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Why Bother With Blog Usability When It's Really Just Another SEO Tool?  

:: Monday, October 17, 2005 ::

Jakob Nielsen has written another list. This time, it's for weblogs and the little things you can do to make them meet usability standards. However, his article presumes you actually care about who visits your blog.

While reading Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes, I was reminded of some concerns I, and others, have had about blogs.

Some of which came to light when Aaron Wall wrote, Why Bloggers Hate SEO's. He raises some food for thought.

Are blogs nothing more than search engine algorithm chasing tools? Is every blogger really just an SEO in disguise? When it comes to content, quality is unimportant? Aaron feels that profit is the driving force behind blog ownership and everyone is drinking the kool-aid, whether or not they admit it, or realize it.

Easy Money

Why bother to be interesting, or user friendly, when the purpose of a blog is to get a piece of the advertising pie? Search engines don't care about "quality" content. That's now officially baloney talk. You're apparently happy as long as your web pages, with the 20 ads and pages of stolen content, (which many blogs are nothing more than) are nestled inside search engines. To give you that almighty and powerful, rank-boosting link and a few extra bucks, search engines are thrilled to have you join them, especially if you pay them for their generosity.

Nick's Threadwatch picked up on Aaron's article, and a discussion began called Why Bloggers Hate SEO's & Why Blogging is the New SEO. I had some strong feelings.

Some of them:
"People make money stealing and robbing from others all the time, but that doesn't make it my personal choice and I don't want to be tossed into the same pile as them, simply because I have a blog."

"I'm not willing to prostitute my sites just to make PimpGoogleDaddy rich, is all I'm trying to say. I'm not willing to walk out into the 'Net streets in my slut uniform looking for customers, just to make a buck."

Someone else wrote:
"Bloggers are really nothing but black-hats with an identity crisis, as they dont realize that this is what they are."

Okay then.

What Do You Want To Be Proud Of Building?

One of the smaller points I brought up has to do with responsibility. What are we creating, really?

Are you happy to fund your kids' university costs with money you earned selling viagra and drugs online? When you move to a bigger house, in a nicer neighborhood, do you admit you got the big bucks by stealing content from other web sites or operating online business scams? And, hey, when you got that job, did you bother to tell your new boss that the information you used to impress him/her and the instructions for how to use the $100,000 software you don't have the manual for, was fed to you by way of Internet Forums, where there are people willing to answer questions and teach for free?

Threadwatch folks didn't really want to talk about the Internet we're leaving to next generations, although "Lotso" pointed out it may not even be around in five years. Maybe we'll wreck it and nobody will trust it anymore.

Is it possible to generate a little revenue and combine it with original content visitors will appreciate and enjoy? Sure. Are such endeavors in the minority? This is what I hope to explore in The Internet and What it is that we're trying to create

What matters to you?

:: posted by Kim Krause Berg on 10/17/2005 01:49:00 PM

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