Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Alternative Views of Blog Content

A great comment from Ken Allan on my post Free:

My family listen to NZ Radio a lot. Current affairs progs are now all available, free, as podcasts (bits) on their site. When someone misses a broadcast they wanted to hear, their dismay is ameliorated with, "I can always access the podcast".

Of course, this event rarely actually happens. So not only has bits reduced the value of some things, it also shelves the possibility of their use.

I'd already realised this was happening last century when people would stock up on videoed TV programs that they would never have the time to watch because they were watching the broadcasts - a time debt that was not able to be paid.

The same (actually) applies to reading blogs. As Sue Waters pointed out to me about indexing blogs, "people don't use blogs that way".

I completely agree with Ken that content seems to stream by and if you miss the stream, it somewhat gets lost later as there's the continuous flood.  I believe that things will eventually circle back to it, especially if it is important. 

But it concerns me that Ken may be giving up on our mutual quest to figure out alternative views of blog content.  This is something I discussed in my post - Index Page where I describe the core challenge as:

How do we create resources on our blogs that will help a new reader or a search visitor understand what's on a blog and orient themselves?

Sue Waters responded previously:

Most of the time they are a lot of work for minimal return so you really do need to consider whether the time spent is good R.O.I.

Think about it. How often do you go to another person's blog to find specific information? Guaranteed either never or seldom. And the main people who you would return to are those that you know provide informative posts.

Reality of a blogger is we are only as good as our last post :) .

With good use of search, categories and tags on posts combined with making each post count is probably time better spent than creating index pages (however they can be useful for the blogger themselves).

In terms of the ROI of spending time making other views, I have a slight advantage in that I can get automated views of my blog via eLearning Learning and have it do interesting things.  My goal is still to figure out what the views are of a blog that can help make it more accessible.  Get that into eLearning Learning.  And then make that available to other bloggers.  Thus, the ROI becomes high because the Investment is small (zero).

In looking back at Sue's comments, I actually go quite a bit to blogs as sources of specific information.  That's a big part of the value of eLearning Learning. 

I do think that use of categories/tags is part of the answer, but I'm hopeless when it comes to that.  And I'm not willing to go back and tag older posts.

I'm hoping there's still some interest and thoughts on what should emerge as alternative views of blog content.

Some specific questions:

1. Would it be helpful to have a tag cloud view instead of the long list view of a blog content as shown in my sidebar that is auto-generated by eLearning Learning?

2. Are there a set of views that are combinations of recent, best of, organized by keywords, essentially the information we have via eLearning Learning that would be compelling to first timers, or for going back through a topic, etc.?

No comments:

Post a Comment