Thursday, April 3, 2003

Erik Heels' evaluation of blogging continues

Erik Heels is now testing out Movable Type as a blogging platform for his law firm web site. In his latest post, he’s wondering what the ROI on the weblog app is. Based on a conversation at lunch today with Tom Mighell, I got to thinking about Erik’s experiment and decided to finally chip in $.02.

I’m glad to see Erik evaluate this software (in addition to being a friend for coming up on – this is shocking, but true – 10 years, he’s a really sharp guy whose opinions I’d like to see more of), but I think he’s asking the wrong question. He took a static web site and republished the entire thing using Movable Type. After a while, he then looked at how many pages were indexed in Google, how much traffic he’d received, etc. From this, he wants to know whether MT was worth it.

Well, I don’t think you’ll be wowed by the results if you use a weblog app to publish a website. In other words, weblogs serve a purpose: they create linkable content that invites commentary and encourages cross-site communications. Websites, on the other hand, exist to convey relatively static information. Just putting website content into a blog app does not a weblog make.

That said, I think the weblog app may make the maintenance of the website an easier thing – which may be worth it on its own terms. But just because it’s in a blog format doesn’t mean it’ll instantly get grabbed by Google: the rules still apply. You need others to link to you (which happens more frequently the more you publish, and the more interesting the content is to your readers), you need to update the site on a regular basis, and you need to give it time.

(And you need to get rid of the dark grey background. The text is hard to read!)

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