Thursday, June 24, 2010

on Blogging and Tweeting

This blog is coming up to 3 years old so I'm trying to make time to do some reflecting on the work to date. Today I thought I'd talk about why I'm still doing this after 3 years:

Lost Decade of GeoWeb Usability: A while back I compared the progress of GeoWeb usability with the history of web usability. Jakob Nielsen described the first ten years of the web as the lost decade where web design was awful and no one seemed to care. Whilst there are encouraging signs of an understanding of what makes great GeoWeb content (Axis Maps, Stamen Design, New York Times: example ) there is much more out there that is badly thought out IMHO. So I'm still here advocating good GeoWeb design.

Blog as Outward Facing Notebook: When I first started this blog I had grand ideas of getting lots of useful feedback based on the long lists of comments I was seeing on some other blogs. I don't get as much feedback as I expected and I now realise that its a power law relationship - a few blogs get the majority of the attention with lots of comments whilst the rump of bloggers get a loyal core following but less feedback.

However, this hasn't put me off the process, I actually blog because its a great way of forcing myself to keep decent notes on all kinds of map related stuff. The fact that I can turn it outwards and share these ideas with a larger community has some benefits but is mostly just a bonus, its use for me is mostly as a personal index which I search for something most days I'm online. I recently found I share this view of blogging with John Naughton, one of my favourite web/internet gurus.

Tweeting: As for tweeting, my motivation is much the same. I treat it as a micro-blog where I post all the links I may find useful in the future but don't have time to write up properly as a blog post.

Hits: The final bonus of blog keeping is seeing the hits, I've found it fascinating what people are interested in on my blog.

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