[wp-hackers] Difference between 'aside' and 'status' post format?

Eric Mann eric at eam.me
Fri Nov 4 16:44:19 UTC 2011

> Not at all to pick on Eric, but I have been wanting to vent about a
> practice that I've notice some themers have started that is a very
> disconcerting UX.

Pick away :-)  Really, I was just trying to point out that there aren't
rules for how post formats are used, there's just a set of proposed
guidelines and best practices.  So far, I've mostly seen formats used to
add a little icon next to a post that has standard formatting.  That's not
an effective use of the feature IMO, but really secondary to the discussion
we're having here ...

> I've been noticing that some themers have decided to implement "link" post
> formats such that in archives and in the RSS feed the post title is used as
> the anchor text, and the hyperlink on that title is the actual link being
> published and NOT the permalink of the blog post that uses the "link" post
> format!

I've seen this, too ... but in a few specific cases I think it's actually
been well done and I'm a proponent of the practice.  That said, the
majority doesn't fit those "few specific cases ..."

> This approach violates all the experience we have become familiar with in
> blogs and especially RSS feeds, and can be very confusing when someone sees
> a link from an RSS feed, clicks the link expecting to be taken to the blog
> and gets taken elsewhere instead. Where it is especially confusing (and
> time wasting) is when the user (i.e. me) clicks the link and then switches
> tasks with plans to read the post later in the day while the blog post
> loads in the background. But then when I later view my open tabs in my
> browser I see a page from a web site that I think is just spam so I close
> it only to later in the day see the RSS feed again and think "Hmm, I never
> saw that" so I click again, and sometimes task switch after which the cycle
> continues.

If a link-formatted post is really just a link, I think it's fine.  The
post itself is really just a reference to an external site with a brief
description.  In my RSS reader I'll see the link title and the brief
description ... when I click on it, I expect to see more information.  Just
taking me to the blog post that's exactly the same thing - the link title
and brief description - with maybe a "continue reading" link at the bottom
that actually goes out to the external site adds a step.

Yes, it might be confusing to click a link and switch tasks only to come
back and see a foreign looking blog.  But I find that less annoying than
reading a description, clicking a link, and then being presented with the
exactly same description and being forced to click again.

To me, that's kind of like seeing "Click here to read a great post" ...
clicking it ... then seeing "Are you sure?  Then click here again to read
that really great post"

But if a link-formatted post is really a *post* things are a bit different.
 Some "link" posts (like the one you linked to in your PS) are really blog
posts that reference external content.  They still have the same features
we expect with blog posts - they have their own permalinks, their own
comments, their own social sharing icons, etc.  That's where things break
down, because the link post itself provides content above and beyond "this
is cool, click here."

So if you're allowing comments on your link-formatted posts, or engaging
readers in any way that requires them to use a direct link to that post
from an RSS feed, then I would 100% agree with Mike that you're doing it

But if your link posts are really just bookmarks to external content that
you wish to share with your readers, then carry on, because you're doing it

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