Comments on |The Political Geek Zone (aka Josh's Project)

Josh's blog provides commentary on current political issues. Each posts contains links to sources and additional articles for a deeper read on that topic. I would value a blog like this, and it sounds like it's an attempt to get back to some of the original objectives of weblogs - where the blogger would collect several links on a topic of interest and compile them in a way that is useful for the reader. I really like the idea that I could visit Josh's blog if I wanted to know more about the topic ofGun Control, for example, and find that he had compiled and sorted and commented on some of the best sources and articles on that topic.

The Posts

The Blog

His blog is set up so that you can scroll and see each post. The |most recent post is a follow-up to an |earlier post, so it might be nice to have a link from the more recent one to the one preceding it if the reader wants to read them in the order they were written rather than in the backwards way they appear on a blog, but then again, that is the way blogs work, so readers might already get that.

The titles to each post are catchy and describe what the post is going to be about. There are no images or distinct stylistic elements going on with each post, but I think that helps keep the focus on the content which is serious even though the author takes on an informal, conversational tone.

Comments on |Kendra's Project

Kendra's project was to create a health and fitness blog intended to support people who want to incorporate healthier habits into their lifestyle, and addressing an audience of college students - although she doesn't alienate people who are not students. This blog could have wide-range appeal because she takes a 3D approach to health by tackling three major issues: workouts, healthy eating and body image. I think her audience could be people who are interested in all of these things and visitors who might have a more specific interest.

I really liked Kendra's Blog, and I think it has a tremendous appeal. Her topics are relevant, up-to-date, realistic and accessible. I think Kendra has done an amazing job of crafting a creative, organized and helpful blog about fitness.

The Posts

The Blog

I noticed the changes Kendra said she was going to make to the blog - white background and a customized blogroll. This made for a welcoming, fresh and clean look. The blog is pretty clean and simple. The only images are those of the food for the recipe posts.

I scrolled down so I could read from the oldest posts first. Kendra writes in a friendly, personal voice directly to the reader - like she's the reader's own personal coach. I like this close relationship she's working to establish with her reader. It demonstrates hospitality and trust - and support - something a reader who is attempting to change his/her lifestyle will need.

When I read Kendra's Blog, I thought about |Steve Himmer's article The Labyrinth Unbound because her blog is set up in a way that is conducive to the way many readers approach blogs. A reader could enter her blog at any time and find their way around. You did not have to be there from the beginning. It's an easy blog to trek around in, going down one path and then another. You can zig-zag around from post to post or read more linearly. A reader who was only interested in recipes could do that, while another reader might focus only on the workout tips.

Comments on |Will's Wunderkammer

Will's project is a website he's called and it is amazing! I can't believe the creativity and the design. The |Wunderkammer is described in one of the first "posts". I'm not sure what to call these entries because it's not a blog but a website that contains a gallery of images. The visitor clicks on an image and opens up a page of text containing links to outside sources and articles.

First of all, I think the project is such a cool idea! This customized project harkens back to the early common place books we learned about in |Rebecca Blood's history of Blogs. Blood explained how early thinkers like John Locke and Ralf Waldo Emerson kept their own collections of materials, quotes and snippets in Common place books. Will's Wunderkammer, seems like a modern version of something like that. It also feels like a throwback to early weblog concepts also written about in Blood's brief history with webloggers keeping lists of sites and links they found worthy of sharing. Some of the early webloggers took it upon themselves to edit the web and deliver and by filtering out the garbage, they could present something of worth to the reader. Will has done something like this.

The Posts(?)

*I am really impressed with Will's technological skills. I could never design something like this. I know from reading his reflection posts that it took a lot of persistence and patience, but he had a vision and it's really cool.

The Website

Will's Wunderkammer is such a great eclectic space that combines the whimsical, the horrific and scholastic. I like how he seems to be designing it for himself personally - addressing his own personal interests by having a page devoted to writing and another page to Stephen King. I'm expecting to see a gaming page or something related to those other personal interests. I would like to see a donut page.

The first page is eye-catching. The creepy font that looks like blood dripping and the verse from Revelation create a rather ominous gateway to the space, but then you see the images below, and they don't look so dark, so it's a balance. I like how interactive the page is because as you move the cursor over each image, it changes to reveal some text. This acts as sort of a table of contents that the reader can browse before deciding where to enter.

Honestly, I am blown away by this project. It's so creative, so out of the box. As a visitor, it really has me engaged. I want to spend time exploring the Wunderkammer. I like how it's personal to Will, but I also want to get in on the action. The site reminds me of reading the Guiness book of World Records... those always have some wild stuff in them.

It's fun to see how Will is using images, spacing, layout, sources and hyptertext to craft this project. I'm not that familiar with online stuff, but it makes me feel like I'm conforming to traditional blogging structures while Will is out here breaking the mold and doing his own thing. I guess my project is more research oriented than presentation driven, but his project motivates me to maybe think a little more outside the box in future posts or for upcoming work. I can't say enough about how cool I think this is.

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