June 17, 2006
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Blogs and Coffee

Marica Sevelj has a lovely note this morning about the way weblogs become part of our daily routine. Start the coffee, squeeze two oranges, cut some bread for toast. Read the paper, check Jill and Torril, Marshall and Marshall, or Cole and Diane, or Scott and Winer and Megnut. And Marica, of course. And plenty more.

There's always too much to read. You should see my book stack.

What matters here, I think, is not just that weblogs have joined newspapers and sitcoms as part of our environment, but that we encounter some weblogs constantly. These are our companions, unfolding gradually through time. Other weblogs we meet through a link or a search engine. We're dropped into the middle of the story -- and when are we not?

When we're dropped in the midst of a weblog, we need links to catch up. Few search-engine arrivals are really seeking nuggets of information. If you stick them in a lab and ask them what they're doing, they might say they are, because they think it sounds good to have a specific purpose, because they think that's an answer you can use. But they're learning, not tracking down factoids.

The most crucial thing the new arrival needs to learn on the first visit is, simply, "Who are you? And what do you want?" They need this to know whether to trust you today, and whether to visit you tomorrow. (That's why it's important to have a useful About page or a Personal Information Place).