I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. Christmas time seems to be appropriate for the sentiment. I’d like to say/write thank you to the folks at ReadWriteWeb. The web is evolving incredibly fast, blogs have become a phenomena and according to some it’s already being replaced with microblogging.
Web offers many choices to people and to me RWW model offers the best return on my (time) investment. What makes RWW different?
Content with substance.
You can tell that it’s not just blurted out. I was surprised to read that the blogs play “breaking the news” game like the traditional media. Erick Schonfeld had written:
“There is not much time for story-telling (except for weekend posts like this one). It is mostly breaking news, reporting facts and providing analysis.”
Breaking news is clearly important to a lot of people. Techcrunch provides is very useful to many, as it has millions of readers (including myself). However from my perspective, “breaking blog post” is not as valuable as well throughout, researched one. It won’t kill me if I read about a hot new startup a day late. I rather read about it with supporting information that provides context. That requires research and takes time.
Many RWW posts are like references, often contain in-depth analysis, compare & contrast different players, philosophies etc. I can imagine that it takes time to write them. But as a result, they don’t become stale as fast as”hot news” posts. I wonder how much traffic RWW gets, through google hits for older posts. I suspect it is significant.
I prefer reading blogs like RWW, Techcrunch, A VC a day later. Significant part of the value provided by these blogs is the comments added by the readers. Reading the posts later give me a chance to read the comments on the posts, which are as valuable(if not more) as the post itself.
I suspect the next innovation for the conversations on the web will come in the comments space. I think we desparately need better tools to manage comments (for the readers). An obvious idea is digg like system for comments, to get good comments bubble up. Amazon book reviews may be a model for this.
Practicioners beat reporters any day
RWW has number of contributors who are not primarily reporters but practitioners in the field. Personally, I think hands-on experiences of someone in the field is many times more valuable than a (no offense) reporter. It helps that RWW writers are using heavily the cutting edge web tools themselves and share their experiences.
When the subject steers outside the expertise of the regular contributers, it is best to get a guest writer to contribute rather than fumble a shallow opinion based post that does not add any value.I hope RWW will continue to have subject matter experts contribute. It is not easy to find these people and blogs like RWW play a critical role in bringing talented people to daylight for all to enjoy.
A new year resolution for me: I have to get better at being concise. In summary, a big thanks to RWW. Hope their business rewards them sufficiently for the excellent service they provide.