Weirdly, a lot of people have commented on my thoughts on why a weblog is popular. More interestingly, exactly what I feared would happen has happened – by actively trying to demonstrate whether or not my theory was true or not (ie. by producing reviews) I have wandered slap bang into the middle of the debate (once again) about whether weblogs are popularity contests and whether or not good design is something that can be quantified.
It’s strange – in most other areas of web site creation it is considered a given that there are certain designs that are better than others. Unreadable content is surely always the sign of a bad website, as is unclear navigation. I consider kottke.org to be incredibly well designed – it’s clear, elegant and easy to find your way around. So I can only half agree with Blog for One when he says: “on a personal site, one should be able to do whatever they want, and not have to worry about being judged, or measured, or ranked” because while no one should feel under pressure to compete, there is no reason to think that the design, content or character of a personal site cannot be improved, nor that the individuals who run those sites are not interested in doing so.