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Joel, create a blog!

Hey, Joel, an idea:
Why don't you create a blog here on your site?
Recently I posted a rant here and the answers I got were beyond perfect. After all, they were given by people who understood exactly what I said.

Recently I came upon a rant-cum-blog in another specialised forum:

Now, if Joel created a blog service here on his site, we would be able to create an archive of our working lives, to be read by fellow programmers.
Can you imagine Mitch Kapor writing his blog about Chandler here?
I guess you guys guet the idea.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Does Joel want to write marketable software or create yet another blogging service?

Thursday, April 24, 2003

I don't know, IMHO most blogs are a waste of valuable electrons...

Joel's site is exceptionally good precisely because it's more of an editorial than a blog, i.e. he only mouths off when he has something interesting to talk about.

He doesn't annoy us with stories about his political viewpoints, or how he accidentally mistyped "dir" this morning, or whatever silly stuff most bloggers seem to waste their (and their readers') time on.

Now if you're suggesting that he should use another format for more convenient reading, that's fine with me.

Chris Nahr
Thursday, April 24, 2003

I would question the assertion that a blog can 'waste time.'  I think the user reads a blog because they find what is written is interesting.  If you don't find what someone writes interesting you don't read it.  The idea that a blog is out there to provide you content that doesn't waste your time is pretty self centered.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

He *has* a "blog". It's But it's way better than a blog.

The big difference between Joel's blog and the trivial blogs that the mass public writes is that he only writes articles that have a specific subject and which are therefore readable by everyone.

OT rant on blogs now:

I think that most (95+%) of the blogs out there are unreadable absolute crap. The problem with most blogs is that they are an unstructured narrative and you have to make it your "problem" to get into the writer's head and understand their life and POV. And my life is too short to do this. The reading of blogs is an unrewarding and trivial one way relationship, in my opinon.

If written material is not worth the attention it takes from the author to structure it into a self contained story, then it's not worth my time to read. I think it's narcisstic self indulgence to suppose that something I flip out about the zit I popped this morning is of any interest.

Notes from people I know personally are a different matter. (not that I want to hear about their zits.)

Bored Bystander
Thursday, April 24, 2003

Hey Bored - is CAMEL 95% or 5%?
Thursday, April 24, 2003

Scotty: It's not an either-or proposition. A blog can (and often should) be something done for leisure, in one's spare time.

Chris: He has an XML feed that someone has syndicated to LiveJournal. You can also read it on NetNewsWire or NewsIsFree.

Chris, Kero, Bored:

I agree that most blogs are crap, including mine, but you could say the same thing about almost any form of expression. I certainly feel that most music is crap (but people disagree and still buy the albums). I think romance novels are crap, but judging by the shelf space at my local Barnes & Noble, lots of people disagree with me.

All blogs are appealing to some people and stupid to others -- but what blogs go in each category varies from person to person. You could even say that about each individual post. Some people like the fact I post the source code to helpful Linux scripts I wrote; others think it's "drivel". Some people want to hear my thoughts on the NBA playoffs; others don't.

In any case, I think Joel uses the JoelOnSoftware "blog" to promote his company (to prospective customers and employees). Talking about his political views or love life would mess that up.


Joe Grossberg
Thursday, April 24, 2003

The Sturgeon-Spolsky Corollary:

"Ninety percent of blogs are crud...but it's a different ninety person for each person."

The Word
Thursday, April 24, 2003


"...a different ninety perCENT for each person."

The Word
Thursday, April 24, 2003

Philo -

5%. But you're doing what most bloggers don't do. You're telling small, concise stories.

Joe -

I think there's a canonical form of prose that "good" blogs adhere to - like I said, the ones worth reading (or at least the ones that are readable) assume that the reader is just jumping in and that the reader may not really be interested in the blogger him/herself (which is always a pretty good assumption).  Decent blogs read like short magazine articles.

Most people are alike - they have limited time, limited attention spans, and an interest in hearing a distinct point being made. I did Toastmaster's (speech club) a couple of years ago. The primary structure of a speech as they presented it is: a beginning - goal statement for the speech - the middle - and the end, where you reach a conclusion and tie back to the start of the speech.  They stressed this framework almost to the exlusion of content. The point seemed to be that anything that could be framed in this structure was fair game for a speech. That is not "stifling", it's necessary to establish a format that allows a speech to be enjoyed and appreciated.

Likewise with writing.

The blogs that really annoy me are the ones written by people who have nothing to say except to talk about things they own, people they date or live with, or their mood swings. Teenage girl and goth blogs come to mind. Or, blogs that have good ideas or content buried under layers of self indulgent bad execution. Bad blogs read like personal diary entries.

I guess I could be charitable and say that any blog is equally worth reading for "someone" and that all standards of judgement are subjective, but I won't.  Some stuff is just plan crap. There are texts on writing style. Most bloggers would do well to check one or more such books out. Just as blowing into an instrument or banging on a keyboard at random is not necessarily music, it may simply be noise with no though behind it. Likewise, I think 95% of the bloggers should spend their time doing something more important. Or at least should try to organize their thoughts into more accessible form. 
There's too much content in the world and especially on the internet. We're bombarded with "content". And I don't consider it worthwhile to shovel out bad content.

Bored Bystander
Thursday, April 24, 2003


"Bad blogs read like personal diary entries."

I agree with you, personally, but again -- that is a matter of taste. Some people love that kind of stuff. I've got a friend who has a livejournal and she says that my blog is more about what I'm interested in, rather than how I feel. And she did not mean that as a compliment.

Some people love the idea of seeing what's on someone's mind, following their lives, etc. Who wants to hear what a bitch someone's homeroom teacher is? Other kids. Who wants to hear goths' ramblings? Other goths.

"There's too much content in the world and especially on the internet."

I often think that too, until I do a Google search and can't find what I need. I find myself thinking "Someone's got to know this. Why didn't they write it down?"

Joe Grossberg
Thursday, April 24, 2003

Joe - I basically agree with you. I'm just trying really hard to not encourage anyone. :-)

Bored Bystander
Thursday, April 24, 2003

The Mixerman Chronicles are a great read, especially if you have *any* interest whatsoever in the music industry.

They started out as a post to the forum, but the bandwidth became so high that they dumped them to static pages.

Theoretically anyone here could just start posting bloggish type posts... Though I doubt anyone here is (a) as good a writer as Mixerman, (b) has a life nearly as interesting as his, or (c) couldn't just create a damned blogger account.

BTW, I barely consider my website to be a blog... I think I had it for several months before I knew what a blog was. My first introduction to "blogging" was on my friend's website, where, on her homepage it said "We Blog." And I thought "Blog" What a great word for the general malaise of everyone's life.

Old News:

"I think it was more a question of the right opportunity came along. We’re extremely interested in getting more information published on the Web in any kind. A relatively straightforward analysis says that a lot of the digital authoring empowerment in people’s hands is at a stage where people do not appreciate how powerful this is. I’m not just talking about computers. I’m talking about digital cameras and those types of things.

I believe that this notion of self-publishing, which is what Blogger and blogging are really about, is the next big wave of human communication. The last big wave was Web activity. Before that one it was e-mail. Instant messaging was an extension of e-mail, real-time e-mail."


"Search engine upstart Google Wednesday said it has acquired Applied Semantics (formerly known as Oingo) for an undisclosed amount.

The move gives it technology to improve its content-targeted ad programs, and takes away from rival Overture one of its affiliates. "

Friday, April 25, 2003

<shameless self promotion>

RP - If you're into recording, check out my site If you want, I can set you up with a bloggerish type area there so you can rant about your studio.

</ shameless self promotion>
Friday, April 25, 2003

And this is how I realise that, having written an entry on this forum while waiting for a compile (ok, it was several compiles) I managed to completely miss the goal of it.

My idea was for Joel to create a blog service so we, users, could write about experiencies we have in our personal lives.

I recently got a new job and sometimes I feel I am in the same situation as Mixerman. I wanted to post what happens in my work hours so you guys could comment on it; but, I don't want to post on the forums. And realising more people would want to do the same thing, I thought that creating a blog would be an excellent idea.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

---"My idea was for Joel to create a blog service so we, users, could write about experiencies we have in our personal lives."---

Heard of the Samaritans :)

Stephen Jones
Saturday, April 26, 2003

Wait a minute!

JOEL did create a blog... CityDesk. You know, one of the two products his company makes. One of the reasons he writes at all in the first place.
Monday, April 28, 2003

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