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Usable Archives - A Pipe Dream?

This post has been archived. It's probably out of date or shameful in some other way.

One thing you'll notice reading almost any blog (or site running blog-like software) is that articles and posts vanish quickly. For some sites, it is a matter of days - for others months. The end result is the same - after a period of time, good posts vanish into the ubiquitous "site archive" - where posts go to die, often never to be read again.

Some sites have started to use a footer linking to popular posts, or author's choice posts. This is a reasonable solution, however is not ideal. An ideal solution would be to create a system that allowed for easy site navigation - to make it extremely simple for a user to find things they might be interested. I'm not interested in re-inventing site navigation, but I am interested in your opinion as a website user.

What works for you? Date-based archives? Topic-based archives? Tag-based navigation? If so, have you found any sites where these types of navigation made it easy for you to find interesting articles or posts? Are there any other options? Do you use site search engines where available? How do you use them? Are there sites that don't work? Do you ever move beyond the latest post in your feed reader?

There are a million questions I could ask, but I guess if I had to sum them up in one go, I would ask - how do you like to find interesting things to read on a site?