I was torn between whether or not to give this site 3.5 or 4 overall. So perhaps 3.75 then. My first impressions were good- I always like it when someone has sorted out their own domain name and some thought has gone in to the name and the design of the sight.
I have also just transferred my own blog over to Typepad, so am aware of its capabilities and it is fair to say that the author, Mark has made use of many of them. There is an “About Me” page, a couple of photo albums, books he is reading (though no reviews unfortunately) and the usual links to other sites. There is also a link to a blog entry which explains the reasoning behind the site itself. Some work has been put in to the design too- the template all looks very sleek and tasteful and includes its own customised title bar which finishes the effect off nicely.
Having decided the design was more than acceptable, I started ploughing through some of the content. Now Mark has only been blogging for a month or so but there is more than enough content here to keep readers busy for a while. Entries have been made every couple of days or so and some are pretty long, though on the main page, use has been made of the “Read more…” facility, which shortens entries for those who only want a sample. The posts have been divided in to categories, though I found the content mostly fell in to “family and friends”, “Christianity”, “economics” and “politics”, with the occasional movie review and observations on blogging. Now I don’t want to criticise the content too much because it is still early days, but I found that these four main topics were covered in great depth and often with humour, but for the reader who may not have an affinity with these subject areas, the weblog may be of little interest.
I guess the argument comes down to “Is a weblog written for the author or its readers?” and if it is for the readers, does it matter if only a small group may find the subject matter engaging? Well I don’t know, other than if the author wants to appeal to more readers, perhaps he could employ a greater subject area in to his posts. A few more links to other sites may improve things too.
On the other hand, I enjoyed the witty observations on blogging, found in Baby Blogger Blathers and the generally relaxed style in which other entries were written. Including photos of the family was helpful too, as I occasionally found it tricky to keep up with who was who in Mark’s family!
In conclusion then, this is a great blog if you want to experience someone else’s life and viewpoints in depth, but may be might not appeal to those with other beliefs and interests, or the casual browser. Technically sound though.Earthly Passions