Goodbye, Speak Up


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Founder Armin Vit decides to call it a day on this influential and long-running design blog:

“I always believed that the amount of time and energy that we — authors and commenters alike — were all investing in Speak Up would be impossible to maintain in the long run, it was bound to crash at some point. And it did… I also strongly believe that the kind of general-topic and long-form writing of Speak Up is just not as appealing as it used to be. With so many Web sites devoted to quick bursts of visuals and the proliferation of short-message communication enhanced by Twitter and Facebook, it becomes increasingly hard to hold the attention of anyone… And since the end of 2008 we have had this nagging feeling that its time had come.”

  1. I’m in two places about this. Personally I don’t think a lack of comments or traffic is a genuine reason for closing. There will be up times and down times(Khoi, I’m sure you can attest to that), people will get tired of the immediate short posts that are so common on design blogs and will come running back to the more considered writings of those who are willing to form and write solid opinions and standings.

    Hope everyone is having a good day.

  2. say, what happened to “a brief message”? i guess the long and short of it is the long form (here) has won the day..? sidenote: jason tslentis asked me to illustrate a story he was working on for speak up a few months ago. i agreed but never did anything (blame facebook)

  3. Hopefully I won’t get tarred and feathered for what follows…

    I enjoyed Speak Up immensely when I first started visiting (around 2004 IIRC). The input and writing of the professionals involved with the site was inspirational.

    But as time passed, and Speak Up became more popular, the site became less useful to me. After all, what am I to do when I take a mid-afternoon break and see that a post from the morning already has some 40 comments? Spend the rest of the afternoon reading, thinking and replying when I have deadlines to meet?

    This is the inherent flaw in blogging when used as a platform for critical writing and discussion. Not that there’s any way around it, but the signal to noise ratio quickly becomes unacceptable. I’ve found this with most of the design-related sites I regularly visit. If I perceive the initial post to be of great value I will read it and ignore the comments. If not, I will simply move on. I’ve become a scavenger—quickly falling on some carcass and just as quickly flying away to something else.

    Blogging and social networking are, IMO, a black hole of time—much goes in but little of real value gets out.

    I’m not surprised to see Speak Up come to end, although I am surprised it has taken this long. Armin and Bryony can be very proud of what they accomplished with the site, however.

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