How quickly time flies! It feels like I just started this blog, and it is hard to wrap my head around the fact that I have pushed that ‘publish’ button one thousand times (and many, many more times than that if you count edits, rewrites, and the like). Think about it—if you looked at each post on this blog for only one minute, it would take you over 16 straight hours to get from the first to the last post. That, by any standard, is a lot of content!
One of the great things about blogging engines is that all of this content remains tucked away underneath the external façade. The site doesn’t bloat with each post. All old content is neatly filed away, organized topically and still completely accessible, but leaving room for new content.
So, with all that content, how on Earth can somebody find what they are looking for on this blog?
1) Just keep reading down the page
With the blogging software I use, the bottom of each page features a link labeled ‘older posts’. Think of clicking this link as turning a page in a book. If you want to keep going trough the blog, you can just click this link and keep reading. The main page features this, as does any subcategory page (all of those little file folder tabs at the top of the blog).
2) Click a tab—any tab
Those little file folder tabs at the top of the blog take you to what are called category pages. Every time I write something about bass, education, podcasting, or any other such topic I put it under one (or more) of those tabs.
Think of those tabs as more specialized mini-blogs about just one subject. If you only want to read about the bass, clicking the ‘bass’ tab will eliminate any content that isn’t specifically bass-related. This is a useful feature that also (conveniently) reduces my guilt at putting up gratuitous cat videos and photos.
You can do the same thing with any tab up there. Click the ‘education’ tab, and you’re reading an education blog. Click the ‘student resources’ tab, and you have a blog full of useful content for music students. Click the ‘bass videos’ tab and watch dozens (soon to be hundreds) of bass videos from all over the world. You get the picture.
3) Wormholes within the posts
4) Sidebar Highlights
- Advice for Aspiring Music Performance Majors
- My Car Caught Fire and Exploded!
- Posts from double bassist Nicholas Hart
- Resources for the Double Bassist
- Resources for the Music Educator
- Road Warrior without an Expense Account Series
- Tainting the Academic Waters with Pay-Per-Student Teaching
Crazy Gig Stories
- All Night Drives
- Angering Conductors 101 – Louisville Orchestra Story
- Careful What You Bring Into an Audition
- Freelancing + Snow = Pain
- Grant Park Symphony Audition Story
- Humorous Mistakes
- I Fly Plane!
- Massive Musical Disaster in the Nutcracker Pit
- Mr. Lame
- My Big Moment
- My Big Stupid Mouth
- My Car Caught Fire and Exploded!
- San Jose Symphony Audition Story
- Symphony on the Swamp
- They All Started Laughing at Me
- They locked me inside and made me conduct violas!
- You Play Solo…I Dance!
Double Bass Features
- Bass Podcasts
- Bass Video Archive
- Buying a Bass Series
- Double Bass Gig Bags Comparison
- Double Bass Links and Resources
- Double Bass Orchestral Audition Lists Survey
- Downloads (MP3 and PDF double bass resources)
- Listen to Contrabass Conversations Episodes
- MySpace Double Bassist Archive
- Posts from Nicholas Hart
- Rabbath versus Simandl
- Reaching the Low Notes
- Recommended solos, etudes, and method books
- Tackling the “Amati” bass
- Thoughts on Double Bass Strings
- Virtual Master Class Project
5) The Search Bar
The types of tools described above are what I like to call ‘guided navigation’ tools. As content creator and blog manager, I actively try to point readers to what I think they will like with these features, and hopefully I succeed in highlighting posts that interest people.
Still, nothing can replace the usability of a good old-fashioned search box. Mine is located in the upper-left-hand corner of the blog, and you can use it to…. well… you know what to do with a search box!
6) The Archives
The archives are both the most comprehensive and the most bewildering listing of content on the blog. I don’t notice a lot of people digging through the archive pages compared to the other methods described, but you may want to give it a try. The archives are arranged in ‘drill-down’ menus. Each month has a triangle next to it that will open up a list of all the posts written during that time period.