Linked by David Adams on Tue 12th May 2009 16:43 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes As you may know, the global economic depression has hit the media hard, due in large part to the fact that ad rates are in the toilet. OSNews is in the same boat. Despite the fact that we still have good advertisers, our income from advertising this year will only be a fraction of what it was last year. We probably won't make enough to cover our costs. Other news sites, as they've seen revenue decrease, have responded with more, and more intrusive, advertising. We don' t want to do that. We feel we have a covenant with our readers. If you'll be respectful of our need to run ads, we'll be respectful of your need to read the site without having ads shoved down your throat. Please read on, for more discussion of our ad "covenant," and a plea for help, including a plea to all Adblock users to please unblock OSNews.
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RE[5]: How much do you need?
by averycfay on Tue 12th May 2009 21:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: How much do you need?"
Member since:

I guess you're arguing that defaults don't matter?

I mean, it shouldn't be surprising that front page articles get way more attention than page 2 articles. For most visitors, page 2 is a list of links like a blogroll or something that a lot of people just filter out.

I guess what bugs me about the split though is that the distinction that you're using (read more content) is really not a very good one. Just now, Thom posted about the new minor release of Mac OS X 10.5. Now, there's nothing wrong with that; it's most definitely OS news. But... it's really not the most interesting article. It's a minor release with a few bug fixes. Almost any article in page 2 right now is more interesting and would lead to more discussion.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that putting 10.5.7 on the front page because Thom summarized the changes is dumb when you have so much more interesting content in page 2 that no one ever goes to.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:

I guess what I'm trying to say is that putting 10.5.7 on the front page because Thom summarized the changes is dumb when you have so much more interesting content in page 2 that no one ever goes to.

Our figures beg to differ. Page 2 items aren't getting that many less pageviews than page 1 items. It used to be they got less, surely, when it was all new. But as time progresses, and people get used to page 2, the differences in page views start to disappear. Most of our readers come in via RSS anyway, and they don't even encounter the difference between 1/2.

The problem with the term "interesting" is that it's subjective, and a completely pointless characteristic. To a Mac user, the release of 10.5.7 is interesting and front-page worthy - for someone without a Mac, it is not, and they'd rather have it on page 2.

We decided to set a very simple divide: long vs. short. OSNews is an open site, so if you want certain items on the front page, feel free to help us out and submit long items! It's really that simple.

What the few people (trust me, you guys make up less than 0.1% of our readers) complaining about page 2 don't realise, is that OSNews is going through a transition, which we announced earlier:

We are transitioning from a single editor site to a multiple editor site. Our dream is to have multiple editors producing multiple long items every day.

I'm trying my very best to get as many different topics covered with long items, but sadly, I'm simply not knowledgeable enough to cover every subject in an in-depth fashion.

So, to prevent lots of stuff from not being covered, we made sure we could still publish "old style" short items, and we have done so in a way that they are STILL on the frontpage. To further improve things, I came up with the tabbed design we feature now, so that you can even have page 2 items in all their glory.

Our current setup is not "done", we are working towards a larger goal. I have a vision of where OSNews needs to go, and I've gotten all the team members' noses to point in the same direction. The changes we underwent since the start of this year have re-invigorated OSNews on almost every level - from number of visitors, to number of comments, to comment quality, to story quality, to number of items, and to actual site features.

Not everyone might see the progress we've made, but please bear with us. We are not just throwing things around or making arbitrary changes - it's all part of a very carefully crafted and thoroughly debated plan.

And we're ahead of schedule, and I'm proud of that.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: How much do you need?
by Adam S on Tue 12th May 2009 23:06 in reply to "RE[5]: How much do you need?"
Adam S Member since:

I'm confused: are you arguing that the method of splitting page 1/page 2 is wrong or that the author's categorization is wrong? You can't say the distinction (the default) is the problem and then say that Thom has categorized the items wrong, because those two things are contradictory.

...maybe you're just saying we're wrong, regardless of reasons?

Reply Parent Score: 1