Faux Blogger

Apparently I don't blog any more. I got some indirect feedback yesterday that I'm not a blogger because I "only post links". I find this fascinating. When I have the time to write an essay on a particular topic, I post it here. I've done that a great deal over the last five years, and you can find the results easily.

Back in the early days, when I wanted to comment on something in passing, I had to go through the process of creating a full blog entry for it. When I got busy (it happens from time to time and usually involves aircraft), all blogging would stop for the duration of the trip. So over the last month, when I spent 28 out of 35 days travelling, that would have meant the blog going dark for a whole month. People used to complain about that, so I got with Dave Johnson and devised a feed aggregator of the kind FriendFeed has now made available to everyone. The problem with the aggregator was all it showed on those trips was the personal stuff like photos, and that led to more complaints that I'd stopped commenting on open source.

del.icio.us to the rescue! It allows me to construct a daily blog post simply by writing my opinions on what's going on on the Web in pithy (hopefully insightful) analysis displayed together with the link. I've actually had plenty of feedback that people only subscribe to Webmink for the links...

So what's to be done? Are my comments less insightful because they are short? Am I only a blogger when I write essays? I'm sure there are plenty of folk out there who would say yes to both. But fortunately there are still one or two people who think otherwise.

Comments:

Its a tough one. Some people like link posting. others don't. perhaps a "hide" function is needed.

But the reason I like your blog is a simple matter of quality and imagination. the fact is i am still digesting your take on software delivery as editorial. and you wrote that in 2004!
http://www.webmink.net/free/Publish-ix.htm

Posted by James Governor on June 11, 2008 at 07:33 PM PDT #

I quite regularly come across very interesting stuff through your blog Simon. As you've pointed out you can't be expected to write an essay every day...

Posted by Che Kristo on June 11, 2008 at 09:55 PM PDT #

I think it's simple: If I want to subscribe to your del.icio.us links, I'll subscribe to your del.icio.us links. If I want to subscribe to you on Twitter, I'll subscribe to you on Twitter. If I want to subscribe to your blog, I'll subscribe to your blog. If I subscribe to your blog, I don't want to receive your Twitter updates, del.icio.us links and whatnot on top of your blog posts. IMHO of course.

Posted by Asbjørn Ulsberg on June 11, 2008 at 09:56 PM PDT #

I find your links highly interesting and look forward to those posts when going through all the feeds I subscribe to. In the past I have passed several of them around to friends and mailing lists (referencing your blog of course) and I've also seen them appear in other feeds so assume I'm not the only one enjoying them.
Please keep the links! :D

Posted by David Holm on June 11, 2008 at 10:18 PM PDT #

I'm subscribed to your blog for your long posts and for your daily dose of interesting (and commented) links.

+1 to your daily links post.

Posted by Stefano Spinucci on June 11, 2008 at 11:33 PM PDT #

Simon,

The links are sometimes more valuable than essays. It's better than nothing.

Cheers.

Posted by Roy Schestowitz on June 11, 2008 at 11:34 PM PDT #

And then there are people who complain that Steve Yegge writes too much! One person's "useful information" is another person's "just a bunch of links". I still read your feed, so I guess it's "useful information" to me.

Posted by Patrick Mueller on June 11, 2008 at 11:52 PM PDT #

I am a fan of the links. I also think when you have something to say your content is good. For example, your posts on Adoption Led Markets I thought were quite good.

Posted by Mark Hinkle on June 12, 2008 at 12:33 AM PDT #

I still like your blog very much, through all the changes. I would like to see more of your opinions with the links and might like to see a once-a-day collection of your twitters.

Good work and thank you.

Posted by Gordon MacGinitie on June 12, 2008 at 12:41 AM PDT #

One of my blogs is more links than anything else. I'm not trying to drive advertising traffic, so I don't see the value of a whole lot of short posts. OTOH, like you, I only have so many hours in the day. I found myself accumulating long lists of things I wanted to get around to commenting on but never did. So links with pithy commentary/excerpts seems a happy in-between point.

Posted by Gordon Haff on June 12, 2008 at 12:43 AM PDT #

Then again, you could Haiku, like Hal. ;-)
http://blogs.sun.com/stern/entry/haiku_of_the_week

Posted by Carolyn on June 12, 2008 at 03:25 AM PDT #

How to explain my comment on twitter... the 120 chars on twitter doesn't leave much room for nuances.
My surprise was at your being listed as a top 5 blogger, given the link posting nature. I try to read all of blogs.sun.com and read your daily postings as well. I remember many insightful posts earlier on, but nowadays I can barely recall more than one "traditional" entry in the last couple of months. As I said, I still read the posts, follow some of the links and wouldn't in any way want to discourage you from using this form (it sure beats my not dealing with busy periods simply by not writing up the posts).
So all in all, just a surprise at the criteria - which would have been less if 1/3 or so of your links seems out of sync with the general theme.

Posted by Mads on June 12, 2008 at 07:01 AM PDT #

There are no hard and fast rules of blogging. This is you. This is your turf. You do what you want, and to those who don't like it? They can hit the back button or unsubscribe.

If your truncated missives were genuinely worthless, why would some invest more time bemoaning your posts than you spent publishing them?

I personally like this place just the way it is.

Posted by ax0n on June 13, 2008 at 12:40 PM PDT #

Thanks for this! I just added del.icio.us to my blog - what a tool!

Posted by Taylor Allis on June 16, 2008 at 03:02 AM PDT #

Simon: I read your sites a lot and find that the short, snappy ones add to the overall experience of the site. If I had to read a full blown essay every time I sat at the computer I would pull my hair out.

Lost in email.

Posted by terri molini on June 16, 2008 at 09:34 AM PDT #

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Thoughts and pointers on digital freedoms and technology markets. With a few photos too.

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