Review 2141


Is that not a cool name for a blog or what? Even if you don’t know what it means, it kind of sounds fun. The author actually chose the name for his blog because a person he knew in school was named Bowden, and Bowden’s father was a bingo caller, and he put the two together and liked it so much he named a band and his weblog after it. Probably the most original weblog name I’ve ever heard.

The author; 22 year old, engaged to be married, Stuart from the U.K. admits that his blog “was meant to be a place where I point you in the direction of some interesting sites or stories, and ocassionally make some valid points about politics, the news and all that other clever stuff that goes on in the world”. It does that very well, but there’s a lot more to it than just that. His September 6th entry about trying to find trousers and shoes when your 6’4” and wear a size 14 shoe is hilarious. There are times when the author does write about personal issues as well, his Sept. 22nd entry about his relationship with his father for example. He is also trying to start up a record store, and seeing that idea develop is very interesting. Stuart is a prolific writer, since the start of his blog in February there are only a few times when he doesn’t update frequently. One of the fun parts of reviewing weblogs is reading one from the start and seeing it evolve overtime. The author documents most of the issues he comes accross with his blog and how he overcomes each one. As an American, reviewing this blog was kind of educational as well. I got to find out what the terms; “buggery”, “prat” and “quid” means.

Bingobowden is a very well set up blogspot site. No broken links at all. The archives worked well and are easy to navigate. I really think that is one of the most important things in any blog.

This site also has a guestbook and one of those guestmaps which I think are really neat and I seem to be seeing a lot more of. There’s a fairly thorough “about” section that the author adds to occasionally, and a comments system.

All in all, this is a very well written, well kept, entertaining weblog. It pretty much has everything you would want to see in a blog. I enjoyed my time there and am going to keep tabs on it hoping to see that Stuart gets his record shop business going. Four and a half stars, check it out.


Review 2134

Random Thoughts comes to us care of Genny, who chose Blogspot for hosting her Weblog. The left-hand side of the page is occupied by a column of fire, with the appropriate flaming top, and includes three links to other sites (I particularly liked the Classic TV Lyrics), a Write Me link, and a short archive. I didn’t appreciate the flames, but at least the post area has a white background and large script, so reading the blog does not strain your eyes.

Genny’s introductory motto is “Do thoughts dictate feelings? prolong them? create them? Or is it the other way around??” Good question. Posts are longish, mainly about Genny’s thoughts and inspirations from her surroundings. She writes with ease, has an eye for detail, and seems a sensitive person. Go, for example, to her post of November 27th, 2002, which brought back memories from some of my own experiences. A nice, compassionate, if depressing, post.

Genny is out there fighting her own private struggle, just like so many of us. There’s lots on boyfriends and exchanges with boyfriends. But she can also be matter-of-fact with what I thought was a rather disarming twist. She says, for example:

November 2002 has been rather shitful. My grandparents have both been sick, my mother was diagnosed with skin cancer and my hairdresser is once again in the hospital and not doing well. In addition to this, I have been trying to land a job, any job and so every Monday, I find myself at the Labor Department faxing my resume all over the place, supposedly, but… I am starting to think I am faxing it to the black hole in our universe. Besides my brilliant skills as a Buyer, I am also an aspiring writer. I say aspiring because last week alone, 3 of my pieces were rejected by major publications.

I really connect to Genny’s style. She lays it out there, short and sharp.

Visit Random Thoughts. It may sound shallow and even breathless at times, but, overall, it is a warm Weblog, put together with care, and straight from a human heart. Genny, do something about that flaming template though.Random Thoughts

Review 2133

My first impression of unsung is that it was just…busy. At the base is the unsung logo background, and over top is layered a very blocked out collection of tables and graphics. The unsung logo in the tables blinks, which is very distracting. I didn’t know if I’d be able to concentrate on reading the entries, and worried that the site was all graphic, no content.

Fortunately, the writer does actually write. Dag, the writer, is mildly obsessed with the Sabres and blogs often about programming miscellania. In addition, Dag writes about his daily life and current events. Most of his entries are fairly short, and I’m left wishing he’d write a little more about what he’s going through.

It does take some clicking to get to any blog content at unsung. First, you have to get past the flash page, and then you have to read the introduction provided in order to figure out where you’re going. Of course, I found the introduction unnecessary since the site navigation links are located at the top of the page, and again just under the logo. My suggestion is to lose the introduction on the index page and have actual blog content there instead. Dag already has an About Me page, which is pretty informative. All of the links work and the only thing, other than just the general busy-ness of the design, I can complain about are the occasional spelling and grammatical errors. There isn’t anything too offensive, but they’re definitely noticeable.

There are more extras at unsung than I could name – 2 guestbooks, shoutbox, guestmap, word of the day, chat forum, Sabres schedule, lyrics section, a section of links useful for programming, Dag’s design/programming portfolio, little Emoticons in all of the blog entries, links galore, and a page specifically for humor. I visit a blog for the blog content, but others may find all of this more useful.

Unless Dag simplifies his design somewhat, I doubt I would become a regular reader. Normally design would not deter me from reading, but the flashing logo gave me a headache. Overall, it’s a solid blog.


Review 2160

This is the first weblog I’ve ever seen quite like this.

It’s your typical personal weblog, but Ed also throws in a wonderful mix of brilliant photographs of “images that he’s made”. Most of these images are shots of the scenery that Ed’s out and about in. Sometimes these scenic images are left as is without a single tweak, and other times the author choose to adjust perhaps the saturation with filters on the camera or cropping the same photo several different ways just to get the perfect look. And of course, there are some absolutely adorable picture of Ed’s little granddaughter that seems as if she was born to be in front of the camera, especially with those bright blue eyes.

The design is just the standard one that nearly all LiveJournal users have. Ed chose a nice color combination to use, however, and his addition of photos on a nearly daily basis certainly alleviates the monotony of reading just straight text entries.

I’ve always loved dragging my digital camera everywhere I go, taking picture after picture of various items that will probably never mean a thing to anyone 10 minutes after I take the picture. Am I an avid fan of photography? Perhaps, but only in the casual sense. After reading “Ed Book’s Journal”, I almost feel like I can go out and know “how” to take a picture in the technical aspect of it now. Wonderful writing, gorgeous photography – an overall fantastic weblog experience!

Review 2160

This is not a typical blog, in more ways than one. First, it is not hosted by Blogger or GreyMatter, but by Second, it is about photography.

Ed Book’s images and the way he talks about photography imply that he has a lot of enthusiasm and experience in the field. Nearly all scenic views, the images are often accompanied by explanations of the equipment and technics used. However, the jargon does not cause laymen to lose interest in Ed Book’s images, as the images also come with descriptions of the location where they were taken and whatever story is behind them. Also, Ed Book has an expressive way of talking about photography. I especially liked the way he defended his preference of saying ‘making images’ instead of ‘taking/snapping/shooting pictures’.

There is not much to comment about on the layout of the site, as it is basically a livejournal design. The main focus here is on the photography. There are lots of images that, to me, as a layman, appear to be of high quality. The real attraction for me here lies in the way Ed Book links his personal life with his profession and hobby. I find it a good site to browse through because each picture has a story; the details make it come to live.