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  Monday, January 26, 2004


The final results for the King of the Blogs tournament are in, and ChristWeb retains the crown, with Blown Fuse coming in second, and Vessel of Honour left looking for somewhere else to put that extra "u".

The judges this week were a curmudgeonly lot and tossed about the kind of brutal snarking rarely seen outside of the Bonfire of the Vanities. Take Vigilance Matters skewering of the King:

If I had to question anything, it might be the sheer amount of material in the flanking columns, much of which is of limited relevance, and tends to drag down the value of everything else. If you really like that Evanescence album, for instance, I'd expect you to blog on it, but not necessarily keep the jpeg around for 6 months... Unless maybe your sister is in the band...

And that was something he LIKED. (8 of 10)

So, like Tiffany says, if you're going for a palace coup, bring your thick skin.

posted by Harvey at 7:54:53 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Saturday, January 24, 2004


This week's King of the Blogs Challenge Question from Vigilance Matters:

What is the biggest problem with most other blogs, but not your own?

I'm posting my reviews, but not the scores. You'll have to wait for the official annoucement for that.

Vessel of Honour
Good Points: Answers the question, offers a solution to the problem, makes a jest at his own expense to wrap up.
Bad Points: Except for that small jest, pretty dry

Good Points: "Blogspot has become the tract homes of the Internet" Heh. I like that line
Bad Points: A little unfair to the part-time bloggers & non-geeks who have neither the time nor the inclination to learn enough HTML to go template-diving. Bloody elitist.

Blown Fuse (see KotB page):
Good Points: Tiffany gets it. Blogging isn't about tech-savvy, it's about the person behind the blog. I really like that she takes this theme and runs with it, tossing in all sorts of vivid imagery in the process. She has such a way with words – "Cabbage Patch doll" [*snicker*].
Bad Points: None visible.
Score 10:

The Whole Blog: Technical Merit & Personality

Here are some technical things I like to see on a blog:

Comments enabled
Permalinks working
E-mail contact info available
Blogger's name/pseudonym prominently displayed
Site search feature enabled
Link to an "About Me" post on the sidebar
Blogger's gender is easily discernable
Readable font style & size
Readable color scheme (for example, NOT bright red type on bright green
Divisions between posts clearly marked
Paragraphing in entries (NOT just writing one fat block of text)

Aside from the tech stuff, I also like to see a blogger's personality shining through, to remind us of the person behind the words.

Good Points: Technical perfection, with serious, insightful & informative posts.
Bad Points: A little too dry & neat. It's like sitting in your spinster aunt's immaculate parlor. Not a lot of fun to be had. I also didn't like that he often hides his thoughts in the extended entry. That's backwards, my man. Folks come to your place to hear what you have to say. You should be the star attraction, but you're acting like a trembling wallflower. Whip it out, please.

Vessel of Honour:
Good Points: Technically excellent, plus lots of creative smiley icons for emphasis. Looks like a fun place to be.
Bad Points: White text on a black background? I thought black was the color of sin? You're not NEARLY sinful enough for a black background… unless you're hiding something… [narrowing eyes suspiciously]

Blown Fuse:
Good Points: Recently completed a harrowing move from another host and software platform, so you'd think the new place would be a chaotic mess. Well, it is, but it's that kind of fun, homey, welcoming chaos that makes you want to come in, put your feet up, relax, and have a good time. Pretty pictures of the lovely hostess abound, and even her "Ultimate Bad Hair Day" shot is not without its charms. I could spend the whole day here.
Bad Points: There's no specific "About Me" post that I could find, although so much of Tiffany shows through all over the place, it's not the scarring flaw it might be on a different blog. Also, it wouldn't hurt to have an extra line of space, or maybe a horizontal line, between the bottom of one post and the top of the previous one.

Stay tuned for the final results, or go to the King of the Blogs page and obsessively click the "refresh" button on your browser.

posted by Harvey at 4:39:05 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Thursday, January 22, 2004


You know how, on Survivor, you'll be going along, thinking you'll know what happens next, and then they'll pull some weird "we're going to re-shuffle the tribes" thing that you didn't see coming? King of the Blogs just pulled one of those:

By the power invested in me as Host and owner of the King of the Blogs I have removed Cranial Cavity from the competition. The reason for this is non-participation. I have received nothing from him, and the deadline passed on his answering of the Judge's Challenge. I will place him back in the queue to participate at a later date. As King of the Blogs, ChristWeb will be allowed to defend his crown from the final two participants. This action will set a precedent in King of the Blogs which reads like so:

"If any participant in Week 2 of the tournament fails to participate by the time given without notice, and the current King is not among the Final Three, the current King will be allowed to take his place. If the current King is already among the Final Three the blog with the highest score not among those already advanced will be allowed to take his place."


Blown Fuse (new home here)
Vessel of Honour
and ChristWeb

get to slug it out this week. Meanwhile, Mr. Cavity - to the gallows with ye!


posted by Harvey at 7:44:04 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Tuesday, January 20, 2004


At the end of the first week, the results have been finalized, and the following blogs are advancing to the next round:

Blown Fuse (new home here)
Cranial Cavity
Vessel of Honour

Which means that:

Hobson's Choice
Canadian Comment
and even the current King of the Blogs, ChristWeb

are being sent home to cry themselves to sleep. Better luck next time, fellas.

As usual, my witty and entertaining reviews can be found at the King of the Blogs web site. I also have to say that Dawn of Clarified put on a really nice show with her reviews, too. For example:

Blown Fuse: because I love you. I was expecting something very different after reading the title. I mean, if you really loved me you would have told me how I can get a weekly massage for free at a really trendy spa or given me the online code for 50 percent off coupons to Ann Taylor...electrical sockets installation ranks waaaaaaaay down the list. But, it's a nice gesture for the most handily-inclined of us and your point about paying others to do what you can do yourself is an excellent one for us to remember, so I give it a 7 and know that martha stewart would be proud.

Nice one, Dawn.

posted by Harvey at 7:21:05 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Monday, January 19, 2004


Nick Queen, host of Patriot Paradox, and the genius behind the King of the Blogs Tournament, has his interview posted at Jen's House O' Blue Love.

I found this passage enlightening:

Why did you start your blog?

My biggest influence was actually a blogger most should know, the King of Fools. He gave me the time of day, and finally I took the plunge. During my formative days as a blogger he truly was a welcome voice to keep me going, and encouraging
mentor to keep my head up and keep chugging along. I started the blog for the same reason many do, to have an outlet for my opinions, and to have a place to write. It has been a great place for both.

Just something for me to keep in mind, personally. There are some people I'd like to see start blogs, and some bloggers I'd like to see blog more. As such, I should remember that encouragement during those nasty, struggly early days is important.

Which reminds me. I'd like to thank Susie for all the little smiley faces she left in the comments to my early Graffiti Currency posts. She'll never know how much that early encouragement helped.

Wait... I guess she will, now that I've mentioned it...

posted by Harvey at 10:10:31 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Sunday, January 18, 2004


The King of the Blogs Tournament is looking for a few good judges. Recommended requirements are:

Marsupial status in the Ecosystem OR

6 months blogging experience OR

Strong opinions on what makes a blog "good".

Duties & reponsibilities:

Reviewing posts on the 6 King of the Blogs Contestants during week one, and the 3 remaining contestants in week two.

What's in it for you?:

Either that warm, fuzzy, feeling from providing helpful feedback to smaller, newer bloggers, OR

The thrill of playing God - deciding who lives and who dies (virtually speaking).

Contact: Nick Queen [patriot -at-]. See the King of the Blogs website for details.

(I'll just let everyone guess what I'm in it for. MUAHAHAHAHA!)

posted by Harvey at 10:40:21 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Monday, January 12, 2004


In the latest voting at King of the Blogs, the 2-time reigning monarch, Vigilance Matters, was deposed. Now, some folks accept defeat gracefully, and some go kicking & screaming. VM is of the latter ilk, and it's nice to see him rip back at all those obnoxious judges who dissed his monkey pic.

So, since my blogroll needs more albino gorilla pictures, on he goes.

Maybe he could join the Corner of the Bar Gang, since he agrees with the Bartender that I'm a FREAK, and we could use a token simian to assuage the anger of the ACLU quota-mongers.

posted by Harvey at 10:42:51 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Sunday, January 11, 2004


After not nearly enough bloody & brutal infighting, the new King of the Blogs is:


I'm hoping that since I actually gave this blogger a high mark in the "overall blog" category, God will now stop cursing me with disappointing Packer games.

SmarterCop came in a fairly distant second, and former monarch Vigilance Matters is left behind in forgotten obscurity. Looks like he'll have to off two bloggers this week instead of just one if he wants his crown back.

The full results can be found here.

My cruel and thoughtless reviews are listed below. Notice how craftily I avoided the bother of judging the actual contents of the blogs, and just let everything ride on technical merit. Damn I'm smooth.


Judges Challenge:

The question:

What event in your life would you like to permanently forget? If your life is either dull, perfect, or contains no regrets, make something up.

The answers reviewed:


Good points: Gave an excellent reason for not answering the question, which I respect, and, frankly, tend to agree with myself - everything in life is a lesson learned
Bad points: Didn't answer the question, the second part of which allowed him the opportunity to make up a brilliantly witty tale. Blown opportunity here.
Score: 7

Good points: Answered the question and sprinkled his fairly entertaining story with many amusing links
Bad points: Nothing wrong with the answer, but presentation-wise, it was a solid block of text, and could've used a little paragraphing.
Score 9

Vigilance Matters:
Good points: Starts off with the cocky, arrogant bluster appropriate to a tyrannical monarch, takes a little dip in the serious pool, changes course for some silliness (I'm with you 100% on the dirty diaper issue), and ends with a useful moral
Bad points: None visible
Score 10


Here are the things I look for when judging a blog:

Comments enabled
Permalinks working
E-mail contact info available
Blogger's name/pseudonym prominently displayed
Site search feature enabled
Link to an "About Me" post on the sidebar
Blogger's gender is easily discernable
Readable font style & size
Readable color scheme (for example, NOT bright red type on bright green background)
Divisions between posts clearly marked
Paragraphing in entries (NOT just writing one fat block of text)

To avoid redundancy, I'm only going to mention areas where a blog is lacking on a feature. If I don't mention it, there's not a problem. Content-wise, all 3 bloggers are excellent writers with a strong command of the English language, and all 3 have great
commentary and creativity. I'm not grading for content in particular, because there's no significant gap in talent.

No problems here. He does use that horrid shade of eye-stabbing red in his titlebar, but it probably represents Christ's blood or something, so I'll let it go.
Score: 10

Mostly perfect, except I couldn't find an "About Me" post. Also, using a pseudonym leaves open the question of the blogger's gender. If you were my blogchild, would I hand out "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" cigars? It's hard to tell at a casual glance.
Score: 9

Vigilance Matters:
Mostly good. Major issues would be the lack of an "About Me" post, and lack of a search feature (which can be easily fixed with a tiny bit of script in the sidebar, thanks to Google (e-mail me & I can send it to you)). Minor issues – although the blogger's name is prominently displayed at the bottom of the page, it would be nice to have it in the individual posts, or under the monkey picture. At the very least, please consider putting a name under the monkey (preferably a clearly male name, like "Mr.
McMonkey" or something). Also, the referrer's list at the bottom shows up on my system as bright blue text on a dark gray background, which is practically unreadable. You might want to fix it so that the white background is under it.
Score: 8


Over the next 2 weeks, the following bloggers will attempt to scratch & claw their way out of obscurity for your amusement:

Blown Fuse
Canadian Comment
Cranial Cavity
Hobson's Choice
Vessel of Honour

Remember entrants, more brutality = more popularity.

Except for Christweb, who will, I'm sure, be calmly practicing his cheek-turning the entire time.

posted by Harvey at 9:49:53 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Monday, January 05, 2004


The results are in for the first elimination round of the King of the Blogs Tournament. At the end of week 1, with the scoring of a random post and the host's challenge, the following blogs are still standing (highest to lowest score):

Vigilance Matters



And now a personal note to Walking Stick, who captured the coveted "last loser" spot by managing to have one judge give him a 0 for not posting frequently enough:

You've got a good, quirky, stream-of-consciousness style of humor. Don't let Evangelical Outpost's criticism get you down. Just keep blogging.

posted by Harvey at 11:20:54 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Saturday, January 03, 2004


As part of my King of the Blogs Judge duties, I am to review the answers to this week's Host's Challenge Question:

We all know flattery works, well it does at the King of the Blog Tournament also. Your job is to write an advertising piece that includes reasons to visit each of the judges and the host, and why you feel as King of the Blogs you can help them each get more hits and readers. Also pointing out why your worthy adversaries are not able to do this would be advised.
The entrants' answers can be found here. These are simply my reviews. I'm omitting the scores to increase the suspense.


Good points: Managed to link everyone once and made some promises. Probably trustworthy to deliver on them, being Christiany & all.

Bad points: Only 1 link per judge. Didn't mention blogger names. Gave no compelling reason to click the links. Text was dryer than a Bob Dole campaign speech. Please review my "How to Drive Traffic" post.

Walking Stick

Good points: Egotistical with bouts of moderate insanity

Bad points: Where's my link?

Wolf Who Sends Flowers

Good points: Extra points for creativity above and beyond the call of duty. Links galore, and ass-kissing the likes of which usually runs me about $50. Sweet & tasty. Obviously did a LOT of homework for this post.

Bad points: None visible. Well, Foxgirl did forget to include naked pictures, but that's a non-deductible offense.

Smarter Cop

Good points: I'm a sucker for poetry. A lot of thoughtful, creative effort went into this one. Nice finesse on working Evangelical Outpost's hyperpolysyllabic name into the poem.

Bad points: Some forced rhymes & a few awkward rhythms, but not too bad, considering the material. Had the misfortune of having to compete against Foxy's epic.

Vigilance Matters (Current King of the Blogs)

Good points: Cocky, annoying arrogance. Always a plus in a monarch. Good effort on keeping with a theme - nice storytelling and/or butt-kissing

Bad points: I'm still not sure how my bloody death at the hands of the Yahoo-ite barbarians will increase my site traffic.


Good points: Answered the question

Bad points: Only answered the question. No style points here. Reads like an autopsy report, albeit a polite one.

And as a general comment to all entrants, I'm surprised no one thought to link individual entries on the judges' blogs, thereby demonstrating the entrant's traffic-driving abilities.

posted by Harvey at 3:05:30 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

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