Sunday, July 14, 2013

Organizing my blog

I've wondered how it is that other bloggers maintain such neat category lists for their posts.  After all, creating a blog that sticks entirely to one single topic just seems kinda boring to me, as it apparently does to pretty much every other blogger whose work I've seen.  I'm particularly bad at it, though, creating as I am a post on blogging organization (a subject important to authorpreneurs) immediately after a post on the writing process (Distractions Everywhere) which in turn comes right on the heels of a humorous post that explains that a refrigerator is not a coffee pot. 

Bad blogger, Stephen!  Bad blogger! 

Ah, well.  That's just kind of how my mind works, though. 

Anyway, as I said, I've been wondering how some bloggers keep their posts organized by topic. Oh, I looked it up some time ago.  The instructions I found were for Wordpress blogs, though, and I use Blogger instead, where the Wordpress options are not available.  Yes, I know--those enlightened souls who use Wordpress consider us lower beings on to be rank amateurs anyway, but the site works well enough, other than not having a categories option, and I tend to avoid fixing what ain't broken.

I found how to do it today.

It's pretty simple, actually, and should have been obvious.  There's a Labels option when you create a blog post that allows you to label the blog post's contents.  It's right there at the top of the screen, in fact.  Once you populate that with a few options, those options stay there for future posts so you can use the same label over and over again as appropriate.  Then there's a widget in the Layout screen that allows you to display the labels (and a number of posts in each one) for users' convenience.


What that means to you is that those of you looking for posts on my West Point days won't have to flip through boring (to you) articles on writing or authorpreneurship.  Those who are looking for writing about writing, as the title of the blog suggests you should find here, will be able to bring up just those posts. 

Again, I say: Yay!

It's a little problematic on two fronts, though.  The first issue is that I waited a little bit too long to worry about categorization.  Now, I have nearly 500 posts to categorize.  Some of those, I don't even remember writing, honestly.  I've managed to go back through the ones written in 2013 so far, and to my credit I've only experienced a couple of the old famous "WTF was I thinking?" moments.  I'll continue working on it, when I have time, and hopefully soon I'll have the entire back collection categorized.  If the ranking of labels looks funny to you so far, remember that a huge majority of 2011 posts were actually on the topic of writing, and so as I get to those the "writing" label should balloon. 

The other issue is that I hate doing categorization.  The issue, as I like to 'splain it, is that I'm too good at it.  After checking it out, you may disagree with me, and that's fine.  Regardless, I hate, hate, hate using a "general" category, but I also recognize the need for a bucket to dump all of the onesies into and thus avoid a whole passel of onesies and twosies categories.  My discussion of Paula Deen, for example, wasn't about writing, nor was it about success, and it wasn't particularly humorous.  It also only consisted of two posts, and I really don't see me ever writing another post on the topic.  Thus, "general." 

Other categories were challenging as well.  For example, nearly all of my posts are creative by definition.  However, some are more creative than others.  The "creative" label, then, I reserved for truly creative writing like the role playing stories I've told, or the interviews or interactions with fictional characters I've written. 

I've tried to avoid multi-categorizing posts, for the most part, though, for example, some of the posts regarding West Point were for more than just telling a story and so I also labeled them as success posts.  Thus, you'll end up seeing more posts if you add up all the categories than you'll see in the archive list.  Eh, it happens.  The one multi-category I've refused to use is anything paired with "general," since to me the only posts that belong in the general bucket are the ones that don't belong in any other bin. 

So, anyway, enjoy the new feature.  It's over on the right of the blog, below the info about me and above the archive. 


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