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Sample Review

Unrequested review is of Serendipity

Rating out of 10: 5

Layout, etc: 1 out of 2
A journey through the archives shows this author has used several layouts. Sadly, this review has to focus on the current one, which is a template that she’s chosen to customize with colors that hurt my eyes to look at for too long. Green and purple can work fine together, but these particular shades are not ones that do. The images she uses next to the links at the bottom look cluttered; there are too many different sizes, shapes, and colors, and the pictures don’t seem to have anything to do with the links. A leaf for the previous entry? Why? The image at the top of each entry also baffled me, even after I clicked on it. It’s a link to a site about “a clairvoyant channel and spiritual teacher”, but I have no idea from reading her journal why this is so important to her that she’s put it on her template.

The “me” link goes to Yahoo!Profiles, which I found very disruptive to the journal experience. To see her profile, one has to log in with a Yahoo! ID and then it’s many clicks to get back. That’s the only link to extras on this layout. An earlier version linked to a bio entry and an interview; I think she needs to go back to that style.

I don’t like that the counter stands out so much; the font used for it is bigger and bolder than anything else on the page. I visited her journal to see what she had to say, not find out how many page hits she’s gotten since some random date last March. I don’t like that the text in parentheses is in a different color than the rest of the entry.

Even though there’s a lot I don’t like about this layout, it gets a point because it does the basic things I expect. I was able to navigate from entry to entry easily; I could find the archives, and it’s clear how to get in touch with the writer.

Annoying writing habits: 1 out of 2
She seems to have something against paragraphs, stacking her sentences with a blank line in between each one or two. I don’t know if she does this so her generally short entries take up more space on the page or because she wants me to read her entries as poems. I wish she’d flesh out her entries more; most of them remind me of lists of bullet points rather than essays I can read and enjoy. I wonder if she’d be better off doing a blog, since she often writes more than one very short entry in a given day. On the positive side, she does use proper capitalization, spelling, and punctuation almost all the time, and there were very few instances of annoying abbreviations like “LOL” or “addy”.

Unique: 1 of 2
I’ve not run across another journal by a BBW accountant before, though I’m sure they’re out there.

Quotes from the diary: 1 out of 2
“My last lesbian ex-lover is in town this week for training for her job, and we got together for dinner last night.

I had been thinking about her quite a bit recently. I had been thinking about why I didn’t follow her when she moved to New Mexico for a job, and why I didn’t want the relationship to continue.

There were lots of reasons for that, and many of them had nothing to do with her. Some of them definitely did, though.”

I would love for her to elaborate on these points, but she doesn’t. What were the reasons? In retrospect, were they good ones? I’m left wondering.

“Let she who is without passive aggression cast the first stone.

I think the classic example of passive aggressive behavior on the diaries is when someone writes something that is clearly controversial and apparently about someone, and uses no names.

And then makes an issue out of people assuming.

I’m sure not saying I haven’t done it, though.”

This is the entire entry. Again, she hints at things I’d be interested in reading more about but then fails to go into detail.

Would I go back for another read?: 1 out of 2
I gave her a point here because I think she has some interesting stories to tell. I’ll probably check back to see if she ever starts to tell them.

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