All You Can Eat

Currently I have the impression that more and more new blogs content themselves with passing on news without adding value.

I used to think that such blogs were exceptions that simply had not understood the new medium and just confused it with bookmark sharing (where 255 characters of space would allow them to add all the “Me too” comments). But now I learned that their readers want exactly this style.

  • While I tried to evangelize among my colleagues arguing that filtered blogs help against information overload, I now read the advice “oversubscribe“, “read what you can”. This reminds me of “All you can eat” and the information forager metaphor.
  • When my RSS reader was sometimes empty for many hours on a nice spring weekend, I supposed that my favorite bloggers are sane people who value a creative break and were probably out for a bicycle tour (since strikingly many of them have indeed mentioned their bicycle). But at such weekends, others wish for “6 Web Apps To Get You Through A Slow News Day” (RWW).
  • And while I was enthusiastic about how well blogs foster reflection, my newspaper promotes its new blog by calling it “subjective, unqualified, and completely unreflected.

Obviously, two different cognitive styles reign also here. The above nutrition metaphor suggests interpreting the difference as follows.

  • Some prefer a slower and probably more thorough digestion process and need less food but hand-picked quality;
  • Others love the abundance. And probably the novelty is also important for them because (as the Eide’s explained some time ago) novelty is easier to process (digest). Perhaps the novel stimuli can then be comparared to sweets which quickly deliver a high nutrient content and are similarly attractive as small news items.

I still think that blogs are not the ideal medium for this sort of information swelling, and that people who don’t like reflective blogs should not be urged to embrace blogs at all. But obviously the mainstream has seized also this second cognitive type, and the reflective character of large parts of the blogoshpere is tipping.

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2 Responses to All You Can Eat

  1. I guess this has to do with the growing blogging community. So I guess it is you as the user who has to choose. If you want a read and write web you will get people writing in a way you don’t appreciate.

  2. x28 says:

    That is food for thought, thank you!

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