Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Blog is like a Book with no Table of Contents

Ok, now that I have been blogging for about nine months, I
think I am qualified to make a few statements about this
interesting past-time.

The good part:
Writing a blog is like writing a book. You are writing it
chapter by chapter. Often, however, there may not be a plot
to this book, just like life.

The bad part:
If you have been blogging for some time, and acquire a new
follower, this new person is probably making their decision
to follow you based on one or two recent posts. While it is
good to have a new follower, due to the complexity of
reading past posts, this person may not actually see any of
your older writings.

If you are like me, since you are writing stuff with the
intent of people actually reading it, you must admit to at
least a smattering of ego...and you would like them to read
your older material as well.

It is like picking up a new book, opening it right in the
middle, and starting to read it right there, without going
back and checking out the earlier chapters.

Now, when I am perusing blogs that I like, I try to take
the time to focus on one blog every so often, and really
read back into time, to see what I have been missing. I try
to start at the beginning of the blog, and follow the

In reality, however, this is difficult...not solely because
it takes some time...something we all have a shortage
of...but also because it is not easy to do in the Blogger
format of newest-to-oldest posts. And expanding and looking
at the links on the page for past posts is not very easy

What I would like to see is something like a Table Of
Contents...In which you can look at each post as a chapter
in a book, chronologically listed, and maybe a quick
description of each one.

I would like to thank Mr. Pat Tillet for pointing out to me
that this is possible with Blogspot...and showing me how to
do it. By simply putting a small link at the top of your
blog, you can direct your readers to a specific subject,
and if they click on it, they are taken to a separate page
where you can set this up in any format you choose.

Mr. Pat has done that with his page, and it allows me to
easily and quickly zoom in on his various subject matter,
such as his poetry, his experiences in the military, etc. I
love it because now when I go to his blog, I can see how it
is laid out all at once, and read the stuff of my choosing.

I have done it on my blog as well, now, with separate tabs
for my work history, music, family life, etc.
(I know labels do a similar thing, but this is still way
more intuitive, since you can really lay it out like a
table of contents).

So if you like my blog because of my odd humor, but
recognize that my music sucks, then you can go and just
read the stuff you like, and ignore the rest!

I know this is a long post, but if anyone has cared enough
to read to this part, I would love it for you to do
something like this on YOUR blog. I would love to be able
to go to your blog and have you point out to me YOUR
favorite posts...the ones you have written that YOU like
the best!

I will even help you do it if you want, just email me or
Pat if you need help.

Peace be with you.


  1. That's so true, I like to think of mine as a diary, but one I realize is public. Also true that I usually start following at a certain point and rarely work my way backward. I think I caught you pretty early on though, so it wasn't hard to go back... When someone has written 300 posts though... that's a lot of reading.

    (and your music does NOT suck)

  2. It's been a while since I've visited...and I must say, you've made a LOT of improvements to your blog.
    Thanks for the visit and the gracious comment. I will make an honest attempt to return more often.

  3. I love your blog because of one reason...I feel like I have actually gotten to know you through the diversity of your posts. I have a sense of how you feel about your work history, your lovely family and your hobbies...i.e. your musical talents (which in my opinion do not suck.) I feel like you do that when someone joins your blog they really only get a sense of that one posts and my judge your blog just on that one thing. But when I join a blog I continue to follow as best I can daily so I establish that feeling that I know this person even if we have never met. you have done a wonderful job of this and that is what keeps me coming back for more! I hope when I restart you will rejoin me too as I plan on only taking a break for the summer. I find myself already kind of missing posting and having thoughts rambling around in my head that I think only my fellow bloggers might appreciate. Anyhow...please keep doing what you are doing...I think you are great!!

  4. You are so right Joe, New followers are picking it up right in the middle and it is not really easy to go back and read from the start because if you do you are missing what is happening now, I am going to give this a look and see if I can make mine any easier to look back on.

    Thanks for the info Joe, excellent idea my Friend

  5. Thanks Kristy, I know you have been around almost since I started. Yes, blogging is a lot like a diary too.

    Thanks for the approval, covnit...I aim to please! (I often miss, but I am aiming).

    Dr. Soosie...I cant' RE-join you because I haven't left! You shall remain on my radar. You should just keep jotting down these random things you think of so you don't forget. You can always to a quick random post when you feel like it.

    Jimmy...I owe it all to Pat. Funny, it makes it easier for ME to review all my old stuff too!

  6. You're absolutely right, Joe, and I agree with you.
    Blogging is such a time consuming thing though! And real life gets in.. and time flies..I wish I could have a lot of spare time to read all of my fave blogs older posts. Just a thought.

    Have an awesome day!
    B :)

  7. I hadn't thought of doing that on mine but I suppose I could.

    Love the redesign btw.

  8. I think you should do it for sure, could have a separate tab for the Non-Review, interview with the moth on a cow, 7-word weekend, the themes where you do the battles...defininately.

  9. Actually I also wanna design my blog like this,Joe!! where the category of the post placed on each tabs.. It make the readers more easy to find whatever they love to read...but it's just a thought for me till now.. probably one day I'll try it.

    Btw I love to read your 'my odd life at home'
    as I'm a new follower here, so I need a while to surf your blog more.
    Thanks for the nice post.


  10. First off, I love the new header. It prefectly matches the title of your blog and it looks awesome!

    Second, the "pages" are great, it really does allow folks to more easily find what they are looking for. It's easier than using the label function.

    Third, thanks for the mention! I wasn't expecting it and it certainly wasn't necessary.

    Love the way your blog looks...

  11. Thanks, Pat, I learn from the best.

  12. Pat is so awesome. My thing with blogging is that when I first started I focused on a weird variety of things like I'd do the lazy "10 things that make me mad" or "10 things I love" type posts. Also, if you delete blogs they still appear in that widget that shows readers, "if you liked this post, you might like this other post" - then they click to it and it's missing. Know what I mean?

    Congrats on blogging for as long as you have :)

  13. Joe Cap--Will you come over here and give me a tutorial on how to do this? Bring lunch too.

    This is such a clean and net format you have here and I love the idea of tabs! That Pat Tillet! He is so smart. Hummmm.....I have to think about this. I am digging the idea. Is this option available on my template? Where would I go to investigate this?

    I have many questions. Don't forget the chips when you bring lunch.

  14. BB, I will bring lunch if you supply the beer.

  15. Hey Joe, I took your suggestion and put in some time creating pages for my blog, Man it is not easy getting them all grouped like you want them Ha Ha, jump over and give it a look when you get a chance and let me know what you think.

    Thanks My Friend

  16. I think it is stunning, what you have done, Jimmy.
    I love being able to see all your subject matter arranged like that. It makes it very easy for me to re-visit my favorite posts of yours.

  17. Thank You Joe, I appreciate you helping me out here with the suggestion and for helping to get the ball rolling so to say.

  18. Really liking the new Blog Joe!!
    The layout is great!
    also I love this suggestion!
    Do you have a website that offers tutorials or such???

  19. oh btw its

  20. Aww Joe, come on, what's that about your music sucking?!? I thought I told you never to say that! I haven't forgotten that the second one of your songs I listened to made me smile when I was feeling like crap. That's certainly not nothing.

    I may have written it once somewhere, but I've always felt like I was at home on your blog, like it was really familiar and warm and nice (it makes sense in my head) And NINE months! Wow, can you believe it? Like Kristy, I think I've caught you early on when your blog was first created and haven't let go since. I'm glad you're here.

  21. Sarah, you are too kind to me.
    I guess my ego will allow me to say that I think my music is good, the part that sucks is that the conditions we record under kind of hide that fact.