Reviewing The View
A few days ago, I foolishly described a table of my blog archives as my favorite view of my blog. As with all posts that I only spend 30 seconds writing, it got some good responses that really showed how little thought I'd put into the whole thing.
First, Tim Bray offered some good feedback on what he called The Dash View. I should quickly point out that lots of people, including me, have used this kind of display years and years ago. I've also had it on my current sidebar as my archive list for months. So I'm not pretending that it's any kind of innovation, just something neat to look at. Tim improves upon the design by listing his posts by month along with a count of the number of posts.
Jackson Miller followed up with some useful points as well, and Mark Bernstein muses some more about the name (I used to call my daily links "Dash Bored") but his closing point is the most interesting one:
Chronological access is literally geeky: we're exploring it because we can, not because it's useful. It's far more useful to provide good topical access, and still better to link things together. But if dates are what you have, then it's better to represent and use the dates than to treat your archives as fish wrap.
I've found a much better date-based organization of blog info: Ryan's got a year in review post that helps me remember just how eventful 2006 has been for me, too.