I’ve noticed this thought trend among technologists to want to contain, control and constrain the weblog information space. Some want the content to have more structure so that it can be searched using advanced methods. Some think about establishing uniform style rules so that every piece by every author looks and feels the same. Some exert special effort to craft each post into a work of genius. Some want to track each news message that they read, “keeping” some, marking others as read, deleting others.
The way I see it, these folks are thinking about weblogs in a static way, like a mid-90s era homepage or a Government database that gets distributed on CD ROM. But weblogs are about flow. They are closer to jazz improvisation than Beethoven’s fifth.
To really get into weblogs as a writer, try to keep moving to stay with the flow. The old advice to a budding jazz musicians applies: “If you make a mistake and hit a bad note, don’t stop! Hit it again and keep going”. Too much worrying will make a burden of posting, making work of what should be fun.
To really get into weblogs as a reader, try to avoid micromanaging each weblog post. Holding your posts too closely will often lead to one of two outcomes: a) you’ll have a narrow subscriptions list, maybe 4 or 5 sites, because you can’t possibly follow more (experienced readers can follow dozens); b) you’ll wind up with thousands of unread posts in your aggregator (the horrors of email all over again). I’ve written about this elsewhere.
In short, free your mind, and your weblog will follow.