I write a story. I hit 'publish'. Hopefully a few people will read my post before it slides its way down the page and off into the archive. I suppose it might never be seen again, which is all rather sad, especially as practically all my posts are ‘evergreen’: they don’t have a use-by date.
Of course most of us have discovered the LinkWithin gadget which is an easy way to encourage readers to sample a few old posts. There at the end of each post is a line of suggested links: you might also like… (I wonder how many people ever click onto the links.)
A while ago, I had another idea for promoting old posts. I made some linked post buttons for some of my favourite archived posts. I like the look of the buttons. They add a bit of colour to my side-bar, as well as being functional. I made the earlier ones using the photo editing website Picnik, and I put the later ones together at PicMonkey.
Here’s what I did…
- I went to PicMonkey
- clicked onto ‘Create a Collage’,
- clicked onto ‘Open Photo’.
- chose a photo associated with the post
- clicked on the ‘Layouts’ icon. (A square collage with 3 cells appeared)
- removed 2 of these cells by clicking on the x in the top right-hand corners of the cells
- clicked and dragged my post photo into the one big remaining cell
- clicked on the ‘Background’ icon on the left side of the screen (it looks like a palette)
- adjusted the spacing, giving a border to the photo, wide enough to accommodate text. (I could have adjusted the colour of the background but was happy with white)
Voila! A blog button. All it needed was the text
- I saved my button to my computer before closing the collage page
- opened the ‘Edit a Photo’ page
- uploaded the button photo
- clicked on the text icon
- added the blog post title
- saved my completed button to my computer
Back at my blog..
- I headed to 'Layout'
- added an 'image' gadget to my side-bar.
- uploaded my button from my computer
- added the blog post link.
Finished! One button linked to an old blog post, sitting in my side-bar, ready for someone to discover.
This procedure sounds very time-consuming but it isn’t. It only takes several minutes to make a button once you know what you are doing. But yesterday I found an even easier way to display archived posts.
I found the Blogger Plugins Random Posts gadget. All it took was a minute or two of clicking as I chose my options, and the gadget was installed on my blog. 10 random posts from my archive are now displayed in my side-bar. There’s thumbnails and snippets and links… the gadget looks a bit like the popular posts one, and can be configured in a similar way.
I’ve been having fun with my gadget. Every time I refresh the page of my blog, a new selection of posts appears. I keep thinking...
“I forgot I wrote that post!"
"I enjoyed writing that one!"
"I think I’ll just go and read that one again."
"Perhaps that story needs deleting."
"Shall I refresh the page and see what comes up next?”
"Did I really write that?"
I’ve been dipping into my archive and reliving the memories.
I wonder if anyone else would like to dip into my archive? Or perhaps you’d like to install the gadget on your own blog, and then I could come and sample your old posts.
Now that I've sorted out my archive... onto my next blog design problem…
Does anyone know how to place the labels gadget inside a page? Or how about a random blogroll generator? I know this can be done on Wordpress blogs but Blogger ones?
I love playing about with my blog. How about you?