Jason Kottke
Founder, Kottke.org; Fmr. Web Designer

What makes a blog good?

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Kottke reads a lot of blogs. A lot.

Jason Kottke

Jason Kottke is a blogger and former web designer. Educated at Coe College, Kottke began his career as a web designer in 1986. He worked on design projects for companies as diverse as Charles Schwab, Target, and the University of Minnesota. He designed the now-ubiquitous typeface Silkscreen in 1999, which has since been adopted by Adobe, MTV and Volvo. He has served on the Advisory Board for SXSW Interactive since 2000. In 2005, he announced he had left his web design job to work on his blog full-time. The site is now supported by paid advertisements. Kottke lives in New York City.



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Question: What makes a blog good?


Jason Kottke: It needs to feature good writing, but not always.  I don’t think I’m a particularly good writer, and somehow people manage to stay engaged.  I think    . . .  I don’t know.  That’s a good question, and I’m not sure I know how to answer that.  I think that if the person behind who’s writing the blog, or the people who are writing the blog are . . .  If the reader feels that they’re genuinely interested in what they’re doing, I think that makes it compelling.  I think that sometimes the . . .  You know the blogosphere has sort of gotten more commercial.  And you know my site included are commercial ventures.  And I think that some of that passion is kind of lost along the way when you’re hiring people to do weblogs and they . . . You know they may not be the biggest fan of gadgets and technology, but they’re writing for EndGadget or whatever.  But I think in general some of those sites do a pretty good job of finding people who are enthusiastic about their subjects.  And I mean I guess that’s what I always look for – someone who is genuinely like . . . Whatever I’m writing about is the best thing I could be writing about right now.


Question: What blogs do you read?


Jason Kottke: I mean there’s a bunch of weblogs that I go to every single day.  I read probably . . .  I try and read between 250 and 300 sites a day. Yeah, it’s a lot.


Recorded on: 10/9/07