No major article today, just a small announcement of a new addition to the site. The announcement is small because the work to make the addition wasn’t, and I ran out of time to do any other writing today. But that’s all right.
While I know the majority of readers simply read whatever review is newest, and that’s fine, I wanted to make sure my older reviews were always available and easily accessible — emphasis on “easily”. Sure, you can click the categories page, and that’s fun for haphazard browsing, but if you’re looking for my views on a particular film, or want to look up films from a certain decade, the categories are not particularly convenient.
I’ve had an A-Z index on the site since the blog’s first anniversary, and I’ve personally found it to be rather helpful when I want to check back on what I said previously. But for other things, I’ve just been letting people rely on the tag cloud.
But there are a couple issues with relying on the cloud. First, it’s at the bottom of the page. This is to keep it out of the way, but it also renders it obscure. Second, using the tags has that same chronological order (which to most people resembles a lack of order) for the reviews.
But perhaps most importantly, the tag cloud shows a limited number of tags, and selects them based on what tags are used most frequently. And for the decades tags, it can lead to some blank spots. Thanks to the News Bites, I’ve apparently talked about Michael Bay more than I’ve talked about films from the 1950s. This is a bit of a scary thought, but it’s also a bit of a nuisance. People who are curious whether I’ve turned up any interesting films from the 1950s shouldn’t have to hunt for the reviews just because Michael Bay frequently draws attention to himself.
So I’ve done a bit of work to make things more convenient. Where the menu bar used to say “A-Z”, it now says “Review Index”. Mousing over that spot will bring up a drop-down menu featuring two different indices to search. The first is the classic A-Z index. The second is an index of all films I’ve reviewed, broken up by decade and year.
I don’t know how many people go digging through the old reviews, or would want such a thing. But I thought a bit of effort was warranted in making the new index, as it makes it a bit more convenient for those who do. And aside from the initial construction, it doesn’t add significantly to my workload — after all, copy-pasting a link twice isn’t much more work than doing it once.