Happy seventh birthday to Stating the Obvious. Push is the future!
Speaking of The Obvious, the occasion of the publishing of a second edition of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web serves as a good excuse to revisit Lou Rosenfeld’s comments on GeoCities, about four and a half years (!) ago:
In most cases it’s unlikely that anyone would visit an individual GeoCities site for a reason other than curiousity. So why would anyone consider treating the collective whole of GeoCities as a source of useful information?
Strong information architectures benefit the “listeners”: users who want to hear a message, to learn, or find useful information. GeoCities is about 1.1 million voices talking at once. GeoCities is not about conveying a particular message, or helping users find the information they need to do their jobs or improve their lives. So it really doesn’t make much sense to rearchitect GeoCities. Anyway, it’s good to have a morass around to do one’s virtual slumming in; I say leave it be.
Seems to me that description and dismissal of GeoCities would apply to most of the weblog world, (Weblogs.com and BlogSpot, I’m looking at you…) especially since few people care to invest a lot of effort into writing their weblogs. Perhaps if they were paid to do so…