Change is the only constant April 30, 2001 3:49 PM   Subscribe

well, i think it's unrealistic to expect that there is such a thing as an ultimate format or anything of the sort. not to be inflammatory, but times change. fashions change. designs change. i guess that when you get down to it, people eventually get bored with whatever's been overplayed, and move on. which is sort of how top 40s music works, if you think about it.

and, just like in the music industry, the sites that last will be those interesting and innovative sites like k10k that are constantly evolving and constantly adding new and interesting content. the sites that won't are the ones which are difficult to distinguish from the next weblog.

all imo
posted by moz to General Weblog-Related at 3:49 PM (14 comments total)

Ever hear of the classics? Things can stand the test of time. I equate the top 40's aspect of things to the kind of cultural sycophant behavior I avoid. It's a carrot on the end of a stick.
posted by john at 4:04 PM on April 30, 2001

moz, is this about anything in particular?
posted by rodii at 4:18 PM on April 30, 2001

Feels like a discussion point to me.

In any event, moz, it's one that I've grappled with for months now. I started blogging last year, after having done the online journal thing, and eventually came to realize that I wasn't adding much into the mix. Oh, sure, there's the typical "it's my perspective and not [insert name of a-lister]'s", but beyond that, what can you add?

So you've got to do something neat. John has a point when it comes to the classics, but IMHO if all you do is parrot other blogs, you might want to reconsider. With the advent of goodies like Newsblogger (which I love), BlogVoices, and Dot Comments, the pure tools to build communities are there. It's something to think about.

In essence, though, there'll always be something out there that is deemed cutting edge, and later imitated. That's why you've got to look for something else. That said, I don't think blogs are through; I think they're just beginning.
posted by hijinx at 5:03 PM on April 30, 2001

(I wasn't trying to be snarky--I guess the "well" made it seem like the second half of a comment I hadn't heard the first half of. Sorry.)
posted by rodii at 7:04 PM on April 30, 2001

well, john, i agree that things can stand the test of time. i tried to suggest that in the main text of the thread, i.e. that there will be some (many) sites that will last.

i think the topic of where weblogs can go is interesting because i just began my own website, but i think i was more attracted by some of the great design that has been going on in the community rather than the content. (i tend to learn and write html in fits and spurts.)

in the end, i think that weblogs are somewhat limiting because the only intuitive ordering in a blog is chronological. if you want to have a list of weird stuff that you've updated or posted or whatever, you need to add that to your template--and that assumes you even have the webspace to host anything besides just your weblog. (if you have a page on blogspot, for example, you can't immediately have anything but the page without using a separate web account--unless there's something i'm totally unaware of about blogspot.)

posted by moz at 7:20 PM on April 30, 2001

i think that weblogs are somewhat limiting because the only intuitive ordering in a blog is chronological

So break that rule. You know what they say about rules and being meant to be broken, or something like that.
posted by hijinx at 7:57 PM on April 30, 2001


I agree with ya. If what you are doing is original, I'm all for it. Have fun with it. If you like what you did, then others will gravitate towards it that share your interests. That's really the point, do what you like. Don't chase trends.

I don't really care about web design myself. I like to keep the design neat and tidy and focus on the writing.

When I do worry about the design, it is usually for work and it is usually for 3D.
posted by john at 9:43 PM on April 30, 2001

hijinx, sure you can break the rule, but my point is that it's not intuitive to use--blogger for example--in a way that's not chronologically ordered. yes you can go change the template with every update, but that's going out of your way. and i think that's limiting, not necessarily to me, but to most of the people who don't really want to mess with much html in the first place. i suppose there's an argument that if you want to add little html weirdnesses to your webpage that you probably aren't going to have a problem with template changes, but if what you wanted to organize essays or what not, you're going to have to get your hands dirty. it's just the way things are right now. or at least as i see it.
posted by moz at 11:58 PM on April 30, 2001

Thing is, if you really do want to do something different, surely having to learn a little html shouldn't stop you, right? If it does, then chances are pretty good that you're not meant to be an innovator -- you can't just say you want to do new things and then expect other people to figure out how to do those things for you.
posted by lia at 1:35 AM on May 1, 2001

It's all about content, not design (on the other hand, I've been using the same Blogger template with minor modifications for over six months now).
posted by norm at 8:43 AM on May 1, 2001

call me 'out of the loop' as it were, but what does IMO and IMHO stand for? i consider myself somewhat an up-to-date adolescent in the current web acronyms ... but these are new to me ....
posted by a11an at 1:34 PM on May 1, 2001

in my opinion, and in my honest (or humble) opinion
posted by moz at 1:46 PM on May 1, 2001

It's pretty clear that services like blogspot are not the kind of place to be if you want to play with form.

I don't think, for myself, that there's anything inherently wrong with being "the next weblog" -- it's just a form. Does Dario Fo worry about writing novels, because the novel's been around for a stultifying two centuries? Does Gao Xingjian worry about writing "the next poem"? I believe the content tells the tale of quality.

Certainly experimenting with form is also a key compenent of real creativity. But then for personal page terms you'll want to use something like Greymatter or Zope or a custom PHP system. That would let you break out of the chronological box. I can see growing a site organically, with hypertext links from words or images that lead to new sections of the site, but distinguishing new content would be a problem for casual visitors.
posted by dhartung at 6:48 PM on May 1, 2001

Does Dario Fo worry about writing novels

Maybe he does, and that's why he writes plays. (Sorry, just being a smartypants.)

Take a look at Greasy Skillet for an interestingly expanded format. The weblog is still there, but it's only part of a larger architecture. I picked this example almost at random--I could have picked missingmatter or Glassdog or Zeldman instead, and I'm sure we could come up with a lot more.

The point is that the weblog form seems pretty fixed to me--but it doesn't have to be equated with the whole site. It's just a class of object that can be used and reused for various purposes within a site. A pattern, if you will, for presenting information that gets added to over time. There are other patterns--front page/current article + archives comes to mind, as in Ftrain or wdwww. I think you can "break the rule," but then instead of a weblog, you're inventing something new.

posted by rodii at 8:41 AM on May 2, 2001

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