Review 475

Recon Web is not at all what I expected it to be. The Flash layout made me smile because not many fourteen year olds have the talent or patience to design in Flash. The only comment I have is on the design, due to the fact that the content that DOES exist is not even worth looking at, or wasting the one fifth of a second it takes to load.

What I saw on this site is so worthless I shouldn’t even waste the time to tell you what I saw, but I do not want others to make the same mistake I did and barge on in because of the “cool name” it has.

The site has no purpose of existence! The blog is updated only every couple of days, and when it is, it is not the kind of blog that you usually see. No exciting events that happened to the author, no descriptions, even a two-paragraph entry!

When I saw the layout, I immediately thought “Wow! He even bothered to add content!” My surprise ended when I realized it consisted of a survey he took, a list of four bands, a guest book that does not function, a list of films he enjoyed but not why, and a “my work” section that is entirely too sad to click on.

Can you see why Recon Web got this rating now? The only thing that is “good” is the Flash design, and even that is not so advanced, or updated. Howard, the owner, only focuses on updating design, which is no good unless you have content to back up design. The only things he blogs about is “What’s in the news.” If someone wanted to know what is in the news, wouldn’t they visit

I must repeat this again. Good design, bad “blog.” (If that’s what you want to call it) Plus the content is so horrible, you might as well pretend it doesn’t exist.Recon Web

Review 408

Caterina Net offers everything you could possibly want from a weblog. It is very well written, so much so that you begin to wonder if Caterina might be some kind of professional writer. Which she is.

Caterina has that rare ability to add spark to even the most ordinary events; every story is full of character and spirit, and carries such effortless charm that quite quickly you find yourself led deeper and deeper into the site.

This is one of the few, the glorious few worthy of inclusion in a list of favourites, in the company of bluishorange as one of the most compulsively readable sites on the internet today.

The site is deep, with an extensive archive and a series of extras, including a list of books Caterina has read, most with links to Amazon and some even with a brief review.

My words are not strong enough to convey just how good a site this is, but nonetheless I’ll try: it is simply one of the best.Caterina.Net

Review 423

Afterflux, a weblog written by a 16 year-old named Jack, is a mixture of the good and bad that is found in different proportions in the majority of websites.

I Am Jack’s Unnecessary Frontpage

— Afterflux begins with an introductory page that doesn’t seem to have much purpose. Sure, you can break out of frames on the off chance that you’re entrenched within them, and it’s nice to know what resolution you should have before entering the site, but other than that there’s little reason for delaying entrance to the main site.

I Am Jack’s Fondness For Clip Art

— Once inside the main site, you will be immediately impressed by the background image that gives the content a border of sorts. It’s very well done, although it could use being pressed right up to the page’s edge. However, the look is spoilt by what I consider unnecessary use of clip art. There is the mandatory stor trooper (granted I used to have one myself), each post begins with a pencil image greatly reminiscent of the mid-90s, and the banners (advertising the site itself) do not carry the colour scheme or design principles very well.

I Am Jack’s Teenage Blog

— Those of you who have read many teenage blogs already will be familiar with the tone and content of the posts here. That’s in no way a bad thing of course; despite what they themselves may think of the notion, most teenagers think and behave along similar, hormone-driven lines. So if you want to hear about school, first experiences of the working life, and other teenage events, visit Afterflux. The content is in no way bad, but maybe less interesting as it could. Of course, I am out of touch with today’s youth, so you should read for yourself rather than rely on my judgement.

I Am Jack’s Dislike For Obvious Structure

— Like so many of his generation, Jack shuns obvious descriptions for the various sections of his site. Instead of ‘About’ there is ‘Admire’, instead of ‘Blog’ there is ‘Babble’. Interesting. Unfortunately, Jack is also a little too reliant on the browser’s Back button, which is always a nuisance when you venture deeper into a site, but is especially distracting and disorienting when you are navigating within a frame.

All in all, I think Afterflux is worthy of a visit. I still don’t understand entirely why it was called Afterflux, but that’s irrelevant. Go and see Fight Club as well though.afterflux

Review 398

Samantha’s website is fairly typical of her generation; the blog is greatly concerned with school life and friends, the design is simple, elegant yet idiosyncratic, and to really appreciate the posts you could do with being an acquaintance.

The design is good, if a little unoriginal. The single, thin column with the aesthetic relying mostly on an attractive masthead has been done to death, and is fairly representative of much of the better work of American teenagers.

There are some bad points, but of course that was always going to be the case because so much here is familiar, and so many of the mistakes made here have been made elsewhere. For a start, the font size is too small to allow people much over the age of maybe 18 to read, and is too dark; black text on a deepish purple background is a bad idea.

The site lacks structure; the front page is too long and needs to be split into a current blog and an archive, and the links at the top of the page, numbered from 1 to 6, force the user to click on them to reveal their relevance.

There’s nothing sorely missing from this site, but on the other hand there’s nothing here that hasn’t been done elsewhere

Review 471

You’ll really have to go to Aphexion and make your own mind up about the site. Design wise it’s okay, with a nice masthead, but there is a complete lack of links to any archive, or an about section, or anything other than the blog.

The blog. This is what stumped me. It’s difficult to describe without dipping further into the archives (which as I mentioned are absent). I think that it’s a group effort, because I noticed a number of different names attached to each post.

The blogs are completely variable. One or two that I read were quite absorbing tales, whereas some of the others I couldn’t get into, and a few I found completely objectionable.

There is a strong sense of youth culture in effect with this blog. The bloggers all appear to despise high school, and the mention of high school makes their alcohol and drugs fueled antics almost reprehensible. In a way I’m glad I don’t know any of the people involved in the stories, as there is something sad about everything said, even the descriptions of events the group enjoyed.

As I said, I can’t make my mind up about the site. It’s like a split between the excesses of a Hunter S. Thompson affair and the horrors of Requiem for a Dream. Strange.Aphex