Saturday, February 3, 2007

Post Update Trick

My Recent Posts Widget now and then leads to discussions with other Bloggers about the order in which recent posts appear. Updated posts appear at the top of the recent posts list, even if their publishdate is somewhere far in the past. From a technical point of view, this is quite logic: people subscribe to a feed to be informed about changes in the blog, so if an old post is updated, it should appear in the feed immediately. But many times changes are just cosmetic: correcting a typo, repairing a dead link, or assigning a new label. In that case, appearance of the post in the feed is a little bit annoying or confusing.

Some readers suggested that I should change the coding of the widget, and leave out updated posts. I think that is not a very good idea, because an updated post could contain relevant new information. So I came up with an interesting trick.

Add the following styling definition to your blog's template:

.updateinfo { display:none; }

Now, whenever you update a post, at the beginning of the post insert update-information, using the following html:

<span class="updateinfo">UPDATE: Repaired some dead links. Content has not be changed.</span>

If you publish your post, the update info will not be displayed on your blogpage, but the feed, and therefor also the Recent Posts Widget, will show the update-text.