Does success destroy a blog?

23 11 2008

Some of my recent posts have definitely had somewhat of a lifehacker bashing feel to them. And, well, that is because I feel lifehacker has moved away from the reasons I first started reading it three years ago.



When I first came across lifehacker whilst I was teaching English in China in 2005, it was full of great posts about how to be more techy and geeky and use software and web apps to make your life easier. It was choc full of recommendations of software to download, new websites to try out and clever hacks to make software do things that weren’t in the script. However, these days, although those posts still exist, they are swamped by useless posts about software/OS not yet released (Windows 7 being the current culprit) or gushing about the iPhone and iPhone apps that are simply re-inventing things that can already be done on a Symbian or Windows Mobile device but that, wait for it….USES YOUR FINGER as an input device.

Lifehacker has also failed to introduce a forum, even though users have been calling out for one for years, a restriction apparently demanded by lifehacker’s owner, Gawker Media. Instead it has implemented a comment system, that although quite powerful, still does not really allow its readers to have any real form of discussion other than about the posts themselves.

I guess the reason for these changes is, as lifehacker has grown, and good on them for that, it has taken on more editors to create more content and thus keep increase the number of readers thus produce more advertising revenue. Since there is only so much news or hacks to write about, it becomes harder to find original content and thus the quality of the content goes down hill. I wonder if this is the curse of successful blogs, or is it possible for a blog to maintain quality, even when it gets much more popular? Another blog I like to read is Ghacks, this blog seems to be where lifehacker was a few years ago. Its author now writes the blog as his full time job and has taken on a number of contributing authors. So far, the quality of the blog has remained and it still offers original content. It’ll be interesting to see what continued success has on Ghacks and to see if it goes down hill, the same way lifehacker has.

Remember, of course, this is simply my opinion, you might still love lifehacker. I just hate having to wade through the crud to get to the good stuff, kinda like why I hate eating an artichoke.




One response

6 12 2008

Hah, I won’t go down 😉

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