As you may have noticed by now, we’ve introduced a little something called ‘page 2’ (look to your right). We added this feature because we felt we needed a way to ‘tier’ the news we publish on OSNews, because a regular (and valid) complaint has been that people felt that interesting, one-of-a-kind items were being drowned out by run-of-the-mill items like software releases, short distribution reviews, and so on. Read on for a little more insight into this one.
We’ve been toying with the idea of tiered news for a while now, because we get a lot of news submissions that we can’t publish due to space constraints, and our own fear of drowning out interesting items to less interesting ones. With page two, we have added the ability to display ten more stories on our website without them flooding the website.
As far as functionality goes, it’s fairly simple. In the OSNews backend we have little drop-down list attached to each story, where we can select either “front page” or “page 2”. Selecting page 2 will put the story in the page 2 box in the sidebar, but for the rest, the item will be exactly like any other item: it has the same layout, and the same commenting, moderating, and recommendation options.
We’re still working on perfecting the feature (for instance, I’m working on converting all our icons to 20x20pix black & white icons (instead of 32×32 colour) so that we can add those to the page 2 box for identification purposes. We’re opting for black and white so that they don’t jump out so much, visually. In case you’re wondering, page 2 is more or less a combination of MacRumors’ “Page 2 rumors” and Ars Technica’s Journal display.
For now, please bear with us as we try to find a proper balance between the front page and page 2 – the feature is new, so we need to adapt a little bit too. We hope this addresses most of the complaints regarding the drowning out of more unique news items.
To me it now looks that the “interesting, one-of-a-kind items” are relegated to the sidebar, displayed in smaller size (and title only), while “run-of-the-mill items” get the prominent placement in the center of the page, with introductory text, bigger icon on the side, etc. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
And am I the only one that is almost blind to the stuff in sidebars? Good thing these stories still show up in rss.