I received two e-mails last night that my website had been reviewed by the folks over at The Weblog Review.
The first review was done by frozensouth. He rated my site 4.5 out of 5 and had a lot of positive things to say:
“Azarok.com is a very entertaining blog, with varied posts, many with photographs that help to make the reading easy and enjoyable. The author is not any sort of poet, and he doesn’t intend to be one. Posts are direct, clear, and not in any case badly written.”
Cool beans. I’m happy when someone tells me they enjoy reading my blog. It’s more satisfying than receiving an e-mail that says “Uhm, I asked you to find [insert video/audio file here] and you never posted it on your website for me, @sshole.” Frozensouth also pointed out one of the unique items about my website:
“This last point brings one of the highlights of Azarok.com. This is, a complete cast list, including pictures and brief descriptions. This is a great help for a new reader that’s just entering the world of Azarok.”
Yeah, I had fun writing the Who’s Who list. I’m looking to expand it in the near future with some sort of timeline/flowchart, I just haven’t figured out exactly how I’ll put it together.
“Azarok.com has other goodies. Many web games that are actually fun are available, tons of photos, jokes and more. Another high point is that the posts are not only ordered chronologically, but also by category.”
Yup, as Moxie is keen to point out many of you surfin’ don’t take the time to poke around a site. Perhaps my favorite part of the website is my photo albums. I’d love for people to look at all of them, but today you should checkout this one, this one & this one. I’m looking forward to the database version of Gallery at which point I hope to add a lot of older photos for people to peruse through. Speaking of blog categories, I probably need to go through my posts and make sure they organized a little better.
“The thing that Azarok.com could really use is some more reader comments. Many of the posts deserve feedback and there’s almost none. So take some time to visit the various sections of Azarok.com and you’ll probably find yourself enjoying most of the time you spend there.”
YES! I wholeheartedly agree – MORE READER FEEDBACK PLEASE. Thankyous to Dawn, Jared, Jen, Rick, Ryan & Sarah for being my regular contributors, but I’d love for some comments by anyone new passing through.
The second reviewer Imelda didn’t get caught up in all the hype about my website and rated me a 3 out of 5. She was quick to point out a minor navigation problem, that being the site FAQ is buried without any direct links to it:
“After having read this blog on and off over the last few days and having no clue as to where the title?s name derives from, I finally discovered that the name, Azarok is the name of the character A. J. (the writer) created to play the game EverQuest. Hm ? sometimes you just need to probe a bit more in a site to find out what you need.”
I’ll remedy that later today. When I converted the site from a Frames layout to the new CSS style, I removed some of the direct file links as I thought my menu was too cluttered.
“I found his blog so-so overall. He mostly writes about his weekends, little events he?s going to such as birthdays and comedy nights, etc. I liked though that sometimes he posts pictures with his entries because it gives more of a visual sense of his life. I particularly liked some of his more lengthy posts, such as one in January where he discussed gays in the mainstream and another post in December entitled, ?Time to stir things up a bit? which I?ll let you go read for yourself.”
Well, I would agree that I don’t always have the most profound thing to say, hence a shorter “this was my day” kind of entry. I did appreciate the fact that Imelda made it a point to note some of my longer posts and I can’t argue that some of my entries don’t possess the ebb & flow that other writers seem naturally gifted with. The upside is I’m constantly working to improve not only this site, but the content that I provide you the reader.
“Other areas of the site are links to other blogs, a bio with info and pictures of friends, a bunch of photo albums, jokes and reviews of comedians and a media section containing games, music and little movies. I found though there was a bit too much ’extra’ stuff on this site.”
“I didn?t find anything that really set this blog apart from the many I?ve read. If anything, this site gives the reader insight into A.J?s life and what he enjoys doing apart from his time spent online.”
I guess I have to keep in mind that the intent was to review my blog and not the overall website. I would disagree with Imelda that the other aspects of this website are “too much extra.” If anything I give surfers plenty of options when they come to visit me. My hope is that my writing improves enough to really carry the website on its own, but I believe it is the “extra” stuff that makes my website really stand out when compared to others on the `Net.
The one compelling difference is my description of content. While you’ll find many sites that have links to other places, files you can download or even pictures for you to see, there aren’t many that take the time to provide you the reader with insights as to why these things are here. My link sections have a short description about each blog or website linked which hopefully will peak your curiousity so you visit them. If you go to download an audio or video clip not only is there a description, but I tell you the file size so you’re not surprised by 25MB being jammed down your 56k pipe. And the photo albums? Well, sometimes the comments I write are damn funny other times the pictures speak for themselves.
Overall I thought the reviews were fair and I appreciate the fact that each person took the time to look around. If you have a chance go read their full reviews and vote for my website.