The Gerbilarium had been placed in the “Humor” category by its author and, gerbils being animals which generally have comedic potential, I looked forward to what I might find.
Now although the weblog is humorous in places, I think really it is more of a personal weblog with humorous aspects to it. Don’t get me wrong, I found some of it funny (particularly the 22nd September entry about a drunken (almost) fight the author had), and this may seem like splitting hairs a bit, but I just felt that humor did not seem to be the main aim of the site.
Anyway, a little of the technicalities first. The design is ok. To be honest, the fact that it is more than a standard template deserves some praise- each post starts off with a black and white drawing of a gerbil, a side bar, and at the top a little intro thingy.
The side bar was pleasingly free of tack- a simple list of links to other areas of the weblog and different websites. The other areas included some short stories, some opinions on different subjects (pop music and the Oscars were the two I read), a couple of reviews of mostly hip-hop related stuff and some spoof news stories which seemed pretty well written. Nice to see an “About Me” page too (the gerbils thing comes from keeping them as pets by the way).
The content overall is pretty well written come to think of it- the author certainly is literate and can express himself clearly. Like I said, all of the content is written in a fairly witty style and mainly relates to personal things or ideas which he has going on at the time. The entries are quite long too and, although the archives only go back as far as the end of June 2003, there is plenty here to keep most people entertained for a while. I felt the subject matter could be improved a little though- in his “About Me” bit, the author is worried about weblogs being too self indulgent and I suspect that, ironically this is one of his downfalls. It seems that occasionally he is trying a bit too hard to be funny and cutting through all the clever bits, very little is actually said.
Overall I have given this weblog 3.5 because it is good as far as it goes and better than many weblogs, but it could go further, both in terms of improved design and maybe some less flippant content to give it more balance.The Gerbilarium