In retrospect …

19 Nov

A few months ago I posted a review of Vincent Maher’s blog, “My Digital Life“. In the review I expressed the opinion that his blog lacked variety and could improve on aspects of multimedia. Needless to say I was lambasted by Maher’s readers and retreated quite shamefully in my corner – never imagining anyone would actually read my review of his blog! (Damn those Google alerts!!)

After a few months of blogging, I thought it would be a good idea to reflect a little bit on what I wrote, and what I think now, having experienced the ups and downs of blogging and its various difficulties (and joys of course!).

Unfortunately, I deleted my review and can’t find it anywhere – which was quite idiotic. I think I deleted it quite spontaneously because I wasn’t happy with the quality of the blog review, and the response it recieved. However, I do remember that it looked very briefly at three aspects of a blog: interactivity, multimedia and hypertextuality.

Looking back, I criticised Maher quite a bit on the lack of multimedia in his blog. First of all, I now realise how difficult it is to incorporate multimedia into a blog. It takes time (especially if you have a poor connection) and can sometimes not look as slick as you would like. I’ve had to struggle quite a bit with this aspect, but I know that in time this will improve – especially for someone who started off with no knowledge whatsoever.

Secondly, Maher’s blog incorporates a lot of multimedia that my untrained eye did not pick up on a few months back. Links, slideshows, graphs, pictures etc. They all add a personal visual aspect to the blog which looks professional and interesting. Plus, he has a “I know Vincent Maher” virtual badge – which is just so ridiculously cool, it’s terrible! I like his links, the variety of commentary on his blog, and the way he incorporates different multimedia into his discussions. It’s only now, after a few months of blogging attempts, that I can appreciate that.

In terms of interactivity … well, a measure of interactivity is actually the amount of people that comment on your blog, not really the amount of opportunities you give them to comment. This is actually quite difficult; you have to attract people to your blog, and give them something that sets your blog apart from the other 10 million blogs that exist out there. Your blog has to be interesting, have variety, provide commentary that stimulates debate, be coherent and cohesive etc. It’s quite difficult to manage all of these things: it takes time, skill and talent.

Maher has a number of loyal readers who interact with him on his blog – and that’s quite an achievement for a blogger. So I think his level of interactivity is quite high, much higher then I had first estimated.

Plus, the blog continuouslly evolves, looking different, fresh and interesting. It’s made me realise how hard it is to maintain a blog that way, keeping a handle on several aspects of interactivity, multimedia and hypertextuality while still attracting readers in an incredibly demanding virtual environment. It’s certainly something I hadn’t considered when I wrote the review. So Vincent, respect. The blog looks great and I now realise how much work must go into keeping it up. Well done, man!


2 Responses to “In retrospect …”

  1. taraturkington November 23, 2007 at 7:14 pm #

    I enjoyed your thoughtful re-evaluation, Jackie. I hope Vincent reads this. Your ability to be honest and to not be proud do you credit.

  2. Stuart January 24, 2008 at 10:01 pm #

    Boo! Hoo!

    So you got a little spanked and went running off to hide. I would expect, no scratch that, demand more from you as a budding journalist. As suggested, good on you for re-evaluating your initial, perhaps somewhat hasty review, but at the end of the day you probably had good cause and honest intentions to make the comments you did. Did Mr. Maher return a comment to his reviewer? Why not? Is blogging merely an opportunity to make personal statements and observations about the world the blogger lives in? What of a blogger who develops a following? I trust you see where this is going … you may well be an ideal candidate for the Presidency!

    No question is too stupid, only the idiot who deems it irrelevant. I suggest you revisit your initial review and stick to your guns. An argument along the lines of “…but it’s too hard to do everything” is not an argument at all, merely an excuse. What we say or (re)present says as much about what we have not said.

    JK Rowling was turned down many, many times by people who lacked the vision she was representing, before she became the UK’s richest women?

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