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Cornstalks

How's that news feed workin' for ya?


13 posts in this topic

I know this was a heavily debated topic awhile back, but I thought it might be good to go back and look at it again now that the dust has settled a bit. To be honest, the way the current news feed on the front page works is useless to me. All of the topics have 1 like (except for one, which has 2, but it's not even at the top), and there seems to be no type of order or anything. I used to use the news feed on the old GDNet, but this new one is a useless RSS feed to me. My suggestions:

[list=1][*]Make things have topics (or tags) & color coded. i.e. "postmortem", "industry", "APIs/Libraries", "Game Review", etc, etc. Ok, these aren't very good tags I've suggested, they're just the ones that came to the top of my head. But hopefully you get the idea. Right now it's just a randomly sorted mess. If things were tagged, I could then choose the things that I'm interested in (I like postmortems usually, but I don't really care much for industry news (i.e. studios opening/closing)).[*]Realize the big "like" button isn't working that well. Sure, a few people click it. It's big, it's prominent, I see it, and I don't want to click it. Sorry, I don't have a useful suggestion for this one, but it something to consider.[*]Bring in the GDNet touch. Ok, so I know GDNet is super understaffed and all and our wonderful staff are working very hard (thank you guys! (and girls)), but the current news feed feels like a cold robot. Remember the good old days when Trent's 6 year old mind would make me laugh, Tiffany's opinions would make me nod my head, and Drew's links would make me click like crazy, etc? I'm not saying you have to go back to exactly how it was. I know that won't work with how things are. But I'm talking about bringing in the GDNet touch again. Making it feel more personal and alive, and not so much like a cold robot. Brainstorming time?[*]Do you want me to use the news feed? Cause it's kinda not on the screen at all when I load the main page. I have to scroll down an *entire* screen's worth to see it. My suggestion? Simplify the front page. I know, there's lots of awesome things about GDNet we all love and we want to be able to access it all from the front page, but... the current layout ain't workin for me. Sacrifice something, cut down on the large amount of screen space each "box" takes up... heck, even consider not using "boxes"... or "round squares"... or whatever the heck it is they're called. Or allow me to rearrange the "boxes" and close certain ones so they don't display... you know, customize my front page. Wasn't that the original plan anyway?[/list]
Well that's what I have off the top of my head. What are your thoughts?

P.S. No, I'm not trying to resurrect something. What I'm trying to do is review things now that we've gotten a little more settled and can see better what is and what isn't working.
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I do agree about a few things. It would be nice if things on the news feed were chronological - new stuff at the top, unless it's been 'liked' a bunch. Maybe each 'like' could bump it up a few notches? The other thing that bugs me, and maybe this is just a Chrome thing, is that middle clicking to open a new news article in a new tab instantly snaps me to that new tab. I like going through and opening all the tabs, then looking at them.
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I think the best solution is going to ultimately be some type of hybrid between industry news and our own posts. The news still needs work and we'll get there.. that's our goal the second half of the year, is to really buckle down on improving our content areas. Right now it doesn't take much to get news into the top 7 days view.

I agree though about the front page.. I'd like to see it trimmed down a bit more where we can.
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I picked never, but I never went to the front page/news feed on the old site either so I'm not the ideal example.
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Stickified. Since this is actually a recently renewed discussion amongst the senior staff as well best to funnel feedback in here. If it dies down I'll unsticky and move it over to the CSI forum.

I'd love to bring the Dailies back. Things were getting a bit rough for the Daily editors towards the transition of the news system though, there were a lot more missed days than usual and people were having trouble finding time to compose them, including myself. Trent, for example, had to bow out even before the news switch.

Given our largely-volunteer support base, it made sense for us to recruit all you community members on a wider scale to help us with something like filtering news - but in the process we definitely completely lost the whole personal side of things that we always had even in the old days when we had just a news stream of submitted stories - but a news stream that was vetted by editors before posts appeared.

We'll definitely be looking at striking some sort of balance now that we've gone too far in the opposite direction (IMO). Not just in terms of how we deliver news, but what type of news we deliver. For example I would go for cutting out all industry business-type stories altogether and simply focus on new dev tools, processes, updates, releases. Bringing back the Dailies and their editorial style could be the one window into the whole industry each day, the rest would all just be the latest products, tech and methodologies - not Company X buying Company Y or Company A using Technology B...
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[quote name='MikeTacular' timestamp='1313185111' post='4848423']
I know this was a heavily debated topic awhile back, but I thought it might be good to go back and look at it again now that the dust has settled a bit. To be honest, the way the current news feed on the front page works is useless to me. All of the topics have 1 like (except for one, which has 2, but it's not even at the top), and there seems to be no type of order or anything. I used to use the news feed on the old GDNet, but this new one is a useless RSS feed to me. My suggestions:

[list=1][*]Make things have topics (or tags) & color coded. i.e. "postmortem", "industry", "APIs/Libraries", "Game Review", etc, etc. Ok, these aren't very good tags I've suggested, they're just the ones that came to the top of my head. But hopefully you get the idea. Right now it's just a randomly sorted mess. If things were tagged, I could then choose the things that I'm interested in (I like postmortems usually, but I don't really care much for industry news (i.e. studios opening/closing)).[*]Realize the big "like" button isn't working that well. Sure, a few people click it. It's big, it's prominent, I see it, and I don't want to click it. Sorry, I don't have a useful suggestion for this one, but it something to consider.[*]Bring in the GDNet touch. Ok, so I know GDNet is super understaffed and all and our wonderful staff are working very hard (thank you guys! (and girls)), but the current news feed feels like a cold robot. Remember the good old days when Trent's 6 year old mind would make me laugh, Tiffany's opinions would make me nod my head, and Drew's links would make me click like crazy, etc? I'm not saying you have to go back to exactly how it was. I know that won't work with how things are. But I'm talking about bringing in the GDNet touch again. Making it feel more personal and alive, and not so much like a cold robot. Brainstorming time?[*]Do you want me to use the news feed? Cause it's kinda not on the screen at all when I load the main page. I have to scroll down an *entire* screen's worth to see it. My suggestion? Simplify the front page. I know, there's lots of awesome things about GDNet we all love and we want to be able to access it all from the front page, but... the current layout ain't workin for me. Sacrifice something, cut down on the large amount of screen space each "box" takes up... heck, even consider not using "boxes"... or "round squares"... or whatever the heck it is they're called. Or allow me to rearrange the "boxes" and close certain ones so they don't display... you know, customize my front page. Wasn't that the original plan anyway?[/list]
Well that's what I have off the top of my head. What are your thoughts?

P.S. No, I'm not trying to resurrect something. What I'm trying to do is review things now that we've gotten a little more settled and can see better what is and what isn't working.
[/quote]

This is exactly what ran through my mind when I heard about this topic. I *used* to go to this site two times a day (morning, night) to read up on the latest news.

And you're right, the way the news was presented made me open 4 or 5 links because it was all very entertaining and I wanted to know more. It was more of a summary telling me what I should be interested in.
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I have to agree with the general sentiment so far. I loved the old dailies, and read every one since Trent started them. Like people have said, it was the human touch that made it worth reading. The current format is a bit cold, and the liking system doesn't seem to be working very well.

That said, the biggest value on gdnet has always been the community, and I guess the staff need to make a judgment on whether the benefits of bringing back the old style (or something similar) are worth the large amount of time it would undoubtedly take.
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[quote name='Gaiiden' timestamp='1313433346' post='4849486']
Not just in terms of how we deliver news, but what type of news we deliver. For example I would go for cutting out all industry business-type stories altogether and simply focus on new dev tools, processes, updates, releases. Bringing back the Dailies and their editorial style could be the one window into the whole industry each day, the rest would all just be the latest products, tech and methodologies - not Company X buying Company Y or Company A using Technology B...[/quote]
Sounds pretty good to me, I've pretty much no interest in the overwhelming majority of those business-type stories, or of game reviews that don't include a design analysis or post-mortem for that matter, and whilst I can't speak for your entire audience I would [i]suspect[/i] that as [i]developers[/i] the majority would have a similar opinion; we're interested in new technologies, different approaches to development, what went wrong during project-X, etc. -- we don't (for the most part) care that Zygna bought out yet another small unknown developer.


The site also has an audience that is generally pretty technically proficient -- we don't need or want you to build a feed of news from other sources, because if we're interested in news from any given source we probably [i]already have it included in our own feed[/i].
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[quote name='jbadams' timestamp='1313718355' post='4851026']
The site also has an audience that is generally pretty technically proficient -- we don't need or want you to build a feed of news from other sources, because if we're interested in news from any given source we probably [i]already have it included in our own feed[/i].
[/quote]

By we though do you mean all people who have taken the time to aggregate their own feeds? I'm not certain every viewer does the same thing with news that you are doing though.

This view (which is the default) doesn't suffer from a lot of the problems that were suggested.. but the variety of news isn't their either since Gamasutra stories seem to be dominant.
http://www.gamedev.net/?vm=t7
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Personally I chose occasionally because there are tidbits that do catch my eye, and I eventually get caught in a scrollfest much like I find myself doing when I visit say slashdot for instance.

I'm not sure if it's just the layout change but it seems there are more actual news items now than before, which I assumed was the result of utilizing some automated system of sorts. Whether or not this is the case I do feel that I'm being offered more game dev related news than before, and it's nice to see it compressed so elegantly and uniformly, being the perfectionist/minimalist that I am. I was only disappointed that the old IOTD wasn't transferred over to the new database, but it was a relief to see that an archive of such antiquities is being kept online.

All-in-all I'm just glad gamedev exists after all these years because of the forums, which is where I spend most of my time here.
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Something I've been thinking about would be to keep the news stream the way it is but add a new option to the pull down menu that lets you choose how to view it. This new option would be "Editor Selections" or something like that and what you will get is a date-ordered listing of posts that have either been submitted directly to the system by news editors or other people (and approved by editors), or pulled from the larger feed when it is "Liked" by an editor. Voting on items would still be available in this stream however it would have no effect in this particular feed itself other than to let the editors see what people are interested in. However for others viewing the more general streams it would have the normal effect of bumping the news item higher in visibility.

Basically, it's the old news stream within the new news stream.
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