I’m a simple man. I’d prioritize efficiency and pragmatism over appearance any day. Unfortunately, pure blocks of text do not win people over. It is because of this that images and the like need to be used. Just writing a wonderful piece is meaningless if you can’t convince people to read it.
If I had an ideal design, it would be a hybrid of media and text. The design present would highlight the best that technology has to offer and automatically lead from one topic to the next in a visually flowing way similar to Chris Spooner’s page. I’d try to incorporate relevant images but images that I connect to. If I can’t appeal to myself, how can I appeal to others? I’d probably also try to effectively divide different subtopics in distinguishable manners such as headings or breaks or other media so as not to strain the eyes with continuous streams of text.
As for the voice of the content. I believe just staying true to yourself is good enough. The author of Kottke.org serves as a wonderful example. I’m a pretty casual soccer fan, casual enough that I barely watch the games and only barely know the most famous of soccer players. Regardless, he makes a compelling point spoken in a natural voice. It’s like I’m listening to him talk about this in person. His opinion is made known and is supported by a natural embedding of the facts that accompany it. Coincidentally, he also holds the pragmatic design that I would love to have. Enough media to keep the blog interesting, while maintaining the message he wishes to convey.