I recently added some new features to the website that will hopefully make your experience more enjoyable. The main things I was looking to do were add a commenting system to the articles and make it easier to find interesting articles. The comment system was a simple add-on of a module to the site, but increasing the navigability of the site is a constant activity.
If you’ve been reading my blog within the past few months, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been on a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) kick. While a big part of this is to increase search engine ranking and traffic, the other part is to increase the quality of the site. If google likes your site, people probably will too. To some of you this may seem a little odd, but it’s true. I won’t go into the details in this article, but google has a lot of features in its algorithms that make sure your site is as search engine popular as it is socially popular.
Back to the topic at hand. You should now notice keyword listings in each article – at present they are at the bottom of articles, but I may change that. The keywords are words that describe, summarize, or represent what the article is about. For example, an article about me getting a new Nintendo Wii would have keywords like: Wii, Nintendo, Game, Console, etc. Clicking on any of the keywords in an article should take you a list of other articles, images, etc. related to that keyword.
Another new feature, similar to keywords, is the Related Articles feature. At present, this feature is shown
to the right at the bottom of each article. Clicking this option will take you to a simple list of articles that are related to the one you are reading. This is a really cool feature and I hope you find it helpful. I write about of a lot of random stuff and sometimes it’s hard to sort through everything.
You may be thinking to yourself "Josh, why don’t you just categorize all your articles?" Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about structure and organization where it’s necessary, but I’m also a firm believer in what I call "googleness." Googleness is basically when you can take seemingly unstructured data, articles, images, etc and sort through them using search capabilities. For example, the internet is a huge conglomeration of "stuff" and google does a great job of letting you simply enter what you are looking for in the search and it does the rest of the work.
Their GMail platform is really where this idea became innovative though. Most e-mail clients allow users to create folders and sort their e-mail into each folder as it gets downloaded. Gmail, on the other hand, puts all the e-mail in one giant bucket. Instead of having to know which bucket you put the mail in, you just enter a search query (eg. Concert Tickets) and Gmail finds all the mail related to those search words (eg. Ticket Master: Michael Buble reservation).
And now to relate this all back to what we are doing. I’m simply adding some functionality to the site that allows you to find what you are looking for more easily. The site does most the work for you in finding articles on the same topic or that are related in some way – all you have to do is click on something that interests you.
PS. As a side note, for those of you that have missed the previous articles – I’ve been integrating everything into the site search engine as well (articles, images, downloads, etc.) this is just one more thing to make the site more usable.