Jul 30, 2007
Although I’ve been doing a lot of tidying up of the archives (which you shouldn’t notice, if I’ve been doing it right), there comes a point with any site where the archives can no longer be navigated in any meaningful way, but rather, must be discovered.
Sure, there are the archives – which can be browsed by category and date – and the search box on the top right of every page is pretty nifty (and mostly accurate), but there are coming up for eight years of content here now, which means that it’s harder to make content findable unless you know what you’re looking for. This is mostly because while topics and dates are very handy classification foundations, the next steps they enable are just too big – there’s a lot posted in any particular month, and a lot in each category.
If I thought I was going to be able to devote proper time to it, then I’d think hard about tagging. But that’s going to be an almighty pain in the arse to do manually. Tagyu might have been the answer, enabling automagic tagging of content, but it’s been retired, and TagAssist is still just a gleam in someone’s eye for the moment. I’ve also thought about outsourcing the work to readers – a folksonomic approach might be interesting to consider: asking readers to suggest classifications or tags for posts – but it could get out of control very quickly.
So in the absence of any findability solutions for the moment, I decided to go the opposite direction: random discoverability.
A while ago I implemented a wordpress plugin which allowed visitors (and me) to jump to random blog entries and pages on this site. I forgot to actually do anything about it at the time (beyond clicking it a few times and going “Hey! Cool!”), so without further ado – and until someone invents the blog archive equivalent of a flying car – I invite you to take a Megical mystery tour – just click on the hypnotic button below to be sent to a far flung and random corner of this site. Your mileage may vary.