Review 2513

The first thing I noticed about this blog is that it is probably one of the nicest looking blogspot blogs I’ve read in quite some time. I also really liked the tagline, “Ramblings from a face in the crowd. Could be interesting. Could be crap.” That definitely got me interested. While the author of this blog doesn’t have a biography or anything like that, you learn a lot about him through his posts. It’s always great to read a blog by someone who is relatively new to blogging. It’s like there is a fire that is burning in them that has long gone out in some veteran blog authors. This fire can definitely be seen in Mark’s posts.

Although the author submitted this site under the category of Humor, I would have to place it in the personal category. While many of his posts are very humorous, they are all rather personal in nature. That isn’t a bad thing at all. In the case of this blog, it is a very good thing. Mark definitely can tell a story, and more times than not they are pretty darn hilarious. The posts are all extremely well written and you can tell that Mark put a lot of thought into them. There isn’t really a single “blogging for the sake of blogging” post to be found here.

I really liked the design of this blog. Instead of just using one of the default templates and leaving it at that, Mark took a default template and made it his own, changing th color schme and adding some well placed graphics. This makes for a nice looking blog. The blog uses Haloscan as their comment provider and the comment links are very well integrated into the blog. I’ve seen blogs that use outside commenting systems where the comment links look terribly out of place. This is certainly not one of them. I was also very impressed that there was an RSS feed availab.e This is very rare with Blogger made blogs since it requires some extra effort since Blogger itself does not provide RSS feeds. Mark had done an excellent job with the design of this blog.

This is a great example of a well written personal blog. The humor keeps the reader interested and wanting to come back. It’s not just your “Today I had a bad day at work” type personal blog. It’s way more than that and is definitely worthy of a regular reading. R80o

Review 2513

My first impression of this site was, I have to say it, the dog. He reminded me of the dog from Little Rascals. I was also curious what exactly R80o was, but needed only to look in the archives to find out that it was another name, until another blog with the same name (different spelling) was found. The writer enjoyed this new blog so much, he changed the name of his own. Properly pronounced ~ radio.

The site itself is a standard Blogger layout, which has neat clean lines and is pretty easy on the eyes. The additions of textured colour to parts of the template were a nice addition to something we have seen a thousand times, making it a bit more personalized. The only issue I had with the design itself was the links. Black on green was a bit hard to read, especially with font so small.

R80o itself, was extremely well written. It’s simply a personal journal, written with just enough detail that any reader feels he knows enough about the writer to really “get” the story. Each new entry is written with real feeling, and a good deal of humour, encouraging you to keep reading, and has left me waiting for a new post. The writing itself is intelligent, but light and each post has been thought out and shows emotion and detail to tell he really cares about what is being said, not just posting for something to do.

One of the coolest things I found on this site was a link to the Blog-tography. Here you can view pictures, or register and post your own for others visiting this blog to view. I also found the links to other’s blogs interesting reads, some I have saved in my own list now.

Overall, this site is good read for anyone. I laughed almost the whole way through some of the stories, especially the one about K Mart. You’ll know what I mean once you read it. There is no real group who would enjoy this more than any other, as long as you’re ready to have a good chuckle. Based on how much fun I had reading this, and keeping in mind the link issue, I am giving the site a 4.

Review 2513

When I clicked on the link and saw that it was a “blogspot” blog I would be reviewing, my heart sank. Without wishing to be libellous or anything, I don’t like the adverts, I don’t like the fact that the archives rarely work and if they do, they display random lines of code as well and finally, I have come across very few “blogspot” blogs which have a half decent template.

However, it serves me right for being judgemental because this one was certainly an exception. The template looks good. I mean, he has his own title bar, appropriate to the domain name, (the title of the blog is pronounced “Radio” by the way) and he has even personalised his comment boxes with a nifty dog cartoon. The overall look of the site is professional and tasteful, despite the adverts at the top. And yes, blimey, the archives do work and even the permalinks too!

So on to the content then. Well it didn’t take me very long at all to warm to the author and his writing style. His postings are very easy to read, self effacing, witty and personable. Most of the posts (with the exception of a couple of movie reviews) are anecdotes about his life and what he is getting up to. There is no “About Me” page, but it is quite easy to get in to the head of the author because he is pretty open about things. Also, go check out his photo blog too- the guy is a professional photographer as far as I can gather and he certainly takes some groovy photos -would be nice to see more.

Mostly though, his postings are funny. Some of them are really funny, in fact I defy any reader not to laugh at this particular entry or many of the others. I mean, this guy could do stand up with a few more stories like this, (although with his fear of public speaking, that might not be such a good idea after all). The strange thing is, he also calls himself a verbal retard, though this most certainly NOT the case. I found all his postings to be extremely well written and honest.

This is a new blog and the archives only go back to September, but it is updated frequently and given time, this blog could score a five without too much difficulty at all. I also took points off because, lawsuit or no, the adverts do get on my nerves and also there seemed to be random numbers and letters found in the middle of some of the words- for example “… one time th B68 at really…” and “…I lov 1104 e you…”. Not sure what is going on there, but it could do with being sorted really. All in all though, a great start to blogging and although I am a sucker for the more personal, unpretentious kind of blogs, I reckon most people would get a lot of enjoyment from what’s here.R80o

Review 2462

Well, there are text links on the left and boxed links on the right. The text is in a pale coloured box in the center. I must admit, that I personally thought that, because of the left hand side, it looked a little messy. The links on the left almost merge into the text boxes. Aside form that, it was pretty clean cut. I did keep finding myself drawn to the right links though! I feel a bit uncomfortable writing that as the author is website consultant!

John has handed in his notice, got rid of his desk and bought himself a new laptop. Sounds like a big change is brewing in his life. He mentions a new job, but there is no real information on that yet. He teases us a bit I think! He talks of a blind date that he had, but again keeps us in suspense! He posts about personal events that are happening in his life with some technical information. Sometimes he refers to the news, and he was obviously really moved by the major fires that took hold in October. He has posted a beautiful photo to add an edge to his heartfelt post.

The author, John, does a lot of technical work and website consultant work, so I feel that I have to be quite carefully with what I say! I must admit that I do really prefer the right hand links in the boxes. I like them as they stand apart form the main blog. I can see why he does not have the same on the left though as it may well squash his text content.

You can enter your email address and sign up to get notifications of when this blog is updated. The blog contains some interesting technical posts, though some of them were over my head! I also like the little links sections for thoughts. The car and food only have an entry or two in the, but I liked the concept. It is nice to pick interests to you and read all about them.

I enjoyed reading this blog. I enjoyed having a wander round the links, though I did get lost in some of the technical links and posts. I like the category links box, and the nice simple easy to use archives. I found the posts interesting, and some of them gave me a real insight into John’s life. I liked the mixture of his topics, and have to say that I really enjoyed my visit to his site. I wish him well with his new laptop and job, and hope that the blind date with Christy goes forward in leaps and bounds.

John Speaks

Review 679

The first thing that caught my eye about this blog was the design. It looks pretty darn nice. The blog appears to be a personal blog with journal like posts, some interesting writings, and random links, quizzes, and the like. Some people consider this kind of blog boring, but I usually enjoy them. I definitely enjoyed this blog.

The author of the blog is named Lee. She seems to be a pretty cool gal. The thing that I really enjoy about Lee’s post is that they are genuine and honest. If she’s not feeling very creative, she’ll write about that. She doesn’t pretend to be an amazing writer, but at times he can be. She also doesn’t try to impress the reader. I would like to link to some of my favorite entries, but this isn’t possible because there are no permalinks. I’ll talk about that later though. The blog is updated regularly, sometimes multiple times each day. Since this is a Big Blog Tool blog, Lee uses a separate commenting system. She uses Snorcomments, which is works really well. The comment window loads quickly and Lee actually took the time to make the comment window integrate with the design of the blog. Bravo. Lee’s been blogging since October of 2001, so her archives are chock full of great entries. Definitely worth a look.

Like I said earlier, I really enjoyed the design of the site. The actual blog itself is in front of a watermarked background picture. It looks nice and it doesn’t interfere too much when you are reading the blog. There are two separate navigation menus. One is for the blog features and another is for external links. Lee obviously spent a lot of time working on the design of the blog and it shows. My only major beef is that there are no permalinks for posts. Apparently, Big Blog Tool doesn’t support Permalinks, so that’s a bummer. Overall, the design of the blog is great.

I also enjoyed the way Lee handled her about pages. They come up in nice little pop up windows, are very well designed, and are easy to navigate.

Overall, this is an excellent example of a quality personal weblog. It’s definitely going on my blogroll and I can’t wait to see what Lee blogs about next. firefly: version decoy