When Blogs Go Bad – The Fall of TheDailyWTF.com

10 05 2007

I hate to see a good thing get ruined.
One of my daily joys was waiting until around 1pm when TheDailyWTF would update with a well written story about some workplace / tech related problem that really made the reader go “Wha de FU?” The articles were very well put together, the story behind each posting was interesting and detailed, and it was nice hearing about oddities in the tech sector each day.
Around the middle of last year, the writers added a new feature, the “Code Snippet Of The Day”. A sidebar bit of content where code-specific WTF’s were posted and readers would comment on where the problems were and how they might be fixed. I found the CodeSOD entries somewhat distracting – the writing style was stilted and boring, and would classh with the normal content.
Then, the site changed it’s name.
It was no longer “The Daily WTF” – it was now “Worse Than Failure”. The various reasonings behind this move were shallow and rang hollow. It was simply the next step in a blog owner trying to broaden their content base to be able to provide more diverse content. New posters were brought in, and the article quality dropped precipitously. Instead of one high quality article a day, we had a 3-5 poorly written articles, intermixed with CodeSOD’s.
Now, the final insult.
This week they are running “Classics Week”. Now, I’m all for nostalgia. It’s great going back into the archives and pulling out truly outstanding articles from the past and reminiscing. But the authors on TheDailyWTF are doing no such thing. They are posting classic articles from as recent as nine weeks ago.
Ladies and gentlemen, a classic is something I may have missed in the distant past, or something that stood above all the others and should be brought back. When doing ‘classics’, you don’t just repost recent articles.
I’m sorry, but TheDailyWTF has destroyed itself in the process of trying to expand itself, a process all too common in successful blogs. I bear no antipathy toward Alex Papadimoulis, the owner of TheDailyWTF, but if I were to make one suggestion to him, it would be “Alex, stop. Return to what you were doing well. The new content is not working.”

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One response

11 05 2007
ceo

I liked the code snippets, indeed I’d though ththat was the main focus of DailyWTF. (Apparently I started reading after they started doing that.) The “Worse Than Failure” business definitely pushed it further down the road to lameness, though.
I get my funny IT stories at Shark Tank.

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