Thursday, March 04, 2010

Auto Pagination And The Difference Between Blogs And Static Web Sites

Some bloggers seem to treat Blogger blogs like static web sites, and design their blogs so specific blog posts are consistently presented as part of the main page view. They overlook the basic design of blogs, where the main page simply contains the most currently published posts.

This attitude is merely eccentric, except in cases like the current controversy about Auto Pagination.
I have chosen to display 12 posts, because mine is a listing of twelve exact posts which i update daily. I now have only nine of the posts showing regardless of how many - 12 or 50 or 500 - that I preset to display. I need them all to show, because I daily print out this entire list in an MS Word booklet format - and without having the entire blog display, I can no longer do this.
This is merely one example of the bloggers who are having trouble accepting the reality of Auto Pagination, and the consequently segmented archives, labels, and / or main page displays.

Let's look at how web sites are setup, for background.

The smallest unit of content in a web site is a page. Pages are structured hierarchically, where the main page indexes child pages, and the various child pages index other child pages. Each page in a web site is built statically - both content and links never change.

In the above example, the blogger wishes to display the 12 posts as one static page. Now, let's look at how blogs are setup.

The smallest unit of content in a blog is a post. Pages are structured based upon relationships of the various posts, on the pages, to each other. Each page in a blog is built dynamically, and is based upon the relationship of the posts being displayed in the page. Both content and links are dynamic, and change as the nature of the retrieval changes.

Posts are associated with other posts by date, and by subject. Posts associated by date are displayed in archive / main page retrievals, and posts associated by subject are displayed in label retrievals. Even when displayed by date or by subject, specific posts may or may not be displayed on the same physical page. Displays are segmented, and various posts are displayed on different pages, when the amount of physical information in a given retrieval exceeds a given size.

This post, Auto Pagination And The Difference Between Blogs And Static Web Sites, may be part of a dynamic retrieval for Archive: March 2010, for a Label such as Auto Pagination, or Blogger, or maybe New Blogger Experiences, or - well, it was for a while - as part of the main page.

As I published a few more posts, this post dropped off the main page. That's a dynamic main page - you showcase your most current posts, archive your older posts, and keep the main page brief and clean. All of your posts are indexed, and can be found by your readers, using any index, or hyper text links, such as links in this post.

That's how blogs work best.
  1. Brief and clean main page display.
  2. Dynamic retrieval of all posts, as relevant and needed.
  3. Showcasing of new posts.
Why would you want anything different?

Auto Pagination moderates peak resource use, caused by excessively large archive, label, and main page displays. When appropriate, Auto Pagination segments large displays, and simply requires the blog reader to use the "Newer Posts" / "Older Posts" links to move between display segments. As implemented a month ago, it's been quite effective.

There are several issues, which are causing some confusion and ill will.

Besides these issues, the bloggers who design their blogs with static displays may need to rethink their actual needs. Some bloggers may be happier hosting their web sites with services outside Blogger - services that display content as static web site pages, instead of dynamic blog pages.

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5 comments:

. said...

A brief word in support of eccentricity: I started my main "blog" because I was learning to use Google maps by drawing bus-routes, and I wondered if it would be possible to put 'em onto a website (since the local council couldn't manage the task) I really needed a web-site not a blog, but this is a hobby: I can't afford much, and blogger is the only tool offering web-authoring software and a custom domain for $10/year! I knew that in using Blogger in a non-standdard way, I was taking a risk that one day google will change something and my sidte will stop working. But I decided it was worth the risk.

And now, I know I should move it to Sites (or something), but I'm up to 109 pages (=posts, since I only every display 1 at a time), and it seems like a massive amount of work for what is a very small-audience site (how many people are interested in public transport in a city of 70,000 anyway).

So for now, I'm eccentric, and happy. Fingers crossed I don't get caught by some change in the future.

Chuck said...

As long as you can accept your web site with 1 post / page, you should be OK. The problem, right now, is with the folks who produce blogs that are designed to require multiple posts / page, with the size of "multiple" being higher than Auto Pagination induced segmentation.

So, enjoy your eccentricity. And go with the flow.

Goose said...

thanks chuck

Sergiu Badicu said...

Hello world, I have a problem with my blog and hope to help me someone. I will try to describe the problem: I have posted 8 article and in Setting > Show at most > I have put "1 posts on the main page," So, if I access my site by Older Posts and Newer Posts to veiw posts I see just first 4 posts, hat may be the problem?

Thanks.

Chuck Croll said...

Sergiu,

We need to diagnose this problem. Please post a new topic, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, so we can discuss this in detail.