Studio Tours!

Posted on April 22, 2013


I am a little late in posting this but not yet deadline time yet so YAY! Here are the studio tours for the three projects I was assigned to review.

1. Sarah Dalheimer’s Fiction Blog!

The first thing I want to say about Sarah’s project is that it is so extensive. It is a fiction blog set in Northern Minnesota and deals with vampires and werewolves and the clashing between the two. She has the project organized nicely, sectioning off each week to be told through the eyes of a different character. Each of these characters is linked in some way. She even has a page specifically for character profiles. This was helpful when I was just beginning to read. I liked also that in her blog she did not just stick to one character but let each of her characters tell their own perspective, beginning with Laura, then Ezrick, then Dianne, and most recently Ryker. I am hoping to maybe hear some perspective from some of her other characters, such as Alex (who seems to be sorely stuck on Laura) and Eric (who is Laura’s brother). I do wish that the About page was beefed up a little. It did feel like I was sort of dropped into the story. I wanted a little more context and back story and the About page could be helpful for that. Sarah also includes Research blogs where she talks about fiction blogs and being successful in the medium. Each of these blogs is well linked and insightful, both positive things. She also links to her Author Notes which are important because they ask for feedback from the blog’s readers and also link to her Sunday reviews, which she posts on her other blog. So in a nutshell, I saw tons of great things about this blog; Sarah really does appear passionate with her story and with the project. She organizes her information extensively and does reach out to her audience for feedback. She also does not just focus on her story but the craft of fiction blogging in general. All I am really left wanting is a little more background story and the next character perspective. Awesome job Sarah!

2. Jake Ford’s Hockey Blog!

Now I feel the need to post a disclaimer here; I am a horrible Minnesotan. I am not a fan of hockey and do not know much beyond stick, puck, and the Minnesota team being the Wild. So I apologize for the ignorance to the hockey jargon.

Jake’s blog is all about hockey; eating, sleeping, and breathing hockey. He posts regularly on his WordPress blog and also tweets regularly on his twitter account. He uses this blog for his Sunday reviews. He tweets (or at least retweets) daily and posts on his blog three to four times a week. The point of his blog and his tweets are to focus on hockey, hockey, and (you guessed it!) more hockey and from reading through his posts and tweets I can wholeheartedly say that he succeeds in this. He begins his project talking about the NCAA Tournaments and his predictions for them. He has three days of predictions and the thing that I really like about his blog posts is that they are well linked. With every team he talks about is a link to his webpage. He also ends each of his predictions with a score that he thinks will be the outcome. He then goes on to talk about the NCAA Regionals, talking about who won, who got the upset, who lost terribly, etc. He also spends time talking about the  NHL, Frozen Four Semifinal Predictions, and reviewing the NCAA Hockey in 2012 – 2013 Each of Jake’s posts are cohesive, well linked, and insightful. I definitely get the feeling that this blog is not for a newbie like me. I really enjoy the other media that he incorporates into his blog, like the photo’s, video, and the twitter feed. I know that Jake was hoping to model this blog after other hockey blogs and I feel like he is moving in the right direction. However I also would say from his lack of comments, maybe he should be using his social media more (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) to advertise and get more readers. It would probably be nice to get more feedback!

3. Jordan Malm’s Object-Oriented Programming Wiki!

Jordan pairs his Wiki with his blog here for his project, with his wiki being his main work space and his blog being his space for reflections and insight on the project. I have to say it was interesting to look at a wiki for a project instead of the many blogs I follow. This is what Jordan is using his wiki for

“This is my personal wiki for the CS_3360 Object-Oriented Programming at Bemidji State University. It is intended to be a place where I can aggregate class notes, assignments, links, and other material related to the class. It is also an experiment to determine if the wiki medium is effective as a study tool.”

I think I would probably be a good test guinea pig for this because I have no clue what this class is about. Looking at the Syllabus for the class, I quickly understand that this is a design based class, specifically for computers/web-based work. Obviously this is just a study guide for the class and I am not expecting to learn everything from looking at Jordan’s wiki but I do think that Jordan did succeed in providing a study guide. I thought Jordan did an excellent job of actually outlining and organizing his wiki, creating a sidebar with all of his pages and subpages, categorizing them. Everything was well-organized and clear. Much of the terminology was lost on me but Jordan made his list extensive and even linked some of the words to other definition that were similar.
There is only one flaw that I see in Jordan’s study guide wiki plan; wikis are meant to be seen as more of a community activity. Anyone can work on or add to the wiki if they so choose. However no one in contributing to this wiki besides Jordan. Click here. I think that it could get REALLY interesting if Jordan could get other members of his OOP (see I used the abbreviated name! I learned things!) class to join the wiki and work on it with him! That would be really interesting to see! I also think it would be cool to see some of the projects that Jordan produced for his class. I am especially interested in the Game using java. I would love to see that!