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July 10, 2007 / Steven Pousty

Jakob pokes a stick in the bees nest

So Jakob Nielsen writes a piece about not wasting time on blogging since it is cheap, commodity, and threatens to ruin your good name. He definitely does a great job poking a stick in the beehive known as the blogging community. Comments like “let them eat cake” have historically been shown to upset people. Here is another objective non-confrontational gem:

You should build a cathedral, because a thousand tents can’t compete with the Notre Dame.

There has been a response by the usual suspects. Of course the champion of blogging chimes in – Scoble . He does a pretty good job ripping on Nielsen, including dissing the aesthetic appeal of his web site. But I think there is even better ripping done by Global Nerdy – with a mildly NSFW picture with some funny photoshopping.

I have to say – nothing new to see hear – same arguments we hear over and over again. I think the truth lays in the middle ground for the two sides. Blogging has done a lot of good in opening the informal lines of communication. Allowing people whose voices who wouldn’t have been heard or noticed before to now be seen. I would agree there is a ton of stuff out there not worth reading but there are also conversations, connections, and knowledge sharing that would not have happened otherwise. On the other hand I still value having a well written white paper as well. It does become tiring bouncing from blog to blog or through google searches to try and find the information I need. A well written white paper/book lets me get an expert opinion that I can sit and read for a longer period of time.
Both forms of communication have their value but they don’t fill the same niche.

I think this discussion follows similar lines as the discussion James and I had the other day. Geocommons will not replace Spatial Analyst in the hands of a person with expertise in spatial statistics. But then again if you want a quick and dirty heat map geocommons fits the bill.

I do not believe blogging or geocommons or open source make anyone an expert. There was a great blurb I saw today about what makes an expert – and one of the big take aways was that it takes a lot of work over a long time period.

In the end it is the right tool/platform/technology/person for the job. Do I need a plumber to come replace the drainage line between my house and the city main – heck yeah and I will certainly pay for that expertise. Do I want to wait and pay for a plumber to come to my house to fix a clogged toilet – no way. Do I want to use blogging to increase conversation and exchange of ideas – you betcha. Do I think a blog piece can replace a well written book to help me deeply understand a topic – no way.

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2 Comments

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  1. GeoMullah / Jul 11 2007 3:26 am

    Steve, the guy is talking to small businesses and the value of impact. I don’t agree with some of the things he says, but I realized: I’m different! So, some of the things he says don’t apply to me. And I’m off to write more 0 percentile posts!

  2. Sean Gillies / Jul 11 2007 6:14 am

    Thanks for reminding me how annoying Scoble is.

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