Review 2469

The subtitle of this blog is “Infrequent Clamor” and I think it describes the blog very well overall. When I arrived at the site there were few other clues as to what I could expect. There is a very simple template with only a few links in the sidebar. It would seem that vanity is not something this author suffers from with regard to blogging. Don’t get me wrong- there is nothing wrong with the site- just not much I can say about how it looks. One of the sidebar links leads to a profile of the author, which explains that the reader should not really need a profile in order to appreciate the blog. Suitably rebuffed, I decided there was nothing more to do than get on with some reading.

As the title suggests, this blog is not updated that often (once a month on occasions), but the archives go back to July 2001 so there is plenty to read here. This is compounded by the fact that most of the entries are pretty long. With regard to the subject matter of the blog, I think this is going to be one which people either love or hate. The author is a Psychology student, you see and his postings tend to reflect this. The style of writing tends to be rather cerebral, rather existentialist and quite verbose. The author tends to go off at tangents somewhat too, which can occasionally be annoying, occasionally funny. Subject matter tends to hover around psychology, philosophy, science and grammar, though there are also book reviews, short stories and even a cartoon which the author writes himself and a few personal, day to day posts too.

Unfortunately I am not clever or intellectual enough to tell you whether some of the ideas and ruminations found here are themselves either clever or intellectual, or really just vague ramblings which are made to look that way. I strongly suspect the former though and the comments would seem to back up this assumption. One thing that can be said is that most of the posts are pretty deep and deal with the “big” questions in life. I found they tended to be somewhat over analytical too on occasion, especially when the author is writing about himself, though I guess that would be his psychology training coming out. I must admit, he does have a good sense of humour which definitely helps with this.

Incidentally, I really liked the icons that are shown when someone leaves a comment- presumably something built in to the “Livejournal” system. I also liked the fact that every entry showed what the author was listening to at the time and he has a VERY eclectic taste in music. There is (I think) another blog to be found under the “my friends” link, but I didn’t really understand the purpose of this and it seemed to consist mainly of news headlines from the BBC.

Overall then, if you are looking for a deep, intellectual blog which requires quite a bit of thought and willingness to take on new ideas then this is one for you- there is more than enough here to keep this kind of reader happy. On the other hand, for those looking for something a bit lighter and maybe more accessible, it might be best to try elsewhere. It is hard to give an overall score because it depends so much on the reader, though for what it’s worth, I found it all went over my head a bit.PJ’s Livejournal

Review 2461

‘Egasm 4 u’ as a name conjured all sorts of possible images in my mind about what to expect before I arrived at the site, but not one of them really fitted the bill. I really was expecting something more of a light hearted romp than something which is more spiritually inspired.

The site design is a straight forward typepad two column layout with linkage down the left hand side. There is an interesting ‘About Me’ section containing a brief biography, a list of interests and methods by which readers can contact her.

Initially I believed that this was a fairly young blog with archives going back only as far as August, (in effect only three months) but from the first introductory post I realised that the author had actually discovered an interest in blogging back in May and had managed her blog via blogger Blogspot, the archives of which have not been transferred over, but are linked to in the authors introductory post back in August.

The author’s bio in itself is captivating, describing herself as a “mom, priestess, healer & Orgasmic Living! Diva” I immediately had hopes that this is a lady who could offer the blogging world a real insight into her life. She has a wide variety of interests including two of my personal obsessions poetry and independent filmmaking, and I was hoping this would influence the content of her blog. I’m not really sure she achieved this but her content is an interesting mix of art and poetry, amidst posts of a personal or spiritual nature. There are some beautiful examples of artwork and photography from various artists. While her posts have a tendency to be short they are beautifully descriptive and well written. A talent for words is always appealing in a blogger but I really believe this blog could be more; it has potential if only the owner were to explore her interests here in greater depth. I would have liked to hear more about the owner’s beliefs, as this is a chain of thought I myself am unfamiliar with.

The design of the site, based on a typepad template doesn’t really do the weblog justice, although it is easy to navigate, quick loading and kind on the eyes. Although I realise that the site owner is not technically minded, a point she makes early in the weblogs archives, some amendments to the design inspired by her beliefs and the sites contents could really add an element of interest here by adding a little touch of individuality.

Initially I was a little perplexed about the author’s use of a cloaking URL because the original URL is not all that long. This I believe can be mildly irritating to a blog reader, as they make direct linking to individual posts especially difficult. They are in my opinion pointless unless your URL extends beyond the address bar on the readers browser!

All in all, I believe this blog has some real potential. The content at present is of a good mix, but doesn’t really go as far as it could do. With her interests and her obvious knowledge this author could really offer the blogging world a unique slant of her own that would be fascinating. Although I firmly believe her present audience is limited to those who share her interests at present this blog has real potential. It’s still a relatively young blog, but the owner has a clear voice in her postings, if she were to explore her interests further I am sure that her readership would grow.

eGasms 4 U

Review 2486

When Ensight first loads up, a header image appears with the words “business & tech & Jeremy”. No three words could be more accurate about the contents of what readers will come across should they stumble upon this site.

“The thought behind ensight was for a few of us to have a place to express ourselves in a… Well, in a low-stress environment.” is how Jeremy describes the reason behind this weblog on the site’s one month anniversary in July of 2003. Ensight falls nothing short of exactly that. Each of the different authors that contribute to the site from time to time expresses themselves quite well, all using correct grammar and punctuation in addition to their clear thoughts and even their ability to keep the majority of new and return readers entertained.

Each time an author posts to Ensight, the entries give readers the impression that there’s really been some thorough research done before anything is written. Enough is written in each post to get the point across, but more often then not, the authors will provide readers with additional sources to find more information about the subject matter at hand.

It’s not all informative technical/business posts, though. For example, Jeremy, one of the site’s main authors and creators of Ensight, is on the search for a better job, and through his research and/or experiences, readers are given tips and hints of what to do or not do in a job search in accordance to Jeremy’s hands-on experiences. Posts like the ones regarding Jeremy’s job search remind readers that the people blogging at Ensight aren’t doing it just as robots that do nothing but write about the latest and greatest in technology; they’re doing it because it’s something they have an honest interest in and want to share the information they find with others just as curious as themselves.

The layout isn’t a bad template at all, appearing to be a standard Movable Type template with the colors slightly changed. Each entry appears in a gray box, complete with all the Movable Type features – giving readers the ability to comment, find links to individual entries, and a way to track back to each entry. The archived entries are listed by category and by the month down the sidebar, where you’ll also find the calendar of entries, link the author(s) visits, and other typical external links.

I couldn’t find anything that I would change about this weblog. The design works for the purpose behind the site. The writing is easy to read and it keeps the readers interested. In all, Ensight does provide a huge chunk of insight to anyone stumbling upon it. The tech talk isn’t geared strictly towards those who are professionals in that particular field, but more along the lines of the average person just wanting to learn more. It’s definitely worth a once over, and if you’re into the ever-popular tech world, it’s definitely going to be worth a lot more than that.

Ensight – Jeremy C. Wright

Review 2486

The first thing I noticed about this blog is that it tells you right away what to expect. The subheader reads “business & tech & jeremy.” The author of this blog is Jeremy Wright, a 24 year old tech professional. Knowing that Jeremy is a tech professional adds some crediblilty to this blog, which covers a lot of IT and other tech subjects. The simple, easy to read design also caught my eye right away and encouraged me to scroll down and enjoy this blog.

Whether talking about the job, musing about LongHorn, or ranting about a baseball game, Ensight is always a great read. Jeremy updates several times a day so the content is always fresh. I immediately subscribed to his RSS feed. One word of caution: Most of Jeremy’s entries are pretty tech heavy, so if you’re not down with the geek speak you might want to do some research before perusing this blog. If you’re big into anything IT related, like I am, you’ll be in comfortable surroundings.

The design of the site is really great. It’s pretty easy to tell that this is a Movable Type blog, but that certainly isn’t a bad thing. Jeremy has taken the time to customize his templates and make the blog even easier to read. The colors go really well together and are easy on the eyes.

Like I said before, if you’re into computing, technology, or anything like that, this blog is definitely worth a daily read. The frequent updates and great design make this blog well worth the visit. Ensight – Jeremy C. Wright

Review 2429

When I first loaded WMBR in my browser, I took one look and then closed the tab, running away to sit in a corner muttering to myself. I was going to lambast this site, and perhaps I still will (yes, I will, I’ve decided).

Not since the latest Microsoft redesign have I seen a site less happy to operate in Netscape Navigator than this one. Flashing text, a tiny font, whole passages that suddenly underline when the mouse passes over them. Ugh.

Fortunately for the writer of this peculiar little site, I’m willing to cross the border every now and then; loading the site in IE I was suddenly presented with an entirely different picture: a well-designed, attractively minimalist site that doesn’t hate me.

I started with the “About” section – surely the best jumping-off point for any new reader – where I discovered many little things about the writer that I can truly relate to. This material reads like a bullet-pointed Seinfeld summary; “I never write the word ‘I’ with a lower case letter” (ironic when you visit the contact page), and “I broke up with a girlfriend once because she didn’t care to differentiate between ‘they’re’ and ‘their'” are two shining examples of the writer’s great sense of written presentation.

In the most recent entry (August 29th when I wrote this review), the writer laments his recent lack of interest in the site, with language much more colourful and involving than a simple, “I’ve been busy lately – sorry.” WMBR is a personal weblog, full of snappy, short entries, cross-postings, neatly laid out with lots of white space and a thin column structure that draws the eye down the length of the page. When you start reading you will find yourself strangely compelled to continue.

There’s too much content here to get through in one go. Instead I recommend dipping in and out; follow some of the supremely well measured external links, though always be sure to return. The posts here are bitesize, never too long and rarely too short, so you’ll never fall foul of the infamous blog fatigue, from which I have personally suffered on one or two other sites (my own included, shamefully).

Now, if only he could somehow transpose this delicate design into something that Netscape and its band of Mozilla brothers could digest…

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