As I was shaking up my blog look and construction about half a year ago, I remember reading Jakob Nielsen’s alertbox on blog usability.

One of the things that stuck with me is Jakob’s insistence that the internet is not high school:

A related mistake in this category is to use insider shorthand, such as using first names when you reference other writers or weblogs. Unless you’re writing only for your friends, don’t alienate new visitors by appearing to be part of a closed clique. The Web is not high school.

Hrm. The whole RocketBoom breakup episode has me thinking. What if the blogosphere really is high school after all?

Think about it:

The top of the heap
You’ve got high status bloggers – A-list, B-list, whatever-list: they exist. They are the jocks or preppies or whatever the jargon-du-jour is.

Andrew Baron and Amanda Congdon are among those elite. So are others who are blogging about the high-profile spat: Michael Arrington and Dave Winer.

First names, please
Dave apparently didn’t get Jakob’s memo; he’s still on a first-name-only basis:

What we know and don’t know about Amanda, Andrew and Rocketboom:

Nowhere in Amanda’s video does she say she was fired.

High profile break-up, lots of rumors
Isn’t it so high school … the cheerleader prom queen and the football quarterback break up and everybody starts talking about it.

I mean everybody. No, e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e.

Sheesh. There’s even lousy pictures drawn on bathroom walls about it.

And, of course, the other really cool guy on campus has just muscled in and started sweet-talking the now-lonely and bereft cheerleader.

Staying at mom and dad’s
And naturally, since this is high school, everyone is still living at home – even though they wish they were moving to L.A. and making it big in movies. Sure sucks to be at home:

I’m presently living with my parents in Connecticut until I can get back on my feet.

World-famous in Poughkeepsie
The world may be an oyster, or an oyster the world. In high school, it’s high school. Apparently in the blogosphere it is no different.

Earth to blogosphere: no one else knows. No one else cares.

It will end, won’t it?
Ahhh … enough of the dirty laundry.

The best thing about high school is that like all school, indeed all things, it ends.

And so, hopefully, will this far-too-public childish spat.


[tags] rocketboom, amanda congdon, andrew baron, unboomed, techcrunch, scripting news, high school, blogosphere, john koetsier [/tags]