The pages on my site with the most traffic are tips about using Mac OS X, BlackBerries, and iPhones. Next up are recipes. Then, the pages accessible from the top nav, and last, posts about my research. I’ve thought about blogging about my “PhD process” by adding information about academic note taking, writing long documents, and not going completely crazy during a dissertation. I’m not sure how much traffic those pages would get, but judging by the number of doctoral students procrastinating online, I’d guess a few. So, my question for you, dear readers, is, should I redesign the site to more clearly divide those topic areas? Yes, Naomi, I will soon post recipes for Chicken Tortilla Soup and Pot Roast, even if I don’t do the redesign.
Most of my loyal readers are people who know me in real life. You may even have eaten Pork with Magical Powers or had a beer with me. I do not want to alienate you, but I think you’re subscribers and access the content through a feed rather than your browser anyway. My site’s getting a surprising amount of traffic from strangers who arrive via searches for information about “clone bootcamp partition” and “pork bits.”
My inner information architect has been absorbing some SEO wisdom from the world, and I’d like to make the useful parts of the site (e.g., moving a Boot Camp partition) even more so. I’m thinking of making a new splash page that uses questions to route users to content they may find useful. I’ll also be changing the sidebar to use fewer tags to help people who land inside the site get to other parts they might like. The trouble now is figuring out how best to organize the existing content in a framework that’s flexible enough to include additions like my planned “phd process” content and yet obvious enough to help Mac OS X searches get to more Mac OS X tips when they arrive. No, I never thought I’d have enough readers to justify a redesign. The public wants to clone their drives and cook yummy pork, and I like to make the public happy.