Exploring blog archives with interactive visualization
Browsing a blog archive is currently not well supported. Users cannot gain an overview of a blog easily, nor do they receive adequate support for finding potentially interesting entries in the blog. To overcome these problems, we developed a visualization tool that offers a new way to browse a blog archive. The main design principles of the tool are twofold. First, a blog should provide a rich overview to help users reason about the blog at a glance. Second, a blog should utilize social interaction history preserved in the archive to ease exploration and navigation. The tool was evaluated using a tool-specific questionnaire and the Questionnaire for User Interaction Satisfaction. Responses from the participants confirmed the utility of the design principles: the user satisfaction was high, supported by a low error rate in the given tasks. Qualitative feedback revealed that the decision to select which entry to read was multidimensional, involving factors such as the topic, the posting time, the length, and the number of comments on an entry. We discuss the implications of these findings for the design of navigational support for blogs, in particular to facilitate exploratory tasks.