Experimenting With Random Posts on My Homepage

Adam McFarland Random Post

One of the things that I’ve struggled with on my blog is that by nature the latest content is by far the most prominent. Sure I have my essays and the “most popular” on the sidebar, and there’s always categories, archives, and search, but those all tend to favor the same 10 most commented posts, or the most recent, or they require you to know what you’re looking for. There’s no easy way to expose people to some of the good posts with good discussion from years past.

I decided to try something new and have the third post on my homepage be a random post from the past. It’s completely random from the 462 (463 with this one I guess) posts that I have since moving my blog over from Blogger. For those who are curious, I used the query posts function in WordPress to start a second loop within the original, and then used the query parameters to select a single random post. At some point I may do some custom programming to work in those additional 296 posts from the early days.

If you have any other suggestions I’m all ears. A few times I’ve started writing a post only to realize that I already wrote the exact same thing a few years ago. I’m at the point where I’ve forgotten about half of the content myself!

2 comments on Experimenting With Random Posts on My Homepage

  1. Rob says:

    Looks interesting, I clicked it! Have you considered YARPP for putting related posts at the bottom of each post? I’ve written a template that uses timthumb to pull thumbnails from the posts too which I’ve found draws people in quite well.

    • Adam McFarland says:

      I have considered YARPP. I think that’s the next step. If I do it I may put it below the comments so it doesn’t interfere with or distract from the conversation. As you know, many times the comments are more interesting than the posts!

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