Thursday, July 21, 2005

Your blog best of list




Does your blog have a best of list in the sidebar?

A list of priority posts a new visitor ought to read?

Seriously consider using one.

I've seen personal journal blogs have a list of "How It All Began" posts that let visitors understand the origins or context of the blog.

Don't expect the reverse chronological display of posts to be a good guide to your blog. Visitors simply read your latest writing first.

But your real works of genius, humor, or vision may be buried in the dark chambers of your archives...somewhere.

According to Rok Hrastnik of Marketing Studies.net, blogs need to orient new visitors quickly.

I've been advocating better web site orientations for a long time now, and especially for a certain client of mine, who has a sprawling, rich content web site.

The moment any new visitor lands on your site, it must be clear what kind of web site they're on (blog: interactive comments driven site), what the purpose, theme, or subject matter is, and what can be done there (downloads, merchandise, surveys, polls, podcasts, video, etc.)

Every blog needs a "Best Of", "Most Popular", or "Must Read" list.

I've been using such lists as "Some Controversial Posts" and "Guest Contributor Posts". I've also experimented with "Read These First" for Blog Core Values, and some other listings.

In his "#1 Mistake Most Blogs Do" post at Marketing Studies

http://www.marketingstudies.net/blogs/
diary/archive/000298.html

Rok says this...

[QUOTE]

There are millions of blogs already, but really few people have the time to watch more than a few daily.

But if they come back just once a week, they can be quickly overwhelmed with the amount of new content.

That's why it's crucial to provide a "best of", a helping hand to guide your readers to the "must-read" content you publish.

[END QUOTE]


If your blog deals with a specialty area of research or study, like blogology, web usability, web design, information architecture, etc., a list of posts that explain the basics, the fundamental ideas and practices, the definitions of terms used, might be helpful to readers.


Think about a special list of orientation posts to display in your sidebar.


Anything you do to help users understand you, the purpose of your blog, and what can be discovered or accomplished at your blog, will make your blog more valuable and enjoyable to readers.


[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

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