Thursday, March 23, 2017

Index Blogging

I have a very well-meaning dedicated supporter of my blog telling me that I have got to create a better index for my posts ~ and on the whole, I agree that a better index would be preferable.  The tag system has gotten far past the point where it can practically enable any person to find a specific post about something I wrote five to eight years ago, while the blogger search engine won't search specific phrases at all.

The only problem?  That is an immense amount of work.  At present, I just wrote last week that I have to concentrate my resources on my book and on the new comics (which are generating interest on facebook and twitter that is unusual for me).  I feel I'm letting the fellows down on the campaigns because I'm deliberating backing off, posting less per day and sometimes not at all.  I haven't expanded the wiki in a month.  And now the question arises that I should go through and systematically "re-shelve" my blog lexicon: a massive task that I'm not convinced will greatly increase the interest in this blog.

Right now, my focus is on interest: getting the present reader to feel safer around me (my being such a freak) and more active and getting new readers to come in and look.  Granted, a better index will encourage those new readers to know what they're looking at ~ but if so, just redesigning the sidebar tags isn't going to do it.

Logically, I should ditch the auto-system that blogger provides and make my own index, one that makes sense, that properly identifies the subject-matter of a post, right down to the material value covered in the paragraphs of that post.

At this point, I don't remember entirely what is in this blog.  When I want to find something, I go to google, not blogger, then type "Tao D&D blog" and as many meaningful words as I can remember being attached to the post.  This morning I found an old, lost post immediately by searching "Tao D&D blog children ability stats", locating something I wrote about generating ability stats for children one year at a time.  If I had tried to search for that through blogger, I'd never have found it.

It would make sense if I were to make a series of posts that were largely links on a specific subject, then build list in the sidebar that would compile the link posts.  That, unquestionably, would be a brutal amount of work and boring as hell to create.

A few years ago I conceived of writing a post at the beginning of each month that would compile all the posts of that same month but four years earlier.  It was horrible.  The posts were dull to write and required that I go over material that did little to expand my consciousness, and which generated very little real interest from the reader.  My page views per post dropped visibly.  So the notion of doing this on a grand scale, dragging myself through a process that people might appreciate while producing a grand community yawn doesn't motivate me.

I'd rather push my lazy ass to get another round up on the campaigns.

7 comments:

Vlad Malkav said...

I'm ashamed for my not having the idea of using google for finding - or at least trying ...

Well, I don't think an index is needed. Useful, maybe, but the time to usefulness ratio isn't good - I'd rather have you be working on your campaigns, books, world, and blog, rather than seeing an index. After all, "tao dnd child stats" gave me 2 interesting posts, so ...

Push your genius ass to get some more of your gems done !

Alexis Smolensk said...

Appreciated. But I'm not always up to the toughest stuff. I wrote the post because I am considering doing SOMETHING. I'm still considering it. I'm going to try an experiment on the post above, but it will take me a while to put it together.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Changed my mind and put it in a new post.

Scott Stringer said...

I'd give up on the idea of an Index. Instead give readers an effective search function, perhaps use Custom Google Search (https://developers.google.com/custom-search/)

I believe you can set CGS up to simultaneously search multiple sites (e.g. blog, wiki and campaigns).

I'm reasonably sure this is what is backing the paint.net custom search (http://www.getpaint.net/search.html)

Alexis Smolensk said...

One angle I hardly touched on my blog was that people don't go into the backlog because they don't know what's there. I've tried to create a post that brings attention to the first ten posts I wrote, back in 2008 (embarrassing nonsense and all). It is only that to make it clear enough for the reader to see what to expect, it takes a lot of time.

A better search engine than Google simply doesn't exist (though many argue they are). But I think it is very rare for readers to go back to search from some old post anyway.

It might be interesting to be able to search both the blog and the wiki simultaneously, though.

Scott Stringer said...

Here's a walkthrough...https://www.technologyhint.com/add-google-custom-search-blogger/

Lothar Svensson said...

I've tried searching for several posts I've read in your backlog before (most often the one dealing with high-level NPCs and XP gained per year for various echalons of society, though your year child stat generation idea is another of my favorites) and it isn't easy...

I never hit on the idea of using Google to search just your site, though I was usually able to find what I was looking for after a few tries with the native Blogger search tool. Or I stumbled on another interesting subject and got distracted...