This week Joshua-Michéle Ross at the emerging technology site, radar.oreilly.com, began a series of posts about the design patterns being produced by social media that are shaping the way the Internet operates. His opening argument?
That responsiveness, the ability to tweet something instantly, had more power than the traditional ad campaigns we have known up to this point. He makes some excellent points about industry but his ideas reach us on a much more personal level.
The personal blog virtually exploded onto the internet scene and now comes in a wide variety of flavors, but the base ingredient is always a very real person, or persons, guiding the content. This content has become a hot commodity, the place to go when you need something. It is something I have been observing in myself for about a year now. However, just because I no longer reach for the encyclopedia but the internet, that does not mean all sites are created equal.
When I want a recipe I used to pull out a cookbook, 75% of my time is now spent looking online. When I first began to look online for recipes, I relied on the big sites. I would go to Betty Crocker or All Recipes, and mostly I would check BBC Food.
These days, I no longer type “Pineapple Cheesecake” into my search window, but “Pineapple Cheesecake blog.” It is not that I am looking for bloggers who focus solely on Pineapple Cheesecake, but I am looking for people like myself who have made such a delicacy. I want to know which recipes the everyman used, what tweaks they made, which steps they ignored and what extra steps they added. I want to know how it is possible to make that recipe with two small children underfoot, when you only got home with them at five.
The big sites, the corporate sites, and even the larger bloggers cannot provide me with that personal touch. So I add “blog” to all my food searches. Sometimes, I even add “blogspot” for your real down to earth, hands in the diaper pail kind of blogger. I may end up using a Betty Crocker recipe from the book on my shelf, but I will add extra salt like mommyblogsdownton did or use apple sauce instead of oil like mainebloggerbob.
I’ve noticed that pattern starting to seep into other areas of my searching life. When looking for commentary on Sunday night’s episode of Once Upon a Time, I wanted to look at fellow bloggers who watch the show, not what the critics thought. I still read the critics too but, then, it is an obsession.
Recently I decided to start a grown up sewing project. I wanted to make a dress, from start to finish, follow the correct steps and not be disappointed with a single part of the end result even if the process killed me!
The last dress I made without my mom’s help had to be adjusted in several ways once done and has been worn only two or three times. I decided to buy a pattern from an indie pattern company to actually measure myself and make a muslin, to maybe even line the whole thing.
My starting point? The blog world.
I started a pinterest board for the pattern in question and scoured the internet for other bloggers who have made the same pattern. Real women, with real sizes and real sewing problems. Women who have to put their sewing machine away each night to avoid little fingers getting into trouble. Sure, I got the designer’s handbook and took a look through that, I even went to her website and blog. But it is the everyday people doing these things that I want to hear from. Which step didn’t they understand and how did they overcome it? Is there a good stopping point in which to get the crockpot ready for tomorrow? Incidentally, I have only gotten as far as the pinterest board and reading the blogs so far, but I am still determined!
When I look at Wikipedia, I know I might be looking at something inaccurate. When I look at the encyclopedia, I know I am getting fact. When I look at fellow bloggers, I know I am getting something authentic. Worth it’s weight in gold. Now if only someone would develop a search engine that only found blogs, not corporations or advertisements…