Boring Blog Posts and Content Pages

I recently read The Death of Boring Blog Posts over at Smashing Magazine. Although I’ve seen the occasional page designed like this, I’ve never given much thought to it until now.

Thinking about it, the standard blog post format is pretty limiting compared to magazine layouts. They’re boring, single-columns of content with the occasional header or graphic stuck in.

Could we see a new trend coming where much more thought is given to each post or page’s layout and typography? It’s obvious these pages take a good amount of time to produce; is it even worth the effort?

I’ve always been a fan of this medium, ironically I think using this type of functional design would benefit web designers in their portfolio as it would showcase their design ability as much as their content writing ability. Yes it’s additional work and perhaps it’ll result in less regular postings - however I would say that it perhaps makes for more interesting reading (due to the quirkiness of it’s visuals) and breaks past the boredom you get with seeing the same design over and over. If you’re new to web design and want to blog at the same time, marrying up the skills to produce a portfolio of sorts in that style could be in some ways better and more unique than a bunch of random sites you worked on. I might actually consider that kind of design methodology for my portfolio in the future! :slight_smile:

The problem with this is that your essentially asking non-designers to become designers. As I’m sure you know WordPress is very customizable and even allows people to enter HTML. That makes it possible to add the necessary identification elements and style an individual blog post. However, that takes knowledge of HTML and design. That is something that a fair amount of bloggers do not understand or want to concern their self with. They simply want to get something up for others to read as they may not be designers or programmers.

The thing I did think was interesting in that article was the use of non-conventional mark-up techniques such as inline styles to achieve a unique blog post. That isn’t really true if you input HTML and wrap the content with some type of unique identifier. If you do that you can than add style definitions in the stylesheet for the post. Of course it is easier to use inline styles but it isn’t the only way to achieve a unique blog post. You just need to know what your doing and take the time to modify or add a external stylesheet(s). In my opinion the use of inline styles is just lazy for someone who is familiar with web development.

I agree that the conventional blog post is a little lame but anything else is going to require a learning curve or design knowledge. As I’m sure you know uniqueness and creativity is the sacrifice that is made in place of automation. Unless people are going to create their own custom solutions to post blogs everything is and will generally look similar do to it being derived from the same thing. That is just the consequence of automation/mass production over hand-crafted goods.

I feel like the whole issue of discovering a new way to approach blog posts would be like running on a treadmill – you may feel better but your really not going anywhere. Individually crafting blog posts seems to me like the only way to break the norm but that requires time and knowledge of the technology. That just isn’t something a majority of bloggers care about or desire to learn as they are more focused on their own profession.

It’s an interesting article, and I appreciate your linking it. I’m not sure it will happen on any “mass” level; all of the authors quoted in the article talked about how much work it was to craft individual pages/designs for each blog post, and some of them talked about how difficult (or impossible) it is to stay within conventions and standards to get the effects they desire. Most bloggers are perfectly content with a Blogger or WP template. And, as you well know, larger magazines have enormous staffs populated with dozens of people working on layout, graphic production, etc for each article and each issue. Most blogs are one-man operations, or small groups of people. If your two or three people spend 90% of their time churning out content, design has to take a back seat (or at least remain relatively unchanged from one post to the next).

Ironically, I’m in a conversation right now with a guy who recommends that the organization I work with “revamp” the proprietary CMS we use in favor of WordPress (won’t work), and just tweak an existing template for our front end, because it’s “easier” and all of that fancy handcoding is just a waste of time anyway. :nono: I’m sending him a link to the SM article you provided us as an illustration of my objections to just ramming a template into the mix. Your post was quite timely for my purposes :slight_smile: Thanks!

I just read the post on Smashing Mag…

Well, unless readers want visual with content then I say go for it… but if your audience wants info quick and fast, better to have less distraction and not a lotta flash.

Smash Mag article is way to busy for me. Sites like TMZ are better suited for this style.

Short and sweet is what I say!

B cool…