Editors Note: Please note that since the review has been published, the author has contacted TWR to update his URL to the correct one. The reviews were based on the information that was given to us at the time and the thoughts/opinions may or may not have changed since the original time of the review.
First thing to spring to mind was loading time, and not because the site was particularly slow loading but rather the choice of URL the author had chosen to submit meant that at each loading I had to go through what seemed like an age of forwarding messages before I eventually arrived at his new location. Needless to say I was not expecting a great deal by the time I arrived. The site is fairly simple and unremarkable, and I must admit to an internal wince when I read the words ‘my personal interests in Middle East peace’ – I have encountered ‘peaceblogs’ before and while I believe they are as valid as any other blog I do find they have a tendency to be too forceful with their opinions for my tastes, worse still that there beliefs are founded in reasoning which lacks credibility. That said, I headed off to the about me section in search of some background knowledge on the author.
Richard, the author of the blog is seemingly well traveled, and takes a far more active role in world peace that your average blogger ‘I have been interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since I was a teenager and have worked all my adult life to promote dialogue and mutual recognition’, it doesn’t specify precisely what Richard does to promote dialogue between these two nations but it was enough to grab my attention, and so I headed off into the archives.
I always like to read archives in chronological order, it allows me to really see the development of the blog over time, and this is where I hit upon my first snag. Richard, or so it seems to be has chosen to list his archives by category only. Now as a rule that’s fine, it allows people to read items which are of interest to them, but not particularly useful for someone such as me who likes to read a blog by month in order to get a fuller picture. I understand that there some archives at the old Blogspot site, but I had difficulty gaining access to them and quite frankly found it almost as annoying as trying to access the site in the first place.
This author writes well, his entries are frequently highly detailed and eloquent and while they may not always be to my personal taste it never fails to be thought provoking stuff. What this site lacked in ease of navigation and individual design touches it made up in sheer quantity and quality of entries. It just concerns me that this site may be missing out on potential readership purely and simply because it isn’t as accessible as it could be. Granted not everyone navigates a site in the same way, but by providing various straight forward means of navigating archives you are at least making every effort to ensure the site is accessible to a wider audience.
The right hand navigational column has within it some hidden gems, and I discovered a link to a gallery which contains some really stunning images, and in my opinion definitely worthy of a look in every once in a while.
Tikun Olam has a lot of scope, its packed full of information, which may not always be to my taste is likely to attract a loyal audience among those who share similar interests and philosophies. With some amendments to design and archive listings this site would have some real potential, although it hasn’t as yet incited that crucial come back factor in me. A promising 3.5Tikun Olam: Make the World a Better Place