Building 2.0, part 6: Leveraging Your Content

Once you get a few years worth of content (posts and comments) in your blog, you’ve likely got some pretty good and interesting content in there. Over the last 2 years, I’ve been working on creating new ways to leverage my content.

While the standard blog themes for WordPress, Moveable Type and others do a good job of creating readable and browse-able interfaces for your content. What they don’t do is highlight the most interesting content from your blog.

While plugins like Share This can help push your content out to other social sites, what about showing the best content from your own site?

I created my Popularity Contest plugin as an attempt to solve this from one direction – visitor interaction. It does a good job, highlighting the most popular content on my site and showing contextual popularity lists in categories and month archives.

What Popularity Contest doesn’t do is allow me to highlight posts that I think are important and interesting. In a way, Popularity Contest shows you what is which of your posts have gotten indexed highest for common searches in search engines. There are times when people may show up at a post (or a joke that I re-blogged from an e-mail, my Women’s Asses post comes to mind here) on a completely unrelated search.

Anyway, it’s my site and I’m going to highlight some content that I feel is important. Enter my Articles page. This is a rather simple implementation, I just add a custom field to a post in WordPress and it shows up on the Articles page, under topic headings1. I can make this available as a plugin if there is demand.

So now I feel like I’ve got the content pretty well covered. Popularity Contest picks up the stuff you guys find most interesting, and I can push things I think are important up to the top on the Articles page. But that isn’t everything you can do with your content.

The content itself has some interesting information in it – for example, you’ve probably got a fair number of outbound links in there. We can certainly do something interesting with that content as well.

My old site had a links page, and when I went to look at it to migrate it over I saw that is was embarrassingly out of date. Why maintain that list manually when I’ve got lots of links in my site content I can use to keep that list automatically updated. That’s what I’ve done on my new Links page.

Look for this to be released as a plugin in the near future – I’m currently testing some changes I made to work around a few issues. More on that in a follow-up post.

  1. Sometimes more than once due to being in multiple topics – I don’t feel this is necessarily a problem. [back]

This post is part of the thread: Content Presentation – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

This post is part of the following projects: Articles, Popularity Contest. View the project timelines for more context on this post.