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Jakob Nielsen? Really? Seriously?

I recently served as a “consultant’s consultant,” advising a world leader in his field on what to do about his website. In particular, this expert asked me whether he should start a weblog. I said no. #

And I say: Yes, by all means, go for it!

I don’t care what field you’re a ‘world leader’ in, I guarantee you, a lot of people out there want to hear your small, hastily written thoughts on whatever topic you might find interesting at any given moment. A hell of a lot more so, than they want to read your deeply serious, hoity toity, graph-ridden ‘article’, which while surely very interesting in its own right, is not where the connection between you and your audience will thrive.

This is because we are humans, and humans, while superficially interested in graphs, long paragraphs and high-concepts, are just hardwired towards seeking human contact. This is why we have idolization and fandom. It’s driven by our basic desire to follow the people we admire.

Translated to my personal sphere of idolization, you could say that while I would surely read a lengthy graph-ridden article by Joss Whedon on Equality now, but conversely, I would just as much like to read a three paragraph quickie on why science fiction movies largely disappoint.

Joss Whedon being a world leader in Whedonesque matters, is thus just as well off with going down either path, if the desired result is ‘attracting customers’.

The problem with Jakob Nielsen—or perhaps rather his audience as it were—is that his articles, top 10’s and ‘usability tests’ are outdated, largely irrelevant and when applicable, made up of nothing but easily thought up logical conclusions aimed at the dull gray ‘we want to be hip with the youngsters, yo’ corporate market, from which he makes his money.

So if you’re hip, down with the beat and ‘happenin’, save yourself the headache, use your brain, not useit.com, and the rest should come easily.

We can measure expertise as some combination of intelligence, education, experience, correct methodology, professionalism (say, avoiding profanities and politics), and willingness to be frank.

I don’t mean to be the ‘look at me, we’re revolutionary’-idiot with the sign around his neck, because, let’s face it, my content isn’t exactly revolutionary as such. But what a piece of elitist ego-stroking generalized no-sharp-edges PR-friendly bullshit.

Jakob Nielsen, there’s a telegraph for you; it reads: “2007 going well stop. Hope you are also well in 1997 stop. Please stop stop.”

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