Tuesday, May 11, 2004

More on Blogs/ RSS feeds

The way in which you access content has an impact on whether or not you will use it. I avoid most push (but like RSS), but if content doesn't conform, I may still access it if it has a strong enough appeal. Technology itself can be a significant obstacle to participation, but it can never be a motivator. My point is that what matters more is the value of the content and the 'payoff' of the user experience. Sure, that experience should be simple and intuitive and convenient, but nobody invests their time BECAUSE it is simple and intuitive and convenient - - you invest your time because of the core benefit you gain from the experience itself. And that is all about content, context, focus, relevance.

Which leads me to the next point. Those of us who have populated trdev and other forums for many years used to rant that "it's not the technology, it's your strategy and objectives that matter" but I think in recent years that's become simply obvious. People still need to understand technological capabilities and pitfalls, but it's less and less common for people to let the tool dictate the execution.

If you want your restaurant to stay in business, you tune in to the needs and preferences of those who are eating your food. There are markets for take-out, delivery, candle-lit gourmet, fast food, nuked frozen meals, and lovingly prepared home cooking, among others. The technology used by the chefs in each case is irrelevant to the consumer -- it's the dining experience that matters. As a cook, you match what you want to do with a market that wants it.

One of the greatest mistakes made by many Web designers, information architects, instructional designers, bloggers, and programmers is believing that their training, technical expertise, or dogma is somehow superior to customer opinion. I think most 'quality' bloggers (as opposed to 'vanity' bloggers) are good at sharing their passion in a way that their community can appreciate, without making it all about the technology.

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