Give Me Chronological Archives or Go Away

Algorithmically-sorted archives for blogs are hyper-user-hostile and I hate them. Looking at you, Medium.

August 25, 2018Filed under blog#blogging#medium#publishing#writingMarkdown source

I was looking at the (really excellent) content in Vaidehi Joshi’s basecs series, and it crystallized something for me: Algorithmically-sorted archives for blogs are hyper-user-hostile and I hate them.

Trying to just work through that series in chronological order of publication is nearly—not quite actually, but nearly—impossible. Never mind that the series is a series, and that most posts build on earlier posts, Medium wants to foster engagement and tell you what other people have read most.

It keeps up this nonsense even when you pull the the Archive view: it displays the top 10 posts from 2017, sorted by which ones people read most. There’s no view of all the posts in the series, simply sorted by date, period. You can sort those top 10 posts by date, but to get to the series in chronological sequence, you have to click into each month… and then click the button again to sort by date for every single month.

This absurd focus on algorithmic sorting is an abomination—a desecration of all that is good and noble and beautiful about the format of the blog. It should die an ignominious death, unmourned by anyone but Silicon Valley venture capitalists thinking to make a quick buck on other people’s publishing efforts.