One comment that popped up a few times is: "Wait.. this looks like my google reader, why would I want GameDev.net to look like something I already have? That's not what I want." Understood, and certainly a valid point. GameDev.net news is akin to an aggregated RSS news feed owned by the community. For those who don't have their own news aggregator, you can just use ours. Our moderators are still going to vote on news feeds for you to promote the best ones, but you also have that capability as well.
Another common question relates to the size of the "Like" buttons. The simple reason for this implementation comes down to UI design. Increasing the prominence of a UI element increases it's visibility. We want and need you guys to vote up (or down) stories that you think are interesting and cut out the ones that aren't interesting. If we do this together as a community we can start pulling in even more news from non-mainstream sites. With some time this could really be something great.
Here is a list of just a few of the changes we have implemented since last week:
- Added a duplicate checker that will now take similar stories and start to group them in single articles so you can get a broader view of the same news story in one place
- Updated the front page view so you see the "Top News in 7 Days" view instead of all the newest news - After one week has passed you're going to see the news rotating pretty consistently - This will give the site a more stable feel and give people time to comment if they want
- Modified the green thumbs up to be a blue color to match our site look better - Thanks "Servant of the Lord"
- Dropped the "Read More" link and left the comments link instead so users can comment on individual news items
- Removed a number of feeds that weren't producing very popular news items
- Decreased the number of posts that appear on one page from 25 to 15
Right now we are trying to streamline our site and make it more industry relevant.. so you are going to see a different Gamedev.net as time goes on where content has to be easier to create and moderate. It became pretty clear that making people jump through a lot of hoops to do things like create an article will never yield as good of a result as letting people have their own blogs and just picking out the ones that look good. The rate of journal entries far exceeds the rate of article submissions. This is why you are seeing so many paid articles on the front page - because people are posting journal entries as articles and not submitting other articles. In the past we relied heavily on volunteers to write for the site, but so many easier paths to being a writer have appeared that it's time for us to rethink how we present articles - and we are doing that now. But back to the news..
Ultimately our hope is to get to a point with news that we can begin to create areas of the site that are much more current in providing information to you. So if we had an XNA "hub" of sorts you'd get XNA related news, articles, etc. from around the net without having to wait for users here to come up with the original content. Then we can use our forums and blogs here as a way for people to locally discuss the content area. The Gamedev.net site should be geared towards your interests - and the site frontpage is going to become that.
Your comments are greatly appreciated and will help us continue to shape the direction of the site.