Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Blogging, evidence and the Mastermind principle

I had a bit of a crisis of confidence recently. One of my team was lambasting a blog we both read, because of the lack of references and evidence for the assertions.

Examining Clouds
Examining Clouds by katerha, on Flickr
(used under Creative Commons)
I agreed with her, but also squirmed inside. *I don’t link to many references from my blog. Hardly any, in fact.*

This squashed my plans for a couple of posts I had been brewing, until I was cycling home today, when I realised it doesn’t matter.

This blog is my opinion and my experience. And that’s fine, because you can ignore it. Or you can use my experience and ideas as a source to reference, if you want.

It’s not ok to omit evidence and references when your blog is effectively an instruction manual, and people are expected to change their behaviour and working practices because of it. That's my opinion, but if you're interested you can also read more about the history and benefits of evidence-based policy making.

I won’t link to my colleague's thorough critique of this particular non-evidenced blog post, to spare any blushes. But it was pretty satisfying to see it published, and that the author did respond.

My other recent crisis was about design. I was worrying that people would judge my professional skills based on the way this blog looks and works. 

I’ve made a slight changed to it recently, but it’s still a free theme and it doesn’t do what I want technically. I’m hesitant to find out if it’s accessible, although I have checked how it looks on a mobile.

And again, I decided that it doesn’t matter.

This isn’t a blog about design, technology or accessibility. It’s about content, and about managing websites. Hopefully I haven’t left too many embarrassing typos lying around the place, and the fact is that I leave other people to do what they do best when it comes to making websites function properly and look nice.
Following the Mastermind principle, it’s about achieving more by working with others, than you can as an individual (there’s a reference for you – to Think And Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill). You can’t do everything yourself, and clearly, I can’t!