At first I was a little hesitant about this blog since I automatically categorized it as what I would like to call “Teen Girl Blog.” You’ve seen them. They’re all over blogspot and LiveJournal. Basically the online equivalent of a diary, Teen Girl Blogs contain random nonsense about boys, school, and the occasionally “What ____ Character Am I” quiz. Let’s just say I’m not the biggest fan of Teen Girl Blogs. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that while the author of In Character is a sixteen year old girl, the blog content goes far beyond your standard Teen Girl Blog fodder. The background image alone (a cool but bizarre drawing done by the author) told me that I was in for something unique.
Like I said, the blog entries go way past your standard diary entries. Most are pretty long and tell a great story, such as this one about Vanessa’s adventures at an Anime convention. Vanessa is also a graphic designer, so she writes about that often. Yeah, there are some Teen Girl Blog type entries here, but that’s to be expected from a 16 year old girl. My biggest problem with the blog is that it isn’t updated very frequently. As of this writing, Vanessa hasn’t posted since October 21st. Maybe she’s working on her to-do list. In order for me to want to come back to a blog, the first thing it needs is frequent updates. Otherwise it becomes just like that stagnant homepage you might have at Geocities. However, I think the length and depth of the entries are enough to keep a visitor occupied for some time.
The main characteristic that distinguishes this blog from your standard Teen Girl Blog is the design. It’s rather nicely done and you can tell that a lot of effort was put into it. My biggest beef about the design is that the text is rather small and hard to read. Also, there’s a whole column dedicated to the Tag-Board, which doesn’t get used very much anyway. If I were Vanessa, I would get rid of the Tag Board (or put it in the second column) and give the blog some more space. Also, the very top of the blog overlaps slightly with the background image, which makes the blog hard to read since it is white text on a white image. That’s just me being nit-picky, but it shouldn’t be too hard to fix. Other than that, I think the design is very creative and fits the blog and the author very well.
Overall, this blog is a great read. The only problem is, it’s rather difficult to read because of some design issues. These can be fixed though. Also, infrequent updates make a blog stagnant and turn away visitors, so blog often. Like I said in my intro, don’t let the age of the author fool you. This isn’t your standard Teen Girl Blog. It’s much better than that, and has the potential to be something great.in character