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January 28, 2004

Reading blogs in an aggregator vs. the original webpage

I've been making notes for a future post regarding this subject -- which came up briefly at last week's Berkman Thursday meeting, and which I hope we'll return to.

Jessamyn West at beat me to th punch and she touches on some of my issues.

So I've been messing with my RSS aggregator for the better part of a day now and I have this to say: I enjoy reading sites in the aggregator whose only [or main] function is to provide content. In fact, in some instances reading blogs this way allows me to avoid some very busy pages and just read all their content as black on white text with nice blue links. This is great for news sites , pretty good for most blogs , and downright disturbing for more arty sites where the design is really part of the content, or accentuates the content in some important way.
Good stuff, but here's one comment.

She said, "I know the big push in good web design is to separate content from presentation from structure specifically to enable this sort of approach..."

The movement to "separate content from presentation from structure" was initially, and I submit still is substantially, done in order to separate the development of these aspects of the page. It was/is to enable and simplify the creation of pages, sometimes for multiple platforms, but not to disconnect these aspects. As I suspect Jessamyn might agree, good "layout & design" add value to the "content" of a message. And to arbitrarily disregard either content or look, will often change the author's intent.

Let's talk more about this.

PS. I like Jessamyn's blog subtitle, "putting the rarin' back in librarian", even if it is a little spelling-impaired.

[Thanks j's scratchpad]

Posted by jghiii at January 28, 2004 01:14 PM
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