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~ ~ ~ CONTENTS  .... Vol 2 Issue 7 .... ISSN 1465-8224
 
                           

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~ ~ S I T E F I N D E R ~ ~ Vol 2 Issue 7 ~ ~ ISSN 1465-8224
 
~ ~ PICTURES, WORDS, INTERACTION AND SERVICES
 
~ ~ Adventure and Experiential Education Directory Ezine
 
~ ~ your free monthly newsletter associated with the
SiteFinder Directory: http://reviewing.co.uk/sitefinder/
edited by Roger Greenaway roger@reviewing.co.uk
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
CONTENTS (TOP)

~ 1 ~ PICTURES, WORDS, INTERACTION AND SERVICES
 
In this issue of SiteFinder you will find reviews of three very
different sites plus the familiar Trackers' Tips and SiteOwners'
Tips along with a new regular 'browsing tips' feature: 'Did you
know that...'?
 
The contents section (above) is now numbered so that you can more
easily find your way around.
 
The first review is of the PICTURES section of the Arete site.
 
The second review is of a more philosophical site that is
entirely WORDS - in the form of essays, poems and song lyrics.
 
The third review is of a site that mixes PICTURES and WORDS
together and both demonstrates and encourages INTERACTION.
 
Four adventure activity sites are listed that provide excellent
SERVICES.
 
Which kinds of sites do you value most? I most like to visit
sites that offer all of these things. I am usually looking for
some kind of service - which is likely to mean interaction -
whether with a robot or a human. Good use of words and pictures
can help to enhance interaction and service.
 
Book publishing is words and pictures. For web publishing,
without service and interaction, sites may never get many
visitors along to appreciate those carefully crafted words and
pictures. Some things are back to front on the web. Sites that
provide services ON the web will generate more interest in the
services they provide OFF the web.True or False?
 
Sites that focus on activities and recreation now offer some
excellent services of value to web users. What kind of services
can adventure and experiential education web sites provide?
 
You will find some answers in this issue and future issues. If
you know of any answers or have different views on these issues,
please write in to roger@reviewing.co.uk
 
Meanwhile, enjoy these reviews!
 
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CONTENTS (TOP)

~ 2 ~ PRETTY PICTURES - SITE REVIEW
 
Good pictures take so long to download (except for people with
superfast internet connections) that it is difficult to know
whether pictures attract people to a site or drive them away.
I have at last found a site with pictures worth waiting for.
Thank you Arete Adventures 'an experiential & dialogue based
learning organization' .
 
I like the combination of inspirational quotes with the excellent
pictures - except for the odd one out - rows of people looking at
a flipchart is surely not the best image of 'facilitation'? The
black background is very effective. A slight improvement would be
having all of the quotes fairly high on the screen - to give
viewers something to read and think about while waiting for the
picture to arrive. Perhaps most important is the image of the
company that this visual tour generates. And given the
difficulties with language in our field (i.e. the jargon) perhaps
we can better communicate our purpose through pictures. Arete's
visual tour is first and foremost an excellent example of
communicating what this company stands for.
 
To view Arete's visual tour go to:
http://www.areteadventures.com/arete/visutour.html [URL may have changed]
 
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CONTENTS (TOP)

~ 3 ~ THE MEANING OF LIFE - SITE REVIEW
 
Will Baker describes his site as 'An experiential discussion on
the meaning of life'. Visitors have found it thought provoking,
awesome, eclectic and enjoyable. Will Baker, a performance
artist, writes essays, poems and song lyrics based on his his
personal experiences in Vermont and his reflections on topical
events. Vermont is the territory of American poet Robert Frost.
Will's discovery of elms still standing in a wood nearby
certainly has some interesting echoes of Robert Frost. As an
American Studies graduate this happens a subject I used to know
something about!
 
I promise ''reviews of 'experiential' websites'' in this
SiteFinder ezine. My priority is to review sites *about*
experiential learning rather to review sites that are actual
examples of experiential learning. This site is a bit of both.
 
Will seems to be torn between William James' statement that:
''Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. We
are making use of only a small part of our physical and mental
resources.''
and Clint Eastwood's line that
''a man has to know his limitations''.
 
I would combine the two and say that we need to know how to use
our resources. Will clearly does know how to use his own
resources. As a learner he draws learning from events around him
and as a webmaster he has found and joined several webrings that
are relevant to his interests.
 
Some of Will's writing is about tragic experiences but his
messages are uplifting ones. Here's one example from the 'Lime
Green Poetry Page' called 'Recreation'.
 
Recreation
 
I watched my child play today,
And she made my spirit smile.
In watching her on a toddler swing
I felt young myself, for awhile.
 
And the notion occurred to me,
That when we also play,
We re-create ourselves,
And make wise use of our days.
 
For as adults, we sometimes sadly think,
That when we play we waste our time,
But I think that when we dance and sing,
We make our lives worthwhile.
 
For a performance artist, the remoteness of a web audience must
seem strange. Different skills are needed to 'perform' in such a
medium. The web has plenty of free technology to make publishing
more interactive. Perhaps Will could use some of his creative
resources to make his site more of a genuine 'discussion'?
 
The web does provide ways for writers to engage with their
audiences - and for mutual benefit too. I have learned so much
from feedback on my own site, that I believe that writers of all
kinds can learn far more readily from their audiences than could
the likes of Robert Frost.
 
'Will Baker a discussion on the meaning of life'
http://www.together.net/~wbaker/
 
If other subscribers would like private or published feedback on
their sites, please write to roger@reviewing.co.uk
I will do my best to provide the kind of constructive criticism
that I have recieved from others.
 
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CONTENTS (TOP)

~ 4 ~ WORLD OUTDOOR WEB - SITE REVIEW
 
You should visit this site for two reasons.
 
The first is that there is a FREE magazine on offer. A REAL
magazine that comes through your letter box! It is new and it is
called 'Challenge - the magazine for outdoor professionals' . It
is to become the voice of the Association for Outdoor Learning
(and lots more). Given that they are offering it free for the
first year, their confident prediction about huge circulation
figures will probably come true. If you live in Europe it seems
to be totally free. From outside Europe you will need to hand
over some cash. http://www.w-o-w.com/
 
The second reason for visiting is that it is an excellent site.
It is 'dedicated to the world of outdoor sports and activities,
travel and adventure'. W-O-W hosts many other outdoor sites, but
the main attraction for me were their own pages on caving,
cycling and climbing and their wide range of articles.
 
I went straight for the article 'Cycle camping with kids' because
that is what I have just been enjoying with my own family. As I
used to teach navigation classes (REAL navigation) I headed for
what turned out to be a well illustrated article: 'The World
Outdoor Web Navigation Guide - How to navigate by the sun and
stars!' Print this out so that you know what to do when your
satellite navigation system breaks down - or when you lose your
compass.
 
I spent most time at a substantial section called ''Death of a
Cave - digging new entrances for and against''. This is an
excellent example of how the web can be used to great effect.
Several writers have each put forward well argued cases as if
they are the edited highlights from a web-based discussion group.
Navigation is both straightforward and attractive - so you can
readily make your own route through the issues. Close by is a
huge selection of thumbnail caving pictures (each readily
enlarged) that help to illustrate the arguments - and remind you
of the beauty of this underworld.
 
The whole w-o-w site is designed to encourage interactivity, and
the caving pages clearly illustrate the benefits of including
several voices expressing their views. You are regularly
encouraged to ask questions on outdoor subjects and to sign up to
their list. My only criticism is that these invitations are too
frequent and too big. Smaller invitations would leave room for
more interesting and useful stuff at the top of each page.
 
World Outdoor Web
http://www.w-o-w.com
 
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CONTENTS (TOP)

~ 5 ~ THE BEST ADVENTURE ACTIVITY SITES
 
Strictly these sites are recreational rather than educational,
but I have highlighted them in SiteFinder because they are such
excellent 'portal' or 'hub' sites for each of these activities.
This is true ease of access to very useful information - for
windsurfers, bikers and skiers.
 
The World Windsurfing Directory
shows an excellent understanding of web surfers' needs
http://www.worldwindsurf.com
 
Cyber Cyclery Internet Biking Hub
is the tidiest hub I have seen!
Unfortanetly http://cycling.org has since disappeared
 
Ski IN
is a must for planning skiing trips.
http://www.skiin.com
 
You will find many other 'hub' sites listed in my growing
directory of activity sites at:
http://reviewing.co.uk/outdoors/links.htm
 
The most USEFUL activity site has got to be:
The WWW Bike Repair shop
an indexed and illustrated guide for fixing bikes.
When the spoke page appears it will be even better!
http://www.uidaho.edu/~baile934/
 
The STRANGEST outdoor activity has got to be 'house running' -
which is a little more vertical than hash house running.
[link disappeared]
 
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CONTENTS (TOP)

~ 6 ~ NEW ENTRY IN THE SITEFINDER DIRECTORY
 
Pushkaraj Apte
Countryside, India
countryside@vsnl.com
http://www.countrysideindia.com [URL may have changed]
All those who are interested in experiential learning and outdoor
development training WORKSHOPS
We provide complete solutions for Outdoor Management Development
Programmes for various themes
Comprehensive information about our company, one of the pioneers
of this field in INDIA
Various options for Adventure Tourism as well as Outdoor
Management Development Programmes
 
If you can recommend a site to include in SiteFinder Directory
(even your own site!) write to:
roger@reviewing.co.uk
or complete the form at:
http://reviewing/websites/add.htm
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CONTENTS (TOP)

~ 7 ~ TRACKERS' TIPS
 
AN EVEN BETTER META SEARCH ENGINE
I still like http://www.savvysearch.com and
http://www.metacrawler.com (mentioned in the last issue) but I
have discovered even better multi-search engines thanks to
www.searchiq.com
At this site you will find an IQ rating for each search engine
along with brief review comments. You can check the rating of
your own favourite search engine and see how it compares. Then
choose one with a higher IQ such as the top-rated
http://infind.com [since disappeared]
and discover the difference for yourself!
 
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CONTENTS (TOP)

~ 8 ~ DID YOU KNOW THAT ...
 
'FILE NOT FOUND' DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN'T FIND IT?
 
If you get a 'file not found' message (or similar)
1: take a look at the address bar in your browser.
2: delete the filename, but do not delete the rest of the address
3: press enter and (if you are lucky) you will end up on another
page on the same site. From this new page you might be able to
find the page you are looking for
4: if you still get 'file not found', delete the next bit of the
address - back to the next / and try again.
5: still unlucky? try searching for part of the address in your
favourite search engine. (When a site is moved to a new domain
name, the directory structure and filenames often remain the
same.)
 
Siteowners: if you delete files on your site or change domain
name you should leave helpful messages or redirecting pages in
their place.
 
History 'caches' up with you!
Even if siteowners try to delete all traces of a file you might
still be able to find it. Apparently some robots are busy taking
snapshots of the whole web and storing these huge archives for
posterity. Does anyone know how to access these 'old' pages?
 
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CONTENTS (TOP)

~ 9 ~ SITEOWNERS' TIPS
 
HOW MANY SITES LINK TO YOUR SITE?
 
The more sites that link to your site, the higher your site will
appear in the rankings of some major search engines. I know of 67
sites linking to my own site. These sites are listed
alphabetically at http://reviewing.co.uk/links2reviewing.htm
If your site links to mine but is not on this list, please let me
know.
 
If you want to know who links to YOUR site check 'help' at some of the major search engines such as
http://av.com
 
Whether or not search engine robots are impressed by the number
of links to your site, you will clearly get visitors arriving at
your site via these links.
 
Better still create useful, interesting, interactive pages on
your site that people will want to link to. Articles are an
obvious example. For many more ideas find the 'special
attractions' link at: http://reviewing.co.uk/websites/add.htm

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