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Are In-Depth Articles Better Than Blog Postings? 157

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the think-before-you-speak dept.
athloi writes to tell us usability expert Jakob Nielsen is stressing the importance of well-thought-out articles as opposed to off-the-cuff blog postings. "Blog postings will always be commodity content: there's a limit to the value you can provide with a short comment on somebody else's comments. Such postings are good for generating controversy and short-term traffic, and they're definitely easy to write. But they don't build sustainable value. Think of how disappointing it feels when you're searching for something and get directed to short postings in the middle of a debate that occurred years before, and is thus irrelevant."
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Are In-Depth Articles Better Than Blog Postings?

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  • Balanced ecosystem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Raindance (680694) * <johnsonmx@gm a i l . c om> on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:00PM (#19806443) Homepage Journal
    I think there's an argument to be made about supporting a balanced blog ecosystem.

    Obviously if everybody posts short blurbs, it just doesn't work, for obvious reasons. On the other hand, if *everybody* posts long, well-thought-out articles, it'd be hard to find 1. What you're interested in, since often the shortposters serve the function of aggregating cool things, and 2. Where the 'blogosphere' action is. There'd be fewer conversations, and indeed, short posts are part of a conversation.

    Luckily, there appears little danger of everybody posting well-thought-out articles.

    Personally, I'm starting to reap the benefits of longer articles on my science/tech blog [blogspot.com]. Lots of repeat readers. But it's so hard to get exposure when you have fewer chances for 'hits'.
    • by tkrotchko (124118) * on Monday July 09, 2007 @07:10PM (#19807157) Homepage
      "if *everybody* posts long, well-thought-out articles, it'd be hard to find 1."

      Well, yeah, but that just means you have a lot of well-thought-out articles. It's hard to find a downside to that. More research is always better.

      Blogs, on the other hand, are streams of consciousness. I don't see an "ecosystem" at work so much as just a bunch of people offering their opinions. It's like calling Bill O'Reilly a "verbal blogger".

      My point is, there is a lot of value is well-thought-out articles. There is significantly less in offering opinion about the news.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shmlco (594907)
        Or 500,000 people all linking to the same original article and offering that as "content".
        • by dabraun (626287) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @05:01AM (#19810759)

          Or 500,000 people all linking to the same original article and offering that as "content".
          And then another 500,000 people who didn't actually read the article making short comments about it? I think I've seen that site somewhere.
        • by Rei (128717)
          I find that the best blogs are the ones where there isn't an "original article" at all, or the "original article" is a scientific paper in a field that requires explanation, or an article that requires a lot of context to make sense of. My two favorite blogs are the Planetary Society's and Juan Cole's. In the Planetary Society's case, you get a lot of things like what the audience was asking about at conferences and what the presenters replied in addition to the meat of their presentations. A good examp
  • by LoadWB (592248) * on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:02PM (#19806461) Journal
    I complain to colleagues about this urban web-sprawl quite a bit, especially in relation to Microsoft. I used to have three sources of information: TechNet, MSDN, and the Knowledge Base. Now you have to look at product blogs, official product blogs, product feature blogs, and so on. It has become almost impossible to find information. While searching for information on Server 2003 SP2 versus Small Business Server 2003, I finally came across a newsgroup post which linked to a KBA which referenced a blog. Absolute crap!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JackHoffman (1033824)
      That's an important point. Blogs are nice for getting the news out and keeping up-to-date without having to sift through all documentation over and over again, but "official" blogs in particular also need to be condensed into a more structured form of documentation for when you can't or don't want to keep up-to-date and still need to find some information about a product/event/whatever. Search engines don't magically turn blog archives into usable documentation.
      • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Monday July 09, 2007 @07:20PM (#19807229)

        I've always thought of reading material in two simple categories: one-off and long-term. One-offs are things like tutorials or thought-provoking opinion pieces. Long-term tends to be reference material, but might also be something entertaining or profound enough to be worth revisiting once in a while.

        Both can be valuable in their own way. Both can also be a waste of time and space. You need a different approach to write each well. And the scary thing is that most people — even those who write as part of their job — really suck at working out what kind of material is actually useful, and writing accordingly.

        By its nature, ideal reference material is easy to find. That typically means that there are only a few places to look, and it's easy to search for what you need in those places. Once you get there, the material needs to be comprehensive and authoritative. No-one likes looking around for the same bit of information all day, and winding up with three half-baked, semi-contradictory versions of it in the end.

        Blogs are the very antithesis of this ideal. There are a zillion of them. In any given field, there are typically a few really good ones, but the average quality is usually quite poor. The most organised search facilities you'll find are tagging (fine for locating related content within the same blog, but generally not much use for searching across blogs) and web search engines (which I use less and less as certain types of page get ever better at gaming the system and getting their stuff up-top when I don't really want to see it). This makes the recent push by many companies, Microsoft prominently among them, to disseminate technical reference information via blogs a pretty bad idea.

        What blogs are really good at is conveying interesting nuggets of information. A blog post can be long enough to introduce a useful idea, or to draw attention to something newsworthy. Blogs lend themselves to being scanned by those looking for something interesting but unsure of what.

        Bottom line: if these businesses really want to help people find the useful information, they should go back to maintaining a small number (ideally one!) of comprehensive, authoritative reference sites, and use blogs and newsfeeds as introductory material: highlight a useful new development or draw attention to a handy technique, direct the reader to the appropriate reference material if they want to know the details, and make sure the user never has to come back to that particular blog post again.

    • Hey! That's just good mathematical practice. Once you're reduced a problem to a previously solved equation, you quit. :)

      No, I'm just kidding.

      There's an old quote about being sorry for writing such a long letter, but not having the time to shorten it. And it works the other way, too. Having too little content because it's easier to link to something else than write it up yourself.

      So we end up with what should be authoritative site referencing other comments. When (and this is particularly true of a commercia
    • Ooh. All rss feeds in the one place.

      Hmm. I must patent that.

       
  • Depth and Reputation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kelson (129150) * on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:03PM (#19806477) Homepage Journal
    This reminds me of a comment someone made on the introduction of the iPod Shuffle (bear with me, it's relevant). The idea was that, at the time, the iPod brand was perceived as signifying the high-end digital music player. By expanding into the low-end, Apple was trading a loss in the value of their brand (since it no longer meant "high-end" by default) in order to gain another segment of the market.

    Similarly, Nielsen's article suggests that by tossing off random blog articles, even if you also post highly insightful material, you lower the average value of what you post. You effectively cede some of your reputation.

    That's even more of an issue with topic-based blogs. If your focus is, say, US politics, or astronomy, etc. you have to stick close to your topic, or people will start complaining, "Why are you spending all this time talking about your cats!"
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by toleraen (831634)

      That's even more of an issue with topic-based blogs. If your focus is, say, US politics, or astronomy, etc. you have to stick close to your topic, or people will start complaining, "Why are you spending all this time talking about your cats!"
      Indeed. I proved this last weekend when I poured a glass of Jack. Then I slowly added soda to that glass. The more soda I poured into the glass, the less I tasted the Jack. I think I'll call my theory "dilution".
  • The difference (Score:3, Informative)

    by Neil Blender (555885) <neilblender@gmail.com> on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:04PM (#19806489)
    Blog posts are pretty much editorials or opinions.

    In depth articles contain more research than a few links to wikipedia or other similar minded blogs.

    That's the difference.
    • Blog posts. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Savage-Rabbit (308260)

      Blog posts are pretty much editorials or opinions.

      In depth articles contain more research than a few links to wikipedia or other similar minded blogs.

      That's the difference.

      I don't think their briefness makes blog posts less valuable since while they are limited in scope they tend to be very focused on one or two issues. I have found the answers/fixes to some really vexing programming questions/problems/bugs in blog posts that would never have been addressed in an in-depth article. Both blogs and in-depth articles have their uses and comparing the two is IMHO rather futile.

    • by nwbvt (768631)
      You can have a long, thought out, and well written opinion (note: its late so this post will not be one of them). There is nothing out there that requires opinion pieces to be short sound bites. The problem is that in our society we are getting so used to the short blogs that I worry we are losing the attention span needed to take in the longer pieces. If all we can process are the sound bites, we are all going to start sounding like Congressmen pretty soon.
  • Sound-bite Society (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Alaren (682568) on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:06PM (#19806531)

    I always try to give my blogs a little substance. I don't have much of an audience, but I like to have discussions rather than link every news story on a given topic or talk about what pretty much everyone else is already talking about.

    But I don't run a commercial blog. My entire site is about updating family and friends, sharing some of my work, and hosting my resume.

    For commercial blogs, if you don't update daily (or more!), how will you get those oh-so-precious ad impressions? Not only that, but lengthy articles are boring! Worse, lengthy, well-researched blog posts take a lot of time and energy to produce even once a week, let alone every half-hour! Sound-bites, that's what we want to read, and that's what we want to write, and that's how you get ad impressions...

    I agree with the general sentiment that blogging is largely empty. I would like to see the internet restore a level of discourse once dominated by newspapers and largely destroyed by television. But there's probably a saying somewhere about genies getting back into bottles that applies (also acceptable: worms and cans). Go read Neil Postmans "Amusing Ourselves to Death" and try again...

    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:29PM (#19806805) Homepage
      I didn't read your post, but "sound-bite society" is a catchy sound-bite.
    • Not only that, but lengthy articles are boring!

      A lot of lengthy articles are boring, but that's just because constructing a detailed, compelling argument or giving a clear, informative explanation of a complex subject is hard.

      Anyone can write a couple of sound-bites without losing a reader. Crafting a decent article, however, requires both an excellent understanding the subject matter, and the style, creativity and command of the written word to convey your meaning effectively to others. Most people h

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Alaren (682568)

        I guess I should have included sarcasm tags or something because I really like longer articles (as I hoped to make clear by pointing out that I write long articles).

        But people's interest in longer articles is somewhat limited and, perhaps more importantly, if you're just looking for ad impressions then lots of short articles means more visitors. My site gets updated between once a week and once a month, depending on how busy school is, but I try to write articles that have more substance than "Here is a

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          The internet could potentially return us to lengthier, more reasoned discourse as it is (at least partially) a "print" medium, but the blogosphere has (for the most part) taken up the sound-bite model instead of the reasoned-discourse model of media. Again, I suspect this is more due to the present internet advertisement model than to anything else.

          This is sad, but true, I agree. Right now, the best way to get funding for relatively minor sites is by hosting advertising, and generating the page hits by

        • by gold23 (44621)

          [T]he blogosphere has (for the most part) taken up the sound-bite model instead of the reasoned-discourse model of media. Again, I suspect this is more due to the present internet advertisement model than to anything else.

          Call me cynical, but I suspect it also has a lot to do with the inability or disinterest of people in engaging in reasoned discourse. That would require them to think logically about things, rather than reacting in knee-jerk fashion about something which has affected them emotionally.

          And before I get flamed for my short response without any supporting evidence, I'll concede that it's an emotional response. Oh, and this is Slashdot. Were you expecting reasoned discourse? You must be new here.

  • Short Answer (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SoulRider (148285) on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:07PM (#19806533)
    both.

    If you are trying to glean some new information from the info you have then brainstorming, trains of thought, gut reactions, etc (the kinds of info you find on blogs) work great. If you are trying to learn something that is well established, then nothing beats well thought out in-depth research.
  • Relevancy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SpaceLifeForm (228190) on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:08PM (#19806545)
    Just because something is old does not make it irrelevant.

    And certainly, the case can be made that recent writings
    are irrelevant from the moment they are written. See Fox.
    • by fm6 (162816)
      You're reading "old and therefore irrelevant" out of context. Yes, Gilgamesh remain relevant 4,000 years after it was written. But technical trivia is not great literature. It's just a collection of factoids and hacks that ceases to be relevant as soon as people stop using the technology.

      Hey, maybe I'll post my collection of Wordstar hacks...

      As for Fox, people will still be studying its pronouncements centuries from now. Pathology is always relevant.
  • Blog posts! (Score:4, Funny)

    by eln (21727) * on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:08PM (#19806549) Homepage
    A lifetime of TV has made it impossible for me to concentrate on any one thing for too long, so blog posts are definitel
    • No kidding. I remember when MTV played an entire music video, and not just 30 seconds of the same three videos. And they played videos all day long, instead of the 30 minutes per day they do now. Why do pop stars even try to make songs that are longer than 50 seconds again?
  • CNN (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nairnr (314138) on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:09PM (#19806557)
    Honestly, this is like asking what is more useful - the Breaking News headline that you get from CNN, versus their CNN Presents or a similar feature length report. They each have their use, but obviously the more useful source is the one that is researched, well written and has some production value. What is going to appear next, Which is more useful to you - A Stub in Wikipedia or something that has some content on it?!? And what the hell is this doing on Slashdot!
    • by rhizome (115711)
      Honestly, this is like asking what is more useful - the Breaking News headline that you get from CNN, versus their CNN Presents

      I figure it's like asking which is better, talking or reading. I'm glad we have the internet and people who read Jakob Nielsen to explain the fine points of these pressing issues to us.
  • by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:16PM (#19806641) Journal
    I think the best comparison would be informative versus insightful posts as a generality to the best of the article and blog world respectfully. While this of course isn't completely true in the Slashdot world, the informative posts are generally from someone who has done the research and knows some good links to read through while the insightful posts hint at a general truth that was said in fewer words but still gets a powerful point across. I know I don't have time to read through all of the informative posts as some can go on forever, however they tend to make very good and solid points. The insightful posts on the other hand make a powerful point to people who already know the standpoint you are taking but hold very little water to those who disagree.
    To demonstrate, think about debating evolution to a creationist. The only way you would ever even have a chance is with very carefully constructed and researched arguments such as the article example. If I were to make a comment about evolution to the majority of the /. community though I could make a very quick quip about some detail and make a powerful point. Both have their place and are generally mutually exclusive.
  • Advantages (Score:4, Funny)

    by fonik (776566) on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:18PM (#19806661)
    There are huge advantages to popular blogs and social news sites. For instance Slashdot can:
    - Provide commentary by famous people like Wil Wheaton and... well, just Wheaton, really.
    - Melt unsuspecting servers into slag
    - Ruin the ending to the next Harry Potter book (bastards.)
    - Display your news in borders of your favorite color or pink
    - Make you laugh at cooking/AIDS jokes
    - Determine whether something could, in fact, run Linux
  • Depends (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:18PM (#19806669)
    Because, as we are all painfully aware of, if the online in-depth article is split into 60 pages, each page containing a riot of banners surrounding a lonely paragraph in the middle... well we just skip to "conclusions".
    • You averaged 2.2 posts over the past 11 articles: You are your own .sig!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by suv4x4 (956391)
        You averaged 2.2 posts over the past 11 articles: You are your own .sig!

        How do you think I came up with it in the first place? :(
  • Both have their place. I admit to hitting up the blogs when I just want to find out what is going on, but if something hold my interest I will normally dig and find real articles about the story. I can see why Journalists are concerned though, many times I will find a story with the amount of detail I need and then see it on the more "reputable" sites days later. There has to be a happy medium, unfortunately many of the more traditional outlets havent figured out a good way to do that.
  • Such postings are good for generating controversy and short-term traffic, and they're definitely easy to write. But they don't build sustainable value.

    I guess by that standard, Slashdot is just about useless. ;-)

    No, but seriously. I write both blog-style pieces and article-style pieces for my website, and and traffic-wise, and there are some blog entries I wrote a while back that do great (and still bring in a bunch of visitors every day and several new links in every week despite having been written
  • I usually like software/IT blogs, sometimes from corporate employees... Blogs like the one from the Opera desktop team about the latest news on the Opera browser and the tech previews. One think I *really* believe blogs suffer from is the generalizations that they're random AOL'er BS done MySpace-style. Blogs can be so much more and different. Another software blog I enjoy reading is about the inner workings and software API's of Windows, that I'd be *very* hard pressed to even find a book for.
  • Google Search: What I am looking for -blog

    Ahh, much better.
  • Poor Jacob (Score:3, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:25PM (#19806745)
    Think of how disappointing it feels when you're searching for something and get directed to short postings in the middle of a debate that occurred years before, and is thus irrelevant

    If you want recent materials and not articles created years ago, you hit the "News" link in Google.

    Talking about outdated content, this page was linked straight from Jacob's index page [useit.com]. I'll quote:

    "Why This Site Has Almost No Graphics:
    Download times rule the Web, and since most users have access speeds on the order of 28.8 kbps, Web pages can be no more than 3 KB ..."
  • You decide. (Score:5, Funny)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:26PM (#19806753)
    Posted by DoofusOfDeath, 6:24 a.m:

    Today I woke up and had some coffee. It was gross - they used that artificial creamer that they get cheap from SysCo.
    Took a shower. Nothing eventful. I'm getting back hair in new places. Yuck.
    Decided that in depth articles SUCK!
    OK, time for breakfast - I think I'll have a bagel.

    Comments:
    1) By HoosierFan2006, 6:40 a.m.:
    I just wish my hair would come back! LOL!

    2) By Canonball25532, 6:51 a.m.:
    No, in depth articles rock. You're an idiot.

    3) By CatLover, 6:53 a.m.:
    Anyone know where I can get a discount air conditioner? It's *hot* this week!
    • by gardyloo (512791)

      Took a shower. Nothing eventful. I'm getting back hair in new places.
      Either you're getting back hair on your back, where you didn't have it, or it's moved to somewhere else. That'd be interesting. Or, perhaps, you're growing new back (with hair) where you didn't have it. How varied are the possibilities!
      • Okay, I came across this video while surfing:

        http://www.fraize.com/blog/?p=88 [fraize.com]

        I'm an engineer, but I didn't understand every 2nd word that this guy said.

        I think I'd rather have had some reviewer explain it to me, because I'm still scratching my head over it. He might as well have been speaking Trek-babble.
  • In the real world, things cost money. You need to pay a printer to print your magazine/newspaper/newsletter, and you need to pay postage to have it delivered. Online, you pay a VERY small monthly fee for hosting (if that), and a once every couple years fee for DNS registration (if that).

    Online, there is no natural selection to weed out the crappy worthless blogs that don't really contain any information or generate any traffic/revenue.
  • Somebody links to a blog article, which just links to another blog article, which in turn links to the actual story that everyone is talking about. Quit trying to drive visitors to your Blogspot account and just show me what you really wanted me to see.
    • by Kelson (129150) *

      Somebody links to a blog article, which just links to another blog article, which in turn links to the actual story that everyone is talking about. Quit trying to drive visitors to your Blogspot account and just show me what you really wanted me to see.

      Yeah. I remember finding some post on The Cure for Information Overload [hyperborea.org], and it took forever to get to the actual story!

  • by monopole (44023) on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:36PM (#19806875)
    News has differing time constants and levels of abstraction. A blog entry can communicate things with less detail far more quickly than an in depth article. Secondly, the comments within a blog can provide useful insight on the topic. But even this varies considerably from blog to blog. While Atrios provides quick snippets, Digby and the late Steve Gilliard provided extended essays that often exceeded in-depth articles in both size and sophistication.

    In depth articles, on the other hand, have the luxury of time and editing but are often obsoleted by blogging. Secondly articles often lack an effective feedback mechanism such as the comments within blogs.

    Wiki's can straddle the two mediums, with a body of written and reviewed content allowing for in depth content while providing up to the minute content as well.

    Reviewed scholarly articles are on the far end of this spectrum. Slow to come out, but often authoritative.

    As a result, my position is that blogs and RSS feeds of blogs allow for one to get a handle on large amounts of breaking news. Wikis provide background. In-depth articles provide analysis. I.E. Blogs alert me to things, i then check Wikis for background and context, and if I deem the issue important enough, or the author credible enough I'll read the article.
  • For in-depth coverage of this issue, read "The Cult of the Amateur: How today's Internet is killing our culture" [amazon.com], by Andrew Keen. That covers the subject much better than the usual blogodreck.

    One of Keen's points is that blogs and Craigslist are killing newspaper reporting. There are fewer people whose day job it is to go out and find out what's going on. Most blogs rehash information collected by others; true reportage is rare. Pick up a newspaper and see how few stories were initiated by reporters,

    • As far as I can tell, Keen's more interested in sell books by stirring up controversy than actually covering the situation in an evenhanded way.

      Take, for example, the claim that Craigslist is killing newspaper reporting. Craiglist is in no way shape or form a substitute for news. It has nothing to do with "amateurs." It's a freaking classified ads site. It's been the land of amateur advertising for decades. It is killing the classified ads section of the newspaper, and that may make running a newspap

  • blogs are essentually peripheral articles that give insight to individual takes on different topics. In that respect many do have historical value.
  • by rmcd (53236) * on Monday July 09, 2007 @07:03PM (#19807109)
    One assumption in this analysis is that if you write an in-depth article the standard error of its quality will be very low, whereas if you write a blog, the postings will have a high standard deviation. This will in turn lead to a reduction in your perceived value as a source of information if you blog. This argument isn't at all obvious and it depends on assumptions about the quality of your different writings as well as what attracts readers and customers. It also depends on your business model: are you selling writing or services?

    Let's say that the long piece you write has a standard deviation that's 1/3 that of the blog posting. (In other words, there's a chance you could write a single piece that damages your brand equity -- Nielsen assumes away this possibility.) If you then write 10 blog pieces, you'll have the same standard deviation for the average as a single long piece. Moreover, the maximum quality of your blog postings will on average be greater than that of your single pieces (because you're drawing from a distribution with a higher standard error). The basic point is that lots of observations may permit folks to infer your quality more accurately. It's not necessary that customers plow through all postings to figure this out --- there are content aggregators (like Slashdot :-) that help separate wheat from chaff.

    So what do people evaluate? Your best work? Your average work? The mean quality divided by the standard deviation?

    I think Nielsen is correct that you need to think about the impact you're having with what you write, and he may have been correct regarding the advice he gave his world expert, but if you're writing only a few big pieces, you better get them right, or else!

  • Is in in depth article by an 8th grader better than a short posting by a Nobel prize winner in his or her area of expertise ?

    Maybe, but that's not the way to bet.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Monday July 09, 2007 @07:25PM (#19807285) Homepage
    Which is more valuable, a Brahms symphony which took twenty years to write and lasts an hour... ...a carefully crafted pop tune (Cole Porter... Paul McCartney... Lieber and Stoller), which nevertheless takes at most months to write, lasts a few minutes... ...or a jazz improvisation created in the heat of the moment?

    It's a silly question. They're all valuable.

    Blog postings should not be compared to "in-depth articles." They're not the same thing. They are more comparable to transcripts of bull sessions. A good online exchange is something like sitting in on a lunchtime conversations between a prof and his grad students.

    Quite likely if you could listen on a tape recording of Socrates gabbing with his students in the groves of Academe, before Plato selected and polished and smoothed and delete expletives, it would read like blog postings.

       
  • by MarkWatson (189759) on Monday July 09, 2007 @07:26PM (#19807289) Homepage
    I enjoy ACM Portal and AI journal articles - I am not knocking peer reviewed articles.

    That said, I find useful "how to" information on web blogs very frequently.

    I write what I call "web books" (a lot of care taken, some peer review and corrections), and I also blog a lot. I just looked at my own web logs to see which are accessed more often: it looks like the web books are accessed more than individual blog entries, but the 'home page' for the 2 blogs are hit much more.

    I access web blog content in a way that I can't for papers: I have about 5 blogs that I read everyday because I know the other bloggers both have similar interests and I trust their opinions. It is rare that I run across someone's web site and enjoy it so much I download all their papers, etc.

    Even more off topic, but: the important thing is that blogs and papers on the web "stick around" forever, hopefully with non-changing URIs. It seems like most search engines apply some reasonable bias towards new material (from trusted sites) so old material does not "get in the way". Web blogs have inherent time stamps - for regular web pages, papers, etc. RDF meta data would suffice for maintaining the time line of digital assets on the web.

    I have been using the web since 1991 (and the Internet since the early 1980s), and my take is: we have "not seen nothing yet". I believe that we will see more progress of moving towards a shared knowledge commons on the web in the next ten years than we have seen in the last 15 years of the web. I have some skepticism about the Semantic Web, but I am optimistic that grass roots semantic web (notice the lower case :-) standards will evolve from things that are simple and that work.
  • by wall0159 (881759) on Monday July 09, 2007 @07:33PM (#19807353)
    There exist in-depth well researched blogs.
    There exist crappy, shallow articles.

    What are we linking to here, again?
  • NEWSFLASH! Most blogs are crap. I'm not just talking about crap posted to livejournal, or myspace, or heaven forbid twitter. I'm talking about prominent blogs. Most posts are just a few lines. Sure, aggrigation blogs like slashdot have their place. They're a filter, but they don't generate content. At their best, they drive traffic to sites with higher quality content, thus ensuring their own place as a popular filter. At their worst, they think they actually contribute something on their own and dr
  • The article was a good demonstration on how much crap can be in an article. He makes up statistics, links to himself as an authority, and generally ignores a decent academic style of thought and reference. Did I mention he generally just makes up shit? Jeez, it's worse than TV commercials, at least there you expect fluff. In an article, you expect better.

    There have been discussions in the Oracle space about why there aren't any good Oracle blogs. Well, there are a few. They generally have useful examp
  • Such postings are good for generating controversy and short-term traffic, and they're definitely easy to write. But they don't build sustainable value.

    At least 99% of people out in the World Wild West seek nothing more than clicks on their ads. Being easy to write is a big plus for them. They are not interested in sustainable value, and certainly they don't seek to build value for the users; they only want to make themselves richer, and only in the short-term.

    The Internet began as a community of a few worthy people of heroic standards. Being an Internet/ARPANET/USENET/BBS user in the good old days was quite a personal achievement. The barrier of e

  • Almost all personal blog posts are a combination of pointless drivel and endless linkfests.
    The zenith of this vapid idiocy is "live blogging", where someone unfamous and unconnected goes somewhere significant (that's usually open to the general public) and does a chatlog play-by-play of everything that happens (not just the significant events).

    This I think is only a logical extension of the cell-phone generation, where nobody has to suffer plumbing the depths of their uselessness alone.



    As the song
    • Almost all personal blog posts are a combination of pointless drivel and endless linkfests. The zenith of this vapid idiocy is "live blogging", where someone unfamous and unconnected goes somewhere significant (that's usually open to the general public) and does a chatlog play-by-play of everything that happens (not just the significant events).

      I think anyone who's read more than 5 blogs has seen what you're talking about. They're maintained by those who have nothing in particular to say so they resort t

      • A blog that tries to be interesting by pointing to interesting blogs or articles is rarely interesting.
        By the way, I'm sure someone will mention Slashdot.

        They'll notice I said "rarely". The exception is when it's the entire purpose of the blog and the articles are likely to cater to the audience.
  • Somehow, I don't see them as being mutually exclusive. Why is there an assumption that a blog will be a short and disorganized post? What I like about blogs is the system it provides:

    • Ease of use in writing the article.
    • Easy way to get feedback in comments.
    • Easy way to see who is referring to your "article" (via trackbacks).
    • Loads of plugins to keep stats, etc.


  • I agree... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Valamyr (1126033)
    This posting is good for generating controversy and short-term traffic, and was definitely easy to write. But it doesn't build sustainable value.
  • ... and I don't know know much about no fancy "content". But I gotta say, I like all the blog entries because they give me more headlines to skim and respond to instinctively.

  • simple solution (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DragonTHC (208439)
    add a meta tag to original content.
    all rss/atom readers should incorporate meta tags for original content vs blogged content.
    I really find blogs completely pointless.
    I find it a terrible waste of time to get stuck reading a 6th degree blog about an article whose source eludes me.

    I don't subscribe to any blogs at all. except /. and engadget and the register. and linuxtoday.
  • Blogs? First of all, that's a highly irritating word. It just sounds dumb. Heck if you replaced the word "dumb" with "blog" the sound would still describe the feeling behind "dumb". Sounds like what it is. "God, he's so blog!"

    A derivation from the words "Web Log". Fine. But why not, "User Comments"? (Ucom's, Ucomer) or, "Internet Journal" (IJ's, IJ writer.) Or heck, "Internet Log", (Ilog's, I-logger.) They sound sharper and more upbeat. "Blogger"? sounds like a low IQ fella who lumbers into thing
  • What Jakob Nielsen doesn't seem to have fully grasped is that there are plenty of bloggers creating quality, thorough articles and delivering them via blogs. Bloggers like Brian Clark at Copyblogger [copyblogger.com], Darren Rowse at ProBlogger [problogger.net] and Chris Garrett [chrisg.com] have proven the value of what's become known as "flagship content" - authoritative, in-depth articles from writers with strong niche expertise. Done correctly, these articles/posts create exactly the kind of long-term value Nielsen is advocating.

    It's really not about

  • Well thought-out responses are better than those that aren't. Detailed, thoughtful articles are better than shallow sloganeering. This is why I subscribe to The New Yorker, The Economist, New York Review of Books, The Atlantic, and Harpers. If you want to know what's going on, read a news magazine, and I don't mean Newsweek. Blogs are great for up-to-the-minute current affairs, but the purpose and function are different from that of magazines, much less books.

    TV is worse than any and all of the above.

  • Compare groklaw.net to the obvious msft shills like Rob Enderle, Dan Lyons, Laura Didio, or Maureen O'Gara.

    Groklaw analyzes actual court filings. Those other bozos just rant like idiots, and make one unsubstantiated claim after the next. Groklaw has also proven itself to be *much* more moral than those other smear-campaign stalkers.

    IMO: so called "professional journalists" are getting in a wad about being debunked, and out-classed by a bunch of amature bloggers. And that is why we see so many anti-blog art
  • The article is based on an incorrect and/or outdated idea of what a blog is. Specifically, "Blog postings will always be commodity content: there's a limit to the value you can provide with a short comment on somebody else's comments," which implies that a blog posting is necessarily that "short comment on somebody else's comments." There's no reason why a blog can't contain exclusively postings that meet the "in-depth content."

    Also the article was too long can someone give me a link to a blog that has a su

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