I was wrong.
Ok, I wasn't totally wrong, but partially off base. Several years ago I spoke at a blogging conference and inevitably Seth Godin was invoked in a question from the audience. It went something like this:
"Seth Godin says you don't need a Website anymore if you have a blog—what do you think?"
My answer essentially defended a well designed Website. I made a logical case that blogs didn't do a good enough job of providing a great first time experience to a user. Keep in mind that this was over 3 years ago and a lot has happened since then. Fast forward to today and I'm eating my words. I just killed my personal Website (screenshot above), using a search engine friendly re-direct to simply point to my blog (you can now go to davidarmano.com and it will take you here).
On a personal level, it made no sense to keep a Website and blog up at the same time when the blog has all of my information, plus content and value and provides a reason for people to actually come back. Not to meniton I'm saving money on hosting fees etc. Also keep in mind that if were better and coding, and had a lot more time—my blog would look and function a whole lot better (I currently do it all myself). So, on a non personal level here's a couple of recommendations I'd make on evolving your Web presence if you are not an individual but an organization. Here are two of my favorite examples:
Whitehouse.gov is probably one of the most elegant and functional non transactional site experiences I've come across in quite some time. The site seamlessly blends it's blog right into the design, while it aggregates links and other content types from other social networks. Clicking on the blog link simply refreshes the page in the identical design template while the site does a great job of presenting the first time user with a very digestable set of options and starting points. Not to mention, it just feels dead on.
The barbarian group is probably my favorite agency Website to date. They recently overhauled their overproduced, low value site to something that is accessible, easy to navigate, filled with value added content and displays the thoughts of their people front and center. On the spectrum of Website to blog, it leans more heavily to the latter as it displays recent posts on the homepage, but you can still get around to all sections quite easily. Keep in mind that in the ad agency world fueld on "sizzle" this is a 180 departure from much of what's out there pure and simple. In my estimation it's a sneak preview of what we'll see others do more of.
So, if I were asked the same question today—I might answer it a bit differently. The short answer, assuming we are talking about personal or corporate type sites is this:
Your website should provide value to all of your users. If you can get them to participate, then do what ever it takes achieve that. In other words, it doesn't matter if your site looks more or less like a blog, what matters is if you're doing something to transform behavior from the passive to the active. Participatory behavior leads to better interactions between people, brands, businesses etc. So the real question is—are you designing for participation? Your answer should be, yes. If your Website doesn't do that, kill it. Then bring it back to life into something that does.