Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You people are BASTARD PEOPLE!

If Corky St. Clair had a blog, this would be it. Preston is involved in community theater, has some quirky collections, and loves Disney and his martinis. He has an ex with Cher tattoos, people. He has a crush on the Free Credit Report guy (Which, by the way, that damn song is now in my head for eternity. Blast you!). This is some hardcore Broadway gay. Which means I have to like him, if only a little. Even his name is gay! Preston. I ask you. It's fabulous. No. It's faaaahbulous.
But there are some issues. The template, for one. Bo-ring. Also, I don't think I get it. Blue Skies? You really are that cheerful, aren't you? It is blue skies and sunny days and Barry Manilow up in this shit.


Anyway, the template. Switch your main body to a light background with dark text because what you've got now hurts the eyes. And bump up the font size. There's way, way too much clutter in the sidebar. Get rid of the blinking shit and badges. Find a template with tabs and put them on another page if you must retain them. Although I'll tell you now that those communities people join to try to boost readership and commenting are often more trouble than they're worth. And who wants to be a joiner, anyway?

Move your blogroll to a separate page because holy crap it's huge. Roll up your archives and move them up toward the top of your sidebar. And why would someone want to translate your page? Get rid of that. If people need a site translated, they know where to go. And shrink your search field and put it in the sidebar. It's taking up valuable writing property. Or better yet, just lose it. Blogger already has a search function right there at the top.

The content is innocuous. It's impersonal and surface. We don't get to know a lot about Preston's motivations or fears or hopes or demons. He's not a bad writer. The Ts are crossed and the commas are in the right places, and he's conversational if infomercially. There's poetry (yes, poetry), recipes, lots of article-ish posts, and some seriously yawn-worthy discussion on sunflowers. He does some very PG-rated humor and there's a moderately amusing story about hemorrhoids.

Preston's sweet like pie and a good person and I think he likely has an interesting story to tell, but it seems to me he's caught up in the whole everyone has a blog so I should, too, thing. To me his blog seems to be very much about us -- about the reader and what we might like to see or read or hear or know about -- and not very much about him. There's a balance to be found, between knowing what makes for interesting reading and using blogging as a means of expression. Right now it feels like Preston wants us all to like him, he wants to put on a good show, but by doing that he only lets us see the mask.

He hasn't been blogging long, and maybe he's still trying to figure out his motivation for blogging, his direction. And I suspect that he's allowed people in his personal and professional life to view his blog, so that could easily put a damper on genuine self-expression.

Ultimately, this is a puff piece. It's one guy's repository of benign observations and online community building. The writing is adequate if not particularly engrossing, but neither is it off-putting. It's... nice. And that, as I know all too well, is the kiss of death.

So, Preston, take off the mask. Give us more than one-dimension. I like you. I think you're unique and fun and probably a great friend to have around. But what you're giving now is the same as any number of blogs out there. Nice, fine, vanilla. Bland. I want bloody hot, like your martinis. When you figure out why you're blogging, when you drop the mask and let us see some method, resubmit. I'm sure then you'll get some stars.

33 comments:

  1. NICE name drop. Love Guffman.

    And I also have a crush on the Free Credit Report guy. But I have a crush on like, everybody.

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  2. Corky is one of my favorite people. He and his wife "Bonnie."

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  3. At first I thought you meant Corky from Life Goes On and I thought, oh my, Calamity has the claws out today, ouch. Then I remembered the reference.

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  4. I have a serious obsession with the free credit report.com pirate commercial. It's just awesome. And it won't get out of my head.

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  5. Thanks for the review. I really appreciate the feedback and the compliments. I think that when I first started blogging, I wrote on a more personal level. (Look at June and July entries) It then moved into some other area once I got busy with Entrecard and sites like that. I do need to get more personal and I want to change my blog look but I do not understand HTML and I am stuck with the lousy templates blogger offers. I tried getting a new template with pages and tabs but it never seems to work right and I am afraid I will lose everything I did so fair, even if it is mostly vanilla. (Which by the way is my favorite flavor. I know, for a gay man, I'm boring)

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  6. I forgot to add that we were discussing "Waiting for Guffman" at lunch today and when I returned to my computer, I saw your reference. We all had a very good laugh but I am not that gay, thank goodness.

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  7. Preston, thanks for taking it so well. And it's good you recognize you need to make these changes. Find a buddy to help you with your template. Check out our FAQs -- we link to several sites for cute templates.

    Also, your avatar is a lady with orange hair (?) and a martini -- you are SO that gay. ;) Own it.

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  8. Excellent review! Right on. I can tell there's more to Preston. He just has to be willing to share.

    By the way, did you know that "meh" is now officially a word? The powers that be, really smart men who don't get laid, have officially added it to the Oxford and Collins.

    You guys are such trendsetters here.

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  9. I was bored over there.
    Just when I was over the freecreditreport.com commercial, one of my little cousins wouldn't stop singing it. Just when I got over that? This.

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  10. Yeah, the orange haired lady/martini avatar is pretty diva, Preston.

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  11. Preston,

    Create another tester blog associated with your main blog, and play with your template on THAT blog, including inserting links, etc., until you get it figured out so you don't accidentally bugger up your blog. HTML is not hard, it's just exasperating. You can do it.

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  12. Also, Preston, use caution when doing this. You might delete your blog accidentally. This is apparently an epidemic in the blogosphere. It CAN HAPPEN TO YOU. If you're fucking retarded. Ok, I can let it go now.

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  13. There's no way you're letting that one go. Ever.

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  14. Dearest Calamity, you are so fucking right.

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  15. I got off that boat with nothing but my dancers belt and a tube of chapstick!

    Sorry. I got the movie running through my head.

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  16. GoK, admit it, you have a man crush on Franco. Tough love and all that.

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  17. No, Joe, I'm just a horrible person that doesn't like retards and laughs at the handicapped.

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  18. "I'm just a horrible person that doesn't like retards and laughs at the handicapped."

    - That was never in question now, was it?

    Retards are boring. Midgets are worth laughing at.

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  19. Joe, midgets are only worth laughing at if we're talking about the size of their dicks. Now retards, they are fun.

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  20. You do make a sound case, DPH. But i'd have to be more disturbed than a retard to be interested in a midget's dick.

    And no, i'm not there. Yet.

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  21. Now whatever happened to good, clean fun?

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  22. Uh, Rass, I sodomized Good Clean Fun. Tell your grandkids everything is my fault.

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  23. What's wrong with you sick people? The credit report guy is a Canadian douche. A yob, for the English readers. A thuggish nobody, for others. On my blog, I have a label dedicated just for him: "cunts on TV."

    Other than that, great review.

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  24. Calamity - I posted a response to your review on my blog. Take a look. I think you'll get a kick out of it.

    People - I knew that the Credit Report Guy was a Canadian douche who had his singing voice dubbed, but did you have to point it out? You couldn't just let me have that fantasy, could you? Gheez!

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  25. You guys are still talking about my little accident?! let it go!
    besides deleting my blog gave me a chance to start clean with some serious writing; instead of having those "blog because everyone is doing it" kind of posts.

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  26. Isn't 'accidentally' deleting one's blog kind of like 'accidentally' pissing in the sink?

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  27. it is if your are drunk, if not than no.

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  28. I am drunk, and I think it's fucking bad ass that dude paid tribute where it's goddamn due, and that's to ELO.

    Still Meh, but ELO? I fuckin won that belt buckle in a texas hold 'em game. Yeah. Total love.

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  29. I didn't like his site at first look, but after reading the comments that he left, I had to take another look. He's funny and he's not an asshole, good points in my book.

    I wish I had seen the blog before he changed it. Hint: screenshot! I know, I'm a pain in the ass.

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  30. I really should do the whole screen cap thing, but I get lazy.

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  31. Saying you accidentily deleted your blog is like saying, I didn't fuck him, I fell on his penis.

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  32. I have never 'accidentally' pissed in the sink. I always go strong to the hole.

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  33. I LIKE preston. he's very likeable. I'm just not sure I'd read him more than once.

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Grow a pair.