Oct 23, 2006

Fewer posts, more content.

It’s an idea that’s been knocking around in my head the past few weeks. Now that I’m operating this, my personal site, and also The Loss Column, a site with multiple contributors and certain long-term goals, I find that I’m thinking not only as a content creator/provider but as a publisher. The two sites serve different purposes, but in each case I have a responsibility to provide content with some measure of value. Frequent and regular updates used to be the difference between a blog and a website. Now that the technology is stable and common what you have, in effect, is really just robust and free access to the means of assembling a publication. And in that, the blog is really no different than a newspaper or a magazine.

Blogs, as such, tend to suffer from “mile wide, inch deep” syndrome. I’m thinking of the various Gawker Media sites, of the Huffington Post, of Stereogum – I like all of them, but I might like them even more if they updated half as often and gave each post more gravity. And, in fact, I’d argue (and this is not a wholly original thought – others have expressed it in one form or another) that the proliferation of RSS and other syndication technologies has rendered frequent updates not only unnecessary, but potentially annoying. I could post five times a week here, but do you really care what I ate for dinner?

So I’ve been posting less but trying to make each post more worthwhile. You may not enjoy every one of them, but hopefully none feel like throwaways. With any luck, that mindset will become more common.

I'm making plenty of progress on the Milton Glaser/Paula Scher article. Much of what I have to say is written, and I'm finishing up the process of transcribing the interviews completely so that I can take a long view of what they had to say and pick the meatiest passages. I thought perhaps a teaser might be in order, so here you go:
NS: How do you feel about your work being borrowed, and more specifically when your work is redesigned. That’s a peculiar state for the designer to have to deal with.

Milton Glaser: It is a funny idea. On one hand you very much want to influence your time and people’s practice. After all, the whole reason for being published and having your work public is to produce an effect. And I like the fact that people are influenced. Influence is certainly a reason that I entered into the profession to begin with. What you don’t like is to be misunderstood. And so when you see bad knock-offs of what you do, which are not central to your intentions, that can be embarrassing and depressing. But I certainly don’t mind seeing my influence on my peers and another generation. That, to a large degree, is why I got into this business to begin with.

No comments: