The redesign continues... NOV 18 2003
The incremental redesign of kottke.org continues today with a bit of tinkering with what is possible with the weblog format. If you scroll down the front page of the site, you'll notice that sprinkled in with the regular posts are remaindered links (the 1-line, 1-link posts that have formerly lived in the sidebar), movie "reviews", book "reviews", and excerpts from comments I've made on other sites. Five types of content, one list.
Each post type requires a unique "vocabulary" and a design/layout to go with that vocabulary. For instance, a movie post includes a title, a link, a rating, a photo, and some text and looks like this:
By default, most current weblog software, including the package I use, doesn't allow for different data for different post types displayed with different designs in the same list. Typically what people have done with their disparate data is to display them on separate pages or in separate locations on their site...so you need to visit the book page to see if there are any new book reviews or scroll down to check if they've added a new album to their "now playing" section.
To me, that seems not so optimal. A post is a post is a post. The newest content should appear at the top of the list of posts regardless of whether it's a short movie review, one-line link, latest photo, or any other type of update to your site that doesn't fit the typical title/text/category weblog paradigm and each type of content should displayed appropriately. And then if you want to view the complete list of movies, books, or all the remaindered links, you can.
So that's what I've done here. Sort of. What I've actually done is created 5 separate weblogs with MT and, using a bunch of MT plugins (MTSQL, Compare, MTAmazon, ExtraFields, etc.), have aggregated the 5 weblogs on the front page of the site. Which sounds complicated (and is!). But only in implementation (due to the limitations of the software). Really it's just the appropriate data presented with the appropriate design(s) in the appropriate context(s). One site, lots of content, many ways to view it.
Anyway, it's a start and we'll see if it works or not. I have concerns about displaying so many different types of posts in one list (especially with the minimal amount of information)...people are used to all the posts looking more or less the same. I've dealt with that somewhat by visually separating the posts to a greater degree than I have been. But who knows, maybe having a separate display for the remaindered links in the sidebar is a better way to go. We'll see.
Constructive feedback is welcome, as are bug reports, design critiques, etc.
Update: looks like the movie pages are a little funky on Mozilla, but not consistantly so.