The Weblog Review – The Imdateless.Com Website

Original review done for The Weblog Review:
The Weblog Review [theweblogreview.com].

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The Imdateless.Com Website

The first thing I thought when I saw ImDateless.com is that it’s one of those match
making sites. The banner ad on the bottom of the splash page IS from a match making
site and I was wondering how this got into The Weblog Review. The site’s splash
page uses Flash, but there is an option for a non Flash entry page. I clicked on the
Flash intro and the animation reminded me of the Star Wars intro and while it’s not
as professionally animated as some Flash animations, it has a nice charm to it. It is
entertaining, if you have Flash, I suggest you watch the animation.

When I entered into the main page, I still thought it was a dating site, but
reading on shows that it is indeed a weblog, recounting experiences of this 24 year
old part time Retail Manager and university undergraduate student. The blog is in
the news section and it makes interesting reading, if you’re into personal blogs. I
find his writing easy to read since he somewhat writes in the same style as me and
he structures his paragraphs well.

Even though this is a fairly new site, it has a lot of content from his writings. I
found that the most interesting aspect of this site. He writes about a lot of things,
from his travel diaries to religion. I particularly enjoyed reading his trips around
Europe. He writes a day by day recount of his experience traveling and that is a
major attraction of this site if you like traveling stories.

Design wise, the site navigation is a little unusual, but the Expand All and
Collapse All dynamic navigational change does help in this aspect. However, I
found the sidebar too cluttered when it’s expanded. I also found the Membership and
Shopping pages to be distracting, although I can understand the need for it, since I
pay a lot for excess bandwidth fees as well. The site’s design isn’t exactly the best
out there, but that’s not the point – the content more than makes up for this.

Back to the content, a whois lookup revealed that the domain was registered on
the 12th of August 2003 and his blog begins on the same day! Even though it seems
like there is a scant 2+ months of entries, don’t let that dissuade you from visiting –
he has a lot of other writings to occupy you for many hours. He says he is a
“ubiquitous storyteller” – and I agree, his stories would entertain you.

I’m wondering what the hell this site is doing on my computer screen though. ;)

P/S – Read the 4th October 2003 entry if you didn’t get that one.

This site was reviewed on 2003-10-23 by sixthseal.
They felt this site belonged in the Entertainment category.
sixthseal felt that The Imdateless.Com Websit deserved a rating of 4.0

Link to site: The Imdateless.Com Website [imdateless.com].

Link to original review: The Imdateless.Com Website [theweblogreview.com].

The Weblog Review – minishorts@urban-flirt

Original review for The Weblog Review here: minishorts@urban-flirt [theweblogreview.com].

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minishorts@urban-flirt

Before I begin this review, I have to state that minishorts is a blog I have been reading
regularly for quite a while, and the owner is on my ICQ contact list. That being said,
I’ll try to offer a review that’s as unbiased as possible, and one that may offer
additional insight into the site which is afforded by knowing the author. Minishorts
has been online since September 2002 and the first post involves three pieces of
poetry which the author wrote. I particularly enjoyed the one entitled “Dearest
Mother” which manages to be touching without being clichéd.

The weblog is a mix of the author’s thoughts about everything and also her
personal issues, with occasional posts which provides a very intimate view into the
author’s life. An example of this is the January 14th 2003 post which has pictures of
her bedroom, complete with photos of the bed, her wardrobe (with clothes) and the
author herself. Minishorts is a 23 year old Chinese Malaysian doing her Masters in
Linguistics and the blog is representative of what personal weblogs in Malaysia are
all about. The author aspires to be a writer and she occasionally posts bits of
ongoing stories in the blog.

The entries are updated consistently, and the author manages to post even while
on vacation in Hong Kong, using the hotel’s business center’s net connection. The
posts have a nice smattering of photos at appropriate intervals and this manages to
prevent the monotony in reading an all-text blog and provides a window into the
author’s world. There are plenty of pictures of the author’s and her friends and one
can’t help but feel like they’re with the author as she goes through her life. There are
photos of her trips, her convocation and so forth and reading the blog feels like
watching one of those time delayed footage of a plant going through the growth
process of a bud to a flower. This and the always entertaining posts is what keeps me
going back for more.

The design of the site has recently been changed into one featuring a Matrix
layout, with a non-standard horizontal scroll bar. The content of the blog is featured
in a window of the left side, followed by a large Neo, and leading into the tagboard.
The tagboard is dynamically replaced by things like minishort’s bio, links, credits
and so forth when one of the navigation buttons is clicked. However, the links are
images which doesn’t provide anything to suggest where it leads to, except when the
hover text comes up. This “mystery meat” navigation does not seem to be a good
design strategy.

Someone pointed out in an email that there are essentially two kinds of weblogs
– the personal ones and the ones that provide social commentary on current issues
and news. This blog belongs to the first group and if you like those, you’ll love
minishorts. If you don’t, well I guess you won’t, but click on the link anyway and
see if the site will change your mind. I’m giving it a 4.5 because I honestly think it’s
a very interesting site. This would be interesting for you too if you’ll like a voyeuristic
look into the life of a 23 year old in Malaysia.

This site was reviewed on 2003-06-14 by sixthseal.
They felt this site belonged in the Personal category.
sixthseal felt that minishorts@urban-flirt deserved a rating of 4.5

Link to site: minishorts@urban-flirt [urban-flirt.net].

The link is on the sidebar too.

The Weblog Review – Ei Baa Hashne

Original review for The Weblog Review here: Ei Baa Hashne’ – I’ll tell you about it [theweblogreview.com].

I have made the terrible mistake of misidentifying the author’s
gender. This has been corrected today and it’s waiting for approval
before the changes will be reflected in the review page.

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Ei Baa Hashne’ – I’ll tell you about it

Do you know what Ei Baa Hashne means? I’ll tell you about it. No,
that’s what it means, “I’ll tell you about it”. I am very intrigued by
this weblog, it’s subtitled “A web log by a Navajo in New Orleans”. I
must admit, I don’t know much about Navajo culture, and this made me
very interested to read the weblog. The first thing I noticed was the
Navajo Word of the Week column in the right hand sidebar. That is a
really nice touch that adds a lot to the blog. It’s a great way to
introduce the written Navajo language to the readers.

I’m now aware that ‘chidi’ means a car (or automobile) and browsing
through the Navajo Word of the Week archives is interesting, I think I
can formulate a sentence based on what I’ve read: “Ei ashkii bi ‘at’eed
shik’is nizhoni”. My apologies if my attempt came out wrong. I was
trying to say “That boy has a beautiful girlfriend” but I’m not sure it
”at’eed’ and ‘shik’is’ can be joined to mean ‘girlfriend’. It’s fun to
learn the sentence structure and grammar and at least I can say
“Ya’at’eeh. Huai Bin yinishye. Ashkii nishli. 22 shinaahai. Melbourne
di shighan” with confidence. It’s in the Navajo Word archives. :) Go
look up what it means, Vernon (the site owner) has done a really good
job with the description and sample sentences!

Vernon has been running the blog since the 19th of February 2003, so
this makes it a relatively new one. The entries are fairly regular,
Vernon does not skip more than a couple of days in between posts. The
monthly archives are nicely peppered with photos too, and Vernon
participates in quite a few “blog memes” like the Friday Five and Photo
Friday (to name two). The blog starts out nicely, with most of the
entries in the first month and the first few entries in March updating
the reader about the Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans. Vernon was
part of the parade as well, in one of his entries in March titled “MG
update: My Orpheus Experience”, he describes his experience with
setting up and riding on a float.

It’s also very nice to see that Vernon is a proud of his heritage
and he makes his feelings about that known in the March 4th entry about
non-Native Americans dressing up as such during Mardi Gras. The later
entries are a mix of commentaries about TV series and the “blog memes”,
which makes the reader know more about Vernon. The two poems entitled
“My Words” and “My Deeds” are really good too, and I particularly liked
the second one. His feelings in that one really came through strongly.

I have always liked reading “nostalgic entries” and I enjoyed
reading Vernon’s post on the 6th of April regarding cliques while he
was in high school at the reservation. I have never noticed clique-type
behavior at my high school, but it seems to be common in the United
States. It’s also interesting to read that he’s on the Atkins Diet,
which I’ve heard a lot of bad things about. It’s worthy to note that
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt is on that very same diet by Dr.
Atkins…I picked that up while reading the papers last week regarding
Hollywood personalities and their diets.

I also noticed that I’ve been to his blog before, but didn’t read
anything then. I have recently started doing the Photo Friday too, and
I remember clicking through all of the past entries, so I must have
stumbled upon his weblog then, but didn’t pay attention to anything
other than the photo. I am disturbed by his entry about accidental
kerosene consumption when he was five. The taste of kerosene is all too
clear to me (don’t ask why) and reading that made nearly made me retch
in recollection of the taste.

The design of the site is based on a three column template, with the
blog entries occupying the middle column. The right sidebar contains
the wonderful Najavo Word of the Week (which I will definitely bookmark
this site for) and links to other blogs. The left sidebar has the site
navigation column, an avatar with the current weather in New Orleans,
links to fellow Native American bloggers, webring memberships and other
miscellaneous links. The design of the site isn’t anything special and
doesn’t stand out, but the interesting entries makes up for that. This
is definitely a blog that favors content over eye candy.

The About Me page pops up a window (with a different background)
with Vernon’s personal details, including his tribe and his ancestor’s
clans. It’s interesting to learn another fact about Navajo culture – it
seems to be a matrilineal society. Vernon is a physician (which he
mentioned in the unforgettable kerosene entry) and we share the same
favorite drink! No, not kerosene. Diet Coke. The other links are
Vernon’s poetry, photos (of the photo memes like Photo Friday), an
archive of all the memes he has done, a page dedicated to his pets, the
blog archives and The May Day Project!

I haven’t seen a May Day project I didn’t like, and this didn’t
break that streak. I enjoyed visually seeing what a day in the life of
the author is. Ahehee Vernon, I really enjoyed reading through your
entries! I’ll have to follow the guidelines and give it a 4 for the
inconsistent design though. hagoonee’ everyone, and don’t forget to
click on the link to check out Vernon’s blog, it certainly is a
refreshing change and a fun read for me. It’s a very good site, that’s
for sure.

[Edit: Mistake regarding author’s gender has been corrected. My apologies.]

This site was reviewed on 2003-05-28 by sixthseal.
They felt this site belonged in the Personal category.
sixthseal felt that Ei Baa Hashne’ – I’ll tell you about it deserved a rating of 4.0

Link to site: Ei Baa Hashne’ – I’ll tell you about it [blogspot.com].

The site owner’s reply:

Ei Baa Hashne’ Reviewed
Wednesday, May 28

My site was reviewed at weblogreview.com.
The reviewer had quite a few flattering words for my site and I think
he summed up some of the intentions I had for this site very nicely.
However, there was one problem with the review. No, it had nothing to
do the reviewer’s opinions. I have nothing against the opinions
expressed at weblogreview. It was something more substantial.
Throughout the column, the author of my site is referred to as ‘her’
and ‘she.’ When I saw that, I had to double check to make sure that it
was actually my site that was being reviewed. Then I opened a new
screen to check the signature at the bottom of each entry to confirm
that I had not inadvertently signed it as “Veronica,” “Victoria,” or
“Verna.” After establishing that I indeed had signed all my entries as
“Vernon,” my next thought was of befuddlement, then an attempt at some
sort of understanding. Failing that after a few minutes, I next felt
curious, then strangely contemplative for a while. My next thought was
uneasiness, which melted into leeriness, and finally I was outright
paranoid.

Nah, just kidding. My only response, if someone were to ask would
be, “Hmm, interesting.” I always wondered if I had another personality
hidden deep inside somewhere. She must come out when I sit down at my
computer to blog. Well, to the Vernon that I don’t know about, I say
thank you for all those wonderful entries. You bring back some of my
most poignant and some of my proudest memories. Here’s to sisterhood!
Once again, thank you, Verna, or Victoria, or is it Veronica, … or
Vicky, maybe Viola, possibly Virginia, Vina, no wait, it’s got to be
Valerie, Vachon, Vanessa, …

Original post here [blogspot.com].

Changes: The links of the original Ei Baa Hashne’ – I’ll tell you about it post has been changed to open up in a new window.

The Weblog Review – Digitalbranch.net

Original review for The Weblog Review here: Digitalbranch.net [theweblogreview.com].

There is also another review in there by another reviewer.

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Digitalbranch.net

The first thing I noticed about Digitalbranch.net is the strong
Christian lean that’s evident from the introduction splash page. The
weblog describes itself as “One man’s thoughts, poetry, and writings –
an attempt to reach humanity and the people of God” and there’s a quote
from Jeremiah as well as several Christian oriented webring
memberships. The site is owned by Mark Jedrzejczyk and it’s been online
for quite a while.

The archives dates back to October 2002, but the “first” post on the
8th of October goes into the hosting troubles that Mark has
encountered, resulting in the site being offline for a period of time.
The pre-October 2002 archives are not fully up yet, but Mark has done a
good job in re-posting several of the more noteworthy entries. He’s
also clearly marked the re-posts as such (usually with a header
detailing the original post’s timeframe) and I found this to be a nice
touch.

The blog posts are mostly about issues related to Christianity and
Mark’s poetries and stories, which also tends to have a biblical motif,
from my subjective opinion. This can limit the site’s potential
audience, but I found it interesting to read about Mark’s struggle with
depression during the end of 2002 and early 2003 (from what I can see)
and his ways of dealing with it within a Christian context. Mark might
take exception with this though, as he mentions that “sad” would be a
better adjective and “wanderer” an even more suitable one in his 9th
April 2003 post.

I’ve also found his commentaries to be interesting, particularly the
one in February 2002 regarding “apostolicity” and his views about
atheism and the meaning of life in May 2003. I consider myself a
Christian and I’m fairly familiar with the scripture, so I can relate
to Mark’s posts, although his views are slightly more fundamentalist
than mine. Unfortunately, the blog does not get updated very often,
each month averages about 10 posts, but most of the posts are well
thought out writings, and that somewhat makes up for the irregular
posts.

Besides the main blog, there’s also a sidebar with links to
articles, poetry and stories that Mark has written. There’s a very nice
feature in those individual categories where the “last updated” date is
listed on the top. This is a good way of telling if the menu items have
been recently added to, and it certainly seems to be something that
will be appreciated by the readers.

The articles are further subdivided to General Writings (issues
related to Christians), General Textual Studies (Mark’s writings on
various books in the bible), General Topical Studies (history of
Christianity and other related issues), and Mark’s senior paper. There
is an article in General Writings titled “The Problem of Christian
Apathy” which I felt was a very interesting read. I can see that this
is a common occurrence in many Christians today, including myself, and
I was moved by this article because of the strong resonance the subject
has with me.

Revelation is my favorite book in the bible (as can be seen from my
site’s URL) and I enjoyed Mark’s studies on that book entitled
“Exegesis of Revelation 13:1-8” in General Textual Studies. Most of his
writings have a bibliography at the end, which is another nice touch as
interested readers can follow up the topic based on his citations. The
poetry section is nicely populated as well, but I can’t really comment
on poetry since I don’t have any background in this. The stories
section has a couple of stories, and I recommend that interested
readers take a look at “Anguish”, which I interpreted as a metaphor for
life after death.

The other links from the right hand sidebar is a Recommended Reading
list and a message board. I actually read Mark’s recommendation on C.S.
Lewis’s “A Grief Observed” before reading his blog, and that was where
I first noticed Mark’s experience with sadness (to use his term). I
have heard a lot about this book, but unfortunately, my readings of
C.S. Lewis’s works is limited to his Narnia series that I read during
my childhood. The message board is a good feature, but it’s not being
used much by the readers of the site. The final items on the sidebar
are links to webrings, an awards section (where Mark lists the web
awards his site has acquired) and a search feature.

The design of Digitalbranch.net is clean and efficient, I liked the
small sidebar and the “directory style” browsing feature. By this, I’m
referring to the hyperlinks that appear at the top when browsing into
the categories (eg Articles / General Writings / How to Pray). This
allows for fast and easy navigation even when browsing “deep” into the
menu items. This is a very nice touch indeed.

The site is also optimized for users with a lower screen resolution,
which is a rarity nowadays. The only “flaw” I could find in the design
is that I was expecting the large banner on top to be clickable and
I’ve clicked on the static image in vain several times before realizing
that navigation to the main page is provided by the “Home” link in the
sidebar and also the top of blog pages. Design is not my forte, but I
feel that the large banner would be an ideal anchor to the main page.

Well, the site’s emphasis on Christian related issues would limit
the appeal to readers who’s interested in those issues, but that’s not
necessarily a bad thing. Mark has thought about expanding the site’s
focus to include more subject matters, but decided that doing that will
involve writing about “issues (that) are not generally near and dear to
my heart”. I respect Mark’s decision and I agree that having a strong
focal point on Christianity has its appeal to similar minded readers. I
recommend that everyone clicks through to Digitalbranch.net if you’re
even slightly interested in religion (and even if you’re not). At the
very least, it’ll be an insight into Mark’s devotion, which I’ve found
to be nothing less than impressive. I’m giving it a 5 for the unique
content and the interesting articles and stories.

This site was reviewed on 2003-05-18 by sixthseal.
They felt this site belonged in the Personal category.
sixthseal felt that Digitalbranch.net deserved a rating of 5.0

Link to site: Digitalbranch.net [digitalbranch.net].

The site owner’s reply:

Digitalbranch: review by The Weblog Review

Sunday, May 18, 2003
posted by Mark Jedrzejczyk | 08:05 pm

This site was just reviewed by The Weblog Review. The review for my site can be seen here: (review). It, in fact, received good reviews so you should take a look at it!
(As if I’d post this if I received terrible reviews. I kid oh so much.)

I’m rather pleased to read that others see depth in this site –
therefore, the review does mean a lot to me. Thanks to the Weblog
Review for the positive thoughts!

Original post here [digitalbranch.net].

Changes: The links of the original Digitalbranch.net post has been changed to open up in a new window.

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