Storytelling

Redefining the Scrapbook

a family scrapbook
Clippings in a 19th century scrapbook.

My great grandfather’s scrapbook isn’t pretty. It doesn’t look anything like today’s scrapbooks either. That doesn’t prevent it from being a family treasure. It contains pages of newspaper clippings like the ones you see here. For the most part, these are articles he wrote for various papers and publications. As you can imagine, old newsprint and 19th century glue are working a number on it so I’m working to digitize and transcribe what I can.

Today my favorite scrapbook has a domain name. Moultrie Journal is a WordPress blog using the delightfully nostalgic Button theme.

Blog post capture

The scrapbooker in me is always happy to add a little graphic drama to a post. My audience is my family who, thanks to WordPress and a bit of effort, are either getting each new post delivered to their inbox or their Facebook newsfeed. An interesting graphic and/or a catchy title helps attract their attention.

This blog scrapbook isn’t designed to last several lifetimes like my great grandfather’s has. It’s purpose is to inspire interest in family history. I want today’s family – especially the younger ones – to discover how fascinating our history is.

Southern Hospitality

There are many reasons why WordPress makes a great scrapbook. The obvious one is distribution. A blog has reach far beyond our hometown. Not only does it attract close relatives, it attracts relatives we didn’t know we had. Another reason is that it can handle all kinds of media formats. It’s just as easy to post a video as it is a photo.

But . . . what about longevity?

Most of my blog posts are written using the Ulysses writing platform [Mac – $44.99 & iOS – $19.99]. Here I can write, organize and publish my stories into any number of formats. The stories themselves are written using Markdown – a plain text standard that insures my words will survive future technologies. Ulysses can now publish drafts directly to the Medium blog platform, but not yet to WordPress. Fortunately the WordPress editor supports Markdown so it’s an easy copy/paste to move the text to the post.

Ulysses editor
Ulysses writing platform for Mac

I love my old family scrapbooks and I enjoy a good story – especially when a family member is involved. I’m also a sucker for the gorgeous digital graphic elements used by today’s scrapbookers. Unlike “normal” scrapbookers, I see the actual story as the primary focus and the graphic elements as a way to catch your eye – and your attention.

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