A while ago, Cursive Buildings wrote:
Creating a good blog is like writing a good book that no one reads past the first page. creating a good blog is like hiding your treasure under piles of new treasure. creating a bad blog is like burying your trash under piles of new trash.
Today, this article has been making the rounds, and it advises us:
It’s time we create meaningful indexes and put our best — not latest — content up front, instead of just doing what’s easiest.
They’re kind of right. Lots of good writing, good photos, good quotes and links and whatever people put on their blogs languishes in blog archives. When you meet a blog, you usually see either the latest post or one post in particular — not the best ones. Regardless of quality, very little of what we publish today will be read a year or two from now. Even if everything we write after today is inferior, it will likely have more readers than what we wrote just now. That’s the nature of the internet.
I whipped up a small experiment in (partially) rectifying this on my blog. The top of my frontpage now looks like this:
Just fill in the list of posts and slap that where ever you’d like it.
Hopefully some of you will find something I wrote a while back and like it. I encourage everyone to dive into their archives, online or offline, diaries or blogs or notebooks, and bring back something great to show us. It might sound arrogant to say “this is something I did, and it’s great”, or impossible to say “this is the best of my stuff”, but it doesn’t have to be more than “I did this a while back and I still like it. Check it out.” Speaking only for myself, I’d love for my favorite bloggers to look into their archives and show me something from the past — something I never saw, something I’d forgotten, something the author forgot, something that, in hindsight, was really fucking spot on — and link it. You don’t have to do it my way: there are any number of ways of drawing your readers’ attention to something from the archives, and I’m interested in alternative approaches. But the point is: don’t let good stuff sit forever unread just because it’s old. The best stuff is often not tied to ephemeral events: like wine, it gets better with age. I’m sure you had something interesting to say in 2008 or even 1998, something half your current audience never saw and the other half has forgotten. Show us!Sep 24, 2009