Sunday, March 9, 2008

Four Unusual Sites - The Real Deal

So I didn't do it the day I said I would. I was out sailing. Then I went to go drinking but was unsuccessful. True story. But I'm here now and... NO MORE WRITING ABOUT THESE THINGS! WRITING IS FOR IMPORTANT THINGS LIKE TALKING ABOUT WEBSITES!

Website #1 -

I think you will find, if you look in the archives, that this woman is possibly the cleverest woman ever in the history of the world. Cleverer than Boudica even. The genius of her content sneaks up on you over a period of days and then pounces! leaving you stuck checking back to her site semi-obsessively because as far as I can tell it doesn't work in my RSS reader.

The site itself isn't so genius I suppose. It's just meant to be user-friendly so that the user can get to the content easily. On the front page it has today's comic as well as easy links to the archives sorted by month. It also has at the top a clear site banner as well as three buttons leading to the current month's archive, the nataliedee t-shirt store and the nataliedee blog.

What I find most appealing about this site though, is the colours and 'feel'. I think they compliment the comics beautifully. The sunny pastel yellow fits right into the nataliedee 'feel' without overpowering the comics. Also the buttons have the same sorts of characters she tends to use in her comics - so it fits in really well.

The content itself gets my special seal of approval. It's just really out there. I don't really know anything like it except her husband's comics, and their collaborative comic.

Website #2 - Cute With Chris

What are you looking at? Don't judge me this show is wicked in all meanings of that word. There are ten of them, according to Technically, the content I really love about this show I actually get from YouTube, considering Chris also posts his weekly episode on there, although they are available through the site too. Essentially the content of the blog (not including the weekly show) is made up of pictures viewers send in of their pets. Then Chris will respond to these pictures with a long series of in-jokes. "All your dreams are dead", "NO PICTURES!" and that sort of thing.

Normally I would not care too much for a site that just contained pictures of cute animals. The thing that makes this site unique from all the other billions of sites featuring pictures of cats is that it has the most twisted idea of the word 'cute' I've ever seen. Sure there are kittens, but there are also rabbits with elephantiasis eyes, chihuahuas with only their hind legs and cats that apparently like to stare at naked people's bums. Each week there is usually a 'cutedown' where viewers vote on which pet out of three is the cutest, and the weird pets almost always win.

Again, the site is nothing to look at - just a standard two-column setup, and actually the 'feel' could be improved a lot (it's very plain). It's the unique mix of content provided by Chris and his viewers that makes this site so enjoyable. The weekly three-minute video just backs it all up.

Website #3 - Postsecret

Notice a theme here? This site is ugly. I think it's just some kind of basic Blogger template. Ugh. All right, all right, I use a basic Blogger template as well, but at least mine has style. I think it's so the site itself doesn't detract from what the site is actually about - its content. The dude who runs this site receives people's secrets written on postcards in the mail. He scans them and posts them on the site. The secrets are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes haunting. Sometimes I'll read a secret and realise that is my secret too and I never even realised I was keeping it from people.

The content of this site is so engaging. It just draws you in and makes you empathise/sympathise with the people who send them in. It makes other people around seem less like obstacles sent to try us and more like real people who we have to care about.

Website #4 - David Crowder*Band Website

I don't come here often - there are a lot of things about this site which rock, and a lot that suck. It doesn't fill up my whole screen for one, but if you bear with it, it can reveal some wonderful secrets.

At the time of writing the site is set up to resemble the packaging of their latest album, Remedy. The last time I looked at it, it wasn't green but yellow - to look like their album A Collision or (3+4=7). Yes, I'm not kidding you, that was the title of their album before Remedy. The most interesting thing here is the box near the bottom of the screen with the circles and the cross. It's a little hard to tell but these are the band's biographies. Obviously someone has given the individual band members free reign to do with the space what they want. For some this means a blog that hasn't been updated since September of 2006. For others however...

Click on circle 4 (on the lefthand side of the cross). This is the lead singer's biography. Now explore the graphic that pops up. I spent a long time trawling though the bits and pieces that are found there. Games, facts, reflections on scripture (DC*B are a Christian band) - even entire song-by-song descriptions of previous albums.

Additionally the site has secret pages that you only find out about if you buy the albums and read the thankyou notes in the booklet that comes with them. But because I'm such a nice guy here is the latest secret page.

So what do you reckon? Feedback please ^_^

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