Peer Review Two

So today I had the pleasure of reviewing the pleasant, well-written and nicely varied book review blog “Julianna Reads“. Now, unfortunately for me we were also tasked with focusing specifically on social media which doesn’t seem like a priority for her (and unfortunately for her is also not a priority for me either) so I’m going to get a little creative about “relevant platforms, consistent content, appropriate postings”. From what I can tell the only social media she has, or social media she’s willing to share on her blog, is Instagram (which is still one more than I’m willing to share) and a mailing list, which is an interesting idea I hadn’t really considered but seems pretty common in the industry.

Neither of these are particularly prominent on the blog – they’re located on the footer in a nice little list beside the expansive list of categories and filter options which I’ll go through next. The Instagram is nice and includes a link to the website but is otherwise pretty unrelated to the blog’s content. All I can really recommend is to possibly make these icons a little bit more visible. Adding them in full URL form to the about page is usually a good way to accomplish this because users often click there to a) find out more about the author and b) find out what the author does outside of the blog content (and also why they’re qualified to be writing this blog, but I think an English major and Publishing minor is more than qualified). It might also break up the layout of the about page too. I do like the addition of a picture, though. It seems fitting for a book blog, like finishing the last page of a book and seeing the author’s bio and picture on the dust cover.

Julianna is an absolute powerhouse of content. Unfortunately I can’t view the full sitemap without going through some antiquated Google authorization process but there’s many – and I mean many – book reviews of all shapes and sizes on there, all carefully and painstakingly ordered by recency, month, or tags (read: genres). This appeared to be the main takeaway from from Peer Review One, created by the talented Marylou Villegas, who recommended creating categories so those looking for a specific book could do so easier. The second recommendation was to identify and focus on a particular tribe/audience. This is harder to analyze, as I wasn’t able to see the site before to compare, but I’m sure Julianna has worked on it and it will show on the Business Canvas that’s due imminently.

Overall, I really like the way this blog is set up. It’s simple, easy to navigate, and pleasant to read. I must say I preferred the header picture from the older version of your site, it was nice and colourful while this one is a little bit harder to read.

Before: Cyan and pink, very cyberpunk, tres chic
After: Harder to read, kind of pixellated, not in vogue
Here’s a logo I made for fun if you’d like to borrow it. Is it ironic to use trees for a logo of a book review blog? Does it mock their sacrifice? Oh well, you can always rebrand as Julianna: voracious reader or Julianna: book chainsaw

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