Not days ago, Jonas Rabbe put out a challenge:
On the subject of redesigns I put it to the great minds here to consider a design (both visual and structural) which ties the past of the blog better into the present without being too cluttered. (Source)
Not only do I accept his challenge, but I pass it on to you too!
1: Visual Noteworthies
Now move your eyes to the top right of this entry. See the ♥? Just like all other weblogs that make good use of “noteworthies”, I now visually distinguish material worth reading/watching.
2: Noteworthies to the Top of Categories
Categories have been refined following Mr. Nielsen’s advice:
On the main page for each category, highlight that category’s evergreens as well as a time line of its most recent postings.
Have a look at, for instance, the Usability category. Notice how noteworthy posts are topmost,
and full-text? That’s right, posts not deemed noteworthy are limted to excerpts in the bottom.
Bottom-most posts are now also dimmed in style.
3: Ultra-short Excerpts
Right now it’s only added to the article you’re looking at, but I hope to write excerpts to all articles in the future. Hence, you can expect the current styling to be refined a bit.
4: Less Focus on Timestamps
Based on discussion elsewhere, I’ve chosen to put much less focus on post timestamps. Timestamps is now only visible on the main index page and in the sidebar as meta information. Category archives no longer show time-stamps—it’s an archive after all.
5: Show Post Updated Timestamp
I have added a timestamp to post meta information that shows the date when the article was last updated. Take a look.
I have further ideas on how to bring activity to past entries. The following is a list of things I believe could help, but are currently (to my knowledge) impossible in WordPress. If you are a plugin author, feel free to pick up one of these ideas and realise them:
Subscribe to Comments 2 feature: Notify Who?
People won’t join a discussion they think is dead. Add the ability to display a list of people who are currently subscribing to a particular entry. I believe that showing this list near the comment form would increase transparency as to who would be reading a comment left on a past entry.
- “Since Last Visit” Plugin
- Ability to edit comments (without the need of login)
Track weblog “activity”. Track new and/or updated pages. Track entries with intermittent comments. Track new comments to entries older than x days. Let each tracked item have a configurable value (i.e. I would value updated material over comments), and save these values in end-user cookies. Use these cookies to compile a list of changes since that users last visit.
When a user leaves a comment, save a cookie for that user that contains the privileges for him/her to edit or delete his/her last comment. The idea that what you say will stay there forever, is haunting.
Can you tie the past to the present? Do you dare pick up the challenge? If so, then it’s your move!