Welcome to the bloggy home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Percolate and general internet tinkerer. This site is about media, culture, technology, and randomness. It's been around since 2004 (I'm pretty sure). Feel free to get in touch. Get in touch.

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Big White Box Problem

I like this explanation of the value of new services like Quora:

As a blogger, you get good at this: finding inspiration from the things you observe elsewhere in the world and turning that into a unique and captivating blog post. Like getting good at anything, however, this takes time, effort and patience. Three things most people have very little of to dedicate to a pursuit like blogging. This is why, the biggest problem is blogging is the “big white box problem.” What, exactly, are you supposed to put in that big white text box when you start on your blog post? What topic should you even begin with? What topic will readers find interesting? It’s an intimidating thing to the newly initiated and even the old hands, and particularly to do it well.

Been thinking a lot about this lately.

February 4, 2011


  • Steve Ames says:

    Maybe it’s a mid life crisis….

  • Adam says:

    Quora would be even better if, rather than having to go hunting for questions to answer, it could direct questions towards you based on some kind of ‘interest graph/profile’.

    A personalized prompter like: http://www.plinky.com

  • Grant Lyons says:

    I generally start with an image, which is why I’m blogging like this now. But I’m a graphic designer. Hope you’re well Noah. -g

  • Eric Nehrlich says:

    Interesting that Stack Overflow was founded for similar reasons, or so says Jeff Atwood: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2011/02/how-to-write-without-writing.html

    I definitely find it interesting that the only writing I’m doing these days is commenting on other people’s posts rather than creating my own content on my blog. I need to do something about that.

  • James Gross says:

    Nice link Eric. Interesting.

  • Latia says:

    Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know
    a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly.

    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it
    in two different web browsers and both show the same results.

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