In 2005 around 2000 different people per day read my blogs in Spanish and English.  Now around 15000 people do.  In 2005 everyone who read my blog, actually read my blog.  Now around 5000 really read my blog, around 10,000 get the feeds of different kind that I supply and I don´t really know if they read my blog.  Also my new blog design and all the new features I have are lost to all on RSS readers.  These visitors probably only read a portion of what I write highlighting it in their Netvibes or iGoogle.  Now how can I complain if I do the same with other blogs in my favorite RSS reader?

In the future, should us bloggers just write feeds, forget about design and not even bother writing beyond the portion of the article that normally gets highlighted by a cursor?  Is our attention span going down to that?  I know mine is, and I am worried.

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rodolfo a milito on June 29, 2007  · 

I make a point of reading your often insightful comments, so please keep on posting.

You open the floor to an interesting debate. Coincidentally your question resonates with the title of a book reviewed in today’s New York Time by Michiko Kakutani: “The Cult of the Amateur”, by Andrew Keen. Here goes the opening salvo of the review: Mr. Keen argues that “what the Web 2.0 revolution is really delivering is superficial observations of the world around us rather than deep analysis, shrill opinion rather than considered judgment.”

I have not read the book yet. Judging from the review I guess that it will elicit schizophrenic reactions from me. On the one hand I anticipate perceiving the author as one who has missed the boat on the value of technologies that are going to have a deep and mostly positive impact on the way we develop, grow, and communicate. On the other hand, the fastidious side of me will probably enjoy his lambasting the skin-deep culture that the technology enables.


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Martin Varsavsky on June 29, 2007  · 


I share those concerns. I don´t need to go very far, I used to spend most of my life reading off paper, now it´s screens, I used to read books, those are rare now, I still read magazines on airplanes, but most of my reading is off screens now, on sites such as Netvibes and I confess it is very superficial.

Killy on June 30, 2007  · 

I have the rss in my iGoogle, and I read the full article each time the title interrest me.

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Adrian Cockcroft on June 30, 2007  · 

Hi Martin, a lot of the traffic to my blog comes from natural search i.e. people looking for information that I have discussed and finding me with help from Google. They land on the actual web page, so it does matter what it looks like. If they like the content, perhaps they will add me to their blog reader, and get future updates in the raw via RSS.

The main issue I have with RSS readers (I use bloglines to monitor about 70 feeds) is that the comments are a separate feed, so I don’t often read them. I have to be provoked enough to feel that I want to make a comment myself to be bothered to visit the site. I read the other comments first to see if what I have to say adds anything to the discussion.

Also, I got my Fontenna recently, and while its added a bit more signal strength, it didn’t boost range as much as I expected. Worth having though, and best wishes!

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Jose del Moral on June 30, 2007  · 

The answer is yes 😉 Content has become a commodity. It has no value any more. With the exception of The Economist and a few more. Even if you know your 10,000 RSS readers don’t give you a penny, you (and me and all bloggers) will keep trying to get some more. This is clearly an attention bubble!

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Sameer Nadkarni on June 30, 2007  · 


I enjoy your insightful comments and read them regularly. However, I am among those that get an email feed and it’s been a while since I visited your site. I visited today only because you commented about the changes.

My view: blogs or any other source of insightful commentary will never be irrelevant. But in an age of way too much information everywhere, many people (me included) will focus on getting the content and skip the rest. I am doing 90% of my reading on the screen (including newspapers and magazines) and the book reading time has severely decreased. The trends are lamentable.


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Martin Varsavsky on June 30, 2007  · 

Agreed Adrian,

Feeds hurt community as feeds have no comments.

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DomPierre on June 30, 2007  · 

I blog for a different set of reasons. It’s for me and me alone. It’s an outlet. I post an article when I have something to share. And I don’t care about the traffic.

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Luca Gervasio on July 2, 2007  · 

I have the rss in my iGoogle…keep on posting, Martin! It does not matter how many but “who” read your blog, even if I think there’s traffic you can’t monitorize, due to rss feeds…

See ya!

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xm carreira on July 2, 2007  · 

Anybody can have a blog. In fact, the blogosphere is too big now and blogging as a kind of advertisement is dying.

For me personally, blogging is a way to educate and to be educated by others. Blogging also provided me some useful insights so I will not stop writing my posts.

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Peeter P. Mõtsküla on July 3, 2007  · 

Feeds give me an easier way to focus on what I’m really interested in right now as not all posts are created equal. However the bloggers of the feed era have to learn two things: good and relevant post titles are a must, and if you’re providing a “castrated” feed, then the leads must be even better than the titles.

I’ve written a bit longer comment into my own blog.

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interjeras on August 17, 2007  · 

returning to past without design. it cool in some way. rss readers very helpful to have control in my as user hands, what i want ti read that i read

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