Review 2186

I wasn’t sure what to expected from a site entitled “Depressed Cow”, but whatever it was this site didn’t really fit the bill. I don’t mean that in the bad sense either, because more than anything else I expected a poorly designed diary filled with rants about the inadequacy of their lives. Depressed Cow doesn’t really fit that bill. The design on entry immediately brings to your attention that the author knows exactly what they are doing.

The beauty of this site lies with the graphics, they are superb and not you’re run of the mill borrowed clip-art, these are truly the work of an individual. Obviously a popular item, because the author has taken the time to set up a collection with café press. For once I can understand why. These graphics are quirky, individual and above all else hilarious. Am I raving too much about the graphics? OK I’ll move on.

This is a personal blog in every essence of the word; it’s a journal, filled with truthful and detailed entries about the author’s everyday life. She has an easy style of writing, and thankfully with better grammar than I can muster. A journal with appeal and judging from her bio this is not without reason. I liked this journal because she has the courage to stand forward and admit she has a problem, works with it via blogging, and I think in doing help others with the same.

Overall the design is stunning and despite being a journal, and therefore personal in every essence of the word a very enjoyable read. It may not be to everyone’s tastes, but undoubtedly a site which would attract a loyal cliché of returning visitors. I give this site a rating of 4, for the good design and the author’s strength to face a problem in such an honest and enjoyable way. Good luck in your endeavors Becky.
:: Depressed Cow ::

Review 2199

Affordable Justice lends itself to a law or justice related blog in my mind, and so I was quite surprised initially when I arrived at the site. Its true meaning in this case may well be lost on me, I’m a Brit with no knowledge of the LA scene as it goes, and Affordable Justice is in every essence of the word a personal journal.

Primarily the content of this journal is as you would expect a conglomeration of everyday occurrences, with occasional perused links, interesting examples of writing and references to the music scene in LA in which the author plays a part. To be entirely honest I did find some of the entries a little hard to follow, the author isn’t too keen with his shift key and there is the obvious barrier between UK and US English.

The author writes a little about himself at the very start of his blog – back in May 2002. Which may not be great with the details but does provide the reader with some information on his background. Other details are dropped in the course of the journal, meetings with his Dad and so on.

Design Wise the site is a mixed bag. The first thing I noticed when I arrived at the site was the background, which in itself is a stunning image. Replicated across the screen in the form of a background is too much, and makes the site hard to follow. The design itself is primarily based on a generic blogger template, with the addition of the background and some very minor layout changes. It’s structured and easy to navigate.

As a journal in itself it doesn’t really capture my interest as well as it could. The background distracts from the content significantly and not being part of the whole LA scene leaves me a little at a loss with the culture and language. It may well be interesting for those who are a part of the same world, especially the LA music scene in which the author seems to be a part of – particular interest comes from his experiences as a “Tour Manager”. If he were to be a little more explicit in this area it could really heighten the overall surfing experience. Still, as it stands a 2.5. Some interesting references but no real come back factor.

affordable justice

Review 2221

They don’t call that age ‘sweet sixteen’ for nothing. Felicia is sixteen, and Vespertine is sweet.

The layout confirms this, with a cute cartoon character of a baby blue-haired (the same baby blue throught the site) anime girl perched on the upper-left corner of the blog. Overall, the design is fresh and delightful.

While most of Felicia’s posts deal with what she likes (Dance Dance Revolution) and dislikes (her old school), there are instances when Felicia’s posts make so much sense in the defiant, justified way of teenage i-am-right tone that you can’t help but reread what she writes.

The carefree style and angst make it clear that Vespertine is a teenager’s blog. It is a good blog because Felicia mixes silliness and quirkiness with the occasional right-on-the-spot views about current issues, spat out with the righteous sarcasm of youth. For instance, her views on George Bush and the mix-up of Chinese and Japanese culture by many Americans (now this I can relate to.)

All in all Vespertine is a blog that brims with the writer’s personality, and that is what a personal blog is all about.

Vespertine

Review 2224

Occam’s Razor – it’s a weblog “chronicling the strange life and weird observations of Mark D. Hammill, software engineer, civil servant and political pundit”. It makes my job as a reviewer easy when the author is so up front about the description of his or her weblog. It’s even better when it’s an accurate description, and Mark’s is right on the nose.

Quick learning lesson on Occam’s Razor – it’s a philosophical principle that dates years and years back. The principle states that one should not make more assumptions than the minimum needed. If you read through this entire weblog like I did, you’ll find that is nearly Mark’s exact life philosophy.

In Mark’s first post, he’s very straight forward about what readers can look for in this weblog: “the dictotomy of my observations compared to the way things really work gives me plenty of things to post here to the world. I doubt you will be bored.” And again, he’s hit it right on the nose. You’re not bored with this weblog at any point in time.

Occam’s Razor hit the ‘net in December 2002, so I would still consider this a fairly new weblog. With the types of entries that Mark throws out there, though, there’s sure to be a following of some sort in the building up stages. This isn’t a weblog for an audience consisting of high school kids writing about their Home Economics grade, but a weblog geared towards those who want to think about the things they read and can keep an open mind about opinions being shared.

The majority of the entries Mark makes are on the longer side. The words he uses, and the way he strings sentences together, though, make each entry read like a very short chapter in a series of a never-ending book. And in this case, that’s a very good thing.

The design of the site is very simple. I don’t love it, but I can’t hate it either. It’s impossible to hate, because Mark happens to use the font that I’m currently obsessed with – Georgia. That particular font makes everything look so nice and delicate, and so do the calm colors that are used for the layout. At the bottom of each entry, there’s a form giving the reader an option to email the entire post to anyone you want. I haven’t seen anything quite like this on a weblog before, and it’s definitely a nice addition!

If you visit this site, which I would recommend doing so, be prepared for the regular political jab at the Republican Party. And also be prepared for the occasional entertaining lesson in parenting teenage girl. Mark does a great way of relaying his stories, no matter what topic he’s addressing, to the world with this weblog and gives readers the want to continue coming back.

Occam’s Razor

Review 2080

I have to admit I was a little curious as to why this site was submitted to be re-reviewed again after it got a 5.0 on the last review. What would be so different that the site would require a re-review? With that thought in question I went on to Steve’s Thoughtful Spot.

The page loads and I am greeted with Jim Morrison and Winnie the Pooh. I am still not sure what the purpose is of both of them on the site, but oh well.

The design of the site is a black column and a green column with the blog being on the later. While there doesn’t seem to be much originality in the design, other than the logo, it works for the site.

The blog itself is well written. Posts are about his daily life: some are about nights with his friends, to work, to thoughts on the blog itself.

While the posts were written well, I had a hard time getting into the site. I think the blog itself follows your standard blog. Posts could be interchanged with a different blog and it wouldn’t seem like there was much difference.

One of the best parts of the site I thought was the about Steve section. He has devoted an entirely new blog to this section. You really get to know Steve in this section as he covers everything from being born to music interests to completely random facts about him.

Over all I think the site will be a good read for some people, but not all. If you enjoy a site about daily life and what have you, this is one for you.
Steve’s Thoughtful Spot