Is MakeUseOf really going downhill or is it only me who thinks so?

Saptashwa May 15, 2011
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I started reading MUO about 3 years ago. Then came LifeHacker and Engadget. MUO was my prime source of tech info. But then, for the past year, I don’t even check the articles. Even if I do, I keep getting disappointed.

MUO’s style of writing is very very formal, which turns me off. Compared to LifeHacker and Engadget are very informal. In this world, formality in anything except really formal things isn’t good.

Also, as a suggestion to MUO, if you can, please start your own Podcast service (at least on iTunes Store). It’s the best way to catch up with tech info.

Does any one of you share my feelings? Or is it only me?

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  1. Oron Joffe
    May 26, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    As a MUO reader, I feel it is every bit as good now as it has ever been, and certainly covers more ground. Perhaps, Saptashwa, you have simply got tired of it after a long time of following it? I know I have bouts of being tired of blogs & sites I use, so I give them a rest and come back to them (usually!) some time later.

  2. Susendeep Dutta
    May 18, 2011 at 5:15 am

    Click on the link below to see that MUO is growing and the proof is Evolution of email(recomended article) to read by howtogeek.com site which is partner site of lifehacker.com

    http://www.howtogeek.com/news/the-evolution-of-email-infographic/4943/

  3. Saikat Basu
    May 16, 2011 at 7:19 am

    I think you feel the difference because you"scan" articles instead of reading through them. Lifehacker posts are like excerpts, very brief; while we go the whole hog and really put in a lot of effort with our reviews or list articles. If I want a thorough review with some explanatory screenshots, it's MUO for me any day and it's not only because I am an author here...I am also probably one of its oldest readers too. You are a regular presence in our Answers section, so I can't really see how you are turned off by our site :) But yes, keep your feedback coming in. It keeps us on our toes and we always welcome exchanges with our readers.  

  4. Susendeep dutta
    May 16, 2011 at 4:52 am

    MUO is growing very fast and the proof is visible in google search results as been top ranked suggestions. MUO is unique as it reviews things and write articles on it's own way and is very friendly to me. I feel communicating with MUO while reading their articles.MUO also finds very interesting things like new good softwares which I have never seen even on other famous blogs.The idea of best software package,best websites package and taking feedback from readers shows very open nature of MUO.

    Even though Howtogeek.com site has recomended MUO's two guides - windows on speed and HackerProof your guide to PC security on their site.

    MUO Answers section is most useful as compared to other tech blogs as we get answers from chief editor to MUO staff as well as from first time reader of MUO too.

    MUO is innovative and it has also helped me to be innovative and productive while work on PC.MUO has respect among their staff as they give respect to others work by giving links of their other writer's articles and they also invite guest post for their site which is  never found on other site.

    The website design is good and simple too,easing to our eyes.And I see no other tech blog is as open as MUO.

    All the above truth justifies MUO as being a success.

  5. Mark O'Neill
    May 15, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    As the managing editor of MUO, I have to strongly disagree with your assertion that we are too formal.

    You quote two other examples - Lifehacker and Engadget.  But Lifehacker mostly links and quotes from other tech blog posts and rarely publishes their own unique work.  MUO on the other hand has 100% original work.  We don't do "look what we found on another blog!" type posts which Lifehacker mostly does.

    Engadget covers a totally different area than MUO (tech gadgets) and so I feel you can't compare us to them.

    MUO has been constantly growing in the past couple of years (400,000+ subscribers and 100,000+ Facebook fans) and we now have a staff of highly talented, highly knowledgeable people.  Each person has their own unique writing style.  

    I'm sorry you don't like what we do but I sincerely feel you are in the minority. :-)

    As for a podcast, we experimented with one back in 2008 but it was discontinued due to lack of reader interest.  It was simply too much work to produce if no-one was listening to it.

    • Saptashwa
      May 16, 2011 at 4:57 pm

      As to being formal, the reviews are too short. They make me feel that although the author knows the reason why he's making the statement, the readers are not delved deeper into it. As an example, Engadget usually has quite long reviews. But the amount of detail which is put in, along with some nice pictures (which you guys have to work on a bit) makes me go through the entire article and all the comments. Another notable point is that though MUO has so many readers, only 4 or 5 comment. Whereas on Engadget, 100s comment on the reviews. Engadget makes (and sells) itself as user-interactive. Don't get me wrong! I like (sorry, love) MUO very much. But I want it to be better. One way can be to increase the number of articles. Another way can be to cover other tech topics rather than only software and websites.

  6. Ryan Dube
    May 15, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Hey Saptashwa,

    Thanks for the feedback! I'd be interested to see any specific examples you might have re: formal writing. Personally, I'm a little bit turned off by some of what you might call "informal" writing out there...when I look for authoritative tech advice, I really like to find someone that knows what they're talking about. If I wanted tech advice from my buddy, I'd ask my one of my buddies. :-)

    I do have a sense that the level of authority is increasing on MUO - there is a great deal of highly technical experience within the existing staff of writers these days, and that authority clearly comes across in the articles. I find myself constantly turning to MUO whenever I'm trying to figure out how to do something with the computer, because I know I'll find an accurate, detailed and easy-to-understand answer there. As opposed to so many other sites with a thrown-together, only partially helpful answer.

    Just my own opinion - of course I'm probably very biased. :-)

    Your opinion is always valued though, and any specific examples you could offer would really help MUO improve the readability of articles.

    -Ryan

    • Saptashwa
      May 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      As I replied to Mark - "As to being formal, the reviews are too short. They make me feel that although the author knows the reason why he's making the statement, the readers are not delved deeper into it. As an example, Engadget usually has quite long reviews. But the amount of detail which is put in, along with some nice pictures (which you guys have to work on a bit) makes me go through the entire article and all the comments. Another notable point is that though MUO has so many readers, only 4 or 5 comment. Whereas on Engadget, 100s comment on the reviews. Engadget makes (and sells) itself as user-interactive. Don't get me wrong! I like (sorry, love) MUO very much. But I want it to be better. One way can be to increase the number of articles. Another way can be to cover other tech topics rather than only software and websites."

  7. Tina
    May 15, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Saptashwa,

    I can not see MakeUseOf going down. We're growing and expanding, so we're clearly going up!

    As for the formal writing style, there are no strict writing guidelines, each author just writes. I'm sure the editors can share a little more about the general writing style they observe and maybe what they do like and don't like to see. Personally, I'm not sure what you find so formal about our writing, could you elaborate?

    Anyways, I think it's a good sign that you think MakeUseOf is different than other blogs. I do hope others feel the same way. And I'm pretty sure that a lot of people like us better because of that.

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