Comparison of three Green Environmental Blogs:
The subject matter is the environment, green sustainable living, alternative energy, organic gardening and other topics relating to Nature, Ecology, Politics, and improving our behaviors on our planet.
The scope and focus of each blog varies. Green-blog is more worldly political, where Environmentgreen concentrates on articles that teach and advise about many Green issues. Hoodooed is an eclectic collection of Environmental Common Sense and Green News from Florida.
Green-blog uses a journalistic, AP Stylebook method. It makes significant use of quotations from other sources. This website incorporates many different writers. Environmentgreen has a less formal, Chicago Manual of Style approach. It is comprised of contributions from a few writers. Hoodooed is written by mostly one person, also in a more casual style.
Green-blog’s Homepage uses a neat layout with a big banner ad next to the logo at the top, then a search bar to the right. The main content is divided into two columns. The left column uses about 70% of the width, and contains the newest blog articles. The right column contains advertising, popular topics, latest comments, and navigation. At the bottom of the page, there’s a preview of the next page, quick links to all the pages by number, and suggested links to other similar websites by category. Each area is separated by thin lines. Each Author Page starts with a brief bio. Author and Category Pages feature posts titles and highlights, sorted by newest at top, with page count navigation (if needed) below. Post Pages switch main content to right, with left column displaying Previous Post link, an ad, date of publication, Author name and About, and a tag category list. Below the post story is a social networking like bar, then Other articles from around Green Blog that might be related to this article. Next is a nav bar to previous and next posts. Then is a Comments section, with an Add Comments, and a Sort By list. At the bottom is a Reactions area.
Environmentgreen has the logo on top left, and a banner ad to the right. Below that is the main navigation bar, followed by another smaller navigation bar of site topic categories. Next is a full width section of Google ads. Below that is a Featured posts section, with a slideshow of the five top posts. The remainder of the layout is two columns, the larger left with recent posts. The right column starts with a subscribe form, followed by social networking buttons, an ad, a Google search form, an intricate navigation area, a Facebook Likebox Plugin, then links to other related sites. At the footer is the copy rights tag, and a repeat of the social networking buttons. At the bottom right of every page is a fixed position vertical social networking button bar.
Hoodooed’s layout starts at the top with an introduction paragraph. It features a fairly narrow page (840px), divided in two sub-columns. The left larger column displays the month’s blog posts first, then below are GREEN LINKS, followed by Popular Posts, then a BLOGROLL, then other links to sites the author is associated with. The right column start with FACEBOOK PROFILES AND OTHER SOCIAL NETWORKS, then Blog Archive, then News, Google Translator, Twitter Feeds, and other links. At the footer is an About Me paragraph and a political disclaimer.
Green-blog uses 2 main navigation columns on their Homepage, one by Authors, the other by Categories (some have sub-categories). It also shows a tag cloud of Popular Topics (with topic count alt box). There’s also a page number index near the footer. Above each post is a link to its category. When that link is clicked, we navigate to that category, which also has the same two main navigation columns. Post Pages have a link to their categories at the top, a link to previous post at top left, a tag link area, links to Other articles from around Green Blog that might be related to this article, and links to previous and next posts.
Environmentgreen’s navigation features on all pages two horizontal navbars; a main navigation bar, followed by another smaller navigation bar of site topic categories. The main navigation bar has Sitemap, Contact, About Us, and more. The categories navbar has nine titles, some with sub-titles. The Sitemap is ordered by; Site Fields, Pages, Monthly Archives, Categories, and Top 20 Tags. In addition to the main top navbars, each page also has a sidetabs widget, with Popular, Recent, Comments, and Archive. Generous social networking links abound.
Hoodooed uses very simple navigation, with an Archive list by month and number of posts in the right column, below Facebook and similar links. There’s also a Popular Posts section (top five) towards the bottom. Room for improvement here. There are plenty of other links to affiliated sites.
Design and Color
Green-blog and Environmentgreen feature mostly bright white html backgrounds, which I personally dislike. Why? 1. Hard to read. 2. Strain on the eyes. 3. Unhealthy exposure to radiation. 4. Uses more energy. Other than that, I like their website designs.
Green-blog’s site design is neat, well organized, and proper use of hierarchy elements. The Homepage features the 3 latest post previews, the newest on top with a larger image, followed by the next 2 equally dividing the width. The next recent post previews follow below in an orderly grid. Of course, the site makes generous use of the color green, mostly for navigation links. Most of the text is displayed with a neat Sans-Serif font, with quotes highlighted in a larger Serif font.
Environmentgreen’s homepage is esthetically pleasing, with a grey and black double navbar dividing the logo/ad header and the remaining body content. The GoogleAds banner next is a bit imposing, but probaby effective none the less. The Site has some decent illustrtions and visually appealing buttons. Each post page has a subtle pink background everywhere except for the main text area. The footers are a solid black bar that tie in the page with the navbars, and the html background is a nice forrest green.
Hoodooed uses a fixed position photo of flowers for the background, with the body content in a grey transparent overlay, allowing some of the background photo to show through. It’s a nice effect, but makes it a bit hard to read in some places. The Posts (and previews) don’t have this problem, because they have pleasant blue backgrounds. The mainly used font is Lucida Grande/Tahoma, easy to read Sans-Serif type. Links/navigation are a very bright neon green, which really jumps off the page! My biggest recommendation would be to add some categories and a tag cloud, to help with navigation.
Green-blog shines with its content. More than 35 authors from around the globe contribute to the Blog. The stories are well written, thought provoking, and relevant to the mission of the website. The easy navigation by Author, Categories, and Tag Cloud encourages visitors to explore the wide range of ecology themed posts.
Environmentgreen seems like a newer blog, so there are not too many posts. There is a concentration on Alternative Energy. Many of the posts are general good sense wisdom advice for normal concerned people looking to make a difference with our planet. Titles like ԗhat can we do about Global Warming and introducing Children to Living Green contain simple suggestions that we all could benefit from. The site also contains several posts on employment in the Green Sector.
Hoodooed has been posting since December 2008. Its content is mostly about environmental issues and politics in Florida. For the first year, there were only 13 posts, although very compassionate and interesting. Since May 2010, the Blog has focused on the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Between July and October 2010, it averaged over 100 posts per month. These recent posts focus on the politics of the oil spill, the various PR deceptions on the part of BP. Many of them show evidence in photos, videos, and testimonials of damage caused by the oil and the chemical dispersant Corexit 9527A (2-butoxyethanol). I like how this Blog is very thorough in putting together news and useful information from many different sources.