How to use a blog to organize
a developing themed collection
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
- Methods in books
- Table of contents
- 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
- 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 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.