Some things in life are just amazingly simple, obvious, and intuitive.
Practically all books nowadays have page numbering; to get to the next page, you simply flip a piece of paper, and voila, you continue reading.
Newspapers can be a bit more complicated, but they at least offer straightfoward information: “Continued on page A17.” Sure enough, your fingers trudge you to page A17, and you can finish where you left off. Even most news sites on the Web have a simple “Next page” link at the bottom of each multi-page story.
So why are blogs — theoretically the next step in communications evolution — so amazingly backwards when it comes to basic navigation?
You’ll notice that my blog has page numbering (along with “next” and “previous” links), but I had to manually add this in myself (using a “plugin”)… and I’m betting my blog is among a measly 5% or so in blogland with this mindnumbingly obvious form of navigation.
I mean, come on, blog software developers, this isn’t rocket science!
People start reading a blog, continue down the page, and it’s not a huge leap of faith to assume that they may want to continue reading more of the blog.
But what are their options with the typical blog? Scroll through the oft insanely long right side panel until they find an archives list with links by week or month… click on such a link… and then realize that, hey, the last entry they read was August 6th, but clicking on the August Archives link forces them to scroll through all the stuff they already read. Many, I’d assume, simply give up in frustration. Or, even before that, they decide that if they missed a blogger’s earlier entries, it’s simply not worth the hassle to go back and find them.
Is it really asking that much of the blog software developers to offer a wonderfully basic “read more entries” link that’ll take readers to the next page of entries?
Are there any common-sense usability folks in the house? At all? Or is the blogging community just content to serve up ephemereal helpings of the ‘latest great thing’?