Arbital: better blogging

There are many ways in which Ar­bital makes for a bet­ter blog­ging plat­form than ex­ist­ing solu­tions. (By “blog­ging con­tent” we speci­fi­cally mean con­tent that’s owned by a user or a small group of users and is not pub­li­cly ed­itable.) If you’ve read through all Ar­bital fea­tures, you can prob­a­bly see why it’s the best choice, but here we’ll high­light a few key dis­tinc­tions.

Per­sis­tent relevance

SlateS­tarCodex has a great post an­a­lyz­ing some of the ev­i­dence for Vi­tamin D effi­cacy on bone health, can­cer, mor­tal­ity, and the like. Can you come up with a rea­son­able query, not di­rectly men­tion­ing SSC or the au­thor by name, to find that post on Google? (Make sure to en­able “hide pri­vate re­sults” op­tion if Google knows you are a SSC fan.) Prob­a­bly not eas­ily, if at all! This is a com­mon prob­lem with all blog posts: they fade away into ob­scu­rity the mo­ment they are gone from the front page, even while they con­tinue to be very rele­vant.

On Ar­bital, each blog post is em­bed­ded in Ar­bital web, so it’s con­nected to other pages via tags, links, and other kinds of re­la­tion­ships. This means when a reader browses Vi­tamin D and can­cer top­ics, they would see SSC’s blog post in the “Re­lated” sec­tion as long as the post re­mained rele­vant. There are some parts of Wikipe­dia that have been writ­ten over a decade ago, and yet are still read by mil­lions of peo­ple to­day be­cause the in­for­ma­tion is still up-to-date. Ar­bital can do that for great blog con­tent as well.


The gen­eral case is ex­plained thor­oughly here, but in the spe­cial case of blogs it be­comes even more rele­vant. A blog writer has to make tough as­sump­tions about what the reader knows or doesn’t know. Did the reader read all the pre­vi­ous blog posts? Or is this their first one? Do they un­der­stand math no­ta­tions? Do they have enough knowl­edge in statis­tics to un­der­stand why this crit­i­cal mis­take was made and how to avoid it? If the au­thor as­sumes the user to be ig­no­rant, they will end up with a very long post that will bore most peo­ple. If they as­sume the user to be highly knowl­edge­able, they will end up with a short, on-point post that will only be ac­cessible to a tiny minor­ity. Ar­bital al­lows them to write the post so it will dy­nam­i­cally change based on user’s cur­rent knowl­edge. Fur­ther­more, it al­lows them to cre­ate a whole graph of posts that log­i­cally build on each other or on ex­ist­ing Ar­bital con­tent.

And in case you were won­der­ing: yes, Ar­bital does have a blog!