Getting there!

Thursday January 13, 2011

After quite of lot of work restructuring, things are beginning to fall into place. The site is not yet quite how I want it to be, and I’ve got quite a few more articles that need to be republishing, but the transformation from blog to article repository seems to be going well so far. It’s surprising how much fluff, how many loose ends and bits and pieces, a website can pick up over five years. Thankfully Textpattern, which this site uses, is a extremely flexible, and makes this kind of spade-work rather easier than it might otherwise be.

So what has changed, or what is changing – other than the tweaks in the look of the site? Well, gone is the blogginess of the front page with posts in descending order of date. Instead, I’ll be setting up a page that introduces the site, highlights new articles and so on. The front page still has a way to go, but already I’ve got some nice links to random articles and featured articles (which I will change from time to time). Secondly, I’ve restructured the content, so now it falls into two broad camps, on the one hand news and on the other hand articles. News is is simply stuff about the site, or stuff about me, or anything that is more or less time-sensitive. So, for example, if I’m away on a retreat, or if I have a book coming out, I might post something in the news section. Updates to the news section should appear in your RSS feed, and will be linked on the front page. The news section of the site (which you are reading now) will retain a rough blog-like format. Most of the news will be relatively ephemeral. Articles are all the pieces that are more substantial in terms of content – essays, thoughts on this and that, book reviews, interviews (I’m thinking I might start some interviews here, as it could be fun) – and that are less time-sensitive.

The plan with the articles is this. I’ll link to anything new on the front page, and new articles will also be included in the site RSS feed. The columns at the bottom of the front page will also point to recently commented and noteworthy articles (as well as articles chosen at random). But when you click on the “articles” link on the menu, you will be taken to a search page, where you can search by tag, view the entire archive by date, or search by keyword. This should, I hope, mean that it’s easier to find your way to the more obscure corners of the website, to those articles that have been languishing since 2006, say. The use of tags, I hope, should make the movement through the sea of articles that has accumulated here a bit more intuitive. And the separation of news and articles means that you are more likely, when rummaging through the archive, to come across something with at least a little substance, and less likely to come up with jokes about Bodhicattva, the thinkBuddha cat (although I’m making no promises).

Anyway, there’s still a way to go, but I thought it was worth posting an update. Thanks to all of you for your patience.


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