DonnaM » Blog Archive » IAs – get your blog together

IAs – get your blog together

I have been reading IA blogs for a good while – at least 4 years. And, you know, the IA and interfaces for our own blogs suck. I’m not going to name names, because you guys are my friends and colleagues; but boy, as a group, we do a bad job.

We all write good stuff. We think about our posts and write decent length, meaty articles. Sometimes we rant, sometimes we think, but there is always good and I have learned so much from you all.

We get some good comments at the time of posting, then we ignore our posts. They fall off the home page and disappear from view. On all of my favourite IA blogs, the only way to get to that great information is via a date-based archive. How useless is that? In order to find anything, you have to know when it was posted, which either means trolling through endless archives, or missing great information because it is completely buried.

We use silly links, like a ‘comment’ link to go through to a post. We use pop-ups to allow posting and reading comments. We use jargon like ‘trackback’ and ‘RSS’ when we know some of our audience don’t know about these things.

Why would anyone hire an IA who can’t even IA their own site. Its like hiring a graphic designer with no sense of space and colour.

Come on guys. Let’s get it together and show our skills on our own sites. Think about what we know about why people read our blogs, how they use our stories, about information’s currency and temporality.

I’ll start! I’m going to go through three years of posts and re-tag them. Highlight the great articles, make the good ones easier to find, link related things together and relegate only the trivial day-to-day to the date-based archive. I’m going to link to my posts with a meaningful title, and make sure my site is standards compliant. I’m going to try to do some jargon-busting. I might even do some usability testing.

What will you do?

3 Responses to “IAs – get your blog together”

  1. Henrik Olsen Says:

    Hi Donna!

    Totally agree with you, especially on the data-based archive-thing. I never understood why people would organize their entries by date and show little calenderers with highlighted dates. I find it difficult to imagine anybody having the need to se what was written in a certain month or on a certain day in the past.

    So you ask what I will do. Well, I

  2. Livia Labate Says:

    You are a brave woman. I have many times abandoned my blog and started it over, throwing away previous posts.

    I suppose the excuse is, I don’t have time to do this properly, so I’ll either do it half-assed or not do it at all. Since I’m trying to write publicly as an exercise, I picked the half-assed method.

    I do agree with you though – wanna fix my blog? ;) I would much rather my blogging tool let me tag entries with keywords rather than categories for one. I think that would encourage me to use it in a more meaningful way.

    As far as the jargon and the pop-ups go, what do you suggest?

  3. Ant Colfelt Says:

    Now there’s a gauntlet if ever I saw one thrown down! I’m having trouble just keeping motivated in writing to mine, let alone sorting it out from a user experience perspective. Ever heard the expression about the builder’s house? I lived with a builder once, and ITS TRUE! I guess its just hard to have energy when you do it all day long to come home and do it all night long too. How do you keep it up? From where do you draw your fountain of IA enthusiasm? I need tip-top-tips!

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