Updates v. New Articles

I’ve been adding updates to existing articles instead of posting new articles. Let me give you an example: The Samsung Galaxy Note LTE article has seven updates. Each update could have been a separate article, with potential for higher pageviews and a higher total post count that I occasionally look at. It’s tempting at times, but the experience of reading DisplayBlog suffers.

When I’m searching on DisplayBlog for information about the Samsung Galaxy Note LTE for instance, I don’t want tons of short articles to show up. Instead I want a single article with everything. To me that’s more convenient: I can get to the information I want quickly and efficiently. There’s no need for a list of relevant articles if I execute this well.

Although I might have less pageviews and lower total post counts the simple focus on making the experience of getting to the information you want as best as possible has me updating existing articles instead of posting new ones. I hope updates on DisplayBlog provide a better reading experience for you as they have for me.

Update: Reader Alex C. wrote in:

I like your approach of updating your articles. But because I read everyday, I don’t go back to your older articles. When I first found your blog, I went back about a year and read everything to catch up. I don’t really plan to go back again and I don’t want to miss the deeper insights and data that updates are great for. Help!

That makes a lot of sense. How would you know if I updated an article with new and relevant information? There’s no easy way. So this is what I did.

First, I changed the sort order from reverse chronological to last modified. The result is whatever I updated last will show up at the top. You get to follow along as I update different posts with what I think are updates worth reading. But then something happened.

In the article about the_date, I shared with you my desire to remove the redundant dates when they are the same across multiple posts. With the code change only the first instance of the date is shown. It works quite nicely, but with the sort order changed to last modified dates pop up all over the place. And it was quiet confusing with new dates and old dates spewed all over the page. So that got me thinking, “Do I need to show dates at all?”

If you look at the URL address of single posts the date is part of it in the form of YYYY/MM/DD. Similar to my reasoning for why I got rid of the DisplayBlog logo from the top of the page, I’ve decided the date is redundant; so no more dates in the posts. If you need to check the date you can easily find it in the URL.

The overall result of these changes in the experience of reading DisplayBlog is articles that have been recently created or updated will be at the top. If you see an article with a bunch of updates you can quickly to go the end of them to find the lastest information. From now on when I update an article, it should be much easier for you to find out.

PS: Now I really need to stop tinkering with old posts!