Saturday, January 26, 2019

2019 EDU: LIBR: How to use a blog to organize a developing themed collection of information

How to use a blog to organize 
a developing themed collection 
of  information

When we think of organizing a collection of information, we immediately think of a card catalog, a table of contents, or an index.  Or, if we are technical, a database or spreadsheet.  Here I suggest a middle ground, more modern than a card catalog, less technical than a spreadsheet. 

Multiple ways to organize

  • The best way depends on the user's objective.
  • We need a search capability that lets users organize to fit their needs.
  • In developing an organization we need to encourage user input.
  • Organization is to serve the user.

Advantages of collaborative blogs for organizing knowledge

  • Blogs are familiar to all web users,
  • Many hands make fast work.
  • Blogs make stored knowledge easily available to everyone immediately.
  • Blogs can get quick review and feedback (in comments).  
  • Blogs can serve as archives.
  • Blogs contents are available in Google search.
  • Blogs can have their own (in site) search and key term support.
  • Use auto-curation on your blogs


  • Search on page: Ctrl+f gets search bar near the top.   
  • Search planning
  • Common patterns of organization
  • Search offers user choice
  •    Web search
  •    Keywords
  •    Hashtag
  • Methods in books
  •    Table of contents
  •    Index
  • Database
  • Organizing blog: suggested design

Preliminary search planning

Commonly patterns of organization

  • Chronological Patterns.
  • Sequential Patterns.
  • Spatial Patterns.
  • Compare-Contrast Patterns.
  • Advantages- Disadvantages Patterns.
  • Cause-Effect Patterns.
  • Problem-Solution Patterns.
  • Topical Patterns. 
  • Source:  Patterns of organization

Search offers user choice of organization

Web search

  • An unconstrained web search gets an large number of unevaluated entries.
  • Experienced searchers can narrow the selection by adding constraints.
  • Google search allows a lot of constraints for the people who know how to use it.
  • Google search filters 


  • Keywords make implied categories: each keyword is a category
  • A user finds the category contents by entering the keyword.
  • Keywords let a single entry serve multiple categories.
  • Each keyword puts the entry in a keyword category.
  • A keyword can be a common word.  
  • But a web search will find all instances, not just keyword instances.
  • An uncommon form of the word can be used to denote keywords.
  • The hashtag (#) form  has come to be widely used: #keyword.

Organization methods in books

Table of contents

  • A table of contents presents the organization of a book
  • In a book, that table usually has page numbers. 
  • So users can go directly to the chapter they need.
  • As illustrated in this article, a blog article can also have a table of contents.
  • With the capability to search a page, users can go directly to the section they need.

The index 

  • The book index is the old way of providing keyword (or key term) search.  
  • The analogous way in a blog is search-on-site.
  • This blog provides search-on-site (upper left).
  • Many blogs offer search-on-site. If they do not:
  • How do I use Google to search within a website?

Organization ways in Blogger

  • Chronological: blogs are filed in this order.
  • Search-on-site: upper left.

Search support you can add

  • Labels: You can assign labels (multiple) to each entry.  
  • Users can retrieve by label.
  • Keywords as page contents.
  • Keywords as label contents (put the label in the key word).
  • Key words as blog contents (with search-on-site).

Would a database be better?

  • The answer is undefined until better is defined in terms of intended use.
  • For a skilled user, a database is more efficient and more productive.
  • For an unskilled user, a database is useless.  
  • A database is most useful when all the relevant attributes are known. 

Organizing blog: suggested design

  • An organizing blog is intended to collect information on a theme.
  • The collected information is to be immediately useful.
  • And to collect information in a way that could support a future database.
  • The part above the break should be a standard form.
  • In a standard form missing data is obvious.
  • With this plan, a search would produce a list of standard forms.

Item data: standard form for Hypergrid places 

  • Educationally informative name:
  • Hypergrid address:    
  • Full name:
  • Link to encyclopedic article about the educational topic:
  • Abstract or summary"
  • Date verified: 

Item data: free form comments after the break

  • Free form comments provide information not anticipated in the standard form
  • They may be reviewed later for additions to the standard form.

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