Review 545

Progswap is a teen weblog that shows the glimmerings of promise. It features a smooth layout which combines a dramatic background image with a side text area, and it views equally well in NS 6.1 and MSIE 5.5. The two contributors, Brian and Kel, are fairly literate and their brief posts do hold the reader’s attention. Unfortunately, Progswap does not seem to be a finished site. There are no components at Progswap other than the weblog; there are no archives, no external links, no information about the authors, and the mail links associated with the authors’ names do not work. Progswap is a difficult site to fairly rate due to its unfinished nature and it would benefit from being reviewed again, after is has been completed.progswap

Review 405

The October 1 entry at The Big Red Dot reads, “egh. this blog is dyinggggg.

11 bloggers and ONE post per day? how sad.” In truth, The Big Red Dot is not dying for it has never been “alive” and, certainly, it has never been a weblog. It is, instead, a compendium of misspelled one-liners exchanged between group members, all of whom appear to be in their early teens. There is absolutely nothing here for the average reader to consume. A check into the archives of The Big Red Dot reveals that this blog has never been anything other, or more, than what it currently is. What the archives did not reveal was the original purpose of The Big Red Dot. It is highly possible that the creator(s) had hoped to put together a forum in which they could share personal experiences with each other and with the reader. Indeed, it does appear as if the contributors are sharing something with each other, but the reader is not privy to the basis of their comments and, therefore, the vague posts are lost upon the audience.

Obviously, someone had taken the time to design The Big Red Dot’s layout. While not especially attractive, the layout does show some technical ability and it is functional. It appears that the primary contributor and creator of The Big Red Dot is Sarah, of definitely yields a much better weblog than The Big Red Dot though it, too, is given to various misspellings, poor grammar, and childish vernacular.

The kindest thing that the creator(s) of The Big Red Dot can do for their weblog, as well as for their prospective readers, is dismantle the current blog and begin anew with a fresh focus and a handful of contributors who are committed to posting quality content on a more regular basis. Without this complete overhaul, The Big Red Dot will never figure as a weblog of substance.

the big red dot

Review 409

If it were all about character, Naked Blog would certainly be in the running for a choice award. In fact, the creator of Naked Blog infuses so much of his own personality into each entry that the reader is pulled into the author’s daily life and, summarily, overwhelmed by it. Not that this is a bad thing, so long as one doesn’t find the life of a 50-something gay Brit offensive. In fact, if one is willing to move beyond the seemingly farcical exploits, there is politcal satire and pensive thought to be found aplenty at Naked Blog. The author’s entries are almost always rife with dry wit; and, factual commentary is often interspersed with keen personal observation. The added dash of timely, related photos and links enhances the entries nicely. The author’s grammar is clean, and a well-maintained tone throughout all entries makes for a read which flows and generally pleases.

While the author’s style of writing is commendable, the overall layout of Naked Blog would do well with some improvement. The layout is utilitarian, at best. It is neither hard on the eyes, nor completely unattractive in arrangement. While navigation is blessedly simple, it is almost too simple to provoke further exploration into the rest of the author’s site. (To note, the rest of the author’s site does not do justice to the wit and obvious writing talent displayed at Naked Blog.) Also, a comment function would most likely be welcomed by regular readers.

Naked Blog seems to be a fairly recent endeavor for its creator, but it shows abundant promise. One may hope that as the author’s knowledge of site design improves, the writing will remain constant. Character and content, combined with a more sophisticated layout, will ensure Naked Blog’s future popularity among readers.

naked blog

Review 391


Lately I have seen many black and white layouts, this is not necessarily a bad thing, however the text does get lost in the picture. I would suggest perhaps changing the colour of the text from white to a colour, which would stand out a little more.

The writing was small and fairly hard to read, also I found I was unable to adjust this on my browser, perhaps something to look into.

Each different part of the site had a varied layout, perhaps a little more continuity needed to draw them all together.


I noticed entries were fairly short (a paragraph at most) but they were regular.

They focus on events that have happened or are soon to happen in the author’s life, and ones that I presume are important to her.

The point of each post is unclear, they lack direction and any real content, it appears to me that the “blog” is used to jot down various things, not very interesting to read.


Other than the blog, there was a lyrics page, a pictures page and a small page, which explained the site name (soliloquy) and provided a few links to pages of a similar nature.


After reading and viewing all or most content, I still felt as if I knew little about the author.

I didn’t particularly like this blog; I felt it lacked something to keep the reader reading.

I hope the author takes my criticism in a constructive way, and uses it to improve her blog.

The Inner Light

Review 357

Messy Chestnut’s slick layout is courtesy of a website design firm and it’s content is courtesy of a professional photographer with a side interest in creative writing. Sam Lawrence doesn’t use his blog to promote his photography, despite the fact that his weblog is an integral part of his studio site. He does use his blog as “a place … to free associate.” In other words, the author rambles. Fortunately for the reader, Mr. Lawrence rambles coherently and enjoyably.

The author seems to take delight in everyday events, especially those related to his children; however, he is at his best when he dreamily recalls scenes from the past and sharpens his lens upon details which he may have missed during the actual event. These literary flashbacks draw the casual reader into Mr. Lawrence’s life and compel one to read on. Mr. Lawrence displays a true talent for creative writing and his writing is highly focused despite its free associative nature. Grammar, spelling, tense, and tone are clean and tight, with few errors typographical or otherwise.

Messy Chesnut will appeal mainly to sophisticated adult readers, chiefly those with families of their own. Yet, this weblog is suitable for casual perusal by readers from any age group 16 and older and by readers from all walks of life. Mr. Lawrence’s weblog is much like his art photography: One will walk away from it with a definite personal perspective. Whether that perspective will be good, bad, or indifferent is dependent entirely upon the reader.