Tuesday, November 10, 2015

New look for an old bag, I mean blog

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Originally we used to organize our blog posts by date. You found someone writing about a topic that interested you and read their most recent post. Then if you enjoyed it, you scrolled down and read some early stuff.  A dedicated reader might travel back in time quite far, and notice the posts getting slowly less useful / funny / well-written / articulate / diligently proofread until you end at their beginning with a clumsy first post:

"Hello, this is my blog - I am not really sure what I am doing right now but I hope some people will enjoy reading about my shot glass collection".

Or something.

When I started this blog back in 2008 tag clouds were all the rage.  We dumped as many keywords as we could think of into that label box and built up a bank of words that ostensibly existed to help people find all the cool stuff. A bit of code ensured that words were rendered to scale according to their frequency (commonly used tags were larger).  Then one day some devious plugin-coding-masturbator figured out how to make them spin and we all wanted one of those.

Boy did we think they were awesome, but then we though Microsoft's marching red ants were awesome for a while, and Geocities gifs, and Myspace glitter graphics. Or maybe we didn't, because you would have to be as old as me to remember these things.

Anyway yesterday I spent an hour taking all of my tags out of every post so I could re-purpose the 'label' plugin with a category function.  I'm dusting off the old blog as I have started getting a little more creative and it is nice to document these things. Imagine The North (ITN) is the only blog (and I have had many several) that really works for me.  Looking around most blogs these days use between three and ten categories / subcategories - which makes a lot of sense; we might not stick to one topic, but people usually are drawn to our blogs through a common interest and they want to be able to find relevant content easily. Of course we hope they will then be drawn to content on other themes and become Faithful Readers of Everything.

So I have been trying to chose categories.  Here is where I am right now:

Creativity
Journals & organisation
Thailand & travel
Health & wealth
Apps & tech
Close to home

Okay so I am being a bit sneaky as most of these categories are actually two categories mashed together (and let's be honest 'Close to home' is essentially everything else).  But I think this just about covers the main areas I am interested in / likely to post about.

Which is basically a long-winded way of saying, I'm back - blogging.

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