I was thinking about maybe skipping over reviewing The Captain’s Log as this is not my first visit to the site and I thought it might be a bit weird to go back as a reviewer. However, I am glad I did get the opportunity as it was nice to revisit a pretty solid weblog about a (now ex-) Canadian and his every day life.
This is a Big Blog Tool blog and when I started out as a blogger (way back in er… 2003), I cut my teeth on BBT as it was pretty straight forward to get going on. Another thing I noticed from exploring its “Recently Updated” list was that nearly all the sites which used it had absolutely awesome templates. Captain Spanky was already well under way with his blog by this stage (it dates back to March 2002) and his blog is certainly no exception in terms of impressive design.
It is a custom, two column template with a witty titlebar and stylish fonts used in the sidebar. The blog itself is tasteful and easy to read with differentiation between the comments and blog entries, the comments being displayed inline. There is no “About Me” page but there are a few cool links to be found including one to a site where the author sells his own custom car stickers and the like. You can also find out the local weather, read the archives or browse the “Recently Updated” list mentioned earlier. My only minor gripe is that the site doesn’t look quite so slick in Firefox, due to slight alignment problems, but it does not make the site unreadable by any means. I also really liked the “Front Pages” which are always clever, funny designs and add another touch of individuality (click in the top right corner to go see).
So, top marks for the way it all looks, but can the content match up? Well kind of. This is very much a personal blog about the day to day stuff going on in the life of the author. As the archives go back a couple of years, there is no way to get through them all unless you have A LOT of spare time. I decided to read the first few months, then picked a few pages at random after I got fed up with the Republican bashing which has been particularly rife in the blog recently. It’s not that I like Republicans or disagreed with what was being said, it just got a bit wearing. Other topics to be found in the blog include pool tournaments which The Captain takes part in, programming stuff (his career), some cool links, rants and some photos of social events – the usual blogging fare in fact. There is some swearing, but none of the content is really offensive, just opinionated and often funny too. Overall, it is of a high quality, but nothing particularly out of the ordinary.
So this is really a blog of the old school variety. Great design, and consistent content about a 30 something, socially adept, tech savvy American. Nothing more nothing less. As with so many thousands of blogs out there, this is obviously great for his social circle, but it is hard to think of many things which set this apart and would draw in the casual reader.The Captain’s Log