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Get That Geekiness out of Blogs

Podcasting with a missing piece |


| Study tests BW blog--and users say Huh?

July 12, 2005

Get That Geekiness out of Blogs

Heather Green

(Update Steve and I posted at the same time...)

Admittedly, the Catalyst study is a tiny one (only 9 people), but apparently the experience of that little group was enough to inspire Net Rage.

Full PDF here, but according to Catalyst, the highlights include:

"No participant understood the mechanisms associated with RSS/subscribing to a blog – not even the minority familiar with the term “RSS."

Few participants even recognized that they were on an actual blog – and once they did, had a very different reaction to the information presented.

A minority of participants understood how to navigate within the blog itself – with most being confused by areas for recent posts, categories, trackbacks and even the comments and archives functions."

The only redeeming point for BW seems to be that Catalyst thinks we're representative of blogs in general....

02:50 PM

blog technology

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Tracked on July 13, 2005 12:04 PM

Web 2.0 This Week (July 10 - 16) from TechCrunch

The main Web 2.0 news this week focused on Technorati (is it dyin or is it rockin?) and the release of Atom 1.0. Lots of other random and interesting stuff as well, including important chia-pet news.

Weekly Summary:

1. Technorati is Dead! Long Liv... [Read More]

Tracked on July 16, 2005 06:19 AM

It's no surprise that some blog visitors don't understand basics such as how to get information, navigation, the "rules of the road", etc. This is similar to what happened when e-mail, web browsers, and other new things were introduced.

Chronic technology under-use is reflected in the large percentage of pople who still don't know how to reset their VCR's clock. They don't know how to use more than the most basic formatting tools in word processors or pivot tables in spreadsheets. Too many people cannot properly trim an e-mail chain or copy-list to avoid repeating and copying everyone on a digressed discussion.

I'd bet the same percentage of people can't express themselves clearly in plain English, balance a check book, read a map, or select a healthy diet from a grocery store.

Rage is the least of my worries. I suspect that the majority of this class also votes. And that's really scary.

Posted by: Glen Marshall at July 12, 2005 06:02 PM

Heather... Just a few days ago, I commented... on my blog... Steve's posting "How to appeal to non-bloggers..." Here is the relevant part:

Yes, most people seemingly are not inclined to be active media producers or actors. Most of us prefer the "one-click" media engagement. Click - your TV is on; click - look at your new picture; click - go from this web page to that web page.

Most people will not learn the "blog speak". How about "trackbacks"... Oh, yes... these are links to somewhere on the Web where somebody already said something about what you read here. And this is supposedly happening automatically. For example, I am writing this post hoping for a "trackback" to appear on Stephen Baker's blog linking back to this post right here - automatically - because I'm linking my post here - back to his original post there. How about easy to imagine... Not to mention "rss", "pings", "tagging", and other similar nerd niceties. Not enticing for most normal people.

And what's all the fuss about "blog this", "blog that"... I still cannot get it. How in the world bloggers see each other on the web. It's not obvious at all. There are the links in the side bar... and in the text itself... true. But how do you easily put these links there. As obscure as any old-fashioned DHTML/Javascript coding. My guess is - bloggers see each other on CNN, may be on Google, locally everywhere in SF, and on Web 2.0 conferences.

I am playing a bit the non-geek's advocate here, of course, but not too much really...

Posted by: Emil Sotirov at July 12, 2005 06:32 PM

what's a blog?

Posted by: robert at July 13, 2005 01:03 AM

Hello Emil,

Good points and I agree, although I do think that people will probably express themselves through other things, maybe photoblogs, etc.

But I do think that there might be a need to degeek a lot of the technology.

Posted by: Heather Green at July 13, 2005 10:20 AM

Heather... I like the "degeek" term... :)

In another part of my comments on Steve's posting, I was arguing that (1) strong "issues" and (2) an information rich environment (also Steve's main point) may entice people into the so-called Web 2.0 level of interactivity.

Still, the "degeeking" should be a top priority to all those involved in the development of these platforms.

Posted by: Emil Sotirov at July 13, 2005 12:42 PM

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