A weblog yes, but one not totally focussed on its newest content
February 11, 2008 5:12 AM   Subscribe

Do you know websites with a homepage that immediately makes clear it is updated often, yet manages to show there as well that it has a lot of treasures in its archives?

What I am looking for is examples of a good cross between two completely different approaches to presenting information [though I really don't know if such sites exist]. Say, a mix between a weblog and a media rich database.

Let's say I have a weblog with almost 900 reviews, of, say books or movies. New visitors need to know immediately the site will be updated almost daylily. Yet the real value of the website has become that the sum is bigger than the parts; that its richness lies in its collection, because of the links between the reviews, or their timing --- and that has to be shown immediately as well.
posted by ijsbrand to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I feel slightly dirty saying this, but Something Awful?
posted by Juliet Banana at 5:19 AM on February 11, 2008

Ha, I was going to suggest SA also.
posted by unixrat at 5:23 AM on February 11, 2008

You know, there's a blue section here, too.

oh come on someone was going to say it

Seriously, though, isn't that the point of archive pages and search boxes? Returning members don't want to have stuff they've already read pushed in their faces, but new people can read the old entries chronologically or topically.One of my favorite bits of the community here is the way commenters link back to related threads; this isn't an explicit mechanism of the site, but obviously the community wants it (pony request, anyone?).
posted by tylermoody at 5:47 AM on February 11, 2008

I like Music Thing's "you might have missed" sidebar which shows a different twelve random selections from past posts every time you visit. That gives a nice impression of the richness of the archives.
posted by moonmilk at 5:57 AM on February 11, 2008

How about everything2? Design-wise it's not great (we're working on that) but they cycle a good mix of archived and new material on the front page.
posted by ReiToei at 6:03 AM on February 11, 2008

A newspaper? The first thing I thought of was the travel section of most (online) papers.
posted by jacalata at 6:04 AM on February 11, 2008

Response by poster: Thank you for all your suggestions so far.

But no, I have been aware of how newspapers tackle this problem. Maybe I should have mentioned newspapers in my question as the answer I wasn't looking for. But as I see it now, there seem to be three major ways of presenting information on a homepage, each with their specific qualities, each with their drawbacks:
  1. as a weblog [the toilet roll approach]
  2. as a newspaper [senses overload, or how do I cram as much information within 1024*780 pixels as possible]
  3. as a database [i.e. you need to know what to find, before it is possible to find it]
This is not to say there aren't newspapers with good layouts --- take The Morning News --- but I had my hopes set for something yet still more elegant.
posted by ijsbrand at 6:51 AM on February 11, 2008

frets.com is not a weblog exactly (well, at all), but it's a website that has been accumulating content for years, and is also updated on a somewhat regular basis. The archives are vast and easily accessed.

I guess the only issue with it not being a weblog is that once stuff is off the "new stuff" page, it goes straight into the archives. So if you think you are caught up with the archives and you miss something before it goes in there, you are likely to never know that it was there.
posted by sully75 at 7:13 AM on February 11, 2008

http://newyorkpress.com/ has extensive searchable archives
posted by ijoyner at 7:31 AM on February 11, 2008

I think Arts & Letters Daily has a decent enough design and is likely what you're looking for. This allows for plenty of space to expand on loads of information.

posted by magnoliasouth at 7:47 AM on February 11, 2008

I have become somewhat disillusioned with Snopes but I think their way of getting the info out there is worth looking at. Extensive archives, with a smart heirarchy (once you are used to it) and a whatsnew section that is, as ihsbrand so wonderfully says, toilet-roll style.
posted by Iteki at 10:52 AM on February 11, 2008

ProBlogger does a great job with this. Actually, I just checked out the link (I've been RSSing it for months). They redesigned. They USED to do a great job with this - had a panel on the top for first time visitors to get acquainted with the most popular features. Now it's much more ad-heavy. Maybe you can use the internet archive to find last year's design.
posted by prophetsearcher at 3:49 PM on February 11, 2008

I have a blog running on wordpress, and there are plugins that will let you show a variety of posts in sidebars, arranged in sections such as "This month last year," "recent posts" (built-in to wordpress), and you can also show the number of posts next to their categories. You can also use tag clouds, which might be a more abstract way to show how "big" some categories/tags are. And once people dive in to individual posts, tags are a good way to show "related posts."
posted by edjusted at 12:48 AM on February 17, 2008

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