Impressionism, Realism, and blogging SEP 13 2007
I'm intrigued by Marc Hedlund's differentiation of Impressionist bloggers from Realist bloggers. My interpretation of this difference (which might not be what Marc meant by it) is that Realist blog posts are self-contained, -explanatory, and -evident entities while a post on an Impressionist blog serves to complement the whole, much like the dots making up a Seurat painting aren't that interesting until you stand back to see the whole thing.
The downside for Impressionist blogs is that their individual posts don't work that well outside of their intended context. If you run across a single post from an Impressionist blog in your River of News, a remixed Yahoo Pipes RSS feed, in del.icio.us, or an item in a Google search results set, it might not make a whole lot of sense. Impressionist blog posts are less likely to get Dugg or bookmarked in del.icio.us or linked around much at all. Fewer incoming links, big or small, to individual pages means fewer pageviews, which makes it more difficult to run an Impressionist blog as a business that relies on advertising revenue. If you look at most of the big blog sites, they're all non-Impressionist blogs. All the sites whose posts are featured on the front page of Digg are non-Impressionist...those posts/articles are designed to float self-contained around the web. The blogosphere is dominated by non-Impressionist blogs and the sort of content they produce...which is sad for me because, like Marc, I value Impressionism in a weblog.