09 July 2007 ~ 19 Comments

Jakob Nielsen on Blogging: Don’t Do It!

Today’s Alertbox from Uncle Jakob arrived in my inbox, and as usual, I scanned the headline and summary in the preview pane before deciding whether today was a day I had the 20 – 30 minutes necessary to digest his topic du jour. Here’s his subject & summary:

Subject: Write Articles, Not Blog Postings

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

Guess what I decided? I did have about that amount of time, and yet I preferred to spend 10 minutes reading his summary and intro, get the gestalt of his point, and spend the remaining 10 minutes sharing my reaction with my community.

Audacious, I know.

I actually don’t want to discuss the meat of his “analysis” (yet), because there’s real charts and data, and I’d like to try to understand his “scientific” position before I decide to agree or disagree. As I said, this takes more than a few minutes. What doesn’t take more than a few minutes to observe, however, is what I do want to discuss: his clear bias.

Avoid shallow postings and instead write value-added content, he says. I couldn’t agree more. But what exactly does this have to do with the medium chosen for the writing in question? Is it possible to write regularly scheduled and published “articles” that provide little value add? Is it equally possible that some have found an ability to “post” interesting and thought-provoking commentary in real time, and influence an ongoing discussion?

Jakob has never written a blog–at least as far as I can tell–but he has written an excellent and respected newsletter for years. Seth Godin, on the other hand, has never written a regularly scheduled newsletter full of articles–at least as far as I can tell–but writes an excellent and well respected blog.

Marshall McLuhan said, “The ignorance of how to use new knowledge stockpiles exponentially.” So, don’t worry about Uncle Jakob. He’s simply mistaking the medium for the message.

I invite you to comment 😉

19 Responses to “Jakob Nielsen on Blogging: Don’t Do It!”