My first impressions of “Life’s Like This” were very good indeed. She has a nice Movable Type blog and one of those cool template changing gizmos which all the young and fashionable bloggers seem to have nowadays. There were three templates on offer at the time I visited, though it seems like she has just removed a Christmassy one too. All the templates are self-designed, which I thought was impressive, though I did find the pink one a little difficult to read and it was a shame the skinning feature didn’t extend to the archives as well. Still, can’t have everything, I don’t suppose.
The sidebar was full of the usual gubbins found on blogs- blogroll, webrings, an archive calendar and one of those chatboard doohickeys. Also to be found were 100 (and 1) things about me, an “About Me” post and various other things which made it very easy to find out about the author.
So being so impressed with the site design, I moved on to the content, endeavouring to find out whether life really is “like this”. Now without making too many broad sweeping statements, blogging seems to come hard to some people, they have to work at it and never seem to get in to a flow with things somehow. On the other hand, there are people like Tanya where it all comes seems to come very naturally – her posts are never forced or laboured. Her style is witty and personable and her posts are written with an audience in mind- a good example of this can be found here. This made the whole thing a pleasure to read (and to review!)
There are a lot of posts crammed in to the four months of archives too, with two overall themes – personal posts about her kids and husband and links to stuff she found interesting whilst surfing. With the personal posts, we are really let in to her world in glorious detail, the good times and bad with photos to enhance things. I really felt I became part of her life and kids in the time I spent here. For this reason, she has, in a short time, built up quite a community of bloggers who read and comment on her site and who she frequently links to. She even had an “open mic” for a day or two, where anyone was free to add their own entry to the blog- a brave move I thought!
The outside links posts are nearly all “self contained” i.e. there is enough information in the post itself to “get the point”, without having to go off and read the link itself. This is always helpful as links often go out of date quickly, especially news links. There is a fair variety too- witty and funny news stories, quizzes, “character profile” type things and stuff going on at other blogs. I also particularly liked the blog walk she went on- I have not seen that idea before and thought it was great.
Like I say, Tanya is a pro blogger, if ever there was such a term. Anyone starting out who wants to know what the format can offer could do a lot worse than go and take a look and be inspired. I suppose ultimately, anyone who isn’t interested in family life or the overall zeitgeist of the blog may not enjoy it here, but I still say this is a top notch blog nevertheless.
Life’s Like This