Watch this space (and a question)

I believe I’ll be a bit more active on this blog in the coming weeks and, especially, months.

As part of that activity, I want to do some cleanup of existing posts and categories, in order to make the categories a little more useful. (I also plan to add a new category or two.)

There are a whole bunch of posts that are outdated, and some of them really don’t have any significance any more. I could do two things with those posts:

  1. Get rid of them.
  2. Eliminate existing categories and categorize them as something like “Archived crap”

Your suggestions or other alternatives are welcome (as long as they’re not spam).


7 Responses to “Watch this space (and a question)”

  1. Rory says:

    I recommend archiving them unless you are paying for storage.

  2. Elaine says:

    I’m glad that you’re planning on a more active blog in 2012 – though I rarely comment, I look forward to your posts. Regarding your old posts, I’d recommend keeping them and perhaps set up categories that begin with “Old”. You never know when a reader will want to catch up with older posts.

  3. walt says:

    Elaine: Thanks. The only ones I’m planning to delete (if I do) are ones that are truly obsolete–e.g., limited-time sale offers.

    Otherwise, I’ll either consolidate some categories or move stuff to something like “Old” or “Archived” or something–I won’t get rid of anything that might even potentially be worth reading.

    As to how active the blog will be: That’s still up in the air. Possibly a little more active, possibly a lot.

  4. I would still like to have access to your “outdated” posts. After all, cool URIs don’t change — — and interesting ideas remain interesting even if they’re no longer current.

    While it may be useful to add outdated posts to a new “archive” category, I would prefer it if you created a disclaimer header for these pages rather than removing them from their previous categories. One method to achieve this would be to install a plugin which allows you to pick a template based on a post’s category, such as this one:

    You would then:

    1. Make a copy of your current default template. Call it archive.
    2. On the new archive template, add a header that warns readers that the page they’re viewing is outdated.
    3. Through the admin panel in the WordPress plugin I link to above, associate posts in the archive category with the archive template.

  5. walt says:

    Brett: For most posts, there would be no change in URLs; changing categories doesn’t affect the URL at all. And any post that has even outdated interesting ideas isn’t in danger–it might be recategorized, but it won’t disappear.

    The only posts I’m considering getting rid of altogether are what might be called “functional” posts, ones that have no independent intellectual content: Announcements that have long since been outdated, for example.

    It’s not really an issue of warning people that posts are outdated. It’s an attempt to make more effective use of post categories.

    Must admit, I’m surprised (and delighted) to see so much interest in this topic… now if I could get similar interest in, say, sponsorship for ongoing research or sales of self-published books…

  6. I’m with everyone else, don’t delete posts. Maybe I’m an archivist at heart but even that “useless & out of date” content will have value to someone, somewhere, someday. It’s not like it’s taking up needed space or anything.

  7. walt says:

    OK, I’ve thought about it…and here’s what I plan.

    1. For items I believe to be thoroughly out of date and of no real interest, I’ll use a new category–Passé.

    2. I’ll be retagging a lot of items, either to new broader categories or by removing categories.

    In both of these cases, the URLs don’t change, the content doesn’t change, only the categories change.

    3. In some cases, where I do not believe there is even historical content–a prime example would be a post whose only function is to announce a brief Lulu sale–I’ll delete the post.

    I would note that, when I was booted from my part-time position in a manner I regarded as high-handed, I removed a whole bunch of posts related to that position. I don’t remember hearing any complaints. (Of course, since most of those posts pointed to a resource that was removed shortly thereafter…)

    For that matter, when I removed the annual indices from the volumes of Cites & Insights for which books are available, figuring that the index is really an extra-cost option, I don’t recall hearing any objections. But those weren’t posts.

    Anyway: No post with even the slightest hint of content will remain, possibly differently tagged. The point of this all is to make categories–existing and new–more useful. The posts may not take up space, but they do add clutter to category results.