Jakob Nielsen, geek advisor to the corporate masses who think they grok usability, has a column on the usability of weblogs this week. Over the last year or so I’ve watched Nielsen’s always-tenuous grasp of the relationship of style to user experience slowly give way to a highly corporatized version of what constitutes good web design. In the current column he advises all kinds of wacky stuff but the one piece that clinches his inability to grasp what is truly happening in the blogosphere (yes, Jakob, I know you hate that word) is that he actually advises personal bloggers to stay on-topic or else risk appealing to the “low-value demographic” who actually read for diversity rather than singularity of topic. On-topic for a personal blog? Isn’t that the opposite of writing about and for yourself?
If you have the urge to speak out on, say, both American foreign policy and the business strategy of Internet telephony, establish two blogs. You can always interlink them when appropriate.
Oh, really? A separate blog each time I plan on changing topics?
Good god this man does not get it.
Never read this blog before in my life, but I really liked this assessment of the extremist tendencies in political blogs.
Conclusions: The left is full of crop circle paranoids. The right is full of stupid angry people. The sheer volume of information in both does manage to strip things to bare bones facts, but not by virtue of intelligence, just volume – like a colony of bacteria feeding on a corpse.
I must heartily second this rant at Whole Lotta Nothing.
For the new year I promised myself (#4) that I would not make fun of sites that position blogs and the “mainstream” media diametrically, but after reading this I think I’ll go back to heckling.
Here’s an axiom to live by. If you have to cast an issue as good vs. evil, you’re probably masking your own insecurity or the indefensibility of your position.