My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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feature requests for my blog

As many of you have probably noticed, my blog is crashing beneath its weight. It’s time for it to be updated and given new life so that I can integrate my various output in a way that is useful for others. I intend to do that in the next couple of weeks. So, given that y’all do the reading, I thought you should have a chance to share your thoughts.

  1. What blog features would make this blog more useful to you?
  2. What other types of output would you like me to integrate into my blog and in what form? (e.g., twitter, video, delicious, etc.)
  3. What design fixes would you like me to address?
  4. Are there any bugs that are driving you batty?

Thanks for reading and hopefully an upgrade can make it a more enjoyable experience.

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20 comments to feature requests for my blog

  • cherylm

    I’d like to see your blog on a different server. It was a puzzle to me why I often could not see your blog while at home and it turned out that your service provider is blocked by my son-in-law’s server. (No, few service providers are blocked by him.)

  • In addition to the options you listed, something unique that you could cover is your transition from student to full-time employee. I’d be interested to see how your move from Berkley to Boston is going and how you’re adjusting to the 9-5 life.

  • 2. no to twitter, but doing DaringFireball/Kottke-style mix of remainders (formerly on del.icio.us?) and longer text might give more visibility to small links.

    4. kill the tiny tiny text.

  • 2. no to twitter, but doing DaringFireball/Kottke-style mix of remainders (formerly on del.icio.us?) and longer text might give more visibility to small links.

    4. kill the tiny tiny text.

  • I enjoy it the way it is. Except, I read it through RSS and for some reason I get spammed by your feed. I don’t know why, but there are some days I get the same posts from you up to 30 times downloaded over and over again, sometimes older posts I’ve already read, and sometimes just newer ones. I don’t find this with any other RSS feeds I have, so I think it’s something to do with your blog specifically.

  • I’d love to see less wide columns and a bigger font to improve reading comfort.

    And do you show trackbacks and pingbacks? Because I don’t remember seeing any and I love references.

  • kethryvis

    i think i’m one of the only people in the world who hates Twitter. To me, there’s no ‘there there.’ 140 characters isn’t enough to get to the meat of anything, nor do i need to know what any of my friends is doing every single second of their days. Half the time, twitter ‘conversations’ look like IM conversations, and i’m only getting one half of it. Yawn. i am all for online media and online communication, but i think Twitter just is tooooooo much. Please, danah, just say no to Twitter.

  • Btw: I will never put del.icio.us or Twitter into my main RSS/Atom feed or integrate it with my blog posts, but I do intend to make it available on the page for those who are inclined to consume that content as well. Hopefully it’s not an intrusion for those who don’t like it and is valuable for those who do.

  • Naja

    Just so you know, i never had any technical problem with your blog… And, to make a contribution, though i mainly read through my rss reader, i quite agree with the bigger font request.
    Thanks for caring for our experience !

  • tito

    i enjoy reading ur blog, maybe just changing the design
    no tweets i think your blog is more substantial than that

  • About the small font: I assume everyone knows they can increase the size of the font via their browser. In FireFox, hold down the control key and then press the “+” key. That makes the font larger. That is how I read Zephoria.

    As to feature requests, this one isn’t very important, since I can resort to Google, but I do sometimes wish it was easier to keep track of the conversations I’ve taken part in. I know that, over the years, I’ve left quite a few comments here. Sometimes I stumble upon an old post by accident, and I realize the conversation went on after I stopped paying attention to it.

  • Christian Campbell

    I agree about over-wide columns (I shoot for 66 chars in my design) and tiny font size (alleviated since I switched to Firefox which remembers zoom levels sitewide, but in SeaMonkey I had to increase the size of each page).

  • DC

    I just use the RSS feed, so please leave that as full text and not the shortened-so-you-have-to-visit-the-actual-blog type.

    Also, I prefer commenting that allows me to be anonymous. I can just make up an email address if privacy isn’t allowed, but I’d prefer not to do that if I don’t have to (besides – I’m sure you have my IP).

    Anyway, those are just preferences. I’ll enjoy reading this no matter what, I’m sure. Keep up the good work!

  • Threaded comments might be nice, and maybe subscription to comments on a particular post? (A checkbox that says “email me when someone posts a comment on this”, sort of thing.)

    Syndication feeds are ok for comments, if you use a feed reader (I used to, but now don’t for lack of time).

  • Ida

    ditto on full text for RSS feeds. ditto on subscriptions to comments on particular posts. I love the small font, contrary to some requests here.

  • It’s hard for me to point exactly at what I need, but I’ve always had a problem with comments on blog: they are hard to connect to your own blog, absent of the RSS stream, and sometimes too long and off the point to be considered. I have the feeling that they are the seminar talk to papers, and many elder people in academia would not consider a comment unless it is in a peer-reviewed journal.

    The ability to underline some comment would be great; user-generated votes can turn meme-nasty, and your exclusive privilege might turn this section into a XVIIIth century court – but they must piece that you enjoyed, but didn’t think they were worthy of an additional post.
    Threading can be usefull when conversations emerge – but might be an over-kill too.

    Regarding RSS readers compatibility, there is the possibility to make an RSS feed for comment, for each post – but that seems just not convenient: I’m not sure I want them all, and I’m sure I want them better contextualised then what Google Reader let’s me have them. It’s not your fault, and the solution has to come in the form of better reader, not a a different blog; but you might be influential enough to make this happen.

    Short of a great system, comment management system like Disqus would allow me to have a thread of my comments, for my non-existent fans to see – and my very real self to consult when I remember I had a good idea, but not where. Maybe by aggregating comments in that kind of system, a solution for connecting them a blog post would emerge.

  • Steve

    Well, the interface is kind of “old school” (read – “simple”) and I like it that way. One possibility that occurs to me is that it might be interesting to go to a threaded message model. I’m neutral on whether that would be an improvement – but sometimes one wants to answer a particular comment. Maybe set up a user option to view the comments threaded or flat.

    -Steve

  • Steven

    Is there a way to search the archives?

  • I’d like to be able to subscribe to your blog via email!

  • Jo

    Hi danah, thanks for asking for our input – I’ve been a “fan” for about 2 years now. I really love the archive & delicious integration and hope it gets to stay around for a long while. In an ideal world, I’d be keen to see an occasional video blog from ya. 😉

    Cheers,
    Jo