Blog Whines

by on August 16, 2005 · 6 comments

As much as I’m enjoying blogging and missed it while I was away, there are some things that don’t make sense to me yet.

Because I actually want people to read my blog, I understand that I need to be linking up with one of the blogging search/linking/social bookmarks services like Technorati.

Only, I don’t quite get it yet. Let’s start with this…when I search on a term that’s important to ME, I get a bunch of Chinese-charactered results. Begging forgiveness in advance of the Chinese readers who might care to read this — but I don’t read Chinese. Not that I wouldn’t be interested in learning, but it doesn’t really help me right now.

So why is it that I can’t filter out the languages I don’t yet understand? And why is it that I get a bunch of really, really commercial sites instead of the ‘real people’ sites? Isn’t there some way we can filter out the “buymyproduct” stuff against the “I’marealpersonwhoisinterestingtosomeotherrealpeople” stuff so we can actually search and get results that MEAN something?

As long as I’m whining, it ought to be simple enough to ascertain the key terms without actually having to make stupid links and paste them in to actually get them to the search engines. Now I admit I’m spoiled rotten, but my perspective is from a user who usually wants something about a year before it’s developed and ready for prime time, and my gut tells me that these search ‘tools’ are still in their very early infancy.

Here’s something else — I’m really, really good at adding other folks’ blogs to my Bloglines subs, but as I discovered today, I suck at remembering to blogroll them so their blogs end up over on the right-hand side of the page. And I WANT to blogroll them so that other folks who might happen upon ME might also click into theirs. I have managed to leave SoCal Mom off my blogroll for 3 weeks. Of course, I THOUGHT she was there, but I realized today that she was on my feeds only. Duhhhhh. There ought to be an easy, simple way to subscribe and blogroll simultaneously.

And while we’re on the topic of subscriptions, let’s just jump on Scoble’s bandwagon for a second and talk about terminology. Only geeks like me are going to understand the term “RSS”. And I confess that I didn’t really understand it until I spent the time learning. If you think my mom, a woman who asked me what a mouse was when she bought her first computer and has only recently graduated to the level of actually getting broadband and updating her virus definitions more often than annually is going to understand and get excited about “RSS Feeds” you’re sadly mistaken.

“Web Feeds” she will understand…sort of. At least, she’ll try because I ask her to. The very term “RSS Feed” will send her into a tizzy wondering what she has to learn to cook next and why I’m nagging her into doing it! By the way, my mom is an incredibly bright person who was one of Ebay’s first sellers before they were ubiquitous. She still will not respond to “RSS”. This is just common sense and basic user-friendliness stuff.

Let’s not be snobs about the terms, please. Make it simple and easy to understand. Web Feeds make sense; RSS is just an acronym that has no meaning to 99.9% of the human population. Even the IRS has to dumb things down for us ordinary taxpayer-types…why not webbies?

I’m going to give the Technorati tagging thingies a shot here. I still think it’s kind of stupid that I can’t just register with them and have them come and suck up search terms, but okay…we’ll do it this way and see. Maybe I’ll get a visit from Scoble, if for no other reason than to tell me to QUIT WHINING, help is on the way!

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  • Donna

    Web Feeds. So simple. So succinct. I say we start using it.

    (And thanks for adding me!) :)

  • Denise

    I’m not sure web feed will help convince people to use it. I mean Donna is no dumby and she hasn’t been using an aggregator herself, right? Would she have been more likely to use it if it was called “Web Feed”? I am not sure but I sort of doubt it.

    I think it’s the process that is screwed up. Like the boss lady said recently. If I click that orange button, I get this page of gobbledy gook – THAT is the problem, not what it’s called. Heck, make it a plain orange button for all I care with no text at all. Just fix it so it is obvious to non geeks how you use it. ;-)

    Now technorati, that’s another issue entirely.

  • DrumsNWhistles

    Remember the days of “pushed content”? That was what I thought of immediately when I was first introduced to aggregators.

    Compuserve did a much more elegant job of this 10 years ago…LOL.

  • DrumsNWhistles

    Technorati updated their software tonight to limit searches to language-specific results and top lists of blogs. Maybe there’s hope. ;-)

  • Anonymous

    It’s liz here from I Speak of Dreams (I got here from a link at Strewwelpeter, who subscribes to my blog through bloglines)

    Struwwelpeter’s bloglines subscriptions but I amnot sure who struwwelpeter is…

    Bloglines makes it all easy for me. I like easy.

  • DrumsNWhistles

    Hi liz…

    Looks like Nancy White’s blog is the common denominator. It’s nice to see you here. I use bloglines too, but that doesn’t help when I want to put that link up on the side of the least, not yet!

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