Remember when the iPod came out, and a guy at Slashdot famously derided it because it didn’t have the specs he wanted? “No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.
”Or remember when the iPhone came out and the big complaints were it didn’t have a removable battery and you couldn’t install an extra memory card?
What happened was that people actually used iPods and iPhones and found that they’re delightful little devices that are easy to understand, fun to use, and filled with pleasant little surprises. And the checklists fell away, and the human race collectively decided to buy a gajillion of them.
That’s why the journalism world blew up in defense of Romenesko. Because they knew what the Romensko user experience, at its best, was like, and once you know that, the checklist falls away.
The key point we’d like to make about all this: Don’t be stingy with the links, guys. It frustrates users and limits the experience. As the article points out, Romenesko/Poynter posts Nieman stuff a lot, but their traffic levels fell heavily after the aggregation style changed to longer pieces. There’s a reason why we prominently source everything — because if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be doing our job. (For what it’s worth: Poynter linked to us over the weekend, and it was a nice little boost. But all we got was a link.)