I’m going to be putting reviews up on here. I’ll be starting with website reviews, but I’ll eventually start branching in gear, videos, books, and even schools. I got a comment on the blog to take a gander at GiFreak and if I felt so inclined, to write up a post about it. Well, I’m working on that, but to start I really felt I needed a meta-post as fair warning about me – I’m critical of just about everything. I’ll be using an out of 5 scale on a bunch of different things depending on what the site provides.
The fact that sites like GiFreak are popping up really speaks to the degree of growth that BJJ has experienced, especially as of late. I think the fact that I got a comment on my blog speaks even more to the fact that anyone with a few years of experience and enough cauliflower can look reputable. I guess both of those facts scare me a bit.
I’ve been spoiled with awesome graphic designs. Twitter brought my attention to M3MMA and TriCoasta a couple years back now, and to be honest, they’ve both really ruined by perceptions that all MMA/BJJ sights had to look like complete crap. Then the Third Heaven and ISI sites really stepped up on appearance and functional form. I mean, let’s be honest, for an association started by two black belts in Wisconsin, that ISI site is very well done. So that’s the standard I’m going to hold web sites to for appearance. If your sight isn’t at least as visually appealing as the single-page shell Jesse put up when M3MMA went down, you’re going to get a 3 or lower.
A website exists to do something. Generally we use them to provide information, but they also act as store fronts, media players, arenas for discussion, or some other service. The number one thing every site should be ranked on is how well it does what it’s supposed to. There’s not really any compromise on that.