With a name like Earthly Passions, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought long and hard about this, and the only thing I could think of was that the author was going to talk about his life and what he loves. Wow. I was almost dead on. He even says this in his “Why Earthly Passions?” post.
So I get to the site and I notice right away there is an about page. Of course I went to this to find out more about Mark to see what I could connect with him on. Mark is married, has 4 children, is a Christian, works for a radio station, is a financial planner, and is involved with his church. This is probably one of the most detailed about pages I have ever read, less those 100 things about me pages.
So now we know he is going to talk about his life, and we know all about Mark, so guess what the posts are about? You’re right! About his church, his radio show, his family, etc… So what separates this average topic from everyone else? The quality of the posts is one aspect. Mark writes very well and with great attention to detail. Posts have the ability to make you laugh, cry, and think – which is something I always look for in a blog. While some topics get repeated (updates to what is going on), this doesn’t deter you from the weblog like others have done in the past.
The design of the site is your standard 3 column layout. Thankfully he used a color scheme that fits the title and the weblog. Its a calm yellow and olive greenish color scheme that fits in with the fall season, though I don’t know if that was his inspiration or not. The archives are accessible by a calendar or by week. I am glad he decided to add both ways of accessing the archives, since just using a calendar is a major pain. He has done a good job of separating the content that should be in each column which lately is rare.
As far as extras are concerned outside of the about page, we have a photo album. This is built into the typepad service that Mark is using and he is using it very well. I am glad to see him using it the way he does. In addition to the photo album is a list of books he is reading, all with links to Amazon (again a typepad feature). Unfortunately the books do not get a mention in the weblog itself which would be nice.
I have to say that I enjoyed my time at Earthly Passions. Mark did not force feed his Christianity beliefs upon me, but he did not hide them either. This is good because he is able to bring in people to his weblog with different beliefs and thoughts and not turn them away. The posts about his family are probably my favorite, as they are told with such great detail. I recommend checking out Earthly Passions even if it is just to check out what Mark has to offer. Enjoy your time there, because I know I did.