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Monday, September 21, 2015

Help Your Readers Index Your Blog By Post Title

The "Blog Archive" gadget is used, by some blog owners, to provide a date sequenced post index.

Some blog owners, with smaller blogs, would like their readers to index their blogs by post title - but without the date being involved. They would like a straight alphabetically ordered list of post titles.

Blogger does not have a "Title Index" gadget. It's not hard to make one, however, for smaller blogs.

If your blog has up to 300 posts, you can make a post title index, easily enough.

A small blog, of up to 300 posts, can be indexed quite nicely.
The LinkList gadget, which can sort alphabetically, will let you add up to 300 or so entries (the 300 post limit is anecdotal, not documented). A linklist entry contains 2 values.
  • New Site Name
  • New Site URL
You could use those values as
  • Post Title
  • Post URL
And there is your post title index. Be sure to use a linklist - not a textlist.

You can have any number of linklists, in your blog.
Since there are no limits on adding LinkList gadgets, you can, theoretically, add as many as you would like, to your blog.

Each time you publish a post, simply add an index entry for your new post. If your titles were in English, and you had used 4 linklists, to group 26 letters, you could index maybe 1,000 or so posts.
  • A - F
  • G - M
  • N - T
  • U - Z

You can probably have more linklists than you can maintain.
Theoretically, you could have one linklist for each alphabetic character, in your language. In English, you could have 26 linklists, each capable of indexing up to 300 title entries.

That would not index 26 * 300 posts, however - as very few blogs will be published, with titles evenly distributed between all letters. Look at your average dictionary (if you have access to a paper based library), and get an idea what proportions may affect your blog.

You would soon reach one or another of several limits, however.
  • How much vertical screen space would you devote, to a title index?
  • How much patience would your readers have, in visually scanning an alphabetically sequenced title list, in multiple gadgets?
  • How much time would you want to spend, locating the right linklist gadget, in an array of n gadgets ("n" being greater than half a dozen or so), to add a new title?

Using a flat title index will be a limited solution.
My suspicion is that even 100 entries, in a single alphabetic list, would be too much for many readers, for easy use. I suspect that a blog of any size would be better off using a search gadget. A direct, indexed, or label search gadget is much more efficient.

But for a small blog, a title listing, using a linklist, should produce an easy to use, instinctive blog content reference. This may be a useful complement, to the archives date index gadget.

Dude, hit me with a comment!

Jane Peppler said...

My blog has a template without widgets. Is there a way to have an alphabetical posts listing in the sidebar without a widget? Thanks.