It appears from recent conversations about blog indices and related discussions [ 1 ], [ 2 ], [ 3 ], [ 4 ], [ 5 ] that the most use an index on a blog can provide is to assist the bloggers to find stuff on their own blogs. How extraordinary!
As a blogger who has a very new blog-index, I must admit that I’ve found it extremely useful for finding stuff I've posted on my own blog. Before I built it, I would waste time looking for a post I’d written but couldn’t find – and my blog is nowhere near a year old even yet. Other bloggers have admitted that trying to find stuff on their own blogs can be frustrating.
Time spent searching:
I’ve been giving thought to this lately (I tend to think now and again). How often have I spent time searching in vain through another’s blog or on my RSS Reader, looking for a post I knew they’d written and I couldn’t find? I’ve even tried a Google search or a specific blog search, on these occasions, hoping to hit on the post that I knew existed.
Sometimes I’ve been lucky and I found the elusive post, but it takes a lot of time to do this when there is no index.
People don't use posts that way:
Sue Waters said that people don’t read blog posts that way - that an index wouldn’t be useful to them - that the blogger is only as good as the last post they wrote. While I can see some sense in the last bit, I surely can’t be the only blog visitor who’d find an index useful. I can’t be the only reader who goes off searching for things on other blogs that I’ve read before and know is there and didn’t bookmark specifically for reference later on.
I commented on Tony Karrer’s post that I wouldn’t defend the index I’d built on my own blog as it was experimental and I really didn’t know what the best form was for a blog index anyway. I stick with this, for I have my own reservations about its usefulness.
But I can’t believe that other readers have never experienced the frustration that I have when looking for a post I know a blogger wrote and that I can’t find easily on their blog. What is sometimes even more frustrating is when I’ve to search for the post on several blogs belonging to the same author. Come to think of it, it must make finding their own stuff on their multiple blogs just as difficult. How do they do it?