The question of the day: where does the blog end and the website begin?
There’s many a time when I’m writing a blog post where I think how I really want that post to have a longer lifespan, that it belongs on my website. My posts about neighborhoods, for instance. If I were to group all of those neighborhood posts together, slap a pretty front end on it, then I’d have something fabulous that really deserves to not be hidden beneath some text category on the sidebar of a blog.
And then there’s the now infamous Chick-fil-a type posts where they’re fine for a week and then they need to go away – a natural fit for a blog.
To appease the SEO gods, we don’t want to duplicate content across my own sites, so I don’t want posts from the blog copied and pasted as content on the site. We’ll certainly do a good amount of interlinking and cross-referencing, but I don’t feel it appropriate to send someone surfing my traditional site over to the blog to read an article – placing them in an unfamiliar environment with different navigation and lots of distractions along the side – unless that’s really what they intend to do. That they understand a change is coming and they click anyway.
Pages seem to last longer than posts in search engine results, but if I throw up 50 neighborhood pages, I’m going to have to add some custom coding to the blog template so my tabs and page list on the sidebar don’t get all funky for those neighborhood pages, but function as intended for the rest of the normal pages. Do-able, certainly, but a kludge at best.
Also – We ran the ‘have lots of pages’ theory to it’s limit and exploded WordPress. Having found those limits, pages are out.
So what now? Well, Drupal, for us. Coming soon to a Housechick near you.
I’ve also refined a bit what I want to live where. For me, I like telling stories on the blog. Slice of life, this is what happened, here’s what’s going on type stuff. Neighborhoods, soon, are heading over to the Housechick main website area, where we’ll build a large repository of local information and are more able to feature it as a cohesive body of knowledge.
It’s an interesting line to walk, and it’s taken a bit of doing to stop thinking about the blog like it’s a blog, because it isn’t a blog, it’s a framework (can I get that printed on a t-shirt?). Having started originally with AR and Blogger, it was a difficult mindset to break – two blog services where blogs really ARE just blogs. But for WordPress and Drupal, they aren’t blogs, they’re just platforms, a framework.
In the end, it’s not about what is website and what is blog, it’s about where in the framework some piece of information should live. And that’s a liberating place to be, conceptually, while in the midst of designing a new web presence.