Forgive me, it's time for an introspective blog post. Lately I feel I've been in a bit of a blog slump with Read/WriteWeb. My numbers are still good, but I'm not happy with the quality of my recent posts here. I set very high standards for myself and I get disappointed when I don't meet them. Yesterday produced an example of what I consider a poor R/WW post: Gawker Strikes Deal With Yahoo. Admittedly it was a rushed post, because I had other things to do, but that's no excuse for not doing more groundwork and analysis before I posted it. By contrast, later that day I saw an excellent post by Mike Arrington from TechCrunch on the same topic: Is the Gawker-Yahoo Deal Important? Mike's post pointed out something that I would have known had I done more groundwork, that Yahoo is not actually linking through to Gawker sites. Mike also had new and useful analysis - and questions - about the Yahoo-Gawker deal.
I ended up emailing Mike and congratulating him on the post, which in my view is illustrative of the outstanding work he's doing with TechCrunch.com currently. TechCrunch is a valuable resource for people in our industry - and is being noted as such by people or sites I read and respect. My blog is hopefully a valuable resource too, but I need to return to doing the things that made it popular to begin with.
To find out what is really my niche, I decided to check what people have actually been reading from R/WW. Between 10 Oct 05 (when I first started using Measure Map) and 17 Nov 05, the following were my most visited posts:
1. Web 2.0 Office
(posted 2 Sep 05)
2. Microsoft Livens Up Web 2.0 (posted 1 Nov 05)
3. Web 2.0 Workgroup (posted 10 Oct 05)
4. craigslists gets heavy with Oodle (posted 14 Oct 05)
5. Web 2.0 Definition and Tagging (posted 1 Feb 05)
6. Portals 2.0 flesh out their product lines (posted 10 Nov 05)
7. Microsoft Announces The Live Era (posted 1 Nov 05)
8. Web 2.0 Weekly Wrap-up, 31 Oct - 6 Nov 2005 (posted 6 Nov 05)
9. My Million Dollar Blog (posted 8 Oct 05)
10. Web 2.0 Naysaying reaches an all-time high (or is it low) (posted 21 Oct 05)
Interesting that none of the above posts are "scoops" and only a couple are announcements or news. I would classify 6 of the above top 10 posts as true analysis of which I'm proud of - and 5 of those are in the top 6. I think this shows that my place in the tech blogosphere is as an analyst and commentator on Web 2.0 trends. I think I've been trying to do too many newsy type posts lately and focusing too much on getting onto tech.memeorandum.
In fact, it turns out I did get to the top of tech.memeorandum a couple of times with analytical posts that I didn't expect to make it there. Microsoft Livens Up Web 2.0 and Portals 2.0 flesh out their product lines were both number 1 on the Top of the Meme Pops for a time. I think there's a lesson in that for me - just write well thought out and insightful posts and tech.meme will reward the best of them. I also have plans to start digging deeper with my analysis and use the products I'm talking about more thoroughly (hat tip Ben Barren for pushing me along in that respect).
Incidentally, my top 5 ZDNet posts at time of writing are:
Leaked Documents from Bill Gates and Ray Ozzie
Microsoft's Ray Ozzie on the Web Office
Is digg the new Slashdot?
The Web-based Office will have its day
Personalized Start Pages: Microsoft, Google, Netvibes
Ray Ozzie: The Internet Services Disruption
My ZDNet readers like the techie posts and ones about Microsoft!
Anyway... I hope you don't mind this excursion into blog navel-gazing, but I felt like I needed to re-focus and get back on the track that made Read/WriteWeb a joy to write (and hopefully to read) to begin with. I'd really appreciate any comments - positive or negative - that you have about R/WW. What kind of things do you want me to deliver to you and where do you see the value (if any) of my blog?