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Where do you put all that other stuff?

A few posts back I wrote about the toss-up of using your blog to take part in a blogosphere conversation vs. keeping it on topic.

A blogs have a theme – even the ones that don’t have a tangible theme can say via lowest common denominator that they are about the person who wrote them (this blog is an example of that — there is no common thread to all my posts, other than they are stuff that interests me).

Successful bloggers have found that having some kind of theme or genre boundaries is good for subscribers and advertisers. It’s a shame I haven’t discovered that yet. 🙂

So when people say “use your blog to response to another blog post, and create conversation via trackback” there is a friction for those who want to respond about stuff that’s nothing to do with their genre. For others, just writing responses breaks the flow of their otherwise punchy blog.

TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington has CrunchNotes, and now my favourite blogger Om Malik (I really want to meet Om, he’s great) has “The Daily Om“.

Om says:

“I feel sooner or later, many of us who are addicted to blogging, will have to set up the equivalent of Page 3 on their blogs. I am sure other are going to disagree, but my instincts tell me that I am right. Think of it as me applying the dolby filter to the content.”

Hmmm, I think the equivalent of Page 3 (explanation) on my blog would look like something else, but that’s another story…

Joking aside, Om’s spot on. His instincts are right, and I can see this being a big theme of 2006 – people getting their second, third, forth blog. Blogs are cheap/free so why not? And for many of us it’s already the case.

The question, therefore, is what can blogging platforms do to cater for this? Movable Type does multiple blogs and Blogger and TypePad also cater for it. So come on Matt, you gotta get WordPress multiblog working.

And in the meantime I need to work on a mini start-up that solves the problem of how to people aggregate their disparate feeds so that they can easily offer a single feed of all their blogs…

PS: Om, you should really call your blog “The Daily Blog, with Om Malik”. That’d be cool!

Published in Thoughts and Rants


  1. :Ben Metcalfe Blog…

    The idea that we would require multiple blogs per author and multiple authors per blog with the possibility of cross-posting is one of the deciding factors in our choice of b2evolution over WordPress, plog or other blogware platforms.

    Joking aside, …

  2. Ben,

    I think b2e has been improving steadily over time, and the new Phoenix version [alpha] has some nice features, such as workflow, that will make it even more useful for multi-author blogging. Reloading the whole banned keyword list was fixed as well in 0.9.1.

    I’m curious, since you did an analysis of the PHP in b2e, if you did the same in WP? How has the WP evolution from b2/cafelog compare, code-wise, with b2e?

    It does seem that b2e addresses the issues raised for folk wanting multiple blogs, multiple feeds and aggregation of them back into a single “tabbed” template.

    We’ve been relatively happy with b2e, and very happy with their community over the past 18 months that we’ve been using it. That said, I understand your concerns and the appeal of WP. But different needs are what allow multiple takes on the same idea to survive.

    BTW, do you know of any Angel Investor organizations that my friend Katie [PhD EE] in the UK could approach with a new idea? She asked me for some advice, but I have no connections there. [Couldn’t hurt to ask] 😉

  3. Ben,

    Re: Where do you put the other stuff?

    Why do you have to put it anywhere else? Isn’t that what Tags are for? OK, the user interfaces for choosing which categories of post you want to read aren’t perfect yet. But, in principle, don’t Tags solve this problem?

  4. Ben Ben


    No, tags don’t solve the problem if you fundamentally have more than one audince demographic.

    I couldn’t for example run an underground DJ/Garage blog, a tech/web2.0 blog and a personal blog all from the same common blog install here on – not if I want any kind of separate interface or look/feel.

    Technically I could do something with tags that would filter just out content from one genre but the name of the blog would persist throughout, the template would stay the same — and that’s assuming that I’m using blog software that will output an RSS based on a tag (WordPress won’t, although it will do it for a catagory).

    There’s also the issue of privacy, or at least degrees of exposure. I might not want a “personal blog” to be visable to people coming to look at my web2.0 posts, etc.

    The same argument is probably no different to that of email. Theoreticaly speaking no one needs more than one email account, yet I would guess almost everyone two or more.

    I have a work one given to me by my employer, a personal one and a completely separate anonymous gmail account that can’t be tracked back to me for when I’m responding to those “casual encoutner” adverts on craigslist 🙂

  5. I was thinking about this myself a couple of weeks ago, I find myself wanting to reply to posts all the time through my blog, the coComment system goes some way to allowing me to reply to posts on my site without blogging it but it’s not ideal.

    I still think that if you get the right combination of plugins (there are ones for changing themes by post, adding rss and stopping posts from going on the homepage), you could create a virtual ‘alternative’ blog.

    You could create a different template with a hard coded blog title that only pulled in posts tagged with (or assigned to the catagory) say page3 🙂

    In fact I may play with it and see what happens.

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