Thursday, September 27, 2007

Martin's Big Blog Experiment

Which one is Martin Weller Martin Weller is conducting a blogging experiment on his blog at The Ed Techie. In a series of structured, distributed blog posts, he is discussing The Future of Content while mentoring three new bloggers, Ray Corrigan, Patrick McAndrew and Will Woods.

So far, while the conversation has been fascinating - join in - and I have learned two major things:
  • It's useful to interact with a number of bloggers using different platforms. Wordpress is a joy and encourages me to comment. Blogger and TypePad are irritating and discourage commenting. If the overheads were not so high, this experience would have made me consider moving this blog off Blogger, although to be fair, Blogger has improved in the last year and apart from commenting, now has reasonable usability.
  • I hate the long format, information-dense posts in this series. They just don't fit in with my blogging day. The power of blogging lies in microchunking content, not in scrolling screens of consciousness. Jakob Nielsen was wrong about long format content on the blogosphere (I'm letting Martin off the hook at present because this is an experiment) and David Weinberger was right about microchunking.
Update: Stephen Fry has come up a name for these long, rambling posts: blessays. And his latest post is even more rambling than the last one. Great content, wrong format. Either blog Stephen or write a book! Even better, I'd listen to a Stephen Fry podcast, if, as a professional performer, he's into giving content away.


  1. I'm glad you're letting me off the hook!
    Re. comments - Wordpress does seem the best. I would say Typepad comes in above blogger, which looks naff as well.
    Re format - I kind of know what you mean, but as I said in a recent post (on Stephen Fry's opus) I really like the variety in blog posts. I think this needed to be a long article, chunking it would have been artificial, so I wouldn't want to feel that I couldn't do this in a blog. But yes, you wouldn't want every blog post to be 3000 words. It may have something to do with my layout too - too many sidebars squeezing the content. But then you're probably in an aggregator anyway?
    Not convinced it's worked as an experiment but worth a try anyway.

  2. I don't think that my recent blogging experiment worked either: VLEs, PLEs and TLAs: An Experiment but that was mostly because Tom Haskins had written most of what needed to be said. However, both of these trials have shown me that I do prefer short format blogging. If we really want to write this sort of thing collaboratively, we should just bite the bullet and start a wiki.