Thursday, September 21, 2006

This God Stuff Is Harder Than It Looks

Someone asked me if I wanted to play God. What good Catholic girl can resist an offer like that? I started making my list of what I would do on my Day As God, and had gotten down to “put stupid people on their own island”, when I received the “You Are The Reviewer!” email.

Damn. Apparently they are expecting me to review a blog.

Well, no big deal. I am constantly judging other people – especially on the Internet. This should be a piece of cake. Hopefully I will be lucky enough to review a blog that is either A) Obviously awful and easy to pick apart, B) Wonderful in every way and easy to praise or at the very least C) Not one I’ve read before.

Damn again. I’ve been chosen to review In A Sense.

I recognized this site as soon as I opened it. So I know I have read it before. In fact, I think I have read it and commented there on more than one occasion – so there must be, or at least has been, something of interest here.

But today I am no ordinary reader. Today I am Blog God, so I attempt to look at it with fresh eyes. The first thing my fresh eyes notice is the headline (which is why they call it a Headline I suppose). “In A Sense…innocence”. Ah yes, witty wordplay. Well, kind of witty, but most definitely wordplay.

The next thing I notice is the minimalist template. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of minimalism, especially when it begins to border on Just Plain Boring. Very few bloggers can pull off a stark white, barren template. A template like this can only work if the writing itself is of “stand alone” quality.

Which brings us to the writing/content, and it isn’t exactly stellar. It’s not complete crap either. She does make some writing blunders here and there (like switching tenses mid-sentence, leaving out modifiers and other Grammar Nazi missteps), but that’s not the big problem. Some posts made me laugh, one post made me a little sad, many of the posts made me go “huh?” – which I don’t think is exactly the response she was going for.

The thing is, I’m not sure she knows exactly what response she is going for. I can’t figure out if she’s “writing for herself” or writing to be entertaining… or, what exactly. There’s very little here to make this blog, or the blogger, stand out.

My advice? (Do Blog Gods give advice?) Inject a little color or something into that template. But most importantly, figure out what makes you YOU – and what might make me want to read you. Right now you’re just “OK”, and no girl should settle for simply being “OK”.

Oh yeah, the icons. I give it – or the equivalent of A for Effort - for showing up to class, turning in your papers on time, but not doing anything that would make me remember you next year.

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  1. Oh, I have to disagree. I LOVED this blog. Some of the posts are short, but I could totally relate to them. And I don't mind the stark white template, in fact, I like the graphic at the top left, though making it larger and clearer would be a nice touch. The title could also be a bit larger font.

  2. I like it, but I can see how it looks a bit plain. I do think the title should be a little more bold, or striking, or at least draw some attention to itself and scream "LOOK AT ME!" I also am not sure I like the fact the subheading titles have a bottom border that rests directly above the sideboxes. Might just be because I'm a minimalist, but it just seems odd looking to me.

    Content wise, I enjoy it. A lot. A lot, a lot!

  3. I agree with Kitty and Trouble about clarifying the header image. I love Story People stuff, though. So quirky.

    And I like the plain template (but then my own template is rather plain). I enjoyed the writing a good deal, too.

  4. Hey Kitty, you do like using the words 'a lot' don't you.

    Here's some alternatives 'A great deal', 'very much' or 'immensely'

    I'm not being snitty, I just happen to have noticed it 'a lot'!

  5. Thanks for the feedback!

    I wish I could get that image clearer too. Any ideas on how?

    (That and I wish I had any html experience whatsoever.. it took me forever of sorting through the code just to get this ultra simple template to work correctly)

  6. I really liked this site once I saw the "Books I've Read in 2006." Dang. Makes me want to get crack-a-lackin' on my reading.

  7. You could try saving the image as a .png over a .jpeg file. Not sure it that will make much of a difference.

    As for hmtl experience, I'm guessing that the most of the code is in CSS, and there are a million sites out there that can tell you how to do what you want to do. Whether it works or not, that's just trial and error.


Grow a pair.