Review 754

Techno-bloggery at it’s finest, Katherine’s Blog is chock full of tech industry and trade links, personal tidbits, and scads of references to subjects which may be well over most readers’ heads. What isn’t interesting in this weblog certainly is confusing, but there is something enjoyable about a weblog which can confound its readers.

Katherine’s Blog, also known as the Thin Film Manufacturing weblog, is laid out in a strictly utilitarian format. There is nothing pretty about this weblog, it is a simple and straightforward canvas for the author’s short entries. Colors and font face and size are easy on the eyes and the site views equally well in MSIE and NS. Links are in working order and the weblog is archived. The author uses the BlogBack commenting system which, when down, causes multiple script errors.

The author’s entries are typically brief and often contain links to scientific articles and sites. Readers interested in the best of Semiconductor International will assuredly appreciate Katherine’s Blog, for the author makes many references to features at this external site. Needless to add, Katherine’s Blog does not make for light reading and, despite the occasional personal entry, this blog does not appear to be aiming for widespread appeal.

Readers who desire a witty personal weblog will hardly find this site of interest; but, those who have an interest in technology and posses a scientific mindset will find many useful links at Katherine’s Blog.

Thin Film Manufacturing

Review 747

For something slow-loading which isn’t even a weblog, Bin Chen’s Photography site is somewhat worth the wait and well worth a long look.

The site author/photographer has uploaded a horizontally scrolling selection of his photography and invites viewers to leave comments about the photos. While the comments cannot be viewed by visitors, some of the photos are truly worth a thousand words. Unfortunately, the photos do take an extremely long time to load. Thumbnails linked to larger images are definitely in order here, as many viewers will be turned off by the wait time.

Bin Chen’s Photography is best viewed in MSIE, as NS tends to stack the images instead of presenting them horizontally. All links do work, but the only links presented lead to even more photos. This site may strike some viewers as a “silent weblog” and this, in itself, is not a bad thing. It is, however, fairly impossible to issue a score greater than 1.0 to Bin Chen’s Photography precisely because it is not a true weblog.

If one has time to spare and enjoys photography, do take the hour or so that it requires to explore Bin Chen’s Photography. But, be warned, there is nothing here to read.

Bin Chen’s Photography

Review 741

This is yet another wonderful news/links site. Upon entering the site, I was immediately reminded of a site that I had designed a long time ago. Actually I think it was just the background that made me remember that site, but it still was very similar.

The design of this site is very easy to navigate. Everything is where you would expect it to be. The colors work very well for the site, which is always a plus. Another plus is the fact that you can choose what theme you would like the design of the site to be in. If you don’t like the default, you can easily switch to something else.

The news/links are divided up into different categories, though by clicking on the news link on the left, you get the most recent news only. A lot of the news is fairly funny, and not really news, though there are some good old news posts. The basic idea, I think, of this site is to find some of the strangest news out there and post it.

This is another site that has the potential to become a really big site. Though unlike the other news sites that are out there, people will flock here for a good laugh.


Review 740

Random Walks is comparable to sites like MetaFilter. There are a bunch of people posting and users able to comment on posts. The major difference is that anyone can comment on their posts unlike MetaFilter.

The links are posted about whatever the author wants to post about. Like other similar sites, this is a good source for general news and some rather interesting links.

One thing I really liked about Random Walks was the other sections of the site. My personal favorite was the Xspot, a section devoted to Mac OS X. It is the same as the main page, only news about OS X.

There are two things that Random Walks is missing in my opinion. Archived news, I couldn’t find an archive section which was kind of annoying. What if I missed a couple days of reading the news because I took the weekend off? It needs archives. Also the ability to link to each post would be useful in this type of environment.

I think both of these problems could be solved if the creator of the site decided to use a more powerful blogging tool than Blogger or a custom built blogging tool. Not to say that Blogger is bad, but it doesn’t have the features built in that a site like this really could use.

Overall I see Random Walks being a site of extreme popularity down the road. Given some time to grow, it will be a really good news site.


Review 732

Tarred and Feathered is not what I expected it to be. I expected it to be a rather funny and witty site, though all I found was a stereotypical blog by a teen female.

Upon reading the site I was trying to figure out who exactly Hanna is. I figured that she was in high school, but what year? With no about section apparent, I just had to read on to guess. As I am reading each post, I am getting more and more frustrated that there isn’t an about section. I really want to know where this person is coming from, yet I am not sure. Is she one of the popular crowd at school is she the science geek type? I don’t know.

So I am all finished reading the first page of her blog and that was it. I know there are archives somewhere as the first entry on the page doesn’t read like it was the first post. But again, there isn’t a link to the archives. Archives are very important I believe in letting the readers know more about the weblog. With out them, some jokes are not funny; some mentions of things don’t make sense. Archives are very important.

The design of this site is very basic, red background, white background for the main text area and black text. There is nothing fancy here, and from the other design parts, I wasn’t expecting it to be anything out of the norm.

I think the author of the site needs to add an about section and link her archives as soon as possible. The design could be improved, but it is not needed to do improve the blog itself.

Tarred + Feathered