Robert Scoble Did A Redesign. Who Cares!

Yesterday, Robert Scoble announced the redesign of his blog.  That’s awesome. My question is: if he wouldn’t have said anything, how many people would have noticed?

I go back to my thesis: No one cares about your Web site.

I care about the content and functionality that your site provides me.  I experience the Web through feeds in Google Reader and widgets in NetVibes.  I do 90% of my enjoying of content in those worlds.  I typically don’t notice your fancy designs or user interfaces.

We’re moving away from a Web page world to a Web of data that gets aggregated together.

The Web is getting broken into pieces.  If you write interesting things, I’ll grab the piece of the Web site that is your content (your RSS feed) and put it where it’s more useful to me.

What do you think?  How often do you look at Web sites vs. feeds in Google Reader?

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11 thoughts on “Robert Scoble Did A Redesign. Who Cares!”

  1. I read everything through Google Reader. But when I go to a site to comment or look for other information, sometimes I see that I’ve really missed something in not experiencing the look and feel of the site or seeing the words in a larger graphic context. I’ve love it if Google Reader added a feature where there were screenshots of the sites optionally accessible along with the feed.

  2. I keep meaning to tell you how full of it you were in your “Widgets fulfill the promise of RSS” post, but the fact that you use Reader means _you_already_know_* 😉

  3. I think for the people who have already bought in to your message that the site doesn’t matter so much. But for people who haven’t yet discovered / accepted your brilliance, design absolutely matters. A good site design (even a well-chosen template) goes a long way to establishing credibility in my book.

  4. I use Google Reader for all of my content, of course, depending on the feed, I still have to go to the site to read the rest of the content (CNN loves their titles only feed on some things). Other than that, I agree, keep a site clean and simple for first time visitors, after that, they usually only come back via RSS.

  5. In response to:
    “I care about the content and functionality that your site provides me. I experience the Web through feeds in Google Reader and widgets in NetVibes. I do 90% of my enjoying of content in those worlds. I typically don’t notice your fancy designs or user interfaces.”

    I also view 90% of the content I enjoy on a day to day basis via netvibes, but I would venture to guess that most of the world does not. While RSS is picking up in popularity it is still definitely not mainstream. I would be interested if there are any statistics on the % of people who do experience the web mostly through feed readers.

    While content is king, the user experience for a is still greatly facilitated by a design ( whether it be on a personal site, or through the interface of netvibes, which was designed.. very well actualy). I just don’t see why there isn’t room in this world for both. While I certainly do not care about Scoble’s redesign… I DO CARE about a lot of them 😉

  6. Google Reader is ideal of getting the overview, but typically I’ll need to rest the rest of the article on the site itself. I also need to visit the real site to leave comments, like this.

    But overall, I agree, the value in personal site design is diminishing, since it’s the personal site content (first found in my RSS reader) that is driving me to come visit.

  7. Here’s why I completely disagree: though I read the vast majority of the sites I’m interested in via RSS, I don’t discover any of them that way. Design plays a HUGE role in whether or not I add a new site to my RSS reader. Part of it is the social proof and part of it is the “yeah, they’re legitimate” and part of it is that I just really appreciate and respect good design.

    So: for maintenance of reader relationships, it’s about content. But for starting one, looks matter. Kinda like real life, eh?

  8. I have been using the “Next>” bookmarklet from Google Reader for the past year. Although I do sometimes scan titles and content in Google Reader I actually prefer to read the posts in context of their site. Design does matter to me and I enjoy the visual diversity of moving from one blog to another with a single click. If it all turned into just a big information feed it would not be as interesting for me.

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