Possibly the single most common private email that I get regarding this blog is about the slow page load times and the ugly bling all over the sidebars (which are, of course, related). I must have gotten fifty to a hundred of such emails over the past six months.
And then Scott Heiferman wrote this last week on his weblog:
Fred Wilson's blog is ugly. The words are wonderful, but is there any widget-badge-crap-bling-thing he WON'T put on it?
The answer to that last question is basically no. If I like a web service and want to integrate it with my blog, the "widget-badge-crap-bling-thing" is going up. That's how I like it.
I've been thinking about how to offer a "fast and clean" version of this blog for several months. I've been focused on my blog's feed, because if you read my blog in a feed reader, you get the fast clean experience everyone seems to want.
And then I looked at my feed discovery page on FeedBurner and realized that it was pretty damn close to what people were asking for. The words and just the words.
But that wasn't quite enough for me. I want to retain the basic look and feel of AVC.
Last spring Nick Denton showed me the new publishing system they are building and using at Gawker, code named ganja (gotta love code names that big companies won't use).
The idea behind ganja is that Gawker's bloggers can all blog in whatever blogging tool they like best. Ganja takes the feeds that come out of those tools and publishes them in a consistent look and feel. There's a lot more to it, but I love the idea of breaking the content creation and content display systems into discrete parts and using them in a distributed manner.
So I've done the same thing with FastAVC. I've registered the name fastavc.com and currently it redirects to a new FeedBurner discovery page of my blog's feed. The template has been edited to give it the look and feel of AVC, and you'll see links to comment on the posts (back to AVC for that so there is only one comment system), and the familiar links on my FeedFlare.
The next thing I want to do is host the FastAVC template on my web server and route the feed through it which will allow me to avoid the redirect to FeedBurner. But it's working fine using the redirect (and has been for several weeks now) and I wanted to let all of you know about it.
If you want to read this blog on the web but get fast load times and no bling, just bookmark www.fastavc.com and read my blog there instead.
Like most things I do with my blog, this is an experiment and a bet on where things are headed. I believe syndication of content is inevitable. I believe that readers should be able to consume my content wherever they prefer to, be it at avc.blogs.com, fastavc.com, on MyYahoo, Netvibes, MyTimes, or some other web based aggregation system, or in a feedreader.
I don't believe in having one single place where people are forced to come to read my posts. So there are two now.