New Yorkers are clueless about blogs and it’s all our fault: study
A new study from Catalyst Group Design on the usability of blogs has found that all New Yorkers know nothing about blogs and related concepts including comments, RSS, trackbacks, and navigation.
The indepth study of 9 New Yorkers: “Net Rage, A Study of Blogs and Usability” (pdf) also concluded that the bloggers are to blame with a conclusion that reads:
“Even assuming mainstream interest, current blog design standards ‘€“ at least in terms of navigation, nomenclature and taxonomy ‘€“ are a barrier to consumer acceptance. In fact, the design of most blogs can incite net rage”
Other statements in the report included the belief that RSS is what made a blog a blog and that people who had never visited blog couldn’t always identify they were on a blog unless authors placed the word “BLOG” in a big, flashing animated gif at least 200px high at the top of the blog, and that not identifying a blog as a blog is a terrible thing.
The report also stated that big orange XML buttons don’t mean anything to the residents of New York, but an “add me to My Yahoo!” button is easier for New Yorkers to understand, although many of them fear that such buttons are really just fronts from spyware and viruses to get on their computers.
I find that hard to believe, we publish 5 blogs in the city,and people seem to know how to use them. The problem is with the word blog, and poor site design.
Part of the problem I’ve found is the lack of interesting blogs. I’ve stumbled across blogspy.net and found it quite interesting. It’s a collection of relevant links of the day.
It’s what Stephen Baker said last week : blogging seems enormous and nearly omnipresent when you’re doing it, but can seem marginal when you step away. I’ve got “Blog” writ large at the top of my … er …? It’s bit like painting “Human Being” on your forehead, but maybe it’s necessary.
Well the study was involving people who had never seens blogs before or used them and so on. A lot of blog designs now seem to try to emulate the fact that they’re just normal web sites.
And yes, I do think that this is still not mainstream, we are still on the fringe so to speak. When someone big starts seriously blogging (and I don’t mean Jennings’ face on an msnbc blog) then I think their voice will speak up more for us.