So at some point during…

So at some point during the WisCon weekend, Ben treated me to a mini-rant about how annoying it was that I didn't title my blog entries. He went into it at some length, and while I cannot remember his reasons, the passion of his protestations remains vivid.

And, because I live to please you, my darlings, I wonder whether I should put aside my own mild preference for the delightful unpredictability of my blogging and offer you titles which may, at least some of the time, give you some indication of the contents of the blog entry. I do warn you, sometimes the title may well be 'misc' or 'random' or some such. But it might also be 'recipe' or 'finally moved into house' or something equally exciting.

So here's my poll -- please post in comments whether you:

a) love the blog just the way it is -- don't change a thing!

b) would like titles on the entries, please

c) would like titles *and* keywords, to facilitate better searching (I'm not sure of the feasibility of this, but it may not be beyond Jed's incomparable coding abilities)

d) have some other splendid solution for organizing my blog

e) couldn't care less

Thank you!

16 thoughts on “So at some point during…”

  1. I’ve always enjoyed your title-less blog posts (sadly, my blogging platform *requires* titles). However… a keyword search or simple tags to categorize different posts would be helpful. I often find myself frantically searching your archives for some post I remember from years past that has become suddenly timely for my life…

    But as Gretchen said, it’s your blog! Do as you please. I will keep reading no matter what!

  2. Ben once told me that it was nice that I usually made clear in the title and the first couple of sentences of an entry what the entry was going to be about, so he could skip ones he wasn’t interested in. My initial response was sadness that he wasn’t reading every pearl of wisdom that dropped from my lips (or my keyboard, anyway), but I eventually came around to agreeing that it’s useful to readers to give them some kind of hint upfront.

    So it’s possible that you could address Ben’s concerns with some other approach, such as (f) showing a longer excerpt on the main page, or (g) having a brief summary field in which you could write a few words about what the entry’s about (either just keywords or a phrase like “In which I learn how to make a stained-glass window” or “I’m teaching a summer writing class in Chicago”), or (h) giving you a text box where you could write a tweet about the entry, and it would both post the tweet to Twitter (with a link to the entry) and post the text of the tweet as part of your main-blog-page display.

    On the other hand, it might be simpler to just do titles.

    For keywords, I think you’re best off using the approach we discussed before (putting them in HTML comments, like you do for the focus areas), or else switching to using Movable Type or WordPress–I could write some kind of full keyword system, but that starts to get into the realm of “other people have solved this problem way better than I ever could.”

    (Sadly, my coding abilities are not all that incomparable; they can be accurately compared to those of an enthusiastic intermediate-level programmer with insufficient formal training in software engineering.)

  3. Closer to a). You’re blogging about your daily life, which doesn’t come in packaged units with good titles. (Hence the frequent, revealing, and enjoyable posts: “I started on x, but then y.”)

  4. I read all journals through my RSS reader, and yours show up with no titles and no excerpts, just your name.

    I don’t care about titles so much as having entire entries included in the RSS feed. It’s very helpful to know if an entry is two sentences about something — like a local meeting — or two pages about something having to do with your feelings (in other words, something I wouldn’t want to miss).

    So my emphatic vote is for full text in the RSS feed!!!

  5. Jenn: I have mixed feelings about that—when I used to look at RSS feeds, I hated having entire entries in them. I wanted to get a brief glimpse, and then click through to the whole entry. But that was a while ago; maybe modern RSS readers automatically collapse the entry and let you expand locally?

    Ellen: I could put a few words from the start of the entry (just like on the main journal page) as a fake title in the feed that LJ picks up; would that help?

  6. Jenn and Jed: I think I’m missing something here. There is an RSS feed here that contains the full text of each entry; it’s labelled “RSS 0.91,” and it’s what’s used by LiveJournal. Why not just switch to that one?

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