The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

You may recall the blog-only news intake experiment that Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion undertook last week, and my contention that the main component of it--the avoidance of click-throughs to linked news media links--ran counter to the spirit of the blog-reading experience.

Rubel lived through it; no word on how bad a case of the shakes he got (I have a feeling I'd get them bad). As planned, he put the experiment to the test by taking a week-in-review quiz from Poynter's Steve Outing. The end result: While the blog-only regimen will keep you abreast of most happenings, it doesn't give you much in the way of depth. A mixed bag, basically.

I was heartened to see, from the feedback to the Poynter writeup, that others agreed with me about the lack of clicking-through making this a questionable undertaking. As I said in the first place:
And that's why I think this aspect of Rubel's "diet" is flawed. It might come down to definitions, but I think the purpose of a blog is not only to expose you to the ideas and opinions of the blogger, but also to point you to primary/secondary news items that inspired those ideas and opinions in the first place. Relying solely on the blogger's word seems unnecessarily limiting to me; if there's a hyperlink in the post, I look at it as an invitation to click through to read it. A blog's content doesn't materialize out of thin air; the story behind the blog story is provided for you, so you might as well make use of it. Rubel's approach almost contradicts the spirit of blog reading--to get both the blogger's opinion and other opinions at once.