Friday, September 14, 2007

monetize your buzzword

On Tuesday, I went to a brown bag talk (reviewed) at work. I hadn’t heard that Jakob Nielsen was going to be visiting our campus, but, after Richard told me, I looked forward to hearing from the guru of Web page usability. According to the forwarded email, Nielsen would be discussing his Alertbox column of July 9, 2007, provocatively entitled “Write Articles, Not Blog Postings”.

To demonstrate world-class expertise, avoid quickly written, shallow postings. Instead, invest your time in thorough, value-added content that attracts paying customers.

My initial reaction was what does he consider his Alertbox if not a blog? A regular (bi-weekly) column listed in reverse chronological order. It seemed to hinge on his definition of a blog as something scattered and not very well thought out. I opine; you pontificate; he bloviates. It’s a little like the poor craftsman blaming his tools. There are plenty of good, great, mediocre, and horrible blogs out there, but it’s not a blogs-generic problem. And, not many blogs are linear for that matter. That’s what folksonomic tags and cross-referential links are for.

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Blogger me said...

I agree with your take on his article, but also wonder why he seems to assume that every blog is written with the intent of attracting "paying customers".

I'm not a huge fan of the blogosphere, reading only two or three on a semi-regular basis. I don't write one for the reason sung by David Byrne many years ago - "if I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed." Nevertheless, I found his article crass and shallow. Perhaps because NONE of the blogs I read are written for financial gain.

I enjoyed your reference to the poor workman blaming his tools, and hope that your blog will continue to attract non-paying readers for some time to come.

September 14, 2007 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger zmjezhd said...

Thanks, Max. To be honest, his audience, or his employers, are big businesses with B2B sites, and, not little people-to-people sites, which is the category under which most of the blogs I read would fall. That, and academic sites.

September 14, 2007 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger me said...

I figured that he was writing for a particular audience, but certainly he didn't make that clear in his column. I do some work in B2B market research, and have noted a lot of his sort of waffle, and a high level of resentment for such waffle. Even in B2B, simple clear communication seems to highly valued by many. Who'd a thunk it?

September 14, 2007 at 3:49 PM  
Blogger rchrd said...

I think the point here is that blogging has been co-opted by the business community as a way to create "buzz" about products, create communities around products, brands, whatever, drawing attention and perhaps driving sales, or at least interest.

Neilsen was talking to the audience expected to do the blogging .. corporate tech writers.

But his understanding of blogs was, to put it mildly, pedestrian. Essentially, blogs are for teenagers as far as he's concerned.

True, maybe. But blogs provide an easy way to publish content that is level with or

I have mr Zmjezhd to blame for that, because he was the one who answered my naive question "What's a blog and how does it work" one day.

September 14, 2007 at 11:27 PM  
Blogger Erling Wold said...

And what do you more experienced bloggers make of the whole "microblogging" twitter, tumblr,, etc biz? I feel like I'm spending too much time with my thesaurus and Interpreter's Bible and Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and etc when I write my blog entries on whatever random scatterings come to mind.

October 3, 2007 at 6:27 AM  

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