Studio Tour from SarahDruy:

Casey Fisher's What's on the Shelf?∞
What's on the Shelf is hilarious. Maybe this is just because I am a literature/movie fan, but I honestly enjoyed reading almost every post. As a whole, I think the blog works. It is really not a topic- driven blog, but neither is it a personal journal blog. The variety of the posts' subject matter is entertaining, but also rather fragmentative since there doesn't seem to be a very strong topic that can bring everything together. The stated topic is "what's on the shelf," but as that could be almost anything, it doesn't seem to be something that can unify posts.
Having said that, I think that the variety offered in this blog is one of its strongest points. The extreme differences between movies and books that this blog reviews is wonderfully entertaining. X-Men and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers?! Wonderful! The 'snarky' way Casey reviews these is very amusing and fun to read. Her portrayal of her personal likes/dislikes is clear, original, and interesting.But, to get back to the 'blog as a whole' thing, I think that the current organization is not user-friendly. There are 7categories (Books, Classics, Movies, New Movies, Music, Plays, and Uncategorized), and their order does not seem to make much sense. Having 3 categories for movies seems a little weird. Instead of having Movies and New Movies, why not just have Classics and New Movies? And, maybe this is just my personal preference, but I think that having posts overlap in categories wastes readers' time. Some of the posts were not categorized as I thought they would be. They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To∞, a post about leading male film actors in the 50s, is categorized not under Classics, but Movies. But It Won't Go Away∞, a post about "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," is categorized under both Classics and Movies. Cleaning categories up a bit would seem to help readers find what they want, and at this point, because there aren't too many posts, it seems rather odd to have a category for only a few posts when those posts also show up in other categories.
The Tag section was really crowded and if I was looking for something in there, it would take me forever. Maybe another Tag format could be used? Also, it looked like
the Blogroll could be more developed to include links about plays (if kept as a category), and a few more about movies or books.
A Refound Favorite∞ is also categorized in both Classics and Plays. Considering that only the posts on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Death of a Salesman are in the Classics category, and both of those posts could be moved elsewhere, maybe the Classics category could be eliminated. And, the Classics category as it currently is, could mean classic music, films, plays, books, etc. I think better organization would be helpful for navigating around the blog.
I also noticed that a significant number of YouTube videos posted to the blog were disabled. I'm not sure why they were disabled, but if it was deliberately done, it might be a good idea to just remove them from the blog completely. I know I was really frusterated when they wouldn't play, and I was expecting them to...especially since there were not just one or two that wouldn't play, but like five or six.
I thought that another strength of this blog was its good use of images. The pictures of Depp and the Cheshire cat are great, and really promoted my interest in the posts.
So overall, I think the blog might be able to be tightened up a bit. The individual posts are fine though. They could easily stand on their own, but since they are a part of the blog, it would be nice if the overall organization and layout of the blog complemented them.





Studio Tour from ChristopherMiles:

What Is On The Shelf

The first thing that strikes me about this blog is the diversity of content. Concerning this diversity, I do believe there is a line, though. One can go too far off the edge into complete random wackiness. But you seem to ride that edge with ease. Clark Gable above Johnny Depp above a punk rock band's cover of a Dylan song? I love it! Like totally! Like oh my god!

Like Weirdoftheday's∞ blog, you have a fine-tuned the art of wrapping the prose around the images and videos, which I am obviously partial to. You are also well-linked. Your titles -- which are often clipped and entertaining, or ecstatic and alluring -- are good guides and totally pertinent. What's perhaps more important that all of those things is in your content. Your are offering perspective and unique analysis. You seem partial to movies, but do not fall to far into your own tastes to turn the reader off from digging in.

Another thing I find important is that you do not sway too far from strong literature. I mean, one could blog about certain things that have no value. But posts such as the one titled "A refound favorite", is on the classic Death of a Salesman. This roots you not only into an idiosyncratic and interesting set of tastes, but makes your blog generally more engrossing. And you're just funny. Like the passage found here∞, which is my favorite: "I have been waiting to see Hugh Jackman again as his hairy, silver clawed alter-ego for far too long. Every movie that he is in I love - if only to watch him. He could read me the phone book in a potato sack and I would be happy."





Studio Tour from ChristaSmith:

Casey Fisher: “What’s On The Shelf” blog.

Notes:

- The blog has stayed true to what is in the project proposal.
- The majority of the posts are no more than 2 days apart.
- Every post has one or ore pictures/videos attached.
- Every post contains reviews/insight on books, music, and movies.
- The blog includes many tags to related content.
- A developed blogroll.
- Blogger chooses very familiar movies, music, and books to write about, which captures attention.
- Post lengths average between 5 and 10+ paragraphs.

In the classic movies post “They don’t make ‘em like they used to”, she mentions memorable movie titles and actors (also includes their pictures of the actors).

As the posts progress, we learn more about who the blogger is, her likes/dislikes, and preferences.

Writer summarizes the content of the books and movies she is blogging about w/out giving away “spoilers” to plots.
- Example: “In the beginning there was…Wolverine” (about the new X-Men Origins movie based on the character of Wolverine)

Blogger writes about future movie releases as well as current and past movies.
- She gives updates on what projects the actors/directors are currently working on as well as release dates.
- Creates intrigue.
- Provides links to sources.

Topics are relatable to popular interests of others – very popular series/titles.
- Twilight DVD release
- POTC 4
- Tim Burton’s production of Alice in Wonderland
- X-Men origin movie’s upcoming release

I found myself wanting to see a little bit more about music (based on my own avid interest in it).
- She has written about musical groups that are familiar and intriguing to me, personally, as a reader.

Writer states her opinions of the various aspects of pop culture in playful, humorous, and tasteful ways. She gives a recap of her own experiences with the movies she has seen, books she has read, and music she has listened to.

On the post, “A re-found favorite” – about The Death of a Salesman
- The blog not only explains what the play is about, but it also gives the reader a brief analysis on some of the play’s characters.
- Blogger expresses her own feelings toward the play and its characters.
- She creates a renewed interest in the classic play.

Overall, this is a very entertaining blog with just the right amount of opinion and critique on subjects. It follows the project proposal nicely.


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