Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Making blogs more usable with page ranking and clustering

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Dennis Smith (notable team/project guru) sent me this handy list: "Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes." Two of them really got me--"the calendar is the only navigation" and "classic hits are buried."

The answer to the navigation question would seem to be categories, a feature that users like myself have long coveted. But after giving it some more thought this week, I decided to let go of my category-craving as just another vestigial attachment to the old-school org-chart mentality.

Having let go of categories, I now embrace the Google-ness of and simultaneously tackle the "classic hits" question. Those of you who subscribe to my blog may want to stop by the actual website and see the navigational features I have added to the right sidebar. Foremost is an "All-time greatest hits" link, which turns Google onto Connectedness and shows the highest-ranked pages on the site. In addition, I have selected a few notable keywords and provided links to scan my most popular postings on human capital, innovation, and visualization, among other topics.

It was only by necessity that I provided specific keywords to seed this new and dynamically ordered table of contents. I would much prefer to turn the entire task over to a clustering engine like Clusty or Grokker. Unfortunately, those tools cluster over multiple URLs and so don't help anyone navigate the interconnected web of postings filed away here. Maybe someday soon.

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