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Responding to reader mail: How to find stuff (like old posts) on this blog

I got a nice email from a new reader who ‘stumbled across the blog’ and wanted to know how she could find older posts beyond what was on the main page.  Weblogs are great for new content, i.e. stuff that appears on the home page.  But with each new post that gets put at the top, an old post at the bottom rolls off and gets archived.  It’s still ‘out there somewhere,’ but it’s not as easy to find unless you understand a few things about how blogs are set up. 

Okay, let’s answer the reader’s question, and in the process explain a few things about blogs.

There are several ways to find old stuff on this blog.  First if you go to the last post on this page you’ll notice that, like every other post, there are some little words in blue at the bottom.  Let’s pretend that the April 28th entry called "Plow Through Bagelry" is the last post (scroll down to the bottom of this page).  Below that post appear these words: "06:54 AM in New Orleans | Permalink | Comments(1) | Trackback (2)"  What do these words mean?

Basically, it means the post was launched (not necessarily created) at 06:54 AM, and the post is linked to a category of posts called New Orleans.  If you want to see ALL of the posts that I’ve created related to New Orleans then click on that link whenever you see it below a post.  It will filter and pull out ALL (as in EVERY SINGLE ONE) of the posts I’ve created in that category.  Even the ones that have been archived.  So that’s one way to find my older stuff by category (there are lots of categories, including one called Katrina that has all my Katrina related posts).

Another way to find older stuff is to click on the link that is called Permalink.  This will filter to where you just see one post (i.e. the one that was above the Permalink link).  At that point, you’ll notice three links at the top.  The one on the left will be the the next post (i.e. the one below the current post).  The one in the middle, called Main, will take you back to the Main, or Home, page.  The one to the right is the title of the post above the current one.  Knowing this method you can read every single one of my posts in reverse chronological order.  Just go to the last post and click on Permalink and then click on each link at the top left to go from post to post in reverse chronological order.

Last, you might remember that I posted something a long time ago that you want to find.  There are two ways to do this (I use the first one a lot).  First, go to Google and type in "Ernie Attorney" and then whatever words you think are in the target post.  Usually this will give you a good result.  Another way is to use Google’s advanced search features and tell Google to use those search words just on my blog.  I’ll leave you to figure that one out; it’s not hard.

Oh, and what do the words Comments(1) and Trackback(2) mean?  The comment link shows that there is one comment to the post, and the trackback link has two trackbacks.   I think most people know what comments are, but not trackbacks.  Comments are things that people say about the post that is appended to my post.  Trackbacks are things that people who have their own blogs say about the post, but at their weblogs.  So when you click on a trackback link it will take you to their post that is (supposedly, but not always) related to my post.

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One Comment

  • Ray Ward says:

    To find old stuff on this blog, there’s also the “Search this site” box near the top of the left-hand column. It accomplishes the same thing as the advanced search described in the second-to-last paragraph, without the need to figure anything out.

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