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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tutorial: How to Navigate a Blog

This post is all about the anatomy of a blog and how to navigate one from the readers point of view to make visiting blogs less confusing and more enriching from the user's perspective. It's kind of like Dorothy and the red slippers in The Wizard of Oz. You may have the  ability to do more then you realize with functions that you didn't know were there.

Items to remember:

1. 99% of the time the banner at the top of the blog is a link back to the blog home page.

So, if you were to say, enter a blog on a specific post page and not the blog home page but you want to read the most recent posts? Just click on the banner at the top of the page and it will almost always take you back to the blog home page. 

2. Older Posts and Archives:

Click the image to enlarge

When you get to the bottom of the page there is usually an item described as "Older Posts." If you click on that link it will take you back, in reverse chronological order, through all of the blogs past posts starting from the most recent to oldest.

Usually most blogs have 1 or 2 additional archive options when it comes to reading older posts that are always located in the sidebar:

a) By month and year
b) By topic or category

3. Really Simple Syndication (RSS): 

Click the image to enlarge

At the end of the browser window (where you put the site url) there is usually a small blue or orange icon. If you click on it you can "subscribe" to the blog and receive notifications when a new post has been added so that you don't have to check back each day. CLICK HERE to read a post I did about RSS

4. Images: Usually if you click on an image one of three things will happen:

a) The image usually gets larger
b) The image is a link that will take you to another website
c) Nothing happens


Somewhere near the bottom of each post is a link to comments. If you would like to leave a comment or read comments left by others just click on it. It will take you to a text field where you cant type in your thoughts. Most comments sections require you to type in a coded word to prevent SPAM programs from leaving junk messages.

There is not much that makes a blogger happier then when someone leaves a comment. LOL most of the people I know tell me in person, in an email or on the phone how much they enjoyed a particular post. That's great too but it's very fun and exciting to actually see it in the blog itself. When posting in other people's blogs I've found:

a) Some you can leave a comment without having to register to do so. Like on mine :o)
b) Some you have to create a user account to leave a comment
c) Some blog authors don't allow comments

Also when leaving comments many times you have the option to add a url. This means when your comment shows up your name will be a url that people can click on. The customary thing to do is link either back to your own blog or your company website. 

6. Contact the Author: If you want to contact the author privately: I find most of the time blogs do not have a contact option built into them. What I usually do is click on a link, if there is one, to the author's website and use the contact option on the website. If there is no link to a site or an option on the blog you can always try running the person or blog's name through Google and search this way:


Sometimes this works for me. But not always.

Well, I guess that wraps up this post. I hope you'll find the information useful. And if you have any other questions please post them in the comments. I'd be happy to answer them for you.


  1. Stacie, I think this was a very useful blog posting. Navigating a blog. It took me a couple of times just to figure out this comment screen. As you can see, I have got it now! I'm finding time since I am away from my home desk and in sunny So Cal!


YAY! No Registration Needed to Leave a Comment :)

Just look for the orange "Comment" link after the time stamp at the foot of each post and click on it, or click on the post title and the comment box will appear on the page at the base of the post when it reopens.

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