I am working on a new pet project aimed at giving, teenagers and adults easier access to information about The First World War. I speak to hundreds of people every month about both world wars and it is clearly evident to me that there are thousands of people out there that have a real interest in this part of our history, but really know very little about what actually happened. This is down to many factors but one big issue I think is that many ‘normal’ people do not have the time/inclination/desire to sit down and read an 800 page epic on the First World War.
Don’t get me wrong, history books that are meticulously researched and brimmed full of minute detail are vitally important but in reality only us geeks will read them. The bulk of the population are really only interested in getting an overview of what happened, why and to whom. It is one reason why I am writing my ‘everyman’s First World War’ book, which tackles the ‘history book’ genre in a completely different way to how it has been done before. (More on that in a later post).
However, we live in a society that demands immediate results and answers. Whether that is in sport, business or learning. We live in a 140 character society and even short, punchy books are too cumbersome for many. Which is why I am embarking on www.thegreatwar100.com – a website dedicated to the memory of the First World War that uses infographics to get the main statistics and points across. As far as I am aware it has never been done before for this particular conflict and I really hope that all kinds of readers,(but particularly those who do not have a library full of 800 page epics!) will visit, look, read and appreciate the format and hopefully enhance their knowledge of a war that effected every single British family at the time.
Please have a look at the holding page – the final website is still in production, but the idea is to more content including a day by day account of the conflict, more infographics covering different aspects of the war and I will also be ‘following’ a particular battalion through the war, using their official front line war diary to give readers a day by day account of what it was like being part of a British infantry battalion during the first world war.
There will also be merchandise for sale including t-shirts and posters of the infographics, also individual icons from the infographics can be used to put on t-shirts, cups, caps etc. 20% of the profits from these items will go to The Royal British Legion. I will be setting up a dedicated Just Giving page for this so you can see exactly your contribution to the whole project. You can even give me a message you want to put on the just giving page and I will make sure that is included.
I hope you all think this is a good idea – I would welcome any feedback and ideas. Please visit the website www.thegreatwar100.com and have a look at the first infographic. If you like it, please share the page via Twitter or Facebook using the ‘share icons’ that are on the page. I would like as many people to see this page and learn a little bit if possible.