A common complaint we get about using WordPress to run a site is “I don’t want my site to look like a blog” which generally means- I want the same old content up – and nothing ever changes. Chris Pearson talks about the Information Architecture of RSS – and how it can stop readers from finding content- Pearsonified | Best damn blog on the planet.
It’s worth reading- as are the comments- but, here is what Chris is missing- there are only 3 ways people find your site:
- You spend a ton of money building your brand and promoting your URL
- They find your site through search- which means you have great content and great search engine placement
- you’ve built great link networks, or are heavily linked to (hopefully not by spamming comments)
That’s it- once they find you- they either bookmark (favorite) you conventionally- or they subscribe to your feed. If they do the former- they may never come back- if they do the latter- hopefully, they’ll keep coming back as long as you deliver the content that interests them.
If they are smart enough to use RSS- then they know they can search your site for more data- a different layout, or navigation structure won’t matter at all.
However, after reading this, it made me want to add some plug-ins for most commented articles to The Next Wave site.
My solution, would be to use a variation on webstats to drive the most popular pages- not based on comments- or, to put some kind of rating system into the post options- so that you could use a theme switcher type plug in to re-order the site in different ways.
Either way- read what Chris wrote- it should get you thinking.