Jul 06

Like A Mouse

FT7 comments • 531 views

One of the heartening things about going through old posts – for the mundane purposes of code fiddling – is seeing how after only a week or so most of them have a handful of new-format hits. This is down to the magical “related posts” function, which has turned out, quite by accident, to be the perfect way of packaging our massive stockhouse of old content. What used to be a grey, mildewed warehouse, drearily arranged into a blank list of months, has become a dusty attic full of treasure.

This is also an example of HOTT media/marketing theory the “long tail” – the bulk of content providers’ business coming from niche demand rather than mass demand (though as theorist Chris Anderson is keen to point out, this doesn’t mean the ‘end of the hit’). Describing FT as a ‘business’ is black comedy but it is true that our regular readers seem to be coming for the new stuff and staying for a drift through the back pages.


  1. 1
    Alan on 17 Jul 2006 #

    I’ve been meaning to explain about the related articles for some time. At first I wasn’t sure how it worked myself, but I’ve got the hang of it now.

    It is the words in the TITLE of the post that are compared with the title/contents of all posts.

    However with a fuzzy/non-helpful title you can put <!-kw=keyword1 keyword2–> anywhere in your post – at the end i suggest – and that will tweak the importatnt words to work out the related articles. so in the case of this article putting in “marketing” and “tail” would get better related articles (perhaps) than “like” and “mouse”

  2. 2
    Tom on 17 Jul 2006 #


    I think keywords would spoil the beautiful madness somewhat tho.

  3. 3
    Alan on 17 Jul 2006 #

    well that’s the theory, i just tried it (hope you don’t mind) by editing this article and there is still something rough in the wordpress code that didn’t seem to work too well there.

  4. 4
    p^nk s on 17 Jul 2006 #

    yes, i like the semi-randomness, and the related stories titled eg “The”

    “no related stories” is sometimes amusing in a comedy-timing punctum way but i think we should probably try and break through to further relatedness

    there is a case perhaps for um “exploratory” use of keywords?

  5. 5
    p^nk s on 17 Jul 2006 #

    also to think about: the dead-end trapped-in-a-related-swamp effect?

    some of these pile-ups are well numbered (cf WHO BUILT THE MOON, which you can negotiate the whole of), but others are just a cofusin wleter of the same title for difft posts

  6. 6
    Pete Baran on 17 Jul 2006 #

    Yes, I am trying to weed out multiple title clashes into easily negotiated threads when I see them.

    Who Built The Moon reminds me I never did the Science Of Astrology.

  7. 7
    Admin on 17 Jul 2006 #

    RIGHT. I have half fixed it. I will add some words in the “New to WordPress” page

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