Review 2211

I didn’t have very long to wonder whatdaheck a “Chirish” is, because the instant I had the URL in my browser, Ka-BAM! There it was.

This is a no-frills, fast-loading blog done by an 18-year-old who clearly knows what he’s doing. The appearance is minimalist for a reason; this blog is all about the journaling. It’s the words and the communcation here that matter. It’s well-written, and gives a lot of insight into the daily life of a kid starting college in New York. You learn that he’s one of the “smart kids,” probably always has been, but he talks enough about friends and other things he does so that you know he doesn’t sit home with his new computer (which he discusses in detail) all the time. He can make a shopping trip seem interesting, and you find yourself hoping the new school works out well for him. There’s no teenage angst here. This guy has his priorities in order, and I’m willing to bet this won’t be the last the world will hear from Brandon Ng!

There isn’t overkill in the “other” sections — the links and portfolio are both empty, but the about section and photos, along with his full class schedule give you everything you could possibly want to know. The photos let you see that here is a happy, hopeful, teenager, which these days is refreshing to say the least. He’s a lot more than just a ‘puter nerd. He’s worked at the Brooklyn Public Library as well as on the stage crew helping with the lighting for school productions. Everything loads blessedly fast, which encourages readers to take some time and look around, anyway. You get the impression these extra sections are really just supportive material; if those sections were missing entirely, it would all be just as interesting.

The title of the site comes from the fact he’s half Chinese, half Irish. You find that out almost by accident in the About section, because by then you’ve forgotten you wondered about the name of the site. There’s a lot going on here.

I’ve been wondering lately what’s up with kids these days, since mine are all grown up and making their own marks in the world. So I’ll be looking in on this one from time to time. But this is really a great example of what a good blog can be. My only regret is that from the looks of things, Brandon probably won’t be a writer; everything points to a career in technology. But he seems to understand that technology needs the human side; so literature’s loss will be technology’s gain. He mentions in one post the site doesn’t get much traffic; the site’s been up since May and out of 50 posts there have only been 148 comments. Well, writers consider themselves lucky to get any comment at all most of the time, so I think that’s pretty good.

I hope he can get a lot more traffic; both kids and aging, leftover hippies like me can get a bit of inspiration from this well-done journal.chirish.com

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