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Mainstream design blogging: The age of crap

Once upon a time, designers had to invest some time into blogging, which made pumping out crap a pretty stupid idea. Then it changed.

Tailing blogging's mainstream ascent were blogging templates, inspirational and roundup posts, and crap.

Everyday I see more crap clogging my Twitter stream and delicious iGoogle boxes. "Top 10 things widgets for your website." "5,000 ways to do __________ in jQuery." Well, it all wasn't crap at one time. At one time it was somebody's hard original work. But after the 50th article rounding up the same damn thing it's suddenly crap.

When I visit an article that actually looks worthwhile I often think I'm looking at NETTUTS+ until I look at the header and see NETTUTS+ replaced by "Design insert cool word here." WTF? I'll tell you WTF. Clones with no original content.

Is there hope?

Yes. When I see articles by Paddy Donnelly, Dustin Curtis, and others spreading originality I get hopeful.

These bloggers understand what Steve Jobs understood when he was forcing his designers to trim buttons from window frames: What the user wants is inside the window and not the window itself. In other words, content is the experience for blog readers, and those who build great experiences around the content won't be fly by nights.

But if your blog is just a clone that does roundups all month slapped on someone else's design, you may be big today, but you'll be forgotten tomorrow.