Parting Thoughts

Organizing this Schizophrenic Blog

Posted 12 December 2006

Those of you who may have started reading my blog for its relatively non-technical articles may have been mildly horrified, or at least repulsed, by my last few posts, which went rather deep into specific technical issues. I’ll continue posting both on business/marketing issues and on technical topics. The chronological nature of blogs mixes all these posts together, so the home page of this blog is schizophrenic.

You may find the blog categories, listed on the left, to be more useful than this home page, since it will sort out the posts by topic.

I have to admit I’m not yet entirely comfortable with the blog’s organization. I’m more accustomed to buildling sites where I have more explicit control over the information architecture. Some things I’ve wondered about include:

  • Should articles be in only one section? Many seem to belong in two or more sections, and I’ve been putting them everywhere they seem to fit. But this provides a lot of overlapping content among sections and makes it harder for someone to know if they’ve read what they want without wading through some things multiple times.
  • Should all the articles appear on the home page, or only ones of broad interest?
  • Should I offer feeds on a per-section basis? Currently the only feed is for the entire blog.
  • How useful are tags in addition to sections? I’m currently tagging articles primarily so they are more easily found in Technorati. You can also find other articles with the same tag by clicking the tag at the bottom of the article. Should there be tags in the left navigation bar as well?
  • I’m showing full articles everywhere, rather than excerpts, so you don’t have to click through to another page to read the whole thing. But this makes it harder to get a quick look at what all the articles are when there are long ones.
  • Reverse chronological order is odd when I write a series of articles that are like mini-chapters; they’re designed to follow one another. But they appear in reverse order in the blog.
  • Comments show up only on single-article pages, which are shown after you click on an article’s title, or click the comments link at the end of an article. Will this mean that most people will never see the comments? Would it be better to always show the comments?

I welcome any comments on these issues and expect to evolve the design of the blog as time goes on.