Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Reviews! I feel so important!

At least three blogs have reviewed the blogs nominated for Best Design in the JIB awards, and while there is a snowball's chance in hell that this blog would win anything it is still nice to be reviewed. Luckily, most reviews aren't vicious.

Ezzie started off during the first round with this:
ElderofZiyon's header is okay, though I don't like the fade all the way to white. I also am not a fan of pure white backgrounds, though it actually looks decent on his blog. Fonts and font colors are good, links are well organized. The message board is a nice addition, though appearance-wise it's kind of ugly.
In response, I realized that my tagboard colors were indeed ugly and changed them to match the blog colors.

After I miraculously made it to the finals, I got an extensive review from Chaim of Life of Rubin:
This is a site I do check out from time to time. It’s a good site, and I’m a fan. As far as design goes, this is another “simplistic” look. The white content color is always a good choice. This enables people to read the actual posts without any squinting or eyes glare afterwards. I’m sorry, but if you have a blog with a black color content background, I don’t usally read your blog at your site. If it’s a blog that I like, I read it through blogines. The white on black just kills my eyes.

I like the header, good choice of image, but I can’t tell if you left some of those blogger html DIV headers there because you wanted to or because your not sure how to delete them. If it’s the latter contact me, I’ll help you, since my own blog is a reworked version of that blogger template.

I like the sidebar, it has a very good source of information and all the links are divided up into through categories. I’m not a fan of the embedded chat. It slows down loading time, and honestly who really uses them that often. The other thing I don’t like is the block quote box/form used. For a blog that quotes often from other articles etc, it should have a less noticeable background. It sticks out at you too much, it’s the first thing you notice when you load the page. Overall, I like the design, it pulls off simple but neat at the same time.
I appreciate the thoroughness of the review!

To address the points made:
  • I like the dividing lines even though they are the default Blogger ones. I think I even used them in places beyond the default, if I recall correctly.
  • I always hope that people would use the tagboard more. I worked hard to find one that looks decent and doesn't cause pop-up ads. (I used to have a much busier sidebar, along with scrolling news, but the pop-ups and CPU utilization became crazy. But I want to keep the tagboard. Its main problem is that it cannot handle apostrophes.)
  • I actually like the background color for the quote boxes. It matches the template well. I've noticed on some browsers/monitors it is more noticeable than on others.
  • I agree that white on black is hard to read, but I am pretty sure it is how teenagers ensure that their parents aren't reading their blogs.
But thanks again for the kind words!

Jewlicious, which is an extremely well-designed blog itself, also weighed in:
The Elder has clearly done as much as can be done with a blogspot blog. The side links are good an chock full o’ links. The color scheme seems to be meant to reflect the color of the Kotel in the header while still maintaining that whole “this blog contains many serious and important ideas” look. Love the name too but how far can one really push a blogspot template?
Good question! I never thought of this blog as pushing the limits of Blogspot, and perhaps this review is an overanalysis, but it sure makes me feel "serious and important" to have people spend so much effort reviewing this.

SoccerDad weighs in:
It's a shame that Elder of Ziyon didn't get more support in other categories. He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history. Much of what is happening now, has happened before. Still I've always loved the design of his blog.
Which makes me feel guiltyfor not having done any Palestine Post-ings for a while.

I appreciate all the kind words!