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Archives vs. Categories

  • Cena
    Participant

    @cena

    Awhile back, there was some commentary (which I can’t seem to find right now) on the forums about the usefulness of the wp calendar as a navigational aid. This led me to do some thinking about the kind of archiving structure I wanted to use on my own site.
    I finally realized that in order to have relevant, useful archiving of posts, it must be done by category. Archiving by date/post title is next to useless. If I go to a site to read a post about underwater basket weaving, then would like to see more, scanning a list of archive links like ‘january 2002, february 2002..’ doesn’t help me at all.
    I’d like to throw a couple of questions.
    1. Does anybody have a good way of organizing archives according to a scheme like: Category:Title:Date, permalinked to the actual post. (I have seen both Matt’s and MtDewVirus’ implementations of something similar, but I’m unclear on how to actually implement this.)
    2. Most blogs I’ve seen (including my own) display both a list of categories and a list of archives. Since the categories in WP function the same as archives (in the menu list, that is), just organized by topic rather than date, this seems rather redundant. I’m curious about why people choose to display both, and what people think about the usefulness/uselessness of archiving by date.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • Cena,
    I also agree that archives by date are not the most useful, but some may use them, so that is why I have them on my archives page. Have you seen the Nicer Archives hack? I’ve thought about using this.
    The implementation that I use is actually very easy. It’s a matter of having a seperate page to call the functions for the list of categories and list of archives, instead of calling them from the menu. I’ve used some code that Matt has provided so that when you click on a category or archive only the excerpt is displayed. If you want to do archives like this, check out this page.

    Archives by date can be very useful, as the defining characteristic of the weblog format is being chronologically-based.

    I agree that they can be useful….but, I’ve never found myself come upon someone’s blog and think, “I wonder what George wrote about in August of 2002.”

    NuclearMoose
    Member

    @nuclearmoose

    Why not take it a step further? Use a “sort by” option and allow the visitor to view the archives in their preferred fashion.
    This reminds me…somebody from around here has archives like that…uh…but right now I don’t recall who.
    Also, HERE is a great example of the way I’d love to have my archives. I suppose that it wouldn’t be too difficult to append/prepend a category name or such thing. (Spoken by someone who has not a single clue how to accomplish this archiving system.)

    notthatugly
    Member

    @notthatugly

    I approach categories like the calendar; not so much an archival method as a quick way of getting some information about the site. The calendar tells you at a glance how regular the updates are. The categories tell you what the blog’s about. If you actually clicked on the links, the page would be a ridiculous length (I have something like 180 posts unevenly distributed across five categories). My archives are on a separate page listed by date and entry title, because I started off on diaryland and that’s how we do things there. I’m not worried about usefulness; it’s a personal blog, it’s never going to be useful 🙂
    I was going to say I’d like to have archiving by category for my template site; but then I remembered I’m using multiple categories. Duh.

    Moose,
    I also like those archives a lot….maybe that’ll be a new project for me.

    The ability to display posts by Title, linked to the individual post is of great advantage when users would log to simply browse the site, and review information that looks interesting. As an example, movie reviews. If an entire category is dedicate to movie reviews, wherien each post is the review of a particular movie. Scrolling through a list of titles is much easier than scrolling through an entire text dump of the category.
    Usability, for all sites is important.

    I like having date archives, simply because when I come across a new blog I sometimes go back and read the whole damn thing. I don’t do it a lot, but when I find a blog that refers to past events a lot, or that is just particularly good, I’ll do it just so I know what the heck they’re talking about 😛

    davejenbarnes
    Member

    @davejenbarnes

    QUOTE:

    The ability to display posts by Title, linked to the individual post is of great advantage when users would log to simply browse the site, and review information that looks interesting. As an example, movie reviews. If an entire category is dedicate to movie reviews, wherien each post is the review of a particular movie. Scrolling through a list of titles is much easier than scrolling through an entire text dump of the category.
    Usability, for all sites is important.

    I agree 100% and am looking for HOW to do this with WP! If anyone could point me in the direction of HOW, I’d appreciate it… I have done searches and am currently combing the hacks part of the WP forum for information, but I don’t understand much of it. Here’s the site I found that has inspired me to try the same approach (specifically for the photos!!!) Dooce.com but dooce.com uses MT… I know WP has GOT to be able to do what MT does!

    Anyone ever find a solution to this?

    I hate the sorting by date assumption.

    DenisdeBernardy
    Member

    @denisdebernardy

    i personally kept both the category and the date archives:

    <shameless_self_promotion>
    Semiologic.com
    </shameless_self_promotion>

    the date archives is mainly for search engine purposes — i understand google doesn’t index deep pages on PR-0 sites. i suspect most users won’t use them.

    for categories, i divided them into three groups:

    – data types (e.g. columns, weblog, digests…), which i use for global nav

    – main topics (e.g. artificial intelligence, knowledge management), which i use for archives

    – sub topics (e.g. machine learning, natural language processing), which have a main topic parent, and which i use for contextual nav

    in order to render category and date listings more usable, i decided to fill and display the exerpts after quite a number of trials and errors. in the end, i’d say i sticked away from the standard blog format, and i’m quite happy with the results.

    i still think there are usability problems. but they are mainly due to the absence of relevant autolinking and the lack of a relevant search engine in wordpress, so there’s nothing i can do about it in the short term.

    hopes this helps.

    I went

    Archives

    By Month
    Dropdownlist

    By Category
    Dropdownlist

    over at http://www.basketball2k.com/site/

    denis, i would like to know how you got this page to display posts the way it does.

    the issue i’m specifically interested in is: listing by date, and then listing the post(s) for each date underneath.

    if this has been answered or addressed elsewhere, please let me know!

    Denis de Bernardy
    Member

    @denis-de-bernardy

    sonsica: i tried posting the code here twice with no success due to a bbpress bug, presumably. i’ll let you know from here when i release my theme.

    thank you, denis

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
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