Blog Analysis: Ecorazzi.com
There are a tremendous amount of celebrity gossip weblogs on the internet. One that has caught my attention, because of its different approach towards celebrity gossip, is Ecorazzi.com. This weblog is about celebrity gossip involving the environment and other goodwill activities. To analyse this weblog on its usability and content, it is important to point out what their mission statement is:
Ecorazzi exists as a conduit to report on the latest celebrity gossip as it pertains to activism and inspiring change. The word eco is in our name, but more than the environment is supported by those in the spotlight. We also highlight humanitarian efforts, beneficial campaigns, fundraisers and acts of good. In the spirit of fair play, we’re quick to point how who’s slacking and who’s deserving of recognition.’(1)
Ecorazzi.com started in August 2006 by Michael d’Estries and Rebecca Carter, and has been growing since with members from different cities around the world. They claim that this gives them the ability to cover events and stories first hand, as well as they represent different point of views.
Jakob Nielsen founded the ‘discount usability engineering movement’ for fast and cheap improvements of user interfaces and has invented several usability methods. His usability criteria are based on the principles to reach new readers and keep your existing readers interested.
The first criterion is to include an author biography, because anonymous writings have less credence. Ecorazzi.com is a good example how it should be done. They give a full description of the content of the weblog, and also a short biography including a picture of their staff.The second standard of Nielsen is the use of descriptive posting titles. Ecorazzi.com is descriptive which makes the content scannable. This is important for representing a particular posting in search engines and newsfeeds. The categorization of Ecorazzi.com is also a positive element. Not only do they archive on date, but they also use topics that are sufficiently detailed to lead readers to a winnowed list of postings.
An important element of content is the focus on a certain topic. According to Nielsen:
Busy people might visit a blog to read an entry about a topic that interests them. They’re unlikely to return, however, if their target topic appears only sporadically among a massive range of postings on other topics.(2)
Because Ecorazzi.com only publishes posts about celebrities and the efforts they make to the environment, they only attract loyal readers who are interested in this particular subject. The content of the posts are well written from an environmentalist point of view, fuelled with a snide comment every now and then.
Nevertheless, the weblog may be very specific in their subject, they lack any news value. The posts are actually a summary of an article placed on another website or weblog. When the reader clicks on the ‘hit the jump for more’ link, they eventually end up reading the original article itself on a different website. But because their intention is to highlight celebrity goodwill activities and not deliver news, this can not be pointed out as a critique.