Studio Tours:

Erik Rundquist's Wishing Well

According to the wiki's homepage, The Wishing Well is " made with the intention of being a database for information on problems that face the people of the United States and the World as a whole." The wiki seems to have high hopes of really bringing numerous minds and backgrounds together to achieve some serious accomplishments. While I question the site's ability to legitimately solve and conquer problems - it's intent and purpose is a solid and admirable one. As most wikis go, this site will rely heavily, even completely, on people contributing and really evaluating various ideas and plans to tackle the problems discussed on the wiki. Recognizing Erik's great input and beginnings, to really dive into the site's purpose, there will have to be far spread participation to grow on Erik's started discussions.

The wiki has already established some cornerstone issues that are pertinent to today's societal issues, national and international. The issues open for discussion include National Poverty, International Poverty, The War on Drugs, The War on Terrorismand Global Climate. At the moment, the only page not readily open for discussion is Global Climate. However, given the extreme interest in the issue, development and input is certain given time and opportunity.

I am interested in seeing the site develop and am eager to read various discussions. I wonder if the site will appear discussion and thread based or if it will resemble Wikipedia, as an organizational and encyclopedic reference. Does the developer have any certain goal in mind - or will he let it develop as it may?

The only small suggestion I have at the time is to tighten up the nuts and bolts of grammar. This may only stem from my composition background (English major here, don't blame me!) but I think any small changes will help in cleaning up the site and making it fluid for all readers. Overall, I think the site has a great aim and goal in mind with the true intention of sparking effective solutions for the problem's we're all facing and thinking about. It's off to a great start!

Wayne Schmeling's The Liberty Pines Ranch Breaks

What an amazingly developed and in-depth blog and site! Wayne has really outdone himself and surpassed my expectations with his blog, content, posts, resources and knowledge! There was so much to do and look at, I didn't know where to begin. His blogs and sites seem to be a wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts and hunters. His traffic (OVER 1,000 VISITORS) is proof of that!

The first thing I really like is the opening picture of Wayne at his 'home away from home' in eastern Montana's Badlands. Beautiful picture! Instantly lets me know the author is serious about what he writes about and has definite experience. The only thing that is intimidating to me is the thing that is also one of the site's strengths: there is such a plethora of information, I wonder if it could be organized differently? Maybe make things a little easier to navigate? Then again, since hunting is a foreign hobby to me, perhaps true hunters can visit the site and zone in directly to what they are looking for.

Wayne has done an amazing job or linking various articles on various topics. However, there seems to be one name missing from his list of classmates and their blogs! *winkwink* Wayne has numerous links to other state's DNR sites, including surrounding states and a few destination states. He has also linked many, many organizations for his readers' easy access. ( Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and The National Eagle Center, to highlight a few!)

Wayne's enthusiasm and passion for his topic and chosen hobby is more than evident through the development of his blog, the work he has put into the site, and even the development of an additional site about gun and hunting safety.

Heather Smith's FYRESTAFF Wiki

Immediately, I am impressed and pleased with the aesthetic appearance of the front page. It appears to be very clean and organized - with the links easily available and labeled at the bottom. I also like the event reminder on the top of the page. Once participation is really rolling, that will be one of the best tools for the staff - to quickly check hall happenings. Great idea!

There seems to be a small problem with the on-duty page; the calendar runs into the sidebar feature and is somewhat hard to read. Obviously - the purpose is met - users know who is on duty. Eliminating this small glitch will just add to the overall appearance to the site!
Also - it seems that two pages are serving roughly the same purpose. I am wondering if that is the intent. The Staff Notes page and Staff Message Board are very similar and I can understand the user's frustration with wanting a different/better organization to the posts. Heather seems to have started addressing this, by asking users to post their newest post at the top of the page, so that should help and is certainly a start. I am not familiar with pbwiki - but I wonder if you could set up the Message Board like the home page of the class wiki. If you just created pages within that page, having each page be a specific topic - that could perhaps help organize messages and guide users to specific areas once on the wiki. If it isn't possible, then we'll have to do some more brainstorming -but I think the pages idea would be great and easy. I'd be interested in seeing what develops.

It appears that the Maple Hall staff has started chipping in and adding little by little and that is great to see. Given the success of Wiki rests on the shoulder's of its contributers, I can certainly see this wiki developing greatly and steadily over this year and future years.

Grade Contract
I know I spent a few hours on this. I just don't know if what I've written is enough for 200 points. So - I'll contract for 150 unless by your criteria it is suitable for 200.
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