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Jakob Nielsen Hates Blog Posts, Comments

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Little quick-hit blog posts (should we call them blosts?) and comments left on other blogs don’t do enough to attract truly desirable customers to sites.

While usability expert Nielsen sees blogs as being fine for websites with cheap products for sale, entrepreneurs with serious aspirations should aim for writing longer, higher-quality articles.

He contended that blog posts or comments exist as a commodity, as they are limited in the value they can provide. It is better to write articles of depth and substance, which help attract paying customers.

Those are the people who a business can “own” with relationships that a search engine cannot. Nielsen has decried search for taking value away from content. Google and others can’t take away a relationship.

Nielsen’s observations indicate a way of playing with the perceptions of visitors. Fatter content, preferably of quality, imparts authoritativeness on the site publisher. People think it’s more valuable if the articles span a few paragraphs consistently.

I found it interesting to contrast Nielsen’s position with a content creator who has built a fortune with minimal content, and an eye on human nature. Dilbert creator Scott Adams has mentioned his interest and training in hypnosis several times over the years, and he just wrote a lengthy blog post about it.

Adams noted how he once ran an ad where he offered to hypnotize people into “remembering” their past lives for $20. “We learned you should charge for your service because it makes you more credible and makes the hypnosis easier,” he said.

That seems to be Nielsen’s position as well. Giving away short blog posts and comments may be as ineffective an approach as offering free hypnosis sessions. Maybe that is a good reason to decry blogging and commenting with little depth.

Jakob Nielsen Hates Blog Posts, Comments
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