Journal View vs Summary View

Interesting. I was just thinking about my last post, trying to find a good example to show the difference between a blog journal view versus a summary view and I think I found one that is quite common. If you’ve ever used Flickr, you know that its photo stream format is very similar to a blog format. You can post a picture every day describing what is going on in the picture along with the post. Even more so, you can tag each post so that others can find your information on a global level.

However, at the same time, you can take a selection of these photo posts and group them together into a photo set which is nothing more than this summary view that I’m talking about. By doing so, you are again tagging your information but at a different more local and meaningful level to you. These posts could be in sequence right after another in the same time frame or they could be spread over years. For example, I could have a photo set summary of my travels in Mexico which would probably be in the exact same sequence from my daily posts. Yet, at the same time, I could also create a photo set summary of selected photo posts of vacations that I have done from around the world over the span of my life.

Therefore, in creating my summary view how I wish it could be, it would nice if it could follow the same logical format as how Flickr handles these summaries or groups. When you are viewing a photo set summary, your next and previous navigational elements relate to the summary view you are in. Therefore, in my journal blog, if I had a summary view talking about my best posts that talk about culture, I’d like my summary view’s previous and next nav elements to follow the flow of the summary view instead of following the flow of the journal posts (which is how most blogs systems work today).

How to achieve this though is the question. I mean right now it is partially there. When you look at your journal filtered by category, the previous and next nav buttons relate to the those specific journal entries relating to that category only as well. Yet the problem right now (at least in Squarespace anyways) is that I can’t make that category view as a separate module so that I can add a page header to it (describing the the summary view). Even more so, it would be nice if this initial summary view could give you a brief excerpt on each post (kind of like how Flickr shows you a thumbnail view of the photos in the photo set).

2 thoughts on “Journal View vs Summary View

  1. Whats really needed is a flexible presentation layer for any and all of your content streams. Not just the ability to add your header graphic and summery to categories, but to customise the entire layout of a category on a per category basis, even add modules where you’d like them to appear inside of those category presentation layers. I can’t remember what you can and can’t do with Squarespace modules. 🙂 My trial ran out…

    Ideally each category would be a module block with a presentation layer as optional. A block say, for a recent summery of a category onto the homepage.

    You could on category display, list 10 links of next page items for the summery (title only) in a sideblock(fixed or scrolling ala Jonathon Snooks comment box) if you wanted to.

    What about a show one post in its entirity and show the titles of the other posts in a sidebar? The sidebar scrolling and updating with older or newer posts as you click items depending on which way you go.

    What about displaying excerpts of category items in a list and on clicking the title or [read more] link it makes the whole post display while all the others remain excerpts in the same page. The clicked post moving to first post on the page, adding the next lot below in an ever scrolling page.

    My depressionisms blog displays my categories as excerpts, I think that approach could be much improved upon with some AJAX and a mix of my suggestions above.

    But whatever takes your fancy. 🙂 I can see you squirming wanting your streams. 😉

  2. Craig, the first couple of paragraphs of your response are extremely close to what I would like to see. I’m envisioning Squarespace’s Journal Archive modules being these dynamic displays which you can modify with a few extra property clicks (and even better would be if it gave a preview while you were changing the settings).

    The show one post in its entirety while the others are excerpt is another perfect example. Either the system has these "popular formats" as optional choices to enable or the system allows you to build them yourself extremely easily.

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