The first thing that struck me when I arrived at Shy-Guy was the background, beautiful as it may be in its present form it is a little distracting – actually its very distracting because the font is so small that I actually found it quite hard to read. The detail of the background with the small font on top was giving me eye strain and I had hardly wandered past the first page at this point. I found an interesting ‘about me’ section about half way down the first page which gives a fairly comprehensive introduction to the author and a 100 things linked in the menu bar at the top of the page. Adding a link to the ‘about me’ section would benefit this site greatly.
When I first encountered Shy-Guy, based on first impressions I expected it to be a personal blog but nothing more. In some ways my first impression was quite correct, but there is a little more to this site than meets the eye if you are willing to methodically read the archives like I did – there are some beautiful examples of poetry which despite being few and far between are actually worth looking for, assuming the reader is very patient. The only downside for me on occasion was that quite often I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about, and this is where we hit a problem – limited appeal, I think this site despite holding the odd example of quite beautiful poetry is going to have a problem with appeal. I can really see it appealing to those who share similarities with the author, be it occupationally or within his social circle.
He has the odd interesting post, but nothing outstanding that would call me back time and time again, and I found the method of navigating archives a little too frustrating for my tastes – the site requires the reader to constantly refer back to the archives page – there is no interlinking from one month to the next by any means. I realise Blogspot has its restrictions, but there are ways of working round this to make the archives more accessible without having the reader constantly having to refer to the archives page. Beyond the odd navigation problem the most frustrating part of the design I found was the background, coupled with the small font it rendered the content difficult to read.
In the left hand menu there are some real bonuses for the lover of poetry, and this I feel is where Shy Guy’s strength really lies – in displaying poetry, especially if it was focused on as a central running theme. Alterations to the site design and method of navigation would really benefit the site overall.
It was a mixed bag for me, but am tempted to rate it a 3 – an interesting journey into a personal site with some potential, nothing remarkable yet, but an interesting voyage none the less.