Ideas, Creativity, Innovation

Blogs – Breadth, Depth and T-Shaped

I think there are different ways of looking at blogs. I look at the ones I subscribe to into these:

  • Breadth Blogs
  • Depth Blogs
  • T-shaped Blogs

Breadth Blogs

Breadth blogs cover a wide variety of topics. A good example is Boing Boing. The title – A Directory of Wonderful Things, says it all. Breadth bloggers are comitted Infovores. I heard the term Infovore, almost four years ago when I was reading this blog.

I consume, digest, and excrete information for a living. Whether I'm writing science fiction, editorials, columns, or tech books, whether I'm speaking from a podium or yammering down the phone at some poor reporter, my success depends on my ability to cite and connect disparate factoids at just the right moment.

As a committed infovore, I need to eat roughly six times my weight in information every day or my brain starts to starve and atrophy. I gather information from many sources: print, radio, television, conversation, the Web, RSS feeds, email, chance, and serendipity. I used to bookmark this stuff, but I just ended up with a million bookmarks that I never revisited and could never find anything in.

Breadth blogs make it to the top of charts. Boing Boing is somewhere in the top 10 spots most of the time, probably top 5.

Depth Blogs

Depth Blogs go deep into a specific subject area. For example, problogger is all about blogging and covers the eco-system surrounding development, use and making money from blogs. Lorelle covers blogs and WordPress. Most of the product people from Microsoft, Sun Microsystem and other tech companies belong to the depth category. Depth bloggers are BlogMentors for lot of other people. Depth bloggers dominate Topic Blog charts. These are industry experts, you want to go to, when you want to stay in touch in a specific area.

T-Shaped Blogs

When you combine breadth with depth, you get T-shaped blogs. I think most of the depth bloggers are also T-shaped to some extent. Most of my favorite bloggers are T-shaped. some are small 't's (more depth than breadth). Others are big "T"s (a balance of breadth and depth).