Sunday, September 25, 2005

Megablogs! (For Colin)

I've been poking around the megablog sites, and I must say I am deeply disappointed with them. I look at these enormous blogs that get so much press and generate lots of buzz and I constantly wonder if I'm missing something. What makes these enormous blogs so popular, yet so unappealing to me?

First I checked out The Huffington Post, started by political insider/outsider Arianna Huffington. The major problem with the Huffington Post is that it's not a blog but an online liberal newspaper. Huffington is using the word blog liberally in order to make her newspaper seem more hip. The Huffington Post doesn't even seem to be on the pulse of news as many of their headlines come from old Reuters articles. They have a "this just in" which currently has an article from Yahoo News that was posted yesterday at 5:00pm. Fox 61 picks up news faster than this website. Yes, Huffington Post has interesting editorials from liberal folks around the country, but how does that make it different from a daily newspaper? Hartford Courant certainly could carry an editorial from Cindy Sheehan if they chose to.

Next I cruised over to Metafilter. Metafilter's slogan is "the it's okay to like" which is odd because I would have never compared the two. So unfortunately they made me compare the two sites and Plastic comes out way ahead on look, feel, ease of use, any any interesting content. Looking at Metafilter hurts my eyes; the color scheme they've selected is atrocious and the huge text is just obnoxious. Plus, I scrolled through their website and could find nothing interesting at all except an old Onion article. This website feels like it's from 1995. Colin, please allow us not to spend too much time on this one.

I've seen Slashdot many times in my travels and I think their content is fascinating sometimes. The word sometimes must be prevalent however because jammed in with the cool stuff is articles three people might be interested in. Their interface also bothers me because it seems so cold and technical, not fun at all like Fark or Boing Boing. We are Slashdot, resistance is futile.

My favorite of the megablogs is Plastic, which I discussed earlier as being much more interesting than Metafilter. Plastic is a lot like Daily Kos in that they assign ratings to comments. The difference between the two: I actually saw a dialogue in a comments section, which I failed to see on Daily Kos. The words "I beg to differ" were used multiple times and people were reading each others comments. The interface is also very pleasant. However, it doesn't get updated all that often and seems small on content.

Now perhaps allow me to suggest a website which I regard as a blog, but many people do not. Aint It Cool News has been around since 1995 and is a fantastic read. AICN is really the pioneer of the megablog format with their enormous amount of contributors and bawdy talkbacks. During the Presidential election they even got political, with the two moderators fighting over their political views. Check it out.

However, compared to all these megablogs I'll take Sally any day.

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