Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Your own blog on JoeUser
Published on September 10, 2003 By Draginol In Blogging
For the past year I have been blogging about the various things that interest me. If you click on the JoeUser classic link near the top you can see the kinds of things I've talked about over the past year. It's been really fun.

But I was distressed by a few things during my blogging:

  1. It sometimes felt like blogging is already a clique. A handful of blog sites got all the "glory". Part of my job at Stardock is to analyze the popularity of various websites. So when I applied my techniques to blog sites I found popularity was essentially a mixture of how long these sites had been around, how active they were, and to a less extent, the quality of the blog. This is fair -- on the surface. Afterall, those blogs had put in the time and effort. But at the same time, the level of popularity wasn't just a slight difference, it was a massive difference. A handful of blogs get 90% of the total traffic according to Alexa. There were tons of really good blogs out there that I had a hard time finding that were constantly putting out great stuff that few people would ever find.
  2. The blog sites where you could create an account and have your own blog on there seemed primitive. For one thing, little recognition was given out to people for their efforts. The tools and features seemed lacking.
  3. On top of the blog sites not having the features I was looking for, they charge money. A lot of money. I couldn't believe it. It shouldn't cost money to have a blog. I help run WinCustomize.com. That's a site that has real expenses. What makes it successful are the skinners who submit their themes, skins, icons, etc. to the site. The idea of even charging them for that would be absurd. They are the ones creating the content.  I can see charging for special features beyond blogging. But it should be free to have a blog with unlimited bandwidth and articles on it.
  4. Many of the sites looked ugly. Even JoeUser classic looked pretty awful. When my friends and family looks at what I write, I want it to look nice. So we put together a new look for JoeUser.com that looks nicer.  We'll be coming up with ways for other blogs on JoeUser.com to customize their setup quite a bit but we want to make sure that all the blogs look visually appealing.

And so we've started opening up JoeUser.com. My handle here is Draginol. My real name is Brad Wardell. If you contact someone (see bottom of the page) it still goes directly to me as it always has. But starting now you'll occasionally see articles written by other people on the home page. Maybe they'll be articles I disagree with a great deal. Heck, someone wrote a pro Michael Moore article already! Brrrr. But people who write things that interest other people will percolate to the top. A points system is in place that will help ensure the most popular, best articles come up.

And we'll be having Stardock and its sites link to JoeUser so that blogs written here can be seen. And yet at the same time we'll be putting in features so that you can control who sees your blog (everyone, just you, just a select group of users, etc.). 

It's going to be fun. As for the original Joe User (Draginol), I'll still be blogging. My specific page here is draginol.joeuser.com. So you can still see my specific stuff.

Comments
on Sep 10, 2003
That is true. At a certain level though people do have to promote their stuff. That said, I still have the ablity to feature blogs on the main page which of course gives the blog a particular boost.
on Sep 10, 2003
This is a very cool concept.

In all respects it's really just a Blog-Plus. If you only want your friends to see your blog, then it pretty much is just a normal blog site. But if people rate you well, you get better exposure.

The only potential problem I see is with that additional exposure, you also automatically have the potential for a higher rating. That is to say, the more people who read your blog, the more people will see your articles and thus more likely to rate it. Therefore you're wind up in a similar bind.

Only thing I can think of is having some sort of average on a per-user basis and their articles get posted to the main page only when they're above their personal average. Or soemthing like that.

Maybe you're already thought this part out though.
on Sep 14, 2003
Thanks for opening up joeuser.com for others to Blog, I have been thinking about setting up my own blog site but just don't have time with work, School and the such.. Now when I have the need I can type away and know I have a place to share it.
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