Goodbye, Cards


As of right now I’ve switched the homepage of this site back to a linear stream of posts, including a sparkly, fun new number pagination thingy:

If you’re looking for a snapshot for your big scrapbooking weekend this summer, here’s one of how the homepage used to look, before I mercilessly… ah, changed a couple of filenames.

I asked around, and actually a surprising number of people told me to keep it the way it was. Despite that, I’m still changing it back to a more common paradigm. (Although I do really appreciate those who gave me their opinion!)

Muleheaded or what?

The most apt name for the way I was displaying articles on the homepage is “cards”. Cards have become an incredibly popular visual affordance recently. You’ll find them on a lot of sites, like Pinterest, Twitter, etc. Heck, we even used them to great effect on constellation.fm. It’s hard to really claim that they are a new thing, but they’ve become notable by their increased use. You can read more about them in this portentously named article.

When I put together the cards for the homepage I was hoping to discover — as I worked on them — some way to display my writing in a new structure. The reason I’m ditching them, for now, is that I didn’t quite manage it. Sure, they looked nice, but they were still stuck in the linear newest-to-oldest vein.

They didn’t break the new ground I’d hoped for, and were inherently problematic, to boot. To start with, they just didn’t really represent the articles they led to. They worked great for something like my article about how well the Tom Bihn Smart Alec does on a flight, but for most others they just seemed a bad fit. I’d initially wanted to have a picture associated with each post which would really add to it, but I found I was always scrambling to find something even remotely related.

They also made me hesitant to post anything that wasn’t completely self-contained. This was probably good, for many articles, in that it led to a bit more polishing. But most of the posts you read here are part of a larger narrative — me clawing my way towards better writing and a healthier understanding of the world — and it seemed awkward to completely remove them from that narrative.

So, until I can come up with something that really is unique and also suits this site, we’re back to business as usual.