Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Indexing Blogger in Middle-earth

Kia ora tātou – Hello Everyone
Link to Index Page
Reading through Tony Karrer's recent post Better Memory, reminded me of the importance of cataloguing information so that it can be easily found again. The recent revision of his First Time Visitor Guide also got me thinking about the importance of indexing.

Since I published my 100th post, I've found it more and more difficult to keep track of what's on my own blog. Things are becoming more difficult to find there for I forget when and where I wrote things and sifting through my archived posts has become too cumbersome (I also recalled what Sue Waters said about a blog archive taking up valuable space on the side-bar, so I might relocate mine yet).

I know from my own experience how difficult it is to find topics posted on other blogs and I'm often gobsmacked when I discover some archived gem on a blog that I thought I knew well.


So I'm
taking a few tips from Tony Karrer. I'm experimenting with an Index Page for Blogger in Middle-earth. Check it out and help me improve it.

( 6 ) ( 5 ) ( 4 ) ( 3 ) ( 2 ) << - related posts

Haere rā – Farewell

2 comments:

Sue Waters said...

Providing readers with a fast and efficient method to locate posts is always a hard one on a blog.

Creating an index page can be very time consuming as you probably found and there is no guarantee readers will use it because of how most readers interact with blogs. Some blogs they will be more likely to use an index page on than others.

The better option is the good use of categories and tags which unfortunately Blogger doesn't give you. Wonder if worth using a third party tag cloud? The archives where possible work better as a drop down menu.

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Sue!

While you're right, it did take a bit of time to build the index page, I was surprised how quickly it came together with a bit of planning and web2.0 slick. Now in place, it won't be difficult to maintain it.

I've been impressed with the number of visits 'old' posts get. I've done a number of studies on this. On your recommendation, for instance, I examined PostRank (used to be AideRSS) and found it very useful - thanks for that. GoogleAnalytics is also useful, especially for monitoring first time visitors - and, of course, it's the first time visitor who most needs assitance (BTW, how do you get a commenters email address in Blogger?)

Eventually I displayed top posts for PostRank AND GoogleAnalytics, following a study I did with GA as a prelim. I found that by simply giving I-Y-F access to a simple list increased the number of visits through the displayed post titles.

Another study I did was to link related posts to each post, which I now have linked throughout the blog. This too was met with a significant increase in visits on 'old' posts. It bears thinking about

Anecdotal information that I get from comments from time to time has suggested that a significant portion of people come back, after visiting my blog for the first time, just to check out the rest of what's there. When I read comments like this, I begin to wonder how difficult it might be for someone to review the blog through the archives alone.

Anyhow, time will tell, for I monitor visits all the time, and I'll be able to monitor the visits to the index page too. I'll let you know how I get on.

Catchya later