The Blog: Tango Cherie
The Reviewer: Omega Mum from 3 Kids No Job
Let me be honest. As a non-dancing and infrequently-traveled
First impressions: Where are the posts? It's not immediately clear and takes time to find out. You get the description, which is concise. You want to see more. You see the post titles, click on one, wait, scroll down, down, down and down a bit more and finally you get paydirt - but you certainly have to be willing to dig through the assorted logos first. Somebody in a hurry would probably give up. So at the moment, it's a blog that takes a while to get into.
Design: As somebody who's still working on importing pictures correctly, I'm in no position to pass comment on the design. But, obviously, that's not going to stop me. The upfront section is very overcrowded. You need either a really strong design to lead you into the blog or the first post up there and waiting - which, on the whole, makes life easier for the reader who doesn't want to be hanging around.
I like the use of photographs. They make this blog. And where some of the technical language could make it a little inaccessible, they really were worth a thousand words, possibly more.
I had a bit of a margin issue. It's not a problem if you read the blog in Firefox, where I'm told there's a reasonable 2 cm margin. But view in Internet Explorer and you jitterbug right to the end of the page and screech to a halt just by the background - which isn't that easy on the eye. A little space would work wonders. It might also be sensible to put in some sidebars to incorporate some of the page clutter, or add bits and bobs to the footer of the page, not the top, so those all important blog entries are quicker to find.
Posting frequency: Tangocherie posts fairly regulary. There were 12 in June (to 29th) - so certainly a reasonable level of new content.
Content: What I want from somebody who's an expat is a blog that conveys something of the excitement, bewilderment, annoyance or sheer difference of being somewhere that's not home. It's amazing how many ex-pat blogs set in fabulously exotic locations seem to take their whinges from home, pack them up, ship them them out with the luggage and then put them proudly out on display for blog readers. Yes, we want to know that you're a real person - but we want to know what your new life has to offer. Otherwise, the location becomes irrelevant. That's not the case here. Tangocherie certainly gives you a sense of being away from home - but I think it's something that could be made even stronger.
Topics include waiting - it's always fascinating, especially when you're English and therefore born to queue - to know how good other nationalities are at waiting - so I enjoyed 'Line of Dance' (June 8th) which was about a whole day spent in different queues. As you might expect, there was also a lot, lot, lot on dance - but the lady is a dance teacher, so it's to be expected. I also enjoyed 'Night of the Milongueros' (June 22nd) which was a nice description about how the dance tradition lives on.
One plea. Can we have more labels and more definitions. A definitions text box to a sidebar would help here, or a link on the main page to a page of definitions. That's especially true for words the non-specialist might struggle with. If you're a tango enthusiast, you won't need them, but if I'm following Milongueras back through the blog I need the promise that somewhere there'll be something that tells me who they are. It just makes things easier. At the moment, I think this is a slightly specialist blog - I may be wrong, but my hunch is that it's a must for tango lovers but a bit marginal for the rest of us. And if that's what Tangocherie wants to do, I'm sure she'll be really successful. But more posts about what the place is like - on the lines of 'Line of Dance' - would broaden its appeal for the rest of us and bring readers flocking in.
Best and worst:
Best - The use of pictures really made the blog for the non dance expert like me. I also enjoyed the glimpses into every day life in
Worst - The design. But it wouldn't take much (remove clutter, make access to the blog quicker and easier) to sharpen this up.
Rating out of 10: