A common challenge with blogs is how to surface older content. Given the typical reverse-chronological layout (in combination with feeds that contain only the most recent entries), the blog format is oriented towards novelty, often with each entry only tenuously connected to those preceding it by a thin thread of chronology. Certainly, for many blogs, this is really no issue at all—the content of the blog is not in the content of any one entry but rather in the overall ebb and flow of the entries. However, what if you want individual entries to remain eminently accessible as resources to visitors who may not be (and may never become) regular followers of your blog?
We have relied on various technological “fixes” such as search, tags and dynamically-generated related links in an attempt to make older content accessible (with mixed results). These techniques lack genuine intentionality, and instead of treating them as a last resort, we’ve largely abdicated responsibility for relating our content in a meaningful way.
If we want to surface older content, we need to consistently link newer content into that which came before. Think of it as turning over the soil. The most important entries will naturally be easier to find as every link is another possible path to one of those entries. Simply attaching a list of links onto the end of a post won't do—that’s little better than providing dynamically-generated related links because there’s no context, nothing to draw visitors in, no reason for them to click. Dense, intentional interlinking of content via contextual links is essential to surfacing older content. Interlinking also increases the density of the content—as an author, you’re creating microflows within the inevitably larger chronological flow. Remember, multivalence is not a vice.