A guest review by regular commenter Posol'stvo the Medved, Executive Supreme Vice Chancellor of the Independent Republic of Posol'stvia .
Blogorrhea. It isn’t a word, but it should be. And if it were elevated to the pantheon of word-dom, it would certainly be applied to today’s recipient of abject scrutiny: Reflections in the Snow-Covered Hills. For in just under three years, Megan has racked up one thousand seven hundred and fifty one posts. That’s an average of 54.72 posts per month.
Make that one thousand seven hundred and fifty two. Yup, she just published again.
I would love to sit here and tell you that I had just finished reading every single word that she had ever written, but honestly, I didn’t have that kind of time. So I had to make use of the shortcuts she makes available. Most of her posts are categorized into one of the following categories: grammar, journalism, her family, Canada, religion, David Hasselhoff, Fleetwood Mac, responses to reader submitted questions or complaints, and being a know-it-all. She provides her readers with a FAQ that I was expecting to be annoyed by, on principle, but it turned out to be helpful, entertaining, and informative. The rare proper use of a FAQ section indeed.
Based on her sheer volume and self-declaration of being a know-it-all, in all candor, I was prepared to dislike her, and to dislike everything that she had ever written. But you know what they say – never judge a book by how far apart its covers are.
As it happens, she is pretty damn smart. And funny. And makes some excellent points without sounding condescending or preachy. In general, I enjoyed reading those posts I was able to get to and through. If I had to criticize her content in any way, I would perhaps suggest that she not rely so heavily on posting multimedia items, especially when that is all the post consists of. Occasionally, this blog seems to suffer from multiple personality dissociative disorder, as one post would be a lucid commentary on journalistic ethics and the next would be about what it’s like to be a mommy. It was at times like reading a mashup of The Atlantic and Parenting. Her regular readers (and she seems to have a great many of those) don’t seem terribly jarred by that, so perhaps I’ll let that slide, and just skip over the posts that don’t cater to my interests.
Where I do see room for improvement is in the template and navigation. To begin with, the header of her template, while very pleasant, visually, takes up enough vertical space that it pushed everything but the title of her first post off my screen. On some devices (ahem, iPhone), in landscape mode, I didn’t even get that. I definitely suggest compressing that vertical space some. The rest of the layout was clean and easy to read, and didn’t feel overly cluttered.
Navigation is this blog’s fatal flaw. When viewing a previous month’s archive or a category listing, I was never able to view all of the items in the view. I kept having to click to see more posts. I didn’t want to. I wanted to skim it all. I realize that the page load might take a while, but I have been warned that October 2006 contains 126 posts. I am prepared to wait.
Once in a category or month view, I could not find a way to return to the top of the site. I kept looking for it. It never showed up. I suggest modifying the header so that the logo image always links to the home.
So for the content, being as this is my first review and I don’t want to completely blow my load the first time out, I’m awarding Megan three stars.
The template header and navigation issues however earn her a big ass flaming finger. I don’t know that WordPress will let her fix these issues, but it should. And blaming it on the platform is a lame excuse – there’s always a way around it.