I tend to be leery anytime I see a site at Xanga. They structure content so rigidly that it’s hard for me to focus on the entries themselves. I was even more startled when I looked at Jim’s website (linked to from his Xanga profile) and found an apparently live webcam image of Jim with no clothes on. I’m no prude, but it was a bit more than I was expecting – his Xanga page shows him wearing a shirt, after all. Once I recovered from my initial surprise, I realized it’s just another part of Jim’s personality.
I was immediately pleased to see that Jim differentiates between a journal and a weblog – he keeps a LiveJournal site for his diary, and his Xanga site is strictly a blog. But if a blog is supposed to be links to sites, Jim’s got it wrong. He seems to be mixing up his Xanga blog with his MT-powered opinion site, The Naked Leftist Liberal. For that matter, a number of the Xanga posts are about his own sites, as well as his past experiences. It also seemed kind of incongruous to see Jim’s claims that he has one of the oldest sites online – since 1982 – when he admits that he’s still learning HTML and site design. I also found it odd and a bit out-of-timeline, given that the very early web precursor ENQUIRE was first tested in 1980, and CERN’s first hypertext-related proposal was published in 1989. All this kind of made me a bit suspicious of Jim, but he also admits that what he started in 1982 was a BBS (“one of the first BBSs in the world”).
I’m not trying to undermine Jim’s credibility here, but it does feel kind of strange to see a blog that’s mostly about the author’s various experiences with webcams and e-mail viruses. If that were the blog’s purported content, that would be one thing…but then occasionally there are posts about Bush, the war, etc. I read back through a few months of Jim’s entries, and I couldn’t tell how far back I had gone – all of it felt the same. I guess the colors are pretty enough – kind of remind me of my local Redskins, though Jim doesn’t seem to say how he chose them. I do like his opening quote, too, which explains both the nickname for Missouri and the name he’s chosen for his webcams.Jim Howard’s ShowMe