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    Monday, February 19, 2007

    Medieval Bloggers and the "Scribe" conspiracy

    I've been writing on this blog for over 3 years now. While I cannot say I was one of the first bloggers to cover medieval subjects, I can say that there are a whole lot more of them now than when I started.

    The more, the merrier, I say! But it's weird. I'll see a new blog pop up in my occasional search for medieval news online, and lo and behold there's yet another blog that looks just like mine (which is why I changed to a three column layout earlier this year).

    I chose the "Blogger" platform for two reasons:

    1. It was free.
    2. It had a really nice medieval looking template called "Scribe."

    Apparently, #2 is the same reason many other medievalists have joined Blogger when they could have just as easily used LiveJournal or WordPress.

    Well, I thought I'd do a quick review of several other medieval bloggers' sites who use the same template I do. Just for fun. And also because I would like to expose this conspiracy. Someone is profiting from this...I just know it!

    Anyway, here's several conspirators and my observations about them...

    Got Medieval - Nice catchy name! I enjoy the medieval personal ads, and the definition of 'medieval' at the top of the page. 2 Points for good humor and some extremely cool online finds. Grade: B+

    UPDATE on 02/05/09: Got Medieval left behind the Scribe Template quite some time ago. Huzzah to the new look! I'm jealous...

    The All-Grain Evangelist - Another SCAer! And he brews beer. He's created a nice large graphic header on the top of his blog, and even changed his favicon. Smooth coding there, fella! Lots of nice brewing links make this a good jumping off point for brewing research. Grade: B

    Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog - OK, huge points for writing in Middle English, but it does get a bit tiresome on the eyes pretty quick. A medieval illumination image changes this version of "Squire" enough to differentiate it from most of the others. Big site stats and aggressive merchandising prove to me that the four folks behind this blog are pretty marketing savvy as well. Grade: A

    The Blue Lady Tavern - From her description: 'Visit with Leofwen of Eoforwic, the proprietress of the Blue Lady Tavern, and hear all the news, gossip and word about the town in this 8th century English watering hole -- by historical novelist Nan Hawthorne.' Boy does she write. And write. And write. It's good, but you'll need to set aside some serious time to take it all in. Not much customization to the template or enough images. Grade: B-

    The Medieval Warfare Blog - The writer sure doen't stray too far from his path. It's medieval warfare and nothing else. I mean nothing. No images, no customization and scant few offsite links. Needs some 'spice' I think, but I'm really sick of seeing this same design over and over now....Grade C:+

    Dianne's Medieval Writing
    - While I can empathize with the authors desire to live like they did in the old days, she shall receive the same grade as the aforementioned Medieval Warfare blog for nearly the same reasons. And Dianne, if you ever read this, please for the love of all that is Holy, use a bigger font! Grade: C+


    1. Interesting roundup of blogs. Thanks.

    2. As the person who runs The Medieval Warfare Blog, I just got to say ouch! Actually, that blog is just a small part of the, which is the website for The Society for Medieval Military History. The blog serves as a way to give out news and things related to our society, ie articles published in our field, upcoming conferences, etc.
      That said, I do need to work at blogging, especially for the other one I am running. If you don't mind, I will contact you via your email.

    3. You know, with Firefox, all you have to do is press control-plus (or option-plus on Mac) to increase the font size. I think IE has something similar, although not with the same key combo.


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