Essentially, I’m rethinking the structure of the site and how it’s influencing the way I write and post. As it stands today, I either have to write lengthy, essay-like posts like this one or very short posts like the links I publish at Elsewhere. They’re basically two separate blogs, but for no better reason than separating them into distinct entities was necessitated by the limitations of Movable Type (and my own skillset) at the time I launched this current version.
Part of the problem with this arrangement is that in theory there should be a lot of room for variation between the two kinds of posts; e.g., Elsewhere links that can run longer than just the one or two sentences I currently give them, or regular blog posts that can run shorter than the several paragraphs I usually drone on and on for, or blog posts that can even be composed entirely of visuals and no words. But the technical segregation of the different kinds of writing in effect imposes a kind of rigidness on the content.
One Writer, Blog
Put more simply, I just want to roll everything into a single blog. Whether they’re longer posts or annotated links or even just visuals, I just don’t think there’s a good argument for segregating them. And, to put a finer point on it, for the vast majority of users who come upon my site by chance, or who don’t spend hours and hours poring over the structure, trying to understand the formal distinction between the various kinds of content that I’m producing, it just doesn’t matter. For all intents and purposes, there’s no useful difference between what I write in one blog or in another. There᾿s only the stuff I write, period.
What would this look like? Well here is a screen shot from the working prototype. As you can see, there’s no particularly strong differentiation between the two kinds of posts (the only real distinction would be the star ratings for Elsewhere links, but those aren’t likely to be immediately understood by most people). In fact, I’m already trying to annotate my Elsewhere links at moderately greater length, so that they’ll seem less like throwaway links and more like value-add content.
Right: A post is a post is a post. A prototype for the next revision of this blog, in which ‘regular’ posts and Elsewhere posts are presented as a single blog.
The problem, of course, is that the ‘meatier’ posts, like this one, are a bit lost in the shuffle. The only one that shows up in this example is my last post, “Crash Test Dummies.” My reservation then is that some people may find it frustrating having to wade through those other, less substantial links to get to those posts.
Still, I think the tradeoff is worth it. Having a single point of entry, and having a unified experience for all of the content, strikes me as the simplest solution. Usually, that also means it’s the best solution. But then, ultimately I’m not the best judge of that. You will be, whenever this thing finally launches.