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This is a re-review of justafreak
First impression; flash intro, never my thing. Generally not blessed with that desirable trait of patience I frequently shut sites down with slow loading and seemingly pointless flash. On this occasion I thought it only fair to sit through it and wait. In their defence there was an option to skip the intro, an option I took the second time I loaded it only to be presented with a second page and an “entry image”. I never quite see the point in these things.
When you eventually pass through the flash introduction and pretty images of falling snow the site design isn’t that bad, it’s very simple and understated. Quite clearly it is designed with the smaller screens in mind, leaving a great wedge of yellow at the side of anyone with a large monitor. A minor misdemor by all accounts.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the blog, I had a feeling it may well be a personal blog – I refer to as a journal rather than a blog, and I was pretty much right by all accounts. It’s a conglomeration of journal entries, random links and personality tests, nothing unique but no less worthy than any other. It was easy to navigate and the blog itself was nicely designed and easy to read.
I noticed in passing that some of the entries were encrypted, requiring a password to read. I must admit to wondering the point of all this, when quite clearly some of the passwords were displayed above the section. There may be point to it, but it eluded me.
I was left wondering if this site would appeal more to Steve’s friends and acquaintances than to random visitors, but still it remained an interesting voyage into the life of a stranger in passing. I gave this site a rating of 3, a good design despite the seemingly pointless flash introduction, an interesting journal of personal entries, the odd cool graphic, but no come back factor.
I have been tracking justafreak for a little while now. They had found a loophole with the voting system and managed to get a near perfect reader score, while having nearly 4,400 reader votes. That is what first lead me to justafreak.
The first thing that loads is a flash intro. Yay, an elaborate splash page. Ok, the flash thing was pretty cool and had good music, so I won't take off points for that. But then after that is done loading, I am greeted with another splash page! Not one, but two splash pages. Seriously what is the purpose in doing that? We all know how I feel about splash pages.
So I finally get to the main page and it isn't the blog like normal. There is a nice design and it has a welcome message along with some news. The navigation can be found on the left with a tiny interface that has all the links, or at the bottom in standard text link mode.
Now I am to the blog and I find an interesting blog. Its close to your standard blog with the types of entries (Friday Five, feelings about a girl, Friends...) but yet is unique in its own way. You can actually tell that there is an individual voice behind the words.
One of the more interesting features the site has is a restricted page. You need to figure out what the username and password are, but they are in a blog entry. Not too hard to figure out if you have heard riddles before. The only thing the restricted area has is a blog decoder key which lets you decode certain blog entries. These entries are a little more personal and he only wants people that are smart enough to actually read them.
Over all I have to give justafreak a 3.0 for a couple of reasons. The fact that I had to go through 3 different pages just to access the blog was a bit much for me. 2 splash pages is not a cool thing in my opinion. Also the design while good is somewhat hard to navigate and would be even harder if not for the text links. But the writing is good and the entries are good and that is what matters.
Prepare yourself. You type www.justafreak.com into your browser’s address field, and you get hit with a yellow screen, a flash intro, and some type of funky techno music. Sounds like it could be a real mess, doesn’t it? This freak pulled it off with style. Even after listening to the music at least a dozen times, I didn’t get tired of it.
Once you move past the flash intro and into the main part of the site, you’ll notice that Steve, the freak behind the scenes of justafreak.com, has put together quite a large website. There is a navigation menu just barely peeking out of the left side of your computer screen, but I found the text menu along the bottom side of the site much more helpful and less cumbersome.
Steve’s weblog has the subtitle “about as good as refried beans”. Depending on your opinion of refried beans, you may or may not deem that an accurate description. The weblog is relatively new (since June 2002), and is updated perhaps every other day. Most if the information that’s posted in the weblog pertains to Steve’s personal life. And since this is clearly a personal weblog, the writing substance fills in nicely.
My first and only thought of improvement would be to be able to read more from Steve on a more consistent basis. However, time constraints play parts in everyone’s lives, and I’ll be content to just read Steve’s weblog when he can and does grace us with his entries.
As I mentioned before, this site is very thorough and extensive. Each section of the site, whether it be the about section, the poetry section, or even my personal favorite – the thoughts section, is very well written and pulls you even figuratively closer to this weblog owner.
Check out this weblog. Why? Because according to Steve, “resistance is futile”.
3 reviewers gave justafreak an average rating of 3.3333
Site Category: Personal
Reader Rating: 1.6667 based on 3 votes
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