Well not really – but I do like to read a range of views, and follow No Right Turn (#6, blogspot), Kiwiblog (#1), not PC (a rabble rousing #3 – also on blogspot) and The Visible Hand in Economics (#13). I also occasionally read Whale Oil (#8), Roarprawn (#13 – blogspot) and rising star Offsetting Behaviour (#23 – blogspot)
I’m amazed at the number of blogspot hosted sites. I just don’t get it. WordPress is not only a far simpler platform to use, but it doesn’t show the blogspot toolbar on the top, and it makes it trivial to buy and host the site on a personal domain name.
Surely it is time for the better sites to move from something like norightturn.blogspot.com to norightturn.com?
I don’t read number 2: The standard, 4: Public Address or 5: No Minister. The Standard and No Minister have never compelled me to stay (especially versus No Right Turn and Kiwiblog – who really are excellent) while I have issues with Public Address.
Let’s work through those personal issues I have with Public Address, because it is a much read and loved site by others, and people get really engaged there. Here are the top ten issues
- The front page has snippets of articles only. Reading shouldn’t be an active sport – but on Public Address I have to click multiple times to read the posts on the front page
- The articles are, well, articles. They are far too long for the internet media – seeming more suited to magazines.
- The articles often contain more than one topic – this one contains about 4 different thought streams. That may work for an email newsletter, but in a blog (or indeed a newspaper) the expectation is one story per story.
- Actually that link isn’t to one post – but to a series of posts (I was referring to the one on 7 July) on the same topic. That’s just weird.
- The link buttons and so forth under each post don’t look quite right – they are not standard and so I am not sure how they function.
- The comments are somewhere else – so you can’t read the article and see the comments straight underneath without clicking yet again
- Once you are in the comments section you can’t get back to the main Public Address site – there is no home link.
- It’s http://publicaddress.net – that’s weird. I still think of .net sites as being technical ones to do with running the internet. What is wrong with .com or .co.nz?
- The RSS feed is clipped. This is important as everything above is forgivable if I can read entire articles in my RSS reader. However like the homepage you can only see a few lines of the hundreds in each article.
- Overall it’s just too hard – the site makes me think too much about how it functions, and not enough about whatever it is they are talking about.
The solution is easy – move the site over to WordPress. There are plenty of people in NZ to help with the transition and even a WordPress camp coming up in Wellington.
None of these issues are to do with the actual content of the site – which is apparently very good. It’s a classic case of the usability getting in the way of the product.
I often wonder just how much traffic Public Address would get if they adopted standard usability and technology.
So is this just me – or do others have the same issues?