How I Want My Site Content Structured

Ok, I finally realized that I’ve stupidly been spending so much time trying to figure out how to build what I want that I haven’t clarified what I exactly do want to build with regards to the structure of my site. Therefore, the following will hopefully describe this.

As I noted before, I’d like to give the feeling of different spaces to my site. For example, one space would be focused on business, another on gaming, another on my personal life, and so on. As you visit each space, the weblog format is the primary thing you see. On the sidebar or footer area of each page though I’d like to have different types of content displayed that would also interest the reader. Some different types of content would be books, movies, music, photos, and so forth.

So if I was in my business space, my blog relating to my research and development would be the main thing that readers see. On the side though, there would be the top five books relating to the what I’m working on (i.e. blogging, web design, Internet, Web, etc). In addition, I’d also display the type of music that I usually listen to while working. Again, I’d display photos or images that relate to my work which could be artwork in my work room to photos of people I’m collaborating with on my ideas and so on. In effect, I want this space to emulate a space in real life. When you walk into my den office at home, you’ll see these same books, the same artwork or pictures that I’m displaying, and even a stack of music CD’s that I listen to while I work.

Now just like how my content is layered and displayed for each space, I’d like my entire site to be layered as well. For example, I want my business space to be the primary thing that you see when you visit my home page. However, I want my other spaces accessible as well but layered deeper into the site. The deeper you go the more personal the spaces get until you’d reach my personal space where I talk about life in general, family, and so on.

There you go that’s it in a nutshell. Doesn’t sound that difficult to create does it? Well the difficulty lies in creating it in such a way that your content remains flexible and easily manipulable, so that all of these groupings of different types of content by category and space are dynamically generated on the fly. More on this later.

2 thoughts on “How I Want My Site Content Structured

  1. I’m starting to struggle with this very idea myself…I just popped by to visit to see how your efforts are going in this area.

    I’ve been thinking of this in terms of two challenges:

    (1) Creating a fluid community / conversation space. Something that maintains continuity in several ways.

    (2) Allowing people to figure out what they can find here. Sort of a "which door" approach.

    Lately I’ve been writing with personal continuity in mind, and while this helps me maintain a certain writing rhythm, it wreaks havok with clean categorization 🙂 I’m thinking technorati tags, but there’s something about tag clouds that bug the heck out of me. Maybe because they ARE clouds.

    The word that pops into my mind is "flavor". I want my categories, streams, or whatever, to have readily visible flavor or ambiance or something. Something that imparts what the door is going to be about without a lot of reading.

  2. "I just popped by to visit to see how your efforts are going in this area."

    Hehe, as you can see I’m not doing very much. Just don’t have the time that I had before when I wasn’t working. Hehe, go figure! 🙂

    "there’s something about tag clouds that bug the heck out of me. Maybe because they ARE clouds."

    Totally agree with you!

    "to have readily visible flavor or ambiance or something. Something that imparts what the door is going to be about without a lot of reading."

    Well you seem to keep repeating a lot of similar space words as well like "Ambiance" and "Door". Both of these imply a sense of space (like a room or community area) of some kind which is what I feel is missing. Also it’s strange because I’ve seen this problem reaching elsewhere in our society. Teens using cellphones, who are in constant touch with their friends, are losing their sense of space. They often act like their at home when they could be sitting in a semi-formal restaurant settings. The have no sense, separation, or boundaries with regards to space. The Web is doing the same thing to us, yet is important that we create these spaces, even if it is only an illusion.

    BTW you might find this interesting as well, as I just forwarded it to someone else. It is an article on Permaculture that talks about Relative Location which relates extremely closely to what I have in mind. In addition, if you read about Permaculture in general, you’ll find it quite strange how you could use the same words to describe the Web.

    Relative Location
    http://home.klis.com/~chebogue/prin_rel.html

    Permaculture
    http://home.klis.com/~chebogue/PermacultureIndex.html

    Just to help this make sense, think of Relative Location like Upselling or Product Placement that you see in stores. Only thing different is that you are upselling your other content. 🙂

    And finally I’m also researching more on "situational awareness" because I keep getting glimpses of this being a key somehow that unlocks something. Still can’t figure what though. You notice my latest posts don’t have me talking at all? In other words, I’m just relaying information and making people "aware" of it. You ever notice how many successful blog sites following this format and talk barely at all (i.e. scripting.com, kottke.org, etc). Why I find this strange is that it relates to my research on the Recovery 2.0 project in relation to connected communities. The idea is that no one group or person is in command. Instead everyone just relays info to make everyone "aware" of what’s going on and everyone does what they feel is necessary. No problem on a smaller scale but I thinking thousands, if not millions of people connecting here. The situation awareness "relay network" would just spread information like a virus (or like how your body’s immune system works). The funny thing is that doesn’t the Web already work this way to a degree when something interesting gets released on it because it spreads like wildfire and soon every blog is talking about it?

    Sorry for the massive response here but a lot of these thoughts have been building up for a while, yet I’m still frustrated in not understanding what I’m "seeing" glimpses of here. Hopefully time will reveal more.

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