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On Human Readable URLs

03 Sep

http://carrie-me.blogspot.com/2010/05/but-when-are-you-going-to-write.html

When is she going to write what?
From just a glance, I would take this to be a general post about writing habits and fitting writing into a busy schedule.  But actually, she’s talking about love triangles.
The full title is: “But when are you going to write something happy?  Also, what’s up with the love triangles?”
The second half of that title is actually the important part, so I suppose I could rant about crappy post titles as well.  But since the title of this post is about URLs, I’ll stick to that.
Basically, you can have some complicated scheme for creating URLs based on post dates or whatever, or with dynamic webpages, you get something along the lines of “www.example.com/thread.php?t=11”, or you can have a simple, descriptive url, usually based on the title of the page.  Apparently the post I linked to had a title Blogger decided was too long, thus the truncation.  (I wonder if WordPress would do the same?)

But the creators of Blogger should have realized that people who use software don’t pay attention to that stuff, and come up with a better solution than a hard truncation.  Personally, I think there should be a field for picking a URL in the “Add New Post” interface.

But a string of numbers or a date posted system would be as effective or better than what the blogging software eventually came up with, which is not only misleading in that it might link to something I don’t care about, but also in that the topic of love triangles as a character deciding what kind of person they want to be might be (and is, and you should read the post, too) a topic that I would find very interesting, but I wouldn’t click that link because I’ve read too gosh darn many posts on the topic the title implies.

So if you’re a blogger who wants people to read what you’ve written because they care about the topic, you should take whatever steps you can to create a URL that will entice your target audience.

ETA:  WordPress has apparently decided to ignore my formatting, so apologies if it’s a bit Wall of Texty.

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2 Comments

Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Blogging

 

Tags: , ,

2 responses to “On Human Readable URLs

  1. Arlee Bird

    September 4, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    This is something I’ve never given much thought to. I’m just amazed that somehow some program or something comes up with all of these unique addresses that will lead us directly to a site. I’m glad it’s done automatically cause I think it would be a hassle to come up with one and then have to keep trying if the one I’d picked had already been used for someone else’s post.

     
    • atsiko

      September 4, 2012 at 4:42 PM

      Well, you wouldn’t create an entire URL. Your blog requires a http://myblogname.mybloghost.com/dateposted/ URL (or similar, that’s the WordPress format). All the program or you are doing is tacking on the last part. The bloghost usually uses all or part of your post title. So it’s actually impossible for you to pick a title that would lead to a duplicate URL, because you’re just tacking that bit on the end of what is already required to be a unique address.

      WordPress actually does give you the option of picking your own special addition rather than appended x characters from your post title.

       

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