Review 2422

Xenon, huh? Could be anything. It’s number 54 in the periodic table of the elements, symbol Xe. It is a noble gas. Maybe we’ve some deep-geek scientist here unlocking the secrets of the universe…

Two column template, purple and white. Purple’s my favorite color, so I’m inclined to like this blog anyway. No distractions, a few tiny graphics, looks like navigation’s going to be easy. All the links are neatly lined up on the right hand side. He’s got links grouped by astrological sign, which is a clever touch. But wait — where’s the “about” section? I scroll down to the bottom and find there are 753 entires, 498 comments, and 47 members. Members? Is this a group blog? How can that be — it’s copyrighted by a single individual. Huh…

So far, there’s no indication the author’s a scientist, or at least maybe not. There’s a graphic for a web writer’s conference in Austin next month. There are also links to the Pepys project, Austin Bloggers, and Austin Stories, so even though he could be a scientist or anything else in his day job, he’s certainly interested in writing online. There’s also a terms of service page, (lengthy, tiny print) and a link to an astrology site.

Wait — there’s a link to a profile! Maybe there’s something there. Nope, sorry, it wants me to log in. The Members link also wants me to log in. There’s nothing up front here that says what happens when you log in, or why you’d want to, so I pass.

I read through some of the entries (no, not all 753, this guy’s already made me work too hard) and find some nicely-written daily ramblings, some references to astrology, and a daily record of a trip to England, apparently going on now.

See, the thing is, when I look at a blog, I’m there for the first time without knowing anything about the author, his or her intentions in doing this, or if the author has been doing this for two months or two decades. It’s good to know as much of the 5 Ws (who, what, when, where,why ) as possible going in to something like this. Sometimes, though, the author gets caught up in other details and forgets the casual visitor. It’s always possible for bloggers not to really want people reading the blog, or sometimes a blog’s there for a definite purpose that’s so important to the author you feel badly if you miss it. If the blogger doesn’t let you in on the secret, the reviewer or casual visitor may entirely miss the intended message.

I’ll probably look in from time to time, because I’d like to hear more details of the trip. Otherwise, I most likely wouldn’t. I’m a big fan of clarity and ease in writing, and when the structure around it fails, it can’t help but detract from the main event.


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