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Does Michael Powell Have The Ugliest Blog On the Planet?

Saturday, July 10, 2004

While veering through Yahoo news this evening I came across the headline: “FCC Boss Launches Blog Aimed at High-Tech Industry”.

I was stunned.

For the first time ever I read about a new blog from a source outside the blog world. Usually you find out about these sorts of thing by plowing through 25 insightful blog entries which read: “so and so is blogging – subscribed!”.

In true Yahoo / Reuters fashion, however, the news article didn’t contain an actual link to the blog, but links to news and websites about the FCC. At the very bottom of the article, they put in the URL, but not in a hyperlink. I cut and pasted the URL into IE.

I was stunned.

I really thought I had reached the wrong server. I see a big broken banner on the top because ActiveX controls are disabled for the Internet zone. Advertisements and menus appear randomly on the page, and there is a huge gap of whitespace to scroll through before blog entries appear.

[update: i've been informed this is because I also have JavaScript disabled in the Internet zone. DUH! Ah, the pleasures of running Win 2003 Server and hardened security on a desktop machine. Still - the colors give me a headache.]

Then I reached the bottom of the page, which included more advertisements from Sun, IBM, and AOL. On a hunch, I viewed the page in Firefox. Suddenly, the layout improved. Menus aligned. Caverns of white space turned into proper half inch borders.

The colors still give me a headache, but it’s hard to cram 22 advertisements on a page without looking like a dryer full of checkered golf clothes.

Interesting that the head cheese of the FCC has a blog that doesn’t render well in the most popular browser on the planet. [update: ok, maybe it does render with everything enabled, but it's still UGLY!]