I hate blogging.
Don’t get me wrong: I love writing, and I find a lot of helpful information in other people’s blogs. But when I redesign my blog, I inevitably pull out my hair and ask: “Why?!?” It happens every time.
Why do categories still exist?
I’m sure blog post categories sounded like a good idea at the time. “Everybody else is doing it. Why not? It helps you organize your posts, and organization is good, right?”
But when I visit other people’s blogs, I never really care about their blog’s categories. What, like I’m supposed to be impressed by all the different topics you’ve blogged about? Clicking on a category sends me to a sparsely populated blog, with fewer topics; and older, less relevant posts appear much sooner. Why would I want a shortcut to outdated, irrelevant material?
Sorry, sidebars, I’m just not that into you
Most blogs have sidebars, they’re almost always full of stuff, and I never care about anything in them.
I never look at a sidebar and say: “Oh, hey! Your latest photos from Flickr! Aren’t you a fun person!?” Instead, I’m asking: “Are any of those photos related to your blog post I’m here to read? No? Okay then.”
In the past year or so, thanks to Spotify, Facebook users have discovered what avid bloggers have known for years: You don’t care what songs other people have listened to recently. “Oh. I see you’re listening to David Bowie again. What a shock!” Even worse, I can’t hear the music in your sidebar by clicking on it. And finally, none of this has nothing to do with the post I’m reading.
Archives of posts in a sidebar only tell me how frequently you post in your blog, but it doesn’t give me any idea of whether I will enjoy any of your posts. To do that, I would have to read your blog. Which would happen a lot faster, if I stop looking at your sidebar.
And then there are the categories.
It’s as if the sidebar exists because we decided in the ’90s a website with only one column doesn’t look interesting enough, so we manufactured a pile of useless garbage to populate a second column.
The much belabored point
To be fair, this post is a strong opinion, weakly held I’m not really qualified to explain why we bloggers have been doing all these things. I’m blowing this out of proportion in an attempt to make this an entertaining read. But the question remains: Especially with the rise of smart phones, and desktop PC sales grinding to a halt, how do you make a one column blog design look interesting on all platforms?
That’s the question I want to answer. I’ll let you guys know when the new design is done.