The first thing that I noticed about StayPuff.net is that it’s not merely a weblog. The
weblog is the main focus of the site, but there are several other sections (including an
intriguingly named “Experiments” section) in addition the weblog. I was
expecting those sections to be external links, but clicking on them shows that they’re
internal content created by David, the owner of the site.
There are actually 5 authors (including David) listed on the side, but 3 of the others have
blogs of their own, and David seems to be the only active writer. Browsing through
the archives shows that the other authors average about a post a month. However,
David more than makes up for the lack of the other authors posts with his frequent posts.
The other authors also frequently make comments on David’s blog and vice versa.
The writing style of David is easy to read and he has a sense of humour that translates
well into text. The posts are varied and can be anything from news events to David’s
personal life. The posts feels easy to read because of his writing style and that is not
something that many people can do. I genuinely felt compelled to read more due to
the way David structures his entries.
Unfortunately, I could only read up to June 2002, even though the weblog has been
online since May 2001. It appears that David made the transition to Greymatter on
the 22nd of June and clicking on all entries before that resulted in a “404 – File not
found” error. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the archives up to June,
and it’s nice to see that the writing style and humour carries back to the beginning.
The first other thing I clicked on was the Experiments link, and the title does not
disappoint. Inside that section, David describes the internet experiments which he
has conducted. I particularly enjoyed reading the “Chatting up a chic via e-mail”
one, where he posted a tantalizing profile at an online dating site and
compiles the list of replies that he received. These experiments give the
readers a voyeuristic enjoyment in reading the replies. I was also impressed
by David’s sense of responsibility, in that he did not post the results of the
second experiment, which is about a dubious issue (read it on the site).
There is also an Articles section, which is a list of articles David and his friends
has written over the years. These includes pieces as varied as “A few
pointers to seduce women” to a multi-part road trip to Albany write-up, which
was the first clue that David is an Australian (I missed the Aussie Blogs
webring link at the bottom of the main page).
There is also a section called David’s People (D.People). It seems to work
like a agony aunt article in that David replies to readers who write in about
various personal problems. Some of them are funny and some of them are
genuinely helpful, but all of them are interesting to read. The other sections
are the guestbook, links, results of the monthly polls and a gallery – which
wasn’t the personal picture gallery I expected but screenshots of David’s
“The Sims” (a computer game) families.
Regarding the design of the site, I found the clean approach and black
background to be easy on the eyes. I also liked the way the red, blue and
yellow bars seem to have an effect of guiding the eyes down. That
hypnotising effect is probably why I spent so much time reading the main
site. 🙂 However, there is a design decision which I found strange. The
archives of the blog open up in another window and the formatting of the
main site does not carry over into the archives. I have no problems with this
though, since the basic white archive template is easy to read, but it does
detract from the “integrated” feel of the site. Also, this is nitpicking, but the
Main link on the top navigation bar pops up a new window instead of simply
loading it in the current one. I’m not sure if this is a conscious decision, but I
found this to be distracting as I have to close the new window.
In conclusion, I like the site and I feel that it really deserves a 4.5, but the
inaccessible pre June 2002 archives and minor design issues made me
reduce the score to a 4 in compliance with the rating guidelines. I really
recommend that everyone visits this site, as it’s worthy of that at least, to
establish if you like this site enough to read it regularly. Personally, I’ve
already bookmarked the site and will continue to read it daily.StayPuff