Blogging Is Meant To Be Personal

Like most people, I read a lot of web sites and the majority of them I read because of their insight and personal opinion on any given topic. Of late, there have been a flurry of web sites that are automatically generating posts based of content on other web sites; such as del.icio.us.

I’m all for aggregation of content, its a really useful utility – however I don’t come to someone’s site to see a list of links to other web sites. I come to someones web site to read about a topic and if it happens to link out, well that is fine and dandy.

If you want to aggregate content, put the aggregated content into your side bar or in any location other than your primary content space. You should reserve your main content space for your own content or personal opinion on something – not for an aggregation.

Generating primary content automatically based on another web site, feed or service is just impersonal; don’t do it.

5 thoughts on “Blogging Is Meant To Be Personal

  1. Glenn,

    I think using del.icio.us in that manner is excellent; after all that is what it is designed for. If I were to do that, I would syndicate that content into a sidebar or a links page but I wouldn’t make that content appear as new posts on my site.

    The thing that I’ve been seeing lately is people syndicating that content into new posts, which I think is very impersonal. As an example, there are plugins available that will suck in your del.icio.us links each day and produce an automatic post titled “links for [insert date]”. In that example, you get a whole bunch of posts with no personal content and just a bunch of random links essentially.

    I would personally prefer to have a blog a little idle than have the author syndicating content in that manner; but that is just my personal preference.

    Whats your take on it?

    Al.

  2. I’m of two minds. I tried using del.icio.us’s auto-post thing for a while, but I found on days when I only posted one or two things to del.icio.us it looked really silly as a post on my site.

    I’m leaning back towards the sidebar again, but I’m thinking of using Yahoo! Pipes to pull in my content from reddit & DotNetKicks and a couple of other sites to form a sort of ‘master list’. The other idea I’ve had is to do a sort of weekly wrapup post, that is basically a list of external links in a post, but grouped into categories with commentary / comments. Eg: http://blog.slaven.net.au/archives/2007/02/18/week-in-review-11-17-feb-2007/

    All of this is really an attempt to solve the problem of finding things that I want to post about, but I really don’t have enough to say to warrant a whole post.

  3. I like the idea of consolidating down all of the little tid bits. In that particular example though, I find it nearly too much to digest.

    This is just a personal preference, however if people are going to provide outgoing links to other interesting sites; I prefer a quick bit of information on it and a link. That way, I can get a quick understanding of it is of interest to me before the jump.

    The other reason I find it nice to have smaller sets is that it is fast to digest. If I want to break for a few minutes from work/.., I can hit a site which I know I’m going to get a quick jump from and read about it and get back to work.

    When there are too many outbound links in a single post, I feel a little overwhelmed by it and I don’t usually end up clicking through on any of them.

    Thats just me, I’m sure everyone has different browsing habits; do you prefer the longer or shorter posts?

  4. Really depends when I’m reading. Like you, when I’m at work I like quick tidbits, but when I’m at home I like to look at some more in-depth posts. Sometimes I’ll just scan through and use FeedDemon’s news bins to store for later. In this case I like a small intro text so I know whether it’s worth looking up later.

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