Review 2336

Before I begin this review, I have to state that minishorts is a blog I have been reading
regularly for quite a while, and the owner is on my ICQ contact list. That being said,
I’ll try to offer a review that’s as unbiased as possible, and one that may offer
additional insight into the site which is afforded by knowing the author. Minishorts
has been online since September 2002 and the first post involves three pieces of
poetry which the author wrote. I particularly enjoyed the one entitled “Dearest
Mother” which manages to be touching without being clichéd.

The weblog is a mix of the author’s thoughts about everything and also her
personal issues, with occasional posts which provides a very intimate view into the
author’s life. An example of this is the January 14th 2003 post which has pictures of
her bedroom, complete with photos of the bed, her wardrobe (with clothes) and the
author herself. Minishorts is a 23 year old Chinese Malaysian doing her Masters in
Linguistics and the blog is representative of what personal weblogs in Malaysia are
all about. The author aspires to be a writer and she occasionally posts bits of
ongoing stories in the blog.

The entries are updated consistently, and the author manages to post even while
on vacation in Hong Kong, using the hotel’s business center’s net connection. The
posts have a nice smattering of photos at appropriate intervals and this manages to
prevent the monotony in reading an all-text blog and provides a window into the
author’s world. There are plenty of pictures of the author’s and her friends and one
can’t help but feel like they’re with the author as she goes through her life. There are
photos of her trips, her convocation and so forth and reading the blog feels like
watching one of those time delayed footage of a plant going through the growth
process of a bud to a flower. This and the always entertaining posts is what keeps me
going back for more.

The design of the site has recently been changed into one featuring a Matrix
layout, with a non-standard horizontal scroll bar. The content of the blog is featured
in a window of the left side, followed by a large Neo, and leading into the tagboard.
The tagboard is dynamically replaced by things like minishort’s bio, links, credits
and so forth when one of the navigation buttons is clicked. However, the links are
images which doesn’t provide anything to suggest where it leads to, except when the
hover text comes up. This “mystery meat” navigation does not seem to be a good
design strategy.

Someone pointed out in an email that there are essentially two kinds of weblogs
– the personal ones and the ones that provide social commentary on current issues
and news. This blog belongs to the first group and if you like those, you’ll love
minishorts. If you don’t, well I guess you won’t, but click on the link anyway and
see if the site will change your mind. I’m giving it a 4.5 because I honestly think it’s
a very interesting site. This would be interesting for you too if you’ll like a voyeuristic
look into the life of a 23 year old in Malaysia.minishorts@urban-flirt

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