A few months back, I responded to Om Malik’s thoughts on the importance of stream of posts on one’s blog. Here’s what I proposed we bloggers should do.
Recommend stuff to the reader on our platform, our blogs. On our home pages. And around our posts. But instead of letting AI decide, let’s curate these recommendations manually.
I have since wanted to update my website, my primary home on the web, to do away with the standard design principle for a blog. Why does every home page have to look a certain way? Pages after pages of reverse chronological lists of posts.
I recently quipped that blogs have made the web boring. That every blog looks the same. All themes are more or less the same. A slight layout change here. A margin or padding there. Varied columns. But all look the same to me. You know that you are reading a blog.
I wanted to stop doing that. I want to curate the experience for the readers. Worst case, for the one reader that’s me. So, I have been working on laying out the structure for this space afresh1.
A home page recommends a selection of posts. No page’s a reverse chronological list. Even if a reader visits one that’s supposed to be, for example, archive, they won’t see a list. Every page allows a search and an option to visit a random post. A prominent nav bar allows navigation around every post. There are a lot of other minor touches sprinkled across.
Plus there are colours. Minimal doesn’t mean black and white. Minimal can have personality. It does now.
Satisfied after playing around and iterating with the changes for a couple of days, I applied the layout to the site today. Once I did, I wondered if this space was a typical blog any more. As per Wikipedia.
A blog is an informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page.
Not a diary. No reverse chronological order. And yet I don’t care. To me, a blog is what a blogger wants it to be. And I am done with the stream of posts. So here’s to a bold new start.
I do maintain and actively publish at a traditional blog and the nav bar points to that. Irony much? ↩︎