Examining the Counter-Culture
Right now Syntagma is leading the counter-culture in the blog network space — at least according to Martin Neumann’s eGonzo feature over at The Blog Herald.
First we had Syntagma Media recently wash their hands of the whole blog network label and launch into weâ€™re now a â€œweb network magazineâ€. That received much coverage here at The Blog Herald. The jury is still out. But from all accounts itâ€™s designed to reach different audiences â€¦ to be different. I understand the theory behind it.
It’s interesting that many people are now starting to “get” what we’re doing here. Those who aren’t are usually folk who have vested interests in the word “blog”, either through incorporated business names or website titles.
The common word used to describe the whole “Web 2.0” phenomenon, in which many people toil for years without making a single penny piece in return — is “mashup”. You know, if I wanted to invent a term of abuse to heartily condemn Web 2.0 madness, I couldn’t do better than mashup. The irony is that this is the mashed up word Web 2ers use to promote their strange, unprofitable alchemy.
Bottom line time : All this tech gets in the way of â€œnormalâ€ readers who donâ€™t thrill at the mention of OPML outliners. Simplicity is the key to readability, and that doesnâ€™t mean the joys of Netscape, Digg or other Web 2.0 jungles. It means the ease of access of a plain old print magazine : a contents list, a summary under the titles, and the blog equivalent of a page number – a link. In other words, make recognizable pathways through the content without esoteric references to “feeds”, “RSS”, “aggregation”, “social networks” and all the other mashups.
To obtain the loyalty of non-geek readers (who outnumber geeks by a million to one) you have to offer familiarity, and content thatâ€™s varied and never dull. All lie within the remit of the common or garden print magazine publisher.
We’re trying to do just that here at Syntagma Web Network Magazine. There’s a fair way to go yet, but you can watch it evolve here.