As part of my new strategy of writing the conversations that go on in my head (see, Why Nicolai Ouroussoff Is Not Good Enough), I critique design (and architecture, to some extent) blogs today on Design Observer. The key and constructive conclusion:I want to give full credit to the men and women who were there first, and established some of the most popular, provocative and adorable blogs. It is wonderful that there is a design and architecture community online. But now the launch moment is over. Some bloggers have managed to establish themselves as stand-alone brands, and some magazines have managed to create online channels that stand alone. But the design magazines that helped to popularize the original design blogs (by providing content and then providing publicity) are gone. And the bloggers themselves can no longer rely on the magazines to provide insta-criticism, research, and product testing to comment upon. That makes for less diversity and scale of discourse, and over the long run, less good writing and less history.
Am I alone in wanting something to take the place of a magazine, to bring the atomized content together, long and short, visual and wordy, historical and of-this-minute? Maybe it is a digital-only magazine, using the new platform of the iPad (but then I wouldn’t be able to read it). Maybe it is a super-blog, an all-star coagulator of content from those writers made online and those (like me) that have been driven there. I think there would be power in assembly.