Mike Bland


Filtering and Navigation Features

Tips on how this blog is organized and navigated so folks can tune into the signals they are interested in and filter out the rest

- Boston
Tags: policy
Discuss: Discuss "Filtering and Navigation Features" on Google+

Since I’m no longer writing Google-related posts—for now—it might be worth pointing out features I’ve added over time for helping people find the specific bits they’re interested in. This is my personal blog, and I don’t care to split it up into multiple topic-specific blogs, but I will do my best to make it easy to tune into specific signals and filter out the rest.

Months ago I added tags to each post, and each tag links to an index of posts that all contain that tag. At the suggestion of Stephen Deasey, I added Atom feeds for each individual tag. These feeds are exposed directly within the main tags index, as well as the index for each individual tag. Also, if your browser supports feed autodiscovery, you can use your browser to subscribe to select feeds. The pages for individual posts or tags will only expose directly-related tag feeds, but the home page, archives page, and main tags index will expose all available feeds. See the subscription page for more details.

If you’re subscribed to email updates, there’s no tag-specific filtering or tag-specific email lists. However, each email now contains the tag list, as well as the short description. Depending on your email program, you can set up filters, but hopefully it’s just as easy to vgrep, given the low number of posts.

On the archives page and each tag-specific index page, each post listing contains the short description and tag list, so using Ctrl-F to search through such indices for specific topics or entries should prove easy. Failing that, I’ve done my best to follow Google’s webmaster guidelines to ensure my search results are of good quality.

I’m perpetually tweaking this blog to make it more organized, accessible, and useful, so please don’t be shy to ping me over email or Google+—including this post’s thread, linked above and below, no matter how old it is—to suggest additional features I might consider—so long as they don’t involve Javascript or databases! The entire blog is comprised of static files, generated by Jekyll, embedded YouTube videos notwithstanding; as much as I love hacking Jekyll/Liquid plugins, or writing my own tools to make writing posts easier, I’ve no interest in messing around with more complex parts or having to worry about performance and security.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy!