Reinventing the Linkblog
It’s no secret that everyone has a link blog these days, and there is no short supply of opinions on this topic, arguing both for and against the widespread use of the format John Gruber introduced in 2004. I am not here to parrot the words of other bloggers though, but to instead offer a solution to what Marcelo Sommers dubbed “the linkblog cancer”.
As popularized primarily by John Gruber and to a lesser degree other writers who have adopted his proven format over the years, the linkblog strategy prescribes the title as a link to the cited article, a paragraph excerpt, and some form of commentary. There exist a few variations to this strategy, but by and large few bloggers stray from this path. In preparation for the launch of this blog I decided that while I did want to implement this format to a certain degree, I also wanted to find some way to differentiate myself from the myriad other bloggers writing this way. The result of that desire was the nuance variation on John’s posting scheme I use today. And while I admit it is a very subtle difference, I nevertheless believe it is an important one.
When I make a linked-list post, I attempt to differentiate myself on the manner of commentary I provide. When I link to a news story my commentary is an analysis, and op-ed pieces are posted alongside my own opinions of the matter. I don’t try to be John Gruber and post with witty title and clever tagline; instead, I choose to give my readers the one thing they won’t find on The Loop or hear from Shawn Blanc, to add something to the conversation not present anywhere else on the internet: my opinion. And if that opinions turns out to be not quite as unique as I thought, well, that means I’m posting one less article today.