Phil Gardner has quite the blog (and site). You can see how much time he’s invested in building such a site and how important it is to him (as Phil suffers from depression). In his “depression” page, he states that Dave (depression) made a mess of his life for about nine years and he’s only recently “gone” (with some ups and downs though). The fact that Phil can be so open about his illness is touching and makes you appreciate the site even more. But don’t let these feelings that may sound very much like “pity” keep you from admiring his wit and his good writing abilities.
Phil is a writer. He has experience in the field as you may see on his home page which boasts links to all he’s written. Plays, short stories, articles, etc. He’s even won a couple of contests.
More of his links include a rather detailed bio page. Though from a bio page one expects details. A little too much for my taste, as he mentions all the schools he’s attended, all the places he’s worked and all his skills. It gets somewhat tiring to read. The rest of the bio page is funny as it depicts some strange tests he took such as the “pickability” and “gayness” test. But that’s not all, he also has links to his Shotley page (where he lives), links to pages with his reviews on music and films and so many other links that you may get a little tired of browsing. But his links are not boring, they’re just numerous.
After a good long minutes browsing through the links I had a very good knowledge of Phil. This can inspire some readers, but I personally feel, one should keep the mystery going a little. You can have a couple of links that are about you and this is highly appreciated as it creates a bond between the author and the reader, too many links about you may lead people to believe you are a meme.
The design of his site is organized, though, you won’t get lost in spite of all the links. The home page I found to be visually appealing (gray and a beige-like yellow, easy to the eyes). I really enjoyed the home page. The way in which he presents his links is humorous: Moosic, Philms, etc. Nice word games.
Concerning his blog, it’s the least visually appealing page on his website. The template is a little dull, and the links on his blog don’t entice the reader as they go under the title “websites which mention me”, this makes the reader think Phil may be a little too much into himself yet I posed this question:
If you had been battling a serious depression that almost cost you your life and successfully got over it (96% for instance) wouldn’t you be into yourself, rediscovering yourself, writing about yourself?
Phil’s life is scarred by depression, it’s a part of who he was and luckily it doesn’t define who he is today. Yet it’s there: on his bio page and as a separate link. That’s why I enjoyed his site and didn’t think him to be too into himself. The depression factor makes you comprehend Phil is not a meme. The site is just his way to battle depression through the use of his talent. For talented he is.
Regarding his entries, many of them make you laugh. He talks about various random topics that occur in his day to day existence, spicing them up with a touch of that British humor, which I for one, especially like. However, has a tendency to confuse the reader as some entries will be lengthy while others have only a couple of lines.
Phil has been blogging since 2003 and from what I saw in the archives, his posts since January of 2004 have gotten more interesting. More humorous and less confusing length-wise. A two line post doesn’t usually interest the average blog reader, where as regular posting of longer entries makes for better reading.
To sum up, I enjoyed Phil’s site. It was an interesting read. Visit Phil, he’s worth your trip.