Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Archived blog pages: two flavors

There are two kind of archived blog pages, functionally similar enough that I described them together.

There are relative archive posts, reached by clicking the "Older Posts" link at the end of a page.

There are absolute archive posts, reached by clicking a month or week or year in the archive gadget (if installed in the sidebar).

Both hold older posts in Blogger's standard reverse order, most-recent first. Both let you navigate to older and newer archive pages, if any exist.

Here's how these similar pages differ.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Archived blog pages

In the beginning was the blog, composed of posts.

Add enough content (and it does not take much), and your posts will overflow off the main blog page and into the archive.

Click "older posts" after the last post on your page to see the next-recent batch of posts. Your readers can navigate all of your content this way, by clicking on older and newer.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Post pages for blog posts

In the beginning was the blog page, but later on each blog post got its own page too. 

The user option at Settings > Archiving > Enable Post Pages gives each of your posts a unique web address (which Blogger generates automatically). This is useful for many reasons--for one thing, you and others can link directly to any post--and most bloggers should leave it enabled. Update: This is now standard, and not a user setting.

A related option, at Settings > Comments > Comment Form Placement > Embedded Below Post, lets you put the commenting form on the page, if you've left post pages enabled

If you use Blogger's jump break (as I do) to truncate your posts with a "read more" link, only the first, pre-break part will show on other blog pages (main page, label-search page, etc.) with the link. Meanwhile, the entire post will appear on its post page, with no sign of where you put the jump. 

These posts are the true building blocks of your blog.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Your blog page (home page)

In the beginning was the blog, composed of posts.

The blog page, or home page, shows your most-recent posts in classic backwards order, last-first. Your readers see this page first when they navigate to your blog at its root address.

Many new bloggers want, or think they want, a static home page with a link to their blog page, and there are a fair number of tricks and hacks to achieve something like that.

However, Blogger is not set up to provide a static home page, and it is worth understanding the editorial rationale for starting with your most recent blog post.

Simply put, readers have short attention spans and it is usually better to immerse them in your freshest work right away rather than make them read some introduction. Returning readers in particular will not like have to scroll or click past the same old thing every time they visit your site.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

When your blog journey is cut short

When I converted my feed from Short to Jump Break, I hit an unexpected wall involving the blog-journey hack that lets you show your content in chronological order.

I've vaulted over the wall since (and you can too, if necessary), but here is the story.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Blogger's new jump-break-feed option

Bloggers can now set their feeds to end at the jump break while preserving most formatting and hypertext markup.

The new Feed option, which Blogger announced on December 9, is in addition to the the Full and Short options, which are still available. From my point of view, however, it is superior to the old choices in nearly every way. I urge all bloggers who care about feeds to check it out.

Until now, bloggers have had to choose between short feeds that are stripped of all formatting and links versus full feeds that comprise the entire blog.

Blogger software engineer Ben Eitzen details how the new jump-break feed works and how to chose it here.