Review 2043

Do you have any 7’s. No. Go Fish. That is what I was expecting when I went to visit this site. But of course, I was not given what I expected.

Instead we are given a good cross between what I would say is a weblog and what I would consider a diary. The site focuses on the daily life of the writer. Her rants, her raves, the good, the bad; it is all there.

The site reads like that of a good magazine. You can start anywhere you want, and find a good entry. This site doesn’t require you to go back to day one to know what is going on. Instead you can just pick up where the weblog is, and you will be satisfied.

The design of the site is very well done with only a couple minor complaints. The background of the site is a darker shade of blue, and uses black text which can somewhat blend in after long periods of reading the site. One thing that she does well with her design is that all of her webrings are under a sub-menu called rings. They are not randomly placed, but rather strategically placed which makes the site look good.

Over all you have a good site that is very easy to pick up. The author knows where she wants her site to go, and is taking it there. The design is original, and works well for the site. So now is your chance to start reading a site that doesn’t require any buildup.
Go Fish

Review 1614

On opening this site, it looks Celtic/Goth, with black, gray, and purple colors throughout. But when you click the Who Am I link, a startlingly cute fuzzy animal appears. This must be Trishymouse. I have to say this was about the last thing I was expecting to see, and I started to warm up to the mysterious author.

The author is an systems administrator and a writer. The purpose of her weblog seems to be to capture news and other quotations (with links) that point out the sinister aspects of the US government. In her Who Am I section, she describes her own life to an interesting degree of detail. She seems to be in early middle age, and this fits with her communication style. Her target audience would be other adults, especially those with a left-leaning and spiritual side.

The writing is thoughtful, careful, and expressive, adequate for readers who can relate to the author’s views and approach to life. She does not reach out to draw in readers who are neutral or uninterested to start with. If the author would like to draw in more readers, I’d suggest adding some chatty commentary text to each post. Personally, I like to feel that I’ve gotten to know the blogger a little bit, or I lose interest.

The design and the content are a little incongruous. The design looks severe and a little depressing, but the author shows an optimistic and tenacious attitude about life (if not about the Bush administration). In navigating the site, you have to rely on the back button quite a bit. More sophisticated linking would be helpful. This is a minor complaint.

If you visit the site, do read the Who Am I? pages. They provide interesting background about the author and her family. You can also read her poetry and see her photography.

This site is not so unique or interesting that I would recommend you visit it pronto. But it’s worth a look if you have something in common with the author, or are looking for a well-written personal weblog to add to your bookmarks. I rate it a 3.5.The Journey

Review 1614

The first thing I thought upon opening The Journey was that this was a site of very little interest. All the entries seemed to be links to other sites with not even a comment about the link. I then attempted to look at the archives, to see if the author, Trish Lewis had anything more to say. The first four months of archives weren’t there. Not good. Finally, I found something, and began to read.

The weblog consists mostly of Trish talking about things that are important to her. This includes her family, religion, current affairs, and blogging itself, with many links to outside articles on the subject. Trish seems to be writing for herself first, and others second, meaning that some entries are not as interesting as others, how ever most make for a good read.

A pretty standard Blogger template is used, but that suits the site, as it is about content rather than looking good. One criticism I have is that the content of the site is very hidden – I clicked the Who am I link expecting to find nothing more than a short about page, and instead found a whole other part of the site. This index page is not very well laid out, but contains links to a number of interesting things, such as poetry and photographs. Again, these pages aren’t very well designed (one picture is a .bmp file, for example), but the content makes up for that.

I would recommend this weblog to people interested in subjects listed above, and those only interested in content, not layout, as the design detracts from the entries. If you can see through that to the writing inside, then this weblog is for you.
The Journey

Review 1589

Instantly, I loved the domain name for this site – The potential the domain name alone has is limitless.

When you are “Here in Reality”, you’re in one huge site. The general idea of this site is a new/links site that guides readers to the daily news, sports, deaths, or other bizarre happenings that the author of the site had deemed important enough to share at Here in Reality.

The Webmaster’s Blog, which is featured on the main page of the site, is the only portion of the weblog where the author exhibits some type of personal interjection to the links that Leigh Ann shares with readers. She really does a nice job of covering just about every aspect of current events, which is sometimes not an easy task.

A really neat addition to this site is the “Keyword Headline Feeds” where you can search a giant news database for any current news involving whatever keyword you should choose. Quite a neat little tool!

I really can’t get over how extensive this site is. It’s HUGE. While still visiting “Here in Reality”, I played a game of checkers (and won!), tried to see a Freddie Prinze Jr. striptease (no such luck, though), saw that even Yasmine Bleeth looks like crap in her driver’s license picture, and experienced my first (and probably last) javascript religious experience. I kept going throughout the site and found a little tribute to the “Dude, you’re gettin’ a Dell” kid, and some helpful survival links for just about every kind of threat of a natural disaster.

The design of the site is very simple, but with a site that focuses solely on current events, news, etc., there’s really no need for anything flashy or special. The current layout is a really good choice for the site.

You can really spend tons of time at this site, and while there’s plenty of news for you to catch up on, there are also some fun things to take in while you’re visiting “Here in Reality”.

Most of the entries throughout the site consist of just the link to the actual news article, and an excerpt from that specific link. While it does intrigue one to click to read the full article, I personally would have liked to read some personal thoughts or feelings by the author. Of course, that perhaps is not the purpose of this site, so I didn’t let that affect my overall rating of “Here in Reality”.Here In Reality

Review 1601

Fairy-wings is a very brightly designed site that, from the start, looks like it won’t hold back any punches. Sure enough, after the splash page, the introduction text to the blog states, “You’ve stumbled onto my domain on the net, Fairy-wings. This is my personal site with very frequently updated cam shots, blog, and content. I can say whatever the hell I want and if you can’t deal with that, click that lovely x up in the corner!” I was hoping this would be the kind of weblog where opinions on everything from bean sprouts to world peace would be offered. On a side note, another positive first impression was that the layout features Stitch from Disney’s Lilo and Stitch, which I’m a big fan of. A disappointing first impression was that the header fonts make it very hard to read – I feel like it’s work to make out what the various sections are called.

Once I began reading the weblog at Fairy-wings, I found it a little hard to follow. It’s definitely a personal blog, but I’ve found that most of the really great personal weblogs comment at least occasionally on some issues of general interest – and you can always count on a few good links, right? Well, Fairy-wings is great for reading about the life of Monique, the author, but if you don’t know her, it’s a little hard to get what she’s talking about, and she uses relatively few links to other sites in her blog content. Some spelling problems threw me off, but overall, the text was clean and simple enough to read through.

I think the design at Fairy-wings works well with the personal focus of the site. Prominent features include a tagboard, a quick e-mailer and a webcam. As I said before, the header fonts were a little hard to make out at first glance, but they do look nice. (And have I mentioned I love Stitch?) The only detraction to the design was the color of the scrollbar – I like colored bars, but there has to be differentiation from the bar’s track to the scrolling section, or else you never know where the heck you are.

There are several “extra features” in Fairy-wings’ content, most by way of links to other sites, but I think my favorite was the “Boyfriend Application” that actually is part of Fairy-wings. I just wonder what she does with them… if it works, maybe it’s worth a shot on my own site!

Overall, this is a nice site. I’d say its appeal wouldn’t reach many people over, say, 20 or so, but it’s well-designed, consistently updated and you can tell it’s something that the author has put a considerable bit of work into. It’s worth a visit, and I may stop back, if for no other reason than to see if the boyfriend application nets any results.