Pith or Pontification?

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Do you prefer weblogs where the authors write at length about things, are short and pithy, or employ a combination of the two approaches? Or something else? Why, why not?

-- Lyn (millett@io.com), December 17, 1999


A combination is usually my favorite: rc3, kottke, you and others mix it up well like that. However, I'd say the author should do whatever they're happy doing. :)

Lawrence Lee (Tomalak) clearly likes to do a 'news log' (all links, practically no commentary except through pullquotes), other folks like to do journal-style (mostly spouting off without links). I like the in-between, but that might just be because that's what I like to do m

-- Steve Bogart (bogart@nowthis.com), December 17, 1999.

As anyone who's read OneSwellFoop would know (and if you haven't, hasn't Linette been nagging you enough?), I am a solid proponent of value-added weblogging, in other words, not just pointing to other locations on the Web, but providing some of ones own personal context - your own knowledge, experience or just gut-level feeling - about what you're linking, and while summing up the essence of ANYTHING in the length of an average TV-news-soundbite is desirable, doing it consitantly is beyond the skill of the best writer or editor (to quote myself: A picture takes up as much bandwidth as a thousand words), so don't shy away from blathering or run-on sentences... (run- on sentences? Omigod! This is ALL ONE SENTENCE!!!!)

-- Wendell Wittler (wendell@oneswellfoop.com), December 17, 1999.

Well, when I began, I wanted to be a combination of Jesse (jjg.net) and Steve (nowthis.com/log). Pith is great, when you can do it as well as Jesse, but I find I'm more verbose.

But as for weblogs that I *read*, heck, it isn't the length. It's how effective the writing is. If somebody is only going to blog one or two links a day, with appropriately Strunkian numbers of words, they most likely will make them of the highest quality. Conversely, someone with a lot to say (e.g. self) should provide a lot of context and opinion.

The farthest end of that scale is probably lemonyellow.com, though, and I just don't read that one regularly. Then again, had I actually read my Saussure in college ....

-- Dan Hartung (dhartung@wwa.com), December 17, 1999.

Aw geez. This is an angle I hadn't previously considered; now you've gone and made me over-analyze my GeneHack writing style. I'd say, for both the 'blogs I read and the 'blog I write, the approach I prefer is the Lewis Carroll one: "An entry should be just as long as it needs to be, neither more nor less". Knowing how long they need to be is the tricky part, of course...

-- John S Jacobs Anderson (jacobs@genehack.org), December 19, 1999.

I have to say I prefer pontification, because that's where you see the writer's deeply held beliefs. I don't want to see a weblof that just has a quote of the day and a list of links, I want to feel like I'm having a conversation with an intelligent person.

-- Jennifer Bishop (jbishop@hotelreports.com), December 19, 1999.

I write until the piece's legs reach the ground or until I hit the length limitations of blogger, at which point I either stop utterly and get a beer or continue in several parts, droning on and on and on and on until I starting foaming at the mouth and falling over backwards. Oh, the preference thing. I prefer what I find interesting and/or well-written which one finds, if one peruses (for example) both Borges and Proust, is not really a function of length.

-- S. Baum (baum@stommel.tamu.edu), December 20, 1999.

I tend to like short, pithy pieces of pontification, sprinkled in with links to sites or articles that are of interest or usefulness to the blogger and might also be of interest or use to me.

I don't care much for celebrity gossip, babble about TV shows, pets or children, and links to silly tabloid junk.

-- Judy (judy@judywatt.com), December 21, 1999.

Prefer a combination. I enjoy the personal comments the most. It always interesting to see anothers view on an issue. Steve (Nowthis) is the one who got me hooked. Now i have a whole set of links i check dail. Medley has just recently been added. I guess i have to give my thanks to Steve though. I now have a new way to waste many an hour.

-- Tim Herman (hermant@olin.wustl.edu), December 30, 1999.

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