This is the first reorganization of posts on my blog.

In the beginning, I said that I did not care about content organization, I just wanted to write something, and there are no intended readers at all. However, as of now I already have 17 posts, this post not included. I find it starting to be hard even for myself to find the article I want.

So even without any intended readers, there is a need for keeping my blog well organized and tidy.

There are three areas covered by this reorganization: categories/tags, excerpts and tagline.

Categories and Tags

The focus for this reorganization will be the use of categories and tags.

Concepts

Conceptually, WordPress categories are a hierarchy, while tags are a set.

As a rule of thumb, any post should belong to one category and many tags. WordPress does allow one article to belong to multiple categories, but if I use it this way, I am kind of wasting the concept of tags.

Current Situation

Currently, all posts belong to the only category: “articles”.

I have a number of tags. Among them, the one tag called “sitebuilding” is ubiquitous since most of these early posts are about building this very blog. A series of Europa Universalis game log are their own world. Another one post is a quick note of some interesting research papers.

Blogs about site building are almost never related to blogs about Europa Universalis, for example.

New Plan

Since this is a personal blog, the closest mapping of the concepts to my situation should be this way: I write about things I am interested in. Since I am interested in a few different subjects, my posts should naturally be divided by what subject I write about, or, in other words, why that thing interests me. This maps nicely to the concept of categories.

Most existing tags will thus be changed to categories. One tag, WIP, is true to the spirit of tags and is virtually orthogonal to all categories and all other tags. It will remain.

Excerpts

Back when this blog only contained two posts, I thought excepts were a bad idea. It was also one of the reason I picked Kahuna: it provided fine-grained configuration options for when to use excepts and how many words to keep.

However, now finding the seventh post has been a pain. Since I do not use excerpts, all posts are displayed in full, leading to a huge main page. To find the ninth post, one has to scroll down all the page to the bottom, and keep looking at the headings that fly by. The “recent posts” widget does not help since it only shows the five most recent posts. Changing the number does not help either, since I am talking about the seventh post in one page, not the seventh recent post.

But on the other hand, some of the automatically generated excerpts are really bad. LaTeX code that are not transformed; headings that are mingled together; important sentences that get cut in half…

The solution seems to be the “read more” tag. By using the tag, I can consciously decide where to break my post up. Alternatively, sometimes I can decide that the post is just a declaration or a quite status update that should really be shown in full. So I am going to stay with not using excerpts, but I will also start adding more read more tags. That also includes adapting old posts to bring them in line.

Tagline

I have been using the tagline “liber primus” since day one of this blog.

The meaning should be clear. De finibus (the Cicero book, not this blog) has five volumes, or five librī. The liber primus, literally the “first book”, is the book that contained the famous passage “lorem ipsum…” It also signals an initial stage of this blog, which often contains stories about how I changed parts of itself.

Problem

Recently, Google Webmaster told me that my blog showed up very highly on the keywords “liber primus decoded”, which led me to learn about CICADA 3301 and its riddles. Well, it’s stupid. It’s their liber primus, not the liber primus. Literally everyone who has written a book has a liber primus. But different people learn things in different orders and I understand that some people had seen no libri primi before the CICADA 3301 one.

Ironically, writing about this thing in this very post might lead Google to further rank my blog to CICADA-related searches. I don’t think it’s a reason to self-censor though, so I just write down what happens, and hope one day Google’s language models will be smart enough to actually understand that if I am talking about the irrelevance of something, then they are probably irrelevant.

Solution

So let me get back to what taglines are about. Since “de finibus” is not really informative about what this blog is, I need a place to put the answer. And while a tagline like “liber primus” is certainly cool, it completely confuses people.

So the second iteration of the tagline will lean on the boring side. It is “Yi Yang’s hobbies & puns”. There is no pun in this tagline, except a very literal one. And then you just get a pun about the nonexistence of puns, nice. But more importantly, this taglines clearly declares that this is a personal blog, and will focus on my hobbies (not everyday work) and puns (which is a hint that I will focus on text, not images).

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