Review 2728

Dozer’s Blog has a fairly generic Blogspot template, but it manages to be pleasant due to the toned down colors. The pale blue background and black lettering for the texts works well. So does the font size which is readable without being in your face. He has been blogging since January of 2004.

Our author is 23, and works at the Tacoma Dome. His entries consist of a fair number of Quizilla links and results. Quotes of the Day, short comments with links to the usual web curiosities and a high percentage of announcements about the upgrades he has made to his page round out the entry topics.

While he writes lucidly, the subject matter is of the most ordinary stuff. I was thinking that it might be interesting to hear some bits of information about the groups that come and go at the Tacoma Dome, or perhaps some character sketches or memorable anecdotes about dealing with crowds of people… but it was not to be.

In the sidebar, are the usual links to blogs he reads, camera shots, archives and a section with clickable headlines from Wired News.

While this was not an obnoxious blog, it certainly was not a very interesting one. If our author wants to attract more readers, I would suggest spicing up his writing with things from his own life and work, and less about what’s going on at Quizilla this week. He might be surprised at the results.

Dozer’s Blog of Life and Other Observations

Review 2746

Aww… This is certainly a cute blog. It’s only been in existence for three months but you can tell the author, Jenny, a mother of three very young children, has put a lot of time and effort into sharing the happiness and the woes of parenting. She has some very funny anecdotes to tell, others are tenderly sad at times (especially when she’s tired); but overall, she has that positive attitude and the honesty that one (like I) appreciates from bloggers.

Jenny says she submitted her blog for feedback.
My feedback would be: keep up the good work. I am not a mother (though I intend to be someday) and though I cannot identify with what she narrates, I can empathize. She makes parenting sound like a world where a lot of love, humor and hard work are involved.

Regarding the layout, the template is standard blogspot. It’s pink (which agrees with the blog feel). Personally speaking, I’m a fan of original layouts, but it takes time to learn html for blogspot; however, I’m sure Jenny will be around for quite a while. Perhaps I can recommend Blogskins for Jenny to browse through other templates. Her side bar has the usual: links to other sites, previous posts, buttons and a section dedicated to what’s entertaining her kids.

There isn’t much more to say (as it’s so new) other than it’s a pretty good start. I should also point out that she deserves credit for a very good title with a blog description that fits the content well. Good job. It’s uphill from here.

I’m sure the Moms of the blogosphere will identify with and enjoy this blog.

Three Kid Circus

Review 2746

Three Kid Circus is an unrelentingly PINK page. A plain jane pink that fills every nook and cranny. But after about 30 seconds of reading, I didn’t care about blog design anymore. I was laughing too hard to notice.

Our blogger lives in Northern California and is the mother of three children. The header of the blog contains these words:

“Humorous tales, petty rants and random life events, as experienced by the slightly crazed mom to three busy kids, aged 5 and under. Go on, ask me if I planned it this way…”

In her first entry from July of this year she spells out the purpose of her blog:

” I intend to use this as a sanity saving forum for my own amusement.
I guess that’s my mission statement.”

Well, in the process of amusing herself, she also amused me.

She writes in a zany freewheeling style that takes you on a Mommy rollercoaster, laughing all the way. I especially enjoyed the entry of July 15 entitled “The Groceries Are Coming!” Read that one first.

And when you finish that, read July 31st. “Fantasy Life”.

Oh what the heck read the whole blog. You can do it too. This is a new blog and if you act now you can catch up to the present and then bookmark it. There are no bells or whistles on this page, just a modest list of other Mommy blogs that she recommends and a few other links. But it doesn’t need bells and whistles. The writing stands on its own. And she certainly has fulfilled her stated purpose on this blog, and lucky for us, we get to go along for the ride.

Three Kid Circus

Review 2641

With the title of Expiration dates (and the subtitle “Life between now and when the milk spoils”) I was expecting a vaguely humorous personal weblog. However, this is a blog with a very specific purpose – to document the building of a house from scratch.

The blog is Typepad and isn’t a particularly imaginative template – the usual 3 column layout so common to Typepad blogs. Despite the lack of a template, it is solidly constructed with all the necessary “About Me” pages and photoblogs up and running. Basically, no marks for visual presentation but full marks for functionality.

The “About Me” describes a little more about the project – the author and her husband decided to build their own home (apart from the foundations which they got professionals in for) and this is their log of the project. It is quite nice to know that they really seem to be amateurs at this whole thing; so reading the entries, you can see how they learn as they are going along and how they overcome problems. Anyone thinking of undertaking a similar project could do worse than follow the tips, tricks and web links found amongst so many of the posts. This type of blog would not work without photos, but thankfully these are in abundance. There are plenty in the weblog entries themselves – all of a good quality, and even more in the photo albums. It was nice seeing the plot of land in the early entries develop in to a real framework (about where they are now). You can also get an idea about what the final house will look like by clicking on the “House Plans” link in the sidebar.

Apart form the building of the house, there are also enough personal entries to keep the casual reader interested – about their two dachshund dogs, about gardening and nature which they come across, a few health problems and other family stuff. The surrounding area looks fantastic and is shown in many of the photos. You also get a strong sense of family and friends pulling together for the project.

I love reviewing weblogs which find new and innovative uses for this format of online publishing and this is a prime example of how they can be put to good use beyond the purely personal diary. I am sure once their house is finished they will be chuffed to bits with their achievement as well as their log of the whole process. It is nice that we can share in this as well.

Review 2642

Arriving at The ZAi, I found a clean black page with a surfer dude in the header. I liked the simple layout, uncluttered and straightforward. As I read further, I realized one reason for this is that our blogger has written his own ticket for how the site looks, since he says he set up the code himself. Many of us less technically adept must work around an already provided template.

The author is a college student and writes a fair amount about his doings at school, plus a bit of social commentary and personal philosophy. There are also accounts of the goings on of his pet hamsters, who seem to be multiplying at an alarming rate.
His writing is lucid and informative, easy to read and gives a fairly interesting peek into his student life.

I appreciated the fact that other parts of the blog were located on separate pages. There is a photo page with an impressive number of pictures of friends and local scenery. He also has links to a read page, and archives and links. Nicely organized and easy to navigate.

If I have one suggestion, (this seems to be my weblog review mantra these days) it would be for our blogger to use a larger font in his entries. Especially if he is using a black background and white text. My eyes began to cross after reading the first few entries and I ended up highlighting the text to ease the strain.

All in all, I had a pleasant visit. This is a blog that might be of interest to fellow college students and hamster owners everywhere.