Teaching, Promoting, Cheering UX and SEO Since 2002

Archives Are Like Wednesday’s Meatloaf

The issue of what to do with blog archives, or any archives really, reminds me of what to do with leftovers in the refrigerator. Do I want to relive Tuesday’s dinner, or make something new? Do I want to go back and read other stuff a blogger wrote, or just visit when their feed sends word they’ve posted something new?

Dave Childs is wrestling with archives. In Usable Archives – A Pipe Dream? he writes,

One thing you’ll notice reading almost any blog (or site running blog-like software) is that articles and posts vanish quickly. For some sites, it is a matter of days – for others months. The end result is the same – after a period of time, good posts vanish into the ubiquitous “site archive” – where posts go to die, often never to be read again.

What do you do with your old posts?

Awhile back, I wondered about the “nightmare” of archives in a comment at Performancing.com, in a discussion called The Real Blogosphere. This was picked up by Markus Merz, where he expanded on the archives usability issue with his Intuitive Navigation with Tag Clouds. He liked the clouds idea. I think other people do too. I had tried the tag cloud option on my old Blogger blog and decided I didn’t like it. It took up a lot of space. However, people did use it.

Since switching to WordPress, I’ve found my archives are read and found easily due to the categories. I don’t expect anyone to read what I wrote 3 years ago. I think many bloggers know they have to keep blogging to stay fresh because folks don’t go rummaging around for old leftovers.

That would just be scary.

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