-eds by SHAFR members that appear elsewhere. It should be in a form that is less dependent on SHAFR bloggers and more easily managed. Content on this page and elsewhere should be more easily shared through social media.

                     PublicationsDiplomatic History is the flagship journal in the field.  Its principal audience is academics. Because foreign relations and international history informs contemporary foreign policy, the journal is also of interest to a broader readership. SHAFR also publishes Passport, a newsletter with essays on scholarship and teaching, and news about the field and SHAFR members. Diplomatic History and Passport are published by Oxford University Press, and DH is behind a paywall.

The new website should make information about SHAFR publications easier to find and easily discoverable by search engines, and should make it easy to share links via social media. Better integration with the Oxford University Press website is needed.

                     Research: This section of the website has great potential, but currently has only lists of links about archives and research funding. It should be a central resource for scholars and others involved in international and foreign relations research. At a minimum, materials on this site can be reorganized so that, for example, archive information is organized by region and country. Ideally, the site will be interactive, enabling members to contribute content, so that researchers can share their experiences, offer advice, and perhaps network with each other.

                     Teaching: This section should be a primary resource for instructors of foreign relations/international history on the college and university level, and for secondary school teachers who are seeking to enrich their classrooms. The current site has links to course syllabi and some primary sources for course use. 

The revised site should be reorganized. The main Teaching page should include an introduction and links to sub-pages with particular content. Images and video will be especially important to the Teaching pages. Users should be able to perform word searches in order to find relevant resources quickly. It should be easy to share and link to pages, and to print individual documents on the site. If possible, there should be an opportunity for SHAFR members to interact on the site, perhaps to discuss teaching or comment on particular resources.

                     About SHAFR: Other aspects of the current site (pages for Members, Governance, the Annual Meeting, etc.) should be integrated into a new page with information about SHAFR membership and leadership, SHAFR election information, conference submissions, etc. Registration for the Annual Meeting currently uses Event Expresso Plugin for WordPress and FirstData credit card processing.

Overall, the new SHAFR website should be more visually attractive. It should include more images; some pages should feature video; and all aspects of the site should be easier for search engines to find and for site visitors to share. Ideally some interactivity should be built into the site, and moderating that content should be easy to do. So that all aspects of the site can be regularly updated, the site should be easy to add content to.

Timeframe: The Website Designer/Developer would work with the Committee on SHAFR and the Web and the webmaster to create a website ready to launch by July 1, 2014.

Deadline: Proposals should be submitted by November 25, 2013. Please include: information about your company and/or your c.v.(s); your web design experience (including work samples and references), and a proposed schedule. Include a budget for up to $10,000. Submit by email to: Mary L. Dudziak, Emory University, Chair, Committee on SHAFR and the Web, mary.dudziak@emory.edu. The subject line of your email should say: SHAFR Website.

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