Platt Perspective at 800 postings – complexity and scale, and the challenge of a long-term blog
I began this blog over two years ago now and with daily postings (and occasionally two in a day as with today) I have now reached 800 short essay installments. That comes to some one million and more words and that means complexity and scale have long since becomes issues of concern.
If I was simply posting short shelf life notes, of a type that no one would read as they age – if my goal was to be current and of-today, with little if anything of lasting value and with little need to connect back to older content, scale and complexity would not matter. The problem with my blog is, however, that everything connects together into a single ongoing narrative, as I discussed in outline in my 700th posting a few months ago and as I explicitly write about in my 1st Things 1st – Navigating Platt Perspective. And with each posting the overall volume and complexity of material covered expands by that tiny increment more.
I started out planning for scale early when I started adding and adding content to my blog directory pages, as are found along the right margin in the template design I use. And that has held me in good stead. But with over 200 postings in two of those directories already I have found it necessary to split off new second page directories too. And there, I had a decision to make.
If I set up finer grained types of directory page, the directory menu would be much longer. And if I limited the number of postings that would be included in any one directory page, splitting off a page 2, 3 and so on sooner, that would also lead to directory listing complexity and clutter. I currently have 18 directory pages and if I had decided to limit the maximum number of postings per page to 50 rather than approximately 200, I would already have to include 13 more at minimum. And that is just for now.
200 postings listed on one directory page is too many and I know that, but having 50 directory pages and more would render all of them and the number of links on them moot.
When you build and maintain and grow a complex blog with everything on it potentially of current interest and all of it interconnected and linked together, scale and complexity become matters of decision for which there are no perfect answers. This is my 800th posting, and I have to think of reaching the Scheherazade number of 1001 this next Spring, and of reaching 1600 and more too, with time. That, I add would only mean a little under four and a half years worth of daily postings.
So I pause at with 800th posting to share some thoughts on scale and complexity, and on developing from the beginning to at least try to accommodate their needs. I also pause here to remind myself, even if no one else, that there are and can be not perfect solutions to the challenges that scale and complexity bring.
I am sure to return to this general topic in other contexts as I continue adding to this blog.