Alert readers will have noticed the recent appearance at the right of this page of a new “widget,” as such things are called in the jargon of WordPress: Recent Essays. It is intended to provide a way of seeing our recent long-form posts that, in the estimation of their authors, deserve to remain in view for a bit longer than might be the case if they appeared only in the main thread of posts.
All of us have had the experience of seeing an essay we have worked hard on for several days fall off the first page of the Orthosphere after only a few hours, as other Orthosphereans posted their most recent essays of the same sort. All of us have felt some reluctance about posting a short or jocular item, for fear that it might likewise push some worthy effort out of view. Yet the shorter items are often the most popular with our readers.
The Recent Essays widget should ameliorate that situation; and its amelioration should in turn increase our frequency of posting shorter pieces.
Preparation of the new widget has alerted us to a larger problem: with over 1,000 posts already up – every one of them, of course, composed in deathless prose, respecting subjects of sempiternal interest – there are at least a few hundred that ought never to fall from view. The Recent Essays widget won’t do for them, because it is set to show only the twenty most recent posts deserving to be called Essays, and categorized as such. We are now working on one or two new pages (accessed via the tabs at the top of each page) where all the timeless essays can be accessed. They will take a deal of work, not so much in the coding of the pages, as in parsing each of the essays into the timely or timeless categories.
In the meantime, there are several other ways to search the Orthosphere for articles that interest you:
- By author: click on an Orthospherean’s byline (whether on an article or a comment) to see a thread of all his posts, in order of time.
- By category: use the Category drop down menu at right to find all posts categorized under the heading of your interest.
- By text string: use the Search function, also at right.
Your suggestions of other improvements to the site would be welcome.