The evolution of’s homepage strategy – more importantly, does a nice design negatively impact traffic?

I first heard Rob Curley talk about this issue at SND ’08 in Vegas, when they were just starting to A/B test the ugly list of stories to see what it would do for traffic numbers. Take a look at this progress report to find out how the Sun’s homepage strategy has evolved.

The evolution of’s homepage strategy – more importantly, does a nice design negatively impact traffic?

Catch up or get left behind

I’ve been a nomad for a few days in the middle of a short-by-my-standards 300+ mile move from the suburbs of Rochester, NY to the suburbs of Washington D.C. and boy are my legs tired.

But I’m catching up on my reading, and found a few things to share with you on the theme of catching up…

VIDEO: Investing in Your Staff
CoPress on Vimeo | September 2, 2009
The latest excellent video presentation from CoPress, making a case for innovation in your news organization.

2010 Knight News Challenge is now open for business
“Got a great idea for transforming the future of news? The 2010 Knight News Challenge is now accepting applications, through October 15th!”

The future of news in 4 dimensions: Charting new kinds of news orgs
Nieman Journalism Lab | September 1, 2009
C.W. Anderson builds the sort of continuum/quadrant chart that makes the mass communications scholar in me go all smiley.

brianboyer: If you’re a Tribune reader, this’ll make it nicer. RT @ryanmark: Update to userstyle
Twitter | September 2, 2009
If you understand what these two Chicago Tribune developers are up to here (providing savvy online readers with an incrementally improved stylesheet for the recent redesign long before the changes get built into the live site’s code), then you’ll understand why I think it’s pretty cool of them.

Five concrete steps to improving the news | September 1, 2009
Matt Thompson follows up his post about what goes missing from most news stories with a few suggestions for how to roll out a contextual approach to a news story. I like #4, which includes this idea: “Keep a public list of the most important things you don’t know about your topic.”

New report: How to build a user community online
Mark Briggs of Journalism 2.0 and his team at Serra Media put together this great report on community management.

Young Families are the Real Early Adopters
Mash this market research up with the right Pew report, and you’ll have a good idea of how to deliver the news to an audience that is the most likely to want it.

mattwaite: Today, we launched Home Team, a local high school sports site: And I now I need to sleep for a month.
Twitter | September 2, 2009
Matt and company at the St. Petersburg Times demonstrating what a solid Web framework and some experience can help you get done in a short span of time. More details in the tweets that followed this one.

Lifestreaming: Newspaper Uses Posterous to Solicit and Publish Reader Photos
The Steve Rubel Lifestream | August 30, 2009
Did you spot the Austin American-Statesman using Posterous to collect reader photos last week?

So, are you caught up?

If Posterous, Django, market research, community management, contextual news, CSS, the Knight News Challenge, and CoPress are all alien objects to you, pick any one and get up to speed.

Catch up or get left behind.