I've corrected some bugs, tweaked the theme in a few places to improve it - but I haven't done anything major yet with the blog user interface, leaving it as a simple "stream of entries". I'm trying to decide the things I should show and then I'll work on how to present them. What are all the different ways people use blogs?

  • I Want To Listen For News

    I subscribe to hundreds of feeds. If I see an interesting story from a blog, more often than not, I'll read it directly in the feed reader. If the entire text is not present or some other resource doesn't come through the feed reader, then I'll click through to the site. To me this is the main use case. I'm currently covered here - "stream of entries plus feed". Check.

  • I Want Filtered Stories

    With some feeds, I might selectively filter in or out stories that fall into one or more categories. I may not want to know when Mark posts the "Warts of Flickr", but maybe I'd like to read some of his thoughts on HTML. As a blogger, I should give readers a means of a) browsing the categories/tags and b) seeing a list of stories in a certain category.

  • I Want To Re-Read A Specific Story

    Sometimes I'll remember things like: Sam wrote a great article on OpenID that I didn't have time to fully digest when he first published it. In cases like this, I could go to Sam's site and do a search.

    Now truth be told, I usually just end up going to google and searching using "site:" because typically these results are so much better than these. But I will acknowledge that not everyone can be expected to use "site:" with their searches. So it seems that I should provide a search mechanism on my blog.

  • I Want To Understand Where You Are Coming From

    ... or I might want to cyber-stalk you jus' a lil bit. Sometimes, to place a blogger's comments today in context, I might want to go back to the beginning and start reading entries chronologically. Seems like I should provide a mechanism to browse entries from a particular time period.

  • I Want To Read Some Things You Read

    Sometimes I might be curious what blogs a particular blogger finds interesting. Having a list of links (a blogroll) within reach is a good idea. And it's nice to share a little link-love with your friends and colleagues.

  • I Want To Contact You

    Leaving comments or sending email. I've got both, so I'm good.

Ok, I've listed the obvious ones - the ones that come by default in WordPress... Now what are some of the other blog user patterns as social aspects of the web increase? Dave seems to think that the near-live micro-blogging of Twitter is becoming very important these days. I haven't hopped on board that train yet. I do like the idea of a Facebook-style "status" on my blog - but I don't think it's a killer feature.

§427 · February 21, 2008 · Life, Software, Technology, Web · Tags: · [Print]

10 Comments to “Blog Use Cases”

  1. Mark says:

    I am *so* making “The Warts of Flickr” now.

  2. Steve says:

    Aww, man. You’ve changed your blog RSS feed from “full” to “summary” and now I HAVE to click through to read it. Maybe I’ll make an exception for CodeDread, but usually I don’t waste time with summary-only RSS feeds. Life is too short!

  3. @Mark: Some people are lucky when A-list bloggers pop by for a visit… Me? Not so much.

    @Steve: Thoroughly unintentional. This seems to be a WordPress thing, I chose “Full Text”, but when I use the “more” pseudo-tag in WP, it gives a link to the post I think. Can you try the Atom feed instead?

  4. “Now what are some of the other blog user patterns as social aspects of the web increase?”

    Let smart computers and algorithms do some of the work for you.

  5. Mark says:

    Re: feeds, I see abridged content even in your Atom feed. In fact, it’s content type=”html”, which is almost certainly not what you want now that you’re using real XHTML and inline SVG. Bottom line, you’re going to have to tweak your WordPress templates. Send me an email and I’ll show you how I moved my feed-producing code into my template directory so it doesn’t get overwritten with WordPress upgrades.

  6. Jack says:

    Mark, you need to post that as a blog post so the rest of the world can learn from you.

  7. Chetan Kunte says:

    Hi, For the full feed, you might want to use this plugin: http://cavemonkey50.com/code/full-feed/ .

  8. Sam Ruby says:

    If you come up with improvements for the feed, I can help to work to get the changes into WordPress proper so that you don’t have to fear updates.

  9. @Mark: Email sent. It’s from gmail though, in case you’re spam-blocking…

    @Chetan: Thanks for the plugin link, I’ll look into it!

    Though I would ideally like to switch the feed to XHTML, at the moment, my content does not include any inline SVG (like Sam’s feed would). I only use inline SVG for decorative purposes around the page. For my clip-art, I’m using <object>s referencing compressed SVG (though the original SVGs are available by dropping the ‘z’) to take advantage of browser caching.

  10. Shelley says:

    Sam, I thought you had checked in code changes fixing the feed to handle HTML or XHTML? I remember you saying something about that, and even pointing to the update page.

    I have my own plug-in setup so that I don’t have to ‘fear’ updates. I just assumed this was fixed, waiting to be rolled out. I’ll publish my own setup, except that mine is hard coded to XHTML.