I suggest to take a true marketing approach.
1) Identify niche in the market and quantify market opportunity.
2) Identify target audience for the market opportunity indentified in step 1.
3) Identify requirements from the target audience with regards to the market niche. Start communication planning (see below).
4) Create a product specification that meets the requirements identified in step 3. This should also include cost estimates (for implementation and marketing) as well as a price plans (for end consumers purchasing the product).
5) Build dummy product from specifications.
6) Collect feedback from target group (focus groups, closed tests, public tests) on product and pricing. Once the majority of your target audience is happy, go to step 8.
7) Refine product specs, dummy, and/or pricing based on feedback. Go to step 6.
8) Launch product.
9) Fine tune product and pricing based on real customer feedback. If unsure how changes will be accepted, repeat steps 3 to 8 also for product updates.
In parallel you should also create the communication strategy, typically starting once you have identified the requirements of the target group (step 3 above). At that time you will know WHO you will address and WHAT they want. So you can begin drafting a communication strategy for these guys: which media, which tools, which basic messages. Then, once the first product specs are available, you can create the detailed messages and visuals. Of course, this needs to be closely aligned with the product marketing folks, otherwise you might end up promoting features that are not available or described incorrectly. Typical goal is to have the communication ready shortly before product launch.
That's how I would approach this.
It is not very efficient to throw spaghetti at the wall hoping that some of them might stick and still be useful and wanted. This, in fact, might create more damage than leaving the product untouched.
The addition of tweet and facebook buttons in all the posts on the frontpage is seriously bugging down the display of the page. It's slow and I get one of those "Do you want to stop the running script?" error after a while. I use the latest Firefox on Windows XP.
The usually fast, simple and sober layout of this site with few ads is one of its greatest quality! It keeps the children away and is an oasis for the educated crowd. I really don't think there is a need for all those buttons on the homepage.
|It's slow and I get one of those "Do you want to stop the running script?" error after a while. I use the latest Firefox on Windows XP. |
I don't see that, then again, I run NoScript and do not allow twitter.com... the fb side is not conflicting (yes, I FB about once a week)...
That said, I've switched my entry page from homepage to recent posts... Too many (LONG) "snippets" which makes scrolling PAST the left menu a bit of PITA.
After investigating, the script error is given by Firebug that is overloading, a popular Firefox extension for developers. Still, that makes the homepage unusable for me now.
FF on Linux w/out Firebug works at light speed
The facebook "like" button translates to "vind ik leuk" in my country which doesn't fit in the button currently used.
How come you can say WTF W-T-F without the hyphens but we can't!? Not Fair! LOL
WTF? Correction, we can say WTF now? WhenTF did that happen? Cool.
I think images add an little life to the homepage. I like the idea. Perhaps the placement, sizing and integration needs some tweaking. It all looks a little random.
I also like to read the first paragraph on the homepage. Nice to get an idea of what a thread is about before clicking.
My only gripe is the slow loading of the social buttons. The page loads very slow and seems jumpy now on my iPhone. Perhaps a user setting option to turn off since some of us don't use those social features when reading threads?
I'm sorry Brett! I can't stand the slow loading homepage anymore! I can't even scroll down to the category I want without it skipping and jumping due to the slow loading tweet and FB buttons. Takes about 10-15 seconds for it to completely load all those darn buttons. Then I end up clicking the wrong category because the page jumps just at I'm about to click. Frustrating!
I'll stop back in a few months to see if things have improved. I know these things take time to workout.
There is a problem with the "like it" buttons on the homepage. They are set at a width of 75px, which is enough for "Like it" but for me the buttons are displayed in german and in german it reads "gefällt mir" but on the homepage I only see "gefällt m" So 75px is not enough for all languages.
Is it possible to cache the like it buttons? They seem to slow down the homepage quite a bit.
Sweet no more social buttons on the homepage, it's back to its fast loading self! Now I can use it again as my default home page.
Damn, spoke too soon, they're back again. I'm testing in Firefox safe mode right now (no add-ons or toolbars) and it's faster... but they still slow things down somewhat.
@koan... still on dial-up? Reason why I ask, this page does load up a bit faster than all the other bells and whistle pages on the web these days. At least for me...
|Damn, spoke too soon, they're back again |
I was about to post the same thing... =) I saw they were gone, and the page was loading fast again (yeah!), then they came back. I end up leaving the page before it loads it takes so long. Sorry I just get impatient.
I'm on high-speed, but I use Firefox, so perhaps that is the problem. If you guys can make it optional that would be cool.
I find it a bit ironic because speed of page display is a bit of a signature trait for this site. The forum engine is old fashioned but it's faster than most other forums out there with more perks. Yet now the homepage is the slowest of them all for me. But I realize I seem to be in the minority.
Me too koan. I run Firefox and the homepage is tediously slow. Today I wanted to re-visit the Matt Cutts thread on scraper algo changes. I knew it was about half way down the page on the homepage, but I could not get to it. My browser would not let me scroll down until the little social buttons calculated and displayed...
Not to knock the site, but I do visit much less than I use to. The speed was always something I enjoyed. I could jump and check a few threads and jump out very fast. Now it is painful to navigate around to the point where I really don't want to come back that often.
I do come back, just not as much.
...if you really want pictures why dont you do it like slashdot, they are all the same size and have the same look and feel, right now it looks as if half of the images are screenshot, or someone quickly made a search on google images and downloaded the first available...
koan & maximillianos - the twitter/facebook button slowness for me was computer not connection. I'm on the slowest connection known to man, but just changed computers from a 5 year old XP to a new i5 running windows 7 and there's no problem with speed on the homepage any more.
On the old rig Firefox would misbehave sometimes (from 3.0 onwards) often hanging when visiting flash ad laden pages. Do you get that too? It's more than the 4 times speed improvement that the extra processors would gibe me - as soon as the page appears I can scroll right down where previously the buttons caused a 10 second delay.
I'm on Firefox 3.6 and it is slow as molasses. Here is what I have to do when I visit the site:
1. Homepage starts to load - I have to quickly click the "stop" button in my browser to try and stop the buttons from starting to load.
2. If I'm quick enough I can stop them and then scroll down to the section I want to visit.
3. If I'm not fast enough, the stop button on my browser doesn't even stop them as many have already started and I have to click it a few more times to get the page to stop jumping around.
On my phone (iPhone - Safari) it is 10 times worse. I can't tell you how many times I've ended up in Sitemaps when I am trying to click on the Adsense forum.... it just jumps at the last second as I'm touching the link... those damn buttons.
Anyway. Apparently I'm a minority so I won't complain about it any more. I do visit much less because of it though.
It use to be a joy to visit the site and have it load faster than any site on the web. Now it just makes me frustrated and mad... which no needs more of in their life with this whole Panda mess. =)
I was actualy looking for this thread. Wanted to post this before.
Same as in KOANs first post. IE7(2 different machines - both Intel I7 +++), addded time is about 7 seconds on the avarage. FF3+ is slightly faster.
Also for some reason, same in IE, when I click a BackButton, fist the FB IFRAME goes back, then if BackButton clicked again(only then) I get the hell back to where I was. I don't like being tracked by Tweeter or FB, is there a way to turn this off.
----scraper beacons? ----
Looks like it.....
For Firefox users, I've found that certain plugins seem to cause the page to load especially slow. When I deactivated Firebug for this web site, the home page seemed to load faster for me.
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