There was a lot of intelligent back and forth. I think a lot of blog purists believe it's all about the content. Designers counter that "people like shiny things."
The discussion of content versus design in blogs is like discussing what makes a rectangle bigger: height or width?
A good looking blog with bad content won’t encourage repeat visits, and quality posts in an ugly wrapper will be perceived as mediocre or even poor writing. (If you doubt this, pick up a copy of Malcolm Gladwell’s new book: Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking, which I just reviewed in a previous post.)
I love a blog's simplistic layout. However, they are also (generally) well designed. The
default choices at Blogger or Typepad are (mostly) all attractive. Well chosen fonts and remote style sheets allow people to express themselves without mucking up the design.
That being said, after months of looking at my own blog, I decided that I wanted our designer to take a crack at it. (He will soon.)
There will be a lot more custom designs for blogs going forward, both for better or worse. No matter how nice the default layouts may be, (compared to so many poorly designed Web sites out there,) ultimately people will want to express their individuality through design as well as through content.