1/23/2005

What should be in a BLOG?

"The great thing about standards is that you get to choose a new one each year" --Tennebaum


In my travels through the blogosphere I gather some thoughts to share:

  • If you are a developer, and your blog is on a development-oriented blogging host site, shouldn't you be blogging about development-oriented stuff? I mean, I visit Microsoft weblogs - hosted blogs, and most of them have what I am looking for - technical content about development with Microsoft technology. But some of them don't. Instead, they have lists of MP3 tracks, why your car wouldn't start, your dog had puppies, you "found religion", or whatever other non-development oriented subject. Sure, I suppose its OK to throw in a post or two on off-topic items. But if that's what you really want to do, I think you should start a personal blog somewhere else. I won't be reading it. Not because its no good -- but because that's not the kind of content I'm looking for.

  • Have you noticed that some people's blogs consist of nothing more than links to original stuff that other bloggers have written? I think its OK to link to other's work, but more proper to do so when you really have something to add. I mean, if they needed a mirror site, they'd probably set one up, no? Here's what I mean: I search for something I need, and I find 50 "Me too"'s pointing to the real one. Typically none of them have much if anything to add, other than to point to the original person's work. Reminds me of the Simpsons cartoon character writing "I will search Google before asking dumb questions" 50 times on the blackboard.

  • Engaging in public put-downs of somebody else's blog entry on your own blog is really uncool. Unfortunately, I've seen more examples of it than I care to count.

  • Spam, spyware delivery, popups, and so on simply don't belong on blogs. Neither do "Chain blog" schemes. I doubt this opinion needs any amplification.

  • Has basic Netiquette disappeared, along with good taste in music? With UseNet, we used to watch as our favorite newsgroups dropped into the Black Hole of the signal-to-noise ratio. Netiquette dictated that if you wanted to say something, it had to be useful, and you were to say it succinctly. Blogs seem to be the opposite of that -you have long ruminations, off-topic posts and comments, "Me-Too-isms". I'd rather listen to Glenn Gould playing the Goldberg Variations, or Tatum, Trane, Miles, Bird -- classic stuff that has passed the test of time -- not the noise these dweebs put up that will be forgotten forever in a year or so. And at any rate, I don't clutter up my blog with links to it. Hey, I'm the Program Manager of XYZ - and here's my MP3 list, ain't I cool? Jeesh!