Review 2454

Tookiewana jumped out at me right away with a clean, professional look. The layout and style reminded me more of a threaded forum or collaborative link site like LinkFilter than a personal weblog. To me, this gave the impression that each entry would stand on its own, with little relationship or cross-referencing between posts.

Before I dug into the posts, though, I checked out a few links in the header to find out about the author. (I like the header a lot, by the way — it’s similar to a Windows menu bar; very intuitive and space-efficient.) I learned that the site is written by Chad, a master’s degree student at West Virginia University. He’s been writing since late 2002, so I dug into the archives to see what Tookiewana is all about.

Many of the posts center around Chad’s thoughts on current news and interesting events in the author’s life. There are also anecdotes, audio and video clips, and short personal entries, as well. The posts are a bit sporadic, with just a few each month; I get the impression that Chad puts more time into the appearance and functionality of his site than on sticking to a strict, high-volume posting schedule.

That said, the functionality and ‘extras’ on Tookiewana are impressive. Among other things, Chad has provided several ways to syndicate the site (including a mailing list for updates), a webcam (apparently of an intersection in Clarksburg, WV), audio versions of each post, a poll, and links to several sites of personal interest to Chad. The usual blog features are also here — comments and trackback, archives, and more.

I get the feeling that Chad is a very capable blogger, and has taken a considerable amount of time to provide a site that’s easy to navigate, easy on the eyes, and very feature-rich. His writing style is straightforward and engaging; however, most of the posts are rather short, providing somewhat less insight into Chad’s opinions and personality than I might prefer in a personal weblog. I’d also like to see more frequent posts, to help build a sense of interaction and community.

In short, I think that the technical aspects of Tookiewana are top-notch, and found the entries that are there fairly interesting. But in this case, more would be better — more content, more often, and more of Chad reflected in the writing. For now, though, I give Tookiewana 3.5 out of 5.tookiewana

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