Review of wastedwords.org

Reviewed: Candice
Site URL: wastedwords.org

Ouch! 205Kbs worth of top image. This is nothing for my funky cable connection, but dial-up users may have an issue with it. It’s already a .gif, which is great – but is there any way you could decrease the area of the image, thus decreasing the file size, without losing overall quality? You should think about that. I might usually overlook the size of the top image, but your site is decorated with middle ‘divider’ images too; and these come to about 45Kbs each. If you can’t compress any of these images further, then my only suggestion is to warn visitors that the layout is quite graphic intensive.

You have no instructions or introduction which points out where the navigation is. It is obvious to me, but to a newer user, they may think that those ‘words’ are just randomly placed – there to describe your content perhaps? A brief introduction placed under the disclaimer and above the quotations should do the trick.

I like the presentation of your website. The main ‘content’ is clearly defined and separated from the sidebar, which helps keep my eyes on track, preventing me from getting distracted. I am entranced by your top image, it is elegant and classy. I thoroughly enjoy the fact that you’ve carried on the scheme throughout the website too. Headers, dividers, etc – all incorporated. Excellent work here. It is rare that people keep to a scheme so well, and makes your website quite distinctive.

Functionality related, I think your links need some other sort of decoration, or your <strong> text (primarily found in your weblog) needs darkening. Until I hover over your links/text, it is impossible to tell the difference from the two, which makes navigating via links ‘in’ the content difficult. Other than that I see no general problems. You have picked a good font; both well-rounded and of a suitable size. Your headers, while sans-serif, are easy enough to read because again, they’re a suitable size. Bravo.

Pushing on to the content, I found myself amused by your introduction to yourself listed under “about”. “I love talking about myself, otherwise, why in the hell would I be writing this?” – so true. A point that has escaped many people’s attention previously. My own, even. If we don’t like writing about ourselves, why do we own personal sites? That is the question that needs to be asked.

I was surprised to see your past autobiographies listed. What an original idea; something I’ve never seen before, certainly. I read through these, and while I did notice the occasional typing error (i instead of I, etc), I think it would be wrong to correct these, because it would defeat the purpose of looking into the past. You should keep these as they are, always.

Your opinion on Abortion is long and detailed, leaving only a few unanswered questions, which I think is a great achievement. It is an enviable sort of talent to be able to write and incorporate anticipated questions without even thinking about it. I’d love to see more opinions though; these sections are by far my favourite on any personal site. Especially when they are as well-written as your own.

I was disappointed to find your ‘ask me’ page empty. I’m not sure if you’ve tried Faqtastic, but Cine’s scripts are usually pretty good. You can find it here if you want to try it out.

Your ‘fiction’ section is a good idea. I have recently started adding more writings to my own site. I attempted a 50,000 word novel for NaNoWriMo this year, but failed drastically. Enough about myself though… Unfortunately I don’t have the time to read your story, The Birth of a New Renaissance, but as the rest of your writing is of a high quality, I am sure I would thoroughly enjoy it, and have bookmarked it for future reference.

I’m not going to review your photography; if you want that section of the site reviewing you can submit for a separate review.

Your links page is set out incredibly neat. No random placed objects and images here; perfection and order. One of the things I like most about your site is the overall neatness of it. I find it hard to achieve this, and I think others do too. You’ve obviously got a good eye for design features and the like, this is probably another reason why you have implemented everything so well.

I was almost irritated to find a lack of spelling errors. Not because I want you to look stupid, but because I’m finding it hard to critique you as it is. One of the very few mistakes I found that shone out at me from the very start though: it’s Salvador Dali, not “Salvatore Dali”. I’m a fan, myself. Another mistake noticed was the misspelling of foetus on your Abortion opinion page: you’ve spelt it fetus.

Your coding validates, which is wonderful. What more could you want from a personal site? Great content, great coding. I notice you use tables. I would attempt to force CSS based divs on you, but your site works as it is and there really is no need to change. If and when you alter your layout in the future, you could consider CSS-based layouts as an alternative, or an experiment. One other (minor) suggestion regarding your coding – you really ought to think about using <p> </p> tags instead of a double line break. They’re easier to customise and more ‘correct’ in coding terms.

Your website looks identical in all of my browsers and works great in every resolution, with the exception of 800×600, where there is a little side-scrolling. I know you’re already aware of this though. In summary, your site is great. It positively beams out personality vibes, and you’ve certainly not been afraid to be yourself. It is an interesting read and with the exception of the tiny issues with navigation that I mentioned above, it is easy to use too. This is the kind of website that other so-called “personal” site owners should envy. Great work! Keep it up in the future (and have a very Merry Christmas!)

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