“The Worldlog”: new blog catalogue for aid and development sites

The Swedish International Development Agency has launched “The World Log” a new catalogue for web content related to aid and development content. It lists blogs, videos and photos by geography and topic – and it looks really pretty!

Great chance for high level exposure

Screenshot of The World Log

The World Log

The site is still a bit buggy (sometimes the user interface switches to Swedish so you have “Läs mer” instead of “Read more”) but if you have anything to do with aid or development, then you should definitely add your RSS feed to the World Log. The site will be presented at the “European Development Days 2009” (22 – 24 October) which is hosted by the Swedish government so this is a great chance to get some high level exposure.

You might also want to schedule some specific blog posts for those days since new blog posts get immediately highlighted on the world map.

I like the World Log but here a few things that could be done better imho:

  • If you offer geo-location, include an option for the city as well as the country. My blog-posts for example show up all over Switzerland, which is a bit weird. Particularly since none of them show up in Geneva where I actually live.
  • Include a filter for languages. Currently, while you can browse content by topic and country, you cannot specify which language(s) you want to see.
  • There is no sense of community. The site feels like it was mainly set up as something pretty to be shown at the European Development Days – a “web 2.0 backdrop”. There is no sense of community, there is nothing you can actually do on the site except add your RSS feeds. There isn’t even a feedback-form or contact information! Considering that the European Development Days are quite high-profile, that still makes it worth my time to add my RSS feed (the complete registration process only takes two minutes) but it’s a lost opportunity.
  • Monitor the submissions. Currently anyone can add any RSS feed to the catalogue. And while I’m a great fan of openness, I think it would be good if the worldlog team would at least take a look at each blog before it is being admitted to the catalogue.  I’m frankly quite worried that some very hateful people will flood the site on the launch day.

Update (24 September 2009): The Worldlog is now (finally) on Twitter as well (@theworldlog) and quite responsive to comments.