Blogfabrics: An Introduction

by phil on Friday Oct 17, 2003 11:23 AM

If posts on a blog are threads, then a blogfabric is a graphical visualization of those threads.

The most primitive form of a blogfabric would be a calendar that highlighted days in which postings occur.

A more advanced blogfabric would be the colored tiles I have stacked above.

The point of a blogfabric is to create a sense of continuity or relationship between all of the posts. By arranging together symbols from each post, patterns emerge which enhances the expressive process.

In the top third of pages on Philosophistry you'll notice an array of colored tiles. Each tile represents a different post, with the tile's length representing the number of words in that post, and its color representing the emotional atmosphere under which that post was written. They are ordered from present/current-post to the past.

What is the theory behind all of this?

The idea is to create a visual imprint of a "period" during which certain posts are made. For example, a particularily dark and long post would have an associated dark color, such as brown or black. This would then manifest into a long charcoal strip at the top of the color-stack. After more posts appear on the blog, this strip will eventually step down the stack. However, over the course of anywhere from 3 to 12 days, that strip will still stick out, reminding visitors of proximity to that emotional moment.

The dynamic nature of this blogfabric reveals an emotional progression from post to post. One can look at today's page, for example, and get a sene of an emotional trajectory--if you met me in real life, you'd automatically see the connection between the color progression and my current outlook.

Looking back at archives also recalls the emotional period for that individual post as I preserve the colored-tile context relative to each post.

I want to encourage other bloggers to come up with creative blogfabrics.

There are a few challenges to this artform:
- Preserving the individual symbols while still gaining something from their combination
- Making the dynamic nature of the blogfabric integrate with your blog's existing style
- Programming the blogfabric
- Picking the right meta-data to associate with each post

I'll write more about this topic later...

I chose orchid for this post because it reminds me of flowers growing. Lately has been rough for me, but I have an optimistic outlook this morning and I am looking forward to a weekend of regeneration. Plus this post is about creating something that naturally evolves over time.

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