Thursday, February 22, 2007

ENGL 1020: Blog Post VI

Each of you will be assigned a blog from Fimoculous' "Best Blogs of 2006 that (Maybe) You aren't Reading." Analyze the site, asking yourself "How is this blog composed?" & "What types of conventions & components does the blog utilize?" You should consider both content & form. Afterwards, consider how the blog you were assigned differs from your own blog. How can you incorporate those differences into your own site?


INDEXED, Fimoculous' no. 1 ranked blog on their year-end "Best Blogs of 2006 that (Maybe) You aren't Reading" list, belies its basic, streamlined format by creating imaginatively original content that has lured 28,450 in less than 7 months (as of 02.22.07).

Working within the relatively unaltered confines of Blogger's Minima template, blogger Jessica Hagy has created a mini-phenomenon with her graphical associations of life’s everyday minutia & banalities. The blog’s ability to sustain her audience’s interest solely by an ingenious set of diagrams is further highlighted by the fact that, outside of the aforementioned diagrams, the blog contains no additional textual elements.

Below is a recently posted Venn Diagram on INDEXED:

Besides the incorporation of widely-known pop culture ephemera (i.e. boy bands & chick flicks), a unique element of this diagram is that it is drawn on a 3X4 index card with black marker. The D.I.Y. veneer produced by materials commonly found in an office or homestead provides a homespun & tossed-off aura that enhances (or, is enhanced by) the bare template of the site. An audience member may be left wondering: “It’s so simple, but endearingly funny. Why didn’t I think of that?”

But what makes this site really “work”—& by “work,” I mean not only its knack for drawing so many viewers to the blog, but also inducing them to leave a multitude of comments for almost every post—is each diagram’s ability to transmit a set of shared beliefs & ideas with a broad-based, digital community in a matter of seconds via humor & invention. The melding of playfulness, efficiency, & intelligence is what led those at Femoculous to deem the site “a minor form of genius.”

Ultimately, a site such as INDEXED should lead other bloggers (myself included) to reconsider both the content & form of their own sites. Although unadorned, one can visually navigate the site (form) with ease: links to comments, an external T-shirt vendor*, & archived posts are readily identifiable which necessitates trouble-free access & comprehension of the site’s elements. As far as content is concerned, the clich├ęd dictum “less is more”—at least in regards to text—certainly applies. A single, Hagy graph delivers more rhetorical freight & enjoyment than many sites in totality. Perhaps, through a bit of close analysis of this & other "superstar" blogs, we can extend along our own respective X axis & shift a bit nearer to point A:

Here, here for mathematical set theory & a D.I.Y aesthetic.

*For "Adventures in Turnkey Capitalism" (i.e. shirts to look cool in), visit INDEXED's excursion into consumer-culture.

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