CNNMoney.com is conducting a staff blogging experiment. Sixteen staff writers are each maintaining blogs on specific topics, with the bulk of them aggregated at Business 2.0 Blogs.
It’s an interesting idea, and the site is readable. But they’ve missed some basic and important pieces that would make the site easier to use — especially for those new to blogs. For example:
- The site has no page title — the words that appear in the title of the browser window. It might seem like a small error, but the page title is also used when you bookmark a page, and if it’s missing then the page URL becomes the title of the bookmark. Clunky.
- Nowhere on the site is the site explained: What is Business 2.0, who writes these blogs, how do the editors choose which posts to feature, and so on. There is a link back to Business 2.0, but if you don’t know what that is — if you’ve come to the site via a link elsewhere on the web — then you’re likely to feel confused.
- And in fact, the logo for the blog site says it’s Business 2.0 Beta … so again, if you don’t already know about the relationship between this blog aggregator and the main Business 2.0 site, you might incorrectly assume that this is the magazine’s complete web presence. (The thumbnail images of recently Business 2.0 print magazine covers only reinforces this error.)
But the site does make it easy to jump to any of the staff blogs, and has a handy tool for subscribing via many of the popular feedreaders and via email. They got a few key things right.
And the logo for Business 2.0 Beta is animated, with the “beta” part falling down, gathering itself up, and getting back together. It’s a fun way to indicate that the site is a work in progress and will get better. Let’s hope they get better soon.
By the way, for a terrific list of tips for making your blog highly usable, check out “Blog conversion: Twelve highly detailed suggestions” and “Two more thoughts on Blog Conversion” by Robbin Steif over at the Lunametrics blog.