Friday, March 09, 2007

Who cares about the chronological ordering of blogs?

There is a new way of designing blogs at Blogger and in general it is very easy - point and click, move around, group - the usual goodies associated with good Web-UI these days. The new blogger re-design also has a different mechanism of listing previous posts. They now group it by chronological order. I have spent some time trying to understand why this is useful to people who come to my site? And I have been completely defeated in understanding its purpose. Before I go into a litany of my issues with this new way of organizing posts I want to show what I mean -

This is the old way it used to be -

And this is the new format (which you can see in the right pane of this page if you are at the original blog site and not seeing this through a reader) -

I don't see why this useful for anyone other the blog author - and even for the author it is only informative (ah February 2007 was a good month for me - Oh Gosh! I didn't post a single thing between October 2005 and August 2006).

Here's what is lost by going to this format -
a. Earlier visitors (especially first-time visitors which are the majority of the visitors according to Statcounter's indication of the abysmal popularity of this blog :-)) cannot see a quick list of other posts which might catch their attention. They now have to do a deliberate task of expanding those date nodes to see what I might have written previously. I might just stop putting in titles altogether.
b. And really what is the reason to group it by month or date - do any of my readers really relate to the dates that I published my articles? How is August 2006 any more important than Jan 2007?

I am sure that there is way somewhere to hack out of it and maybe I'll have to sit down and hunt for it. I searched for it in the options and could not find a way to switch this off.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree. I generally don't care about the chronological order of blog entries, all I really need is a timestamp so you can understand how old the information is. Oh, and a recent entries list - so you can see what changed since you last visited.

For people who use their blogs as a diary, maybe it is more relevant ie. what was he doing in sept 94? But I don't actually come across many blogs like that.

Maybe we use our blogs more like a CMS?