What is the vn/vo? Who is Christopher J. Falvey? Why should we care? What does the vn/vo stand for? Why am I asking such silly questions? Some questions, obviously, are meant to be answered. Others, however, are meant to be ruminated upon, digested, and then ultimately ruled as inconsequential. The vn/vo dedicates itself to providing ‘a little more signal’ and ‘a little less noise’. Even the tagline to the front page, ‘assuming you’ve noticed the random taglines,’ seems to be a clever message hidden just out of view of the casual browser. Despite the barrage of words we’re assaulted with in the front page, therefore, we’re strangely drawn to explore this site.
The articles on the site, which range in length from 2 to 5 pages, are, in general, far from light reading. Mr. Falvey’s crusade to communicate through content is glaringly obvious in the way he eschews attractive templates or distracting pictures in favor of unrelenting prose. The vn/vo doesn’t believe in mincing its words, either. Mr. Falvey believes that tax money and tsunami relief don’t mix, that religion has no place in government, and he’s not afraid to tell you why. Thankfully, he does this in a consistently thoughtful, engaging manner. The subject matter is eclectic, ranging from the reasons behind the Iraqi war to the emerging blogosphere.
Given the vn/vo’s emphasis on content, the layout does pretty much exactly what it’s supposed to do. All entries are made readily available from the front page, which resembles some sort of electronic newspaper. While it seems a little intimidating at first, the interface in many ways conveys the same message as the articles; the message that this site is meant to stimulate thought. It is not meant to be a five minute surf stop, despite its flippant taglines and occasional humorous entry. This site is, as it claims to be, largely content based, and this fact is clearly reflected in its presentation.
While I didn’t find myself agreeing with all of Mr. Falvey’s points, his well-argued entries definitely do a good job in highlighting the logic of his arguments. The one recurring theme, however, seems to be the American public’s love for simplicity and easy answers, as well as their inability to understand simple statistics. Mr Falvey, it seems, has taken it upon himself to do his part in educating as many people as he can, and I have to say, he does a decent job of it.
The best thing about the vn/vo, in my opinion, is Christopher Falvey’s ability not only to communicate what he thinks, but also why you should care about what he thinks, or why you should even consider the issue in the first place. In talking about steroids in baseball, for example, he relates baseball to the ‘great American drama’; Mr. Falvey has a knack for translating things to a lowest common denominator, and he’s no slouch in exercising this talent.
Thus, all in all, the vn/vo is a great site to read if you’re looking for an opinion. In fact, it’s a great site to read even if you’re not. Just be prepared to stay there for a little more than five minutes, and don’t expect any pretty pictures.THE VN/VO (www.vnvo.com)