September 12, 2007

thoughts on the site

I've been thinking quite a lot about this site and how best to approach it in the future. Looking around at the best blogs out there, most focus specifically on one topic. They have well-written articles which are edited and well thought out. At times, that hasn't been the case here. In the interest of time, articles were sped up, churned out, just to keep the content going.

That seemed to be nice and all, but quality suffered. You could argue about the real value of a blog entry that's only a line or two long. What value does it have? Any? Minimal at best, in my estimation. But not even that lasted forever, and then even the minimalist entries and links started dwindling.

The best blogs are those that have well thought out stories, with plenty of information and commentary. A simple link just isn't sufficient to engage the reader. There is more information required.
Even in those blogs that are more eccentric in nature, as the Revision Bar is, there's a running dialog from the author(s) to the reader to keep those links stringed along nicely and explain their relevancy. No link is just placed there and left sitting in it's compartment, hoping some reader will click it. There's surrounding information, some context or opinion on the piece. Whether it garners any interest is irrelevant at that point; at least the readers know why it's there, and why the author chose it and placed it on the site. This information can be brief, and sometimes it can be quite exhaustive, but at least it's there to add relevancy and credibility to the posted information.

What will the future hold? An embracing of these characteristics that make up a good site. More contextual information and explanation about why the sites I've listed are there. Probably the frequency will slow down a bit from mutliple daily posts as we have experienced in the past, but to the casual reader, it may seem as if it's actually increased, since they may have seen weeks go by without any posts. What they may or may not have seen is the weeks and months that went by with posts all over the place, yet of dubious quality. In the end, the correct level will probably be something in between. Posts every couple of days, at least one per week, but of better quality.

Things that may change, and I'm only guessing here, are the look and feel of the site, and the way it operates. Firstly, the look is something that has bothered me lately as I wasn't sure visually it was the most engaging it could be. But that's simply aesthetics and has now been changed. Hopefully you noticed and like it. Programmatically it's a bit better and easier to manintain, which makes updating it easier. More troublesome to me is the lack of a dialog from the readers to me, which is something that helps define a good site, whether it be blog, news site, or any other kind of site. Community is important, as witnessed by all the social networking sites out there (myspace, facebook, etc.) , the shared bookmarking sites (digg, del.ici.ous) and so on. I've had comments enabled in this site for years now, yet it's rarely used. At some point I may disable it entirely, else find some way to make it really work. I'd much prefer the latter, but don't know yet how to make it so.

What won't change is the nature of the site. This site has always been a sort of "here's what's new on the web" place. A place which started out as a place to centrally store the new things I've found, the stories I've read and become interested in, and sometimes things which were just too bizarre not to share. This won't change. I'll do my best to string together the odd subjects that I post about with dialog to the readers, to make those connections. It's something that's been missing from this site and is needed.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:58 PM

    Nice post, man. Liked it + keep it up.