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What Makes A Great Weblog? from UrbanMainframe.com

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November 24th, 2004
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What Makes A Great Weblog? from UrbanMainframe.com: Peoples’ perceptions of what makes a good weblog are very interesting to read especially if you disagree with some of them. Here Jonathan claims that weblogs are not about Standards Compliance, Accessibility, Tables (or the lack thereof), design, posting frequency or features.

Contrary to his claims, I would say that all of the above are quite important though to a varying degree. His examples of simply designed, good blogs says to me that he is comparing simplicity of aesthetics with complication in a design. A design can be as simple as just text on a page, and still be a very elegant and semantic page that is well designed.

Tables are yucky unless their use is extremely well justified. Period.

Posting frequency is important. A stale blog, is a slow blog which creates a snowball effect. You post less, less people visit your site, you have less interest in writing more stuff in your blog and so on.

Accessibility and Standards compliance, in my opinion, do not need any explanation.

I agree with most of the “It is About…” section but have to say that his turnoffs are turning off. A blog is first and foremost a personal journal. If you want to write about your pet cat, your depression, your wishlist whoring etc, thats your call and since I have been flamed a couple of times and I am still here, I have to say that they are not all that bad either.

In addition, since he mentions baiting as one of his turn offs, I had to write a critique of his post! (All in good fun, please, no flame wars) :P

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  1. skippy (7 comments.) says:

    I’ve not read the link, but I _think_ I know why you’re not detailing your response about “Accessibility and Standards compliance”. Nonetheless, it’s this sort of “preaching to the choir” that causes many non-bloggers to view blogging as nothing but an echo chamber, or a cloistered social clique.

    It’s similar in many ways to the way many OSS supporters refer glibly to RMS in conversation, assuming that everyone knows that RMS == Richard M Stallman.

  2. Jonathan M. Hollin (1 comments.) says:

    “Jonathan claims that weblogs are not about Standards Compliance, Accessibility, Tables (or the lack thereof), design, posting frequency or features.”

    Just to put that in the right context: I was writing about what was important to me in choosing websites for my blogroll. “What Makes a Great Weblog?” was a personal and thus subjective post.

    “His examples of simply designed, good blogs says to me that he is comparing simplicity of aesthetics with complication in a design. A design can be as simple as just text on a page, and still be a very elegant and semantic page that is well designed.”

    Again I was stating that design was not important to me in choosing which blogs to read or bookmark or blogroll. I have created many websites, I build web applications for a living – I am well aware of the complexities involved.

    “Posting frequency is important.”

    Once again, it is not important to me with regards to my blogroll. My blogroll includes websites that haven’t been updated in months. However, I enjoy the content that their authors produce – I’m happy to wait for their next articles.

    “A blog is first and foremost a personal journal.”

    You are absolutely correct. I described my “Turn Offs” without taking into account the simple fact that my leanings are towards technical weblogs (unfortunately, I didn’t make that clear in my article). Therefore, when I visit one of my preferred journals hoping to learn about the latest programming technique, it’s frustrating if I have to wade through cat stories (etc.) If that’s the kind of post I want to read, then I’ll go away and find an appropriate weblog.

    “since he mentions baiting as one of his turn offs, I had to write a critique of his post”

    That’s cool. I appreciate your point of view. You are in good company, several others have pointed out the deficiencies in my article. So I have learned from the experience and I am grateful for that.

    Thanks for your feedback.



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