Review 2732

When I saw the title of The Jesse Factor, it made me think of some sort of fictitious TV show hosted by former Governor Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Thankfully, The Jesse Factor was quite a bit more appealing then Ventura’s short-termed show.

For starters, Jesse is 14. 14. Honestly, I was expecting the writing of a normal 14-year-old and I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. Who wants to read about the drama of a 14-year-old? Well, other 14-year-olds, of course, and that doesn’t quite apply to me or the majority of the blogging world.

From The Jesse Factor FAQ,
readers are able to learn about Jesse. This link is certainly a must-read for first-time readers. Once I’d read that, I felt like I was ready to dive head first into The Jesse Factor.

When the blog began in March 2004, the content was somewhat limited. Jesse opened up his Inbox for readers to send questions in to “Ask Jesse”, giving him ample opportunity to not only poke fun at some of the ridiculous emails he received, but also give readers on the stance he takes on many current events and worldwide issues. Should a reader start from the beginning as I did, they’ll instantly be hit with the bold and quite often crude nature of Jesse’s posts. If nothing else, every single post I read dripped with brutal honesty.

Jesse does deal with the group of typical antagonists that a middle school aged person would deal with – his mother, his brother, and his irritating classmates. And while I’m sure this is going to really cause his head to grow, if his age wasn’t plastered all over his site, there’s no way a reader could guess that. Jesse is very intelligent, and his writing shows this. Despite the occasional spelling error, which he often finds as grounds to berate other writers, Jesse’s actual writing style is that of a seasoned writer – someone that puts great thought into what he’s putting down on paper/on the screen.

I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a post or two that did fall back to the writing style of a typical 14-year-old, but those were few and far enough between that they didn’t take away from the heavily opinionated posts that deal with topics like censorship and why the Olympics should be boycotted.

The layout is a little less than appealing to the eye. Jesse’s got banners all over the place. There’s his somewhat animated main banner that’s placed at the top of the site, right below a banner linking to The Jesse Factor Forums. Along the sidebar, readers can run through a series of smaller banners or links that appears to be that of different affiliates that will help bring in some extra cash to keep The Jesse Factor up and running in all of its dogmatic glory.

The light colored text on a black background isn’t always the best combination to go with, but for some reason, I don’t think the particular design of the site weighs too heavily on Jesse’s mind. Not when there’s political parties to bash and Affirmative Action to belittle.

Other information along the sidebar indicate there are five additional contributors to The Jesse Factor, but Jesse is by far the most outspoken and prevalent one of the group. The typical blog fodder can be found also: the archives, frequently read blogs and other visited sites, and links to referring sites. Unique to this site are quotes from other people about The Jesse Factor and list of the events or items that Jesse’s currently boycotting.

To sum up my overall thoughts on The Jesse Factor, I’ll use a direct quote from Jesse’s Legal Disclaimer: “If you are easily offended and you don’t like smart assed 14 year old boys, avoid reading my material.” Otherwise, The Jesse Factor is worth exploring.

The Jesse Factor

Review 2680

No Certainty has a clean techie look, complete with a couple of circuit boards and an abstract blue header. It looks like what it is, a computer tech journal.

I found the About link and read that our author is only 16 years old and living in the Netherlands, going to school. He must be a very mature 16 as this site is quite professional.

Now I admit that most of what he discusses goes right over my Windows 98 user’s head. But I am sure there are those of you out there who would jump right on board and have no trouble keeping up. The writing is clear and concise, and covers all manner of discussions of software and web administration tools plus some other stuff that I don’t have a clue about.

As I browsed around on the easily navigable site and found out that our enterprising youngster administers 10 web sites altogether. This is impressive too. He has been blogging since April of 2004.

This is a very specialized site, that would be of interest to computer techs and other young people who want to see what is possible in the computer world, no matter what your age.

NoCertainty – Dennis Pallett

Review 2649

Hmmm. Brown. Three column. Blogspot Template. Pictures of books the author is currently reading. Author is only fourteen. Does it get any worse than this? Please, please, PLEASE let there be something worth reading in the content!! I always tread upon “teenage” sites with a bit of trepidation.

The site is either going to kill me with it’s typical teen-lingo and behavior, or I’m going to find a teenager that complete renews my vision of what a “teenager” is. It’s hard to tell by the “More About Me” Section, but I’m hoping against hope that this young girl (who calls herself Tyler) can shock and amaze me. She gets half a bonus point for using a masculine name because my parents blessed me with one as well.

I came to “There’s Something About Gummy Worms” to read a BLOG. If I want a book review, I’ll go to Book reviews in a weblog are boring. And this is coming from an AVID reader. If you’re into this kind of thing, have a side blog or a “Book Section” or something to that extent, but don’t bore the masses with your reading habits. Most of the general population doesn’t care what you’re reading or how it is and it will immediately turn them off to reading your blog. If I wasn’t doing a review, I never would have gone past the first entry. Put this book stuff somewhere else.

In reference to the “general” state of writing, I’d say the author shows a bit of promise. But for now, this blog is a simple run down of certain daily events without too much content behind it. No one wants a basic rehearsal of what you did, where you went, or who you saw. Give us more of your THOUGHTS on the events and less on the events themselves.

I want more of the humor that I see slowly developing in your writing. For example: “‘Coach John’ wears glaringly yellow socks that are always pulled up all the way to his knees. Whenever he moves his arms you can see his ghostly white upper arms, and he bobs his head when he talks. However, since all of those were shallow sorts of annoyances I was willing to give the guy a break.” It may not be drop dead hilarious, but it is comical. More importantly, it gives me the feeling that you’re going to grow into a blogger who’s going to make people laugh at the way you view things in your life.

I didn’t see the author as a “typical teen” but she didn’t exactly wow me either. She is certainly extremely mature for her age and I think with a little work she’s going to be an amazing asset to the weblog community, but not for a few years.

She stated, “I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately in my quest to define my writing style in order to make my blog more interesting to the lonely Internet wanderers who stumble in here…” Kiddo, you’re doing the right thing by looking for ways to improve what you do with your site, but you’re looking in the wrong place. Instead of looking at others, look at yourself. The underlying whit and the manner, in which I think you could express yourself, is going to give your readers way more entertainment and knowledge into YOU than anything else ever could.

You use too many words to say what you’re trying to express. Cut out the unnecessary verbiage, get immediately to the point and continue throwing in YOUR point of view. I love the way you look at things. I love the way you take something in, analyze it, and spit out something that no one else would have considered.

The blog is only a few months old and the author is young, but I think she could be one of the “good ones” if she sticks with this and develops the unique manner of writing that she’s just beginning to show us. There is no teen angst here, but that usually comes when “boys” walk into the picture and Tyler is a bit young for dating, just now. Give her a few years.

Hopefully time will also give her the ability to branch out into something more complex than a cookie-cutter template for her design. She has given herself a unique name (for a girl), she has a developing style of writing, and I think she’s going to be capable of going somewhere with this thing if she keeps at it. Unfortunately, her design isn’t going anywhere. It’s dull, predictable, and bland.

At the present time, the blog would really be of interest only to those in the early teen years, but quite frankly, teens don’t usually start blogging until they enter the angst ridden teenage dating scene. I guess one of the things that sets “Gummy Worms” apart is the fact that she is a teenager, yet she has a fantastic and upbeat outlook on life. I sincerely hope she sticks with this angle when she’s going through the more difficult teen years.

This blog may not be much now, but it’s full of potential. Tyler, I wish you absolutely the best. Don’t let me down girl, grow into yourself, bring your blog along for the ride, and wow us all.

Something About Gummy Worms

Review 2578

First of all Journal of a City Idiot is hosted on Open Diary. When I first started blogging (or journaling as most people would prefer me to call it) I used Open Diary. It’s a great beginners tool but only if you’re used to the Open Diary format (or lack thereof). That being said, there can be no spiffy design as most users are limited to the choice of colours and background textures which are made available by the good Diary Master who heads OD. That being said, talking about the layout of the blog would be a moot point. The only thing I’d be able to say about it is that “Mousey”, as she is known, has used the better colours and backgrounds which makes the blog readable. There are no links out, no buttons, no pictures (well, one on the content page). Virtually nothing that makes this blog well and truly Mousey’s own.

I never thought I’d say this but I think she’d be much better off registering for a Blogspot blog – at least she won’t run the risk of losing her blog every month when she doesn’t post as I believe there is a certain time limit on that through Open Diary.

I think it’s obvious that my initial reactions to the blog weren’t especially good.

Now, whilst there are 191 entries (as of April 2 – and there hasn’t been a new entry since), posting is extremely sporadic and the blog actually spans – get this – three years. Yeup, it goes right back to 2001. Not a lot of posting considering it’s possible to post hundreds upon hundreds of entries in that sort of timeframe. Funnily enough, even though Mousey doesn’t post terribly often, she seems to have a fairly large readership.

In an effort to gain more background information about Mousey, I checked out the beginning entries, only to find more of the same sorts of entries that are posted throughout her blog. Sometimes funny, sometimes reflective, other times funny and reflective. But there was no information as to who Mousey was, apart from a very brief description as to the kind of idiot she professes to be:

“Idiot: is someone who fears dancing, matches, the opposite gender, Catch-22, and learning how to sing properly, someone who complains far too much, and is characterized by Other Things That You Should Read This Diary To Find Out About. (OTTYSRDTFOA.) “

The content of the blog is actually quite good. The entries are thoughtful and not the usual meanderings of society’s typically angsty youth who tend to write about who’s sleeping with who, who likes/loves/lusts after who, who has what expensive designer t-shirt, etc. The girl has something to say and says it well. Er… when she actually says it, that is.

This is generally not the sort of blog I would go back to visit again, though for what it was worth, the entries are quite interesting to read. Her regulars all seem to love her. I’m going to be a tad stingey with the points and give the blog a 2.5 out of 5, simply because it’s a pain to have to work with the limited features of Open Diary and the fact that posts are very few and far between, given the age of the blog.

The Journal of a City Idiot

Review 2580

Upon entering this weblog, the first thing that caught my eye was a guitar at the very top of the page. After seeing this, I naturally assumed that this was probably a blog discussing music.

However , at this point I started reading her main entries. From what I understand, the authour (Kelly), is a college student from “San Antino Texas”. I also realized that the blog was not solely about music as I had assumed in the beginning.

After reading her main entries, I went looking through her archives, to simply get a better feel and idea of exactly what the blog represented.

The blog is basically about the authours every day life. Basically, the only musical things she has on there, is a little segment she has every Monday called “Musical Monday”. This is where she just puts the title and lyrics to a song every Monday. She also has little musical notes posted after each entry.

Kelly writes about things from partying with her friends, to her college exams, to problems she has in her social life as well.There are a few exceptional entries that did stand out in my mind. One of them being a particular topic that went like this.


Muster is one of our most honored and revered traditions at Texas A&M. Beyond all things, this day holds the greatest significance for us. It bonds us and binds us one to the other. Our allegiance to one another, to Aggies, is exemplified as we stand in unison, worldwide, and remember those who have passed.

During Muster, we Call the Roll of the Departed, and during this solemn event, Aggies who knew the person are to answer “Here” for that person, to signify that they are never parted from the Aggie family, though they have departed from this earth… in accordance with the greatest honour: once an Aggie, always an Aggie.

Muster started as a small gathering in 1883, and has grown to a worldwide event, with thousands gathering around the globe.

I found this entry quite interesting to say the least. It was as if I were hearing a history lesson.

The second entry that caught my attention was an entry entitled “WTF?”,which you can find in Kelly’s archives. I must warn you , it is of an adult nature, but interesting in itself. Once you check it out, you will understand what I mean.

The other entries that really got my attention, were entries she has on there that are restricted. The reason I say they got my attention, is the fact that you are unable to read them unless you have a passcode. That is something you really don’t see on too many weblogs, (if any).Therefor, I was unable to read those entries because of course, I don’t have the passcode. However, I did like the idea .In my opinion, more weblogs should do the same.

Kelly has several links on the right hand side, including a photoblog ( a real nice touch), a quote board (which I also found to be a lot of an adult nature), and several other links. She also has a few dropdown menus. One of them is titled “Websites I Love”. I really enjoyed looking over those. There are some interesting and even humour sites listed there.

To sum it all up, I found Kelly’s blog a very interesting read. I like the way the page is layed out, the design is very neat. The only fault I have, is the color. It is a purple , white, and pink. The writing is black , and therefor, the colors make it a little hard on the eyes.

All in all, I hope Kelly’s blog is around for a long while. An enjoyable read.Stumbling Upon Serendipity