Review 936

Re-elect Gore in 2004 has been a favorite slogan of mine over the past year and a half, so you can imagine why I found Dubya’s Dayly Diary so hilarious.

Developed by humor columnist Madeleine Begun Kane, this weblog is not your average weblog. Why? Because it’s the weblog of President George W. Bush.

This site design is exactly what it needs to be – functional. Once I began reading, the site’s design was the last thing on my mind.

For me, when I read this, I pictured Will Ferrel in the role of Dubya, just as he is on Saturday Night Live, and found myself laughing out loud at every entry.

Dubya’s Diary is just a small portion of the “” website. The rest of the site is definitely worth checking out, as well.

The weblog is in it’s 57th week, and each entry is just as funny as the next. If you can handle a little political humor, or even dumb Dubya humor, then this is a MUST READ. Have kleenex nearby, though, because I had tears rolling down my cheeks when I was finished reading.Dubya’s Dayly Diary

Review 995

The People’s Republic of Seabrook begins with “If you’re drinking to forget, please pay in advance.” The first thing that pops up in my mind is whether or not this is a weblog. Is it? Everything appears on one huge single page that takes a long time to load. In fact it is still loading after I have read through the first three screen-fulls. There seems to be little or no structure here. I start searching for it but it is difficult to find. It is obvious from the very beginning that this is a weblog in motion, still being thought out and growing quickly without form. The author has chosen to do it this way, which is his right and I can respect. However, it does not make it easy reading for people like me who expect structure. So where is the weblog anyway?

Aha, I think I have found it. Part way down I spot the following words: “Welcome to my weblog- the catalogued ramblings and hallucinations of an unchecked intellect. I love to write, and frankly, this provides me with a much-needed outlet.” Good, so I click on the weblog link and get the much feared 404-error. Bummer, what’s happening here? I skip around and see he is using a ready-made template that is pretty much unused, mostly empty, many gaps. There is even a so-called shop called “shop ecrosstexas style.” Nothing to sell there, though. Click, click and more clicks in search of the weblog. Where is it? I finally find it. However, it has cost me so much energy making it this far, that I have lost some patience for perusing the blog contents. But as a dedicated and hopefully objective reviewer of blogs, I find it my duty to continue anyway. Just in case.

The general impression is that this weblog is okay, nothing exotic or overly interesting, but enough stuff to read. Plenty of stuff. Indeed, the writer does spend serious moments of thought putting down his creative thoughts on paper. I click on the About-link. There I see “What is ecrosstexas?” but there is no answer below. Emptiness and I am still left hanging again.

So let’s get back to the question that started this review in the first place. Is this a weblog? If we mean the People’s Republic of Seabrook, then the obvious answer is no. However, if we mean ecrosstexas then the answer is maybe. There is potential there. The author is obviously working hard on creating his own piece of art, but he is not quite there yet. I think that if he used some good web tools rather than trying to do everything in raw HTML by hand he could do better. There is a good chance.
The People’s Republic of Seabrook

Review 1029

My first impression upon visiting Dazzle’s Original Fiction was pretty good, easy to read, nothing jumped out at me and it certainly didn’t take long to load (in Netscape or IE, but I would certainly use IE).

Let me start out by saying as a ‘weblog’ this one stinks. I have no idea when each entry was made, and outside of knowing that the authors name is Paul Millar and he is from the United Kingdom I know zip about the author. Okay, now I can move onto what this site is really about.

Paul Millar’s site is a collection of his short fiction writing. You are greeted with his most recent story on the front page, five others are linked to the right. There is an archive section with an additional eleven stories. I can’t say that I read much anymore (fiction), and when I started reviewing Dazzles’s I was kind of bummed out because I knew I would have to read a whole lot of fiction, which I am just not into. Well, Paul Millar took my disappointment and tossed it out the door. I think I realized that I was hooked on the writing when I was a paragraph or two into the story “Give It Away”. The author describes a group of youths (in youth attire; skate boards, hooded tops) as; “Each one thinking they are individual, not knowing they are uniformed.” And “Many stare at him – barely disguised snears – look at the grown-up infiltrating, invading, OUR space.” I was in the same uncomfortable situation not two weeks ago, passing some teenagers outside of a record store as well.

“Memories Of A Dead Woman” spooked me pretty good (and while I was at work yet). My favorite would have to be “Sounds From Within”, about an out of body experience. I’ve heard stories about such things, in this story the author makes you feel like you are the one having the experience. At the end of this one you take a deep breath and feel glad you are alive, just as the main character does. I wish I had the kind of talent it took to write that story.

I was tempted at first to classify this site as ‘adult’, there are certainly stories that have adult like content. “Distractions Of A Beautiful Stranger” is one. Had the author not made me the person looking at “A Beautiful Stranger” through his writing, I probably would have classified it as such. After all, this is literature (real writing), and you can’t put that into an age group. I would not recommend having this site on your computer at work though. This is best read at home with a hot cup of tea in hand. I will say (because really, I am quite the critic) that I thought “Dead Loss” really stunk because it was hard to read. Maybe its some weird type of ‘prose’ thing, but if you are going to write something and put it in paragraph form, you better gosh darn have some type of punctuation. Reading that story was like running a sprint while holding your breath.

The author also has an e-book you can buy, for only $2.88. My pay day is Friday, and I am seriously considering buying it. You’ll have to follow the links on the right side of the site to find it. Look under “The Jesus Christcafe”, for it.

In summary, this is a well designed site. There are archives (to older stories), a link to where you can buy the author’s book, and a comments feature at the bottom of the entry page. I have to say though, as a weblog it stinks. I loved the writing, but Paul Millar is a mystery to me. Two and a half stars, check it out, if you are into a good read. Dazzle

Review 1044

“driving with a pinky” is a blog written by Natalie, a teenager in high school sharing with the world all the little things that make her tick which range from songs, little adventures with her friends and everything else that goes on in a teen’s life.

Despite the fact that there were so many posts on the main page of the blog, I found it hard to stay interested in the writing. It might because I don’t regularly read sites about teenager’s lives in high school, however I couldn’t really find an overall consistency. I found the different colors in posts a bit distracting and then about 3/4th of the way down the page, all the posts became italicized, which was confusing since I was curious to know why all the posts weren’t the same.

I wasn’t really able to get a really good feeling of who she was as a person from her site, which I would have liked. When I read a site I like to know or be a bit familiar with where the author’s coming from whether it’s from the writing itself or a biography on the author. Maybe a bio or “about me” section would have helped in this case.

The site is still fairly young; 2 months old and will develop more over time. However, I’m sure you might like

“driving with a pinky” if you like reading sites from a teen aspect.driving with a pinky

Review 1089

One word comes to mind when reading the gigglechick website: Funny. I guess that is what you would expect from a comedian, but it is still a refreshing surprise.

Erin, the aspiring comedian/graphic designer who maintains the gigglechick website manages to find the humor in even the darkest situations. Sometimes, the humor is dark, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes it is milk-through-the-nose funny, but it is always there.

The humor even shows through the site design. Erin uses a Pill-container, which she refers to as a poor woman’s PDA, as part of the logo. She has a section called “Jackasses & Stalkers” for people who instant message her out of the blue with inane questions, or hit on her. She even has a “Rantings” section for her extended diatribes about her life and thoughts.

Overall, this is a very well designed, well thought out weblog, and one that should be on everyone’s weblog link. v.2