weblog usability

I thought I would do a self-evaluation of my blog, as per Jakob Nielsen’s Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes, or as I like to call it: “blusability” (pron. blue-za-bill-it-ee)
1. Author biography: Hm, nope, don’t have one. This is pretty much a personal blog, though I do use it for self-promotion. I probably should provide some kind of bio.
2. Author photo: Don’t have one of those either. My bad.

3. [Avoid] nondescript posting titles: Aside from the occasional musings, I think most of my titles are evocative of the contents. I’ve certainly seen more cryptic headlines on Backwards City.
4. Links say where they go: Yes.
5. Classic hits are not buried: They aren’t buried so much as they predate the blog as it currently exists. People who come to this site for something besides the blog are probably looking for the Echidna game, or information on the “Dr. K— Project”.
6. More than calendar navigation: Yes, I’ve got category links and search.
7. Regular publishing frequency: I think Nielsen misses the mark with this one. Things like rdf and syndication and aggregation make regular publishing schedules superfluous.
8. Don’t mix topics: Again, syndication and aggregation, were they to be set up effectively, make this a moot point. Admittedly, it would be better for me to create a “game channel” feed for the game blog aggregators (like game*blogs), and a different feed for the lit blogs, and so on. But this is a suggestion to keep things narrowly focused, which creates unnatural ecologies.
9. Remember that you write for your future boss: I’ll take this as a point to not get too personal lest people think you have a personality. I think this applies differently in different situations, as the convetions for academic discourse are much different from those of movie reviews.
10. Own your own domain: Yes.
After a quick tally, I’m good for 4+ out of 10, and not in total agreement for 2 of the suggestions.
I guess I will go work on my biography.

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