Friday, July 20, 2007

Keep Your Shirt On, Please

Fireballs saying hello again. We seem to be getting a very eclectic mix of blogs around this joint lately, and mine today is no exception.

Archie's Archive grabs you the moment you look at it. I'm not overly familiar with customizing Wordpress templates, but this one certainly has had some work done. That doesn't mean that work is all for the best, however.

This template isn't awful, but it's a mess in terms of the overwhelming sidebar. I can't speak for everyone, but good lord, stop with all the buttons and gadgets. It's annoying and it makes everything look cluttered and messy. Also, some of your gadgets don't function properly in Internet Explorer, which I know everyone loathes, but let's face it, a LOT of the free world still uses it. Specifically, towards the bottom of the ENDLESS sidebar, your Recent Readers gadget and your CCL liscense both fail to render in my IE. This may be a small thing to you, but to a reviewer, it drives me mental. I'm not sure what the HTML is like on Wordpress, whether or not it could be customized with dropdowns, but I highly recommend it. Your sidebar is MASSIVELY long, and really quite annoying. Personally, I despise blog fads like Blogshares and Visitor Maps. I'm sure you're quite popular, you don't have to beat me over the head with it, plus the map looks like shit because it never refreshes. In short, clean this mess up.

In terms of content, it's memes, some poetry, some slice of life posts and a joke or two thrown in. Editorially speaking, as someone who enjoys reading and will spend time even on longer posts, I'd like to see someone who calls himself a writer actually WRITE. I don't care if it's fiction, non-fiction, autobiographical or fucking MadLibs, just write something. You spend 6 paragraphs in your "About Me" section telling me about your wish to be a writer, and then your posts reflect everything that's lame about the blogosphere. Any jerk with a keyboard can answer meme questions. BE WHAT YOU SAY YOU WANT TO BE, ARCHIE! I can see memes and jokes on some goofball's MySpace page. I will dig in and sit at the table if you can provide me some commentary or content worth coming back for.

As it stands, I can't recommend this one.

Clean up the template. Tell me stories from your life. Don't fall into the lame-ass-ness of all these other sheep out here in the Blog Universe. Be different, my man. Do something with your ability to tell me about yourself and what's in your mind.


  1. I thought owning a blog automatically made you a member of the elite society of "Writers" running around out there. Am i wrong?

  2. The sidebar is a mess but I like the blog's content. The sidebar really needs to be edited back though.

  3. Interesting. I have been looking at changing that sidebar for several weeks but your review has spurred me on. As for my own writing, sometimes the muse leaves. However, had you looked at the "pages" on the top bar, you would have found a fair amount of stuff which I have written. I do not see my blog as a diary, rather it is a place where I can rant and be curmudgeonly. With an election approaching in Australia, much of my original writing of late has been political in nature. Mostly rants against our current Prime Minister. I throw in a pile of other stuff, jokes and cartoons to lighten up while I enjoy sharing my photographs. Poetry is always good blog content as the majority of bloggers are female and many do appreciate a few verses.

    Thank you for your review and, yes, changes have been made to the sidebar.

    Oops, There is one big, huge and monstrous problem here in this blog - If I had not begun life with a blogspot blog, I would be unable to comment here. While I recognise that you do not want "anon" commenting, there is a comment set-up where non-blogspotters can identify themselves and so comment.

  4. Actually, the only comment options are to allow only blog members, registered users, or anyone. "Anyone" would surely accommodate your needs, but would also allow people to comment anonymously-a fate we've already dabbled with-and spam bots.

    Sorry for your particular inconvenience, but obviously it wasn't so bad if you went through it just to comment.


Grow a pair.