Linked by Kroc on Tue 19th Dec 2006 13:39 UTC
Editorial Web 2.0 throws a lot of buzzwords at us. New technology has given us new terms to describe a particular design process. One of these is "user-centric" design. An example of a website that isn't user-centric would be microsoft.com. A static site where the users have no control over the content of the site, nor any choice in what they see. The company displays the information they deem important. This is considered web 1.0. (Note by AS: a new microsoft.com site has gone live since this submission). YouTube and Digg are examples of Web 2.0, user-centric sites whereby the users of the site contribute not only the content that the other users consume, but each user helps decide what content is promoted. Today, I'm going to coin a new term: self-centric design. To define this new term, I will compare OSNews to one of the leading web 2.0 sites: Digg.
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RE[4]: RE
by Get a Life on Tue 19th Dec 2006 19:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: RE"
Get a Life
Member since:
2006-01-01

I don't think any of the popular link magnets are "self-respecting news sites." They largely create little content besides discussion, and what content they do create is of dubious quality. It's rarely investigative, and is usually just opinion. They rely on sensational headlines and pick subject matter that is often unimportant. To some extent they may have something in common with other news organizations, but that says more about the decline of journalism or the superficiality of their audience than anything else. In any event, enough about Slashdot.


If I were to suggest linking to research papers here, for example, I would expect to see maybe 2-5 comments. I could probably name the people that I would expect to chime in, but I won't because I don't want to drag them into my own opinions. The subject matter would lie outside of the domain of expertise of many people, and require significant time to read, and so it would see little traffic from people that are largely interested in inflaming passions about simple topics or just keeping up with the latest news from projects. There is a lot less nonsense here than there is on Digg, by virtue of it having an editorial staff, and by being directed to mostly technology-related items, but that does not mean that the discussion here does not favor mediocrity. I will never see Bill Gates naked here, but I will see links to articles that pander to the Dvorak audience or to Learn To Read in 21 Days snippets. Of course I will also find interesting things, which is why I read this site more than Digg despite the much smaller volume of information: smaller is better, because I have things to do. We use spam filters for a reason, after all.

I also read programming.reddit.com and lambdatheultimate.org, but those are more-targeted link magnets than OSN seeks to be, though LtU used to generate a lot of interesting discussion. Or I guess to put it another way, these sites only compete with each other if you happen to only read one of them. Otherwise they are partially-overlapping sources of information. Digg is no longer focused on technology news and OSN doesn't link to Jon Stewart on YouTube.

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