Articles on the Home Page

You may have noticed that the articles on our home page have varied in quantity and timing and I wanted to shed some light on what we’re doing.

The problem is that we don’t approve new articles evenly throughout the day…which means, if we are only displaying a fixed amount of 50 of the newest articles on the home page and we update hourly, if we approved 200 articles, 150 of them would never make it to the home page.

The solution our software team came up with is to base an average day of how many new articles are being approved and dividing that by 24 hours, taking into consideration weekend approvals at about half the week-day rate and this results in every article seeing the home page for about (1) hour.

This is a short term solution because of our quality focus: We’d rather only allow really good quality articles to make it to the home page (to serve as an example for everyone to see as the type of content we prefer to receive) and we don’t have any desire to have multiple hundreds of new articles on the home page due to slow load times (and our obsession on making sure the website loads fast).

The current solution is not perfect because our traffic patterns means those who make it on the home page from 6am to 9pm USA-time zones will see a higher level of traffic than those that make it to the home page during our night time (and the daytime of Australia through Europe).

If having articles on the home page didn’t mean as much as our members tell us frequently it means to them, we’d have gone to a quality only focus a long time ago, rather than trying to give equality to all articles approved daily.

Another solution we haven’t tried is moving to only allow Platinum-level authors to land on the home page and making the home page something Basic level authors can work their way up to.

Another even more complex but possible solution is to geo-release articles to the home page based on location of the author so that articles from India-based authors release during their prime business hours, and so forth.

Always open to your thoughts on this issue?

25 Comments »


1

Thanks for the clarification Chris,

If you were taking votes, this would be my #1 choice.
-Another solution we haven’t tried is moving to only allow Platinum-level authors to land on the home page and making the home page something Basic level authors can work their way up to.

This would be my #2 choice. -Another even more complex but possible solution is to geo-release articles to the home page based on location of the author so that articles from India-based authors release during their prime business hours, and so forth.

How does the rotation on the Aurthor Spotlight work?

Priscilla

Comment provided March 31, 2007 at 1:25 PM

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2

The author spotlight on the home page rotates any author who has at least 1 article live with us, their author photo is uploaded and they’ve added their author bio in the AUTHOR PROFILE.

This is subject to change as we’ve received a handful of complaints that an author isn’t worthy to be on our home page if they have less than a few dozen articles listed. For now, the way it is stands.

Comment provided March 31, 2007 at 3:36 PM

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3

I like the notion of having only those with platinum status on the home page. This accomplishes as least 2 important things:

1. The chances of the article being a great article as you desire Chris, and

2. Gives then new member another reason to get past “the elusive ten”

Comment provided March 31, 2007 at 10:42 PM

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4

Chris,

As you know from our previous communication, the real benefit I value from Platinum status, is the faster turnaround on publication.

However, this may well be another way to reward loyalty and commitment to EzineArticles and I would certainly support a move to make the home page a “Platinum Only” area – it would also go a long way towards solving your logistical issues, if, as you have suggested to me, that only about 15% of contributing authors have achieved the higher status.

My personal view, is that the Platinum status is set too low anyway. No doubt you have considered: bronze, silver and gold?

Platinum doesn’t adequately reward someone like Lance or even those who have posted north of 1000 pieces of work, as I am certain you will agree.

Jonathan

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 3:22 AM

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5

RE: “This is subject to change as we’ve received a handful of complaints that an author isn’t worthy to be on our home page if they have less than a few dozen articles listed.”

If I may – the promise of getting your Platinum Author Photo on the homepage is a nice incentive to write that tenth article… :)

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 6:52 AM

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6

The reason that we haven’t put Platinums on the home page only is because the QUALITY of every single Platinum article submission when added up and averaged against the quality of the BASIC level member submissions is not higher or even equal.

Said another way: Some Platinum authors are too efficient and submit marginal articles in high volumes and I’m not talking about Lance.

Basic level members, while not making the cut yet on volume, usually have a pretty high quality article level… They are only BASIC because they haven’t done the volume yet, not because their quality alone is low. If their quality is below standards or they are too promotional, they go into our BASIC PLUS level of membership for 25 or more submissions until we feel the quality is high enough for Platinum.

Complex issue…

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 9:41 AM

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7

Hmmm!!

“Said another way: Some Platinum authors are too efficient and submit marginal articles in high volumes and I’m not talking about Lance”

I have recognised a number of Platinum authors who are clearly sacrificing quality for quantity as part of their strategy, however, I would be interested to learn what “high volumes”equates to in hard numbers?

Complex issue indeed…

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 9:56 AM

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8
Thad Ferguson writes:

Hey Chris I am curious as to what “quality” would be defined as?
As for only platinum I dont care either way as like you I reconize that being on the front page does little for my target audience as long as my article gets accepted and my article is on a page that google and ezine visitors can find I am happy.
The front page I imagine is looked at mainly by other Authors and Publishers who are looking for articles on a wide range of subjects otherwise it would be easier to do a keyword search or category search.

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 12:26 PM

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9

Thad,

If you surf our home page today and view 10 articles randomly, I think it becomes very obvious as to which ones were HIGHER quality than the others.

Perhaps the biggest quality mistake that some authors make is to make their article look dull – visually, failing to include bullets, numbered lists, an occasional bold or italics and sub-heads.

BUT, To discuss what quality is would take this thread too far off topic, but I’m certain we’ll be discussing it more every month this year. :)

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 12:49 PM

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10

Chris,

At the risk of repeating myself, I am repeating myself!!

“I would be interested to learn what ‚¬“high volumes‚¬ equates to in hard numbers?

My perception is that you have always advocated “volume” and I can quote you on this – is this a change of strategy?

Jonathan

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 1:01 PM

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11

As a postscript:

If Platinum authors are submitting “lower quality work”, why are they Platinum authors?

Surely, you have to look at your grading system, you cannot have the best of both worlds – is it volume you want or quality? Are you brave enough to go for the latter? Do you have the resources who have the “commercial bandwidth” to judge the latter?

You posed the question and we responded – the simple answer lies with you – it’s your ball and you decide when we play. Democracy isn’t something you feign. The “monkey” is back with you Chris.

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 1:25 PM

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12

Jonathan,

QUALITY and VOLUME are BOTH important.

We do DOWNGRADE Platinum level authors when their quality dips too low and this year to date: 31 Platinum authors were downgraded to BASIC and 36 more were downgraded to BASIC PLUS. These are decisions that are done with great care and not on a whim.

The QUALITY bar rises every single month, as it should.

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 2:17 PM

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13
Thad Ferguson writes:

Perhaps a better strategy for your home page (since you feel you need one) would be to only allow Platinum members “Quality” articles on the home page.
That way you would have quality articles on the home page give basic memebers something to shoot for and an incentive for platinum memebers to write quality articles as well as consider it a reward for their quality written articles.
As for those who want to debate what quality marker would be it really wouldnt matter because they still would be getting their articles approved the Home Page would simply be reserved for the Best of the Best Articles

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 2:25 PM

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14

Chris,

I think you may have a problem with your “Caps lock key”? I am seeing an awful lot of “over emphasis”

The reality remains that you have always, until recently, been a quantity over quality” SITE, then we had “community”

My question to you is a simple one, that begs a direct answer: ” What do you do to encourage loyality after the submission of the first ten articles?”

The reality is, that your grading system is seriously flawed. There is no incentive to submit 100/200/300 or even 1000 articles, other than the fact, that at the moment, you attract the most visitors – that situation may not remain forever – complacency is a dangerous bedfellow.

I will, at the risk of boring myself,let alone anyone else, repeat my earlier question a third time:

At the risk of repeating myself, I am repeating myself!!

‚¬“I would be interested to learn what ‚¬“high volumes‚¬ equates to in hard numbers?

Jonathan

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 3:03 PM

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15

Jonathan,

Sorry, I don’t understand your last question.
Could you ask it in a different way?

We’ve never been a *quantity only* over quality site… You’d know immediately if we dropped the current quality thresholds that are in place.

I think you’re asking me to give you a number for how many articles = high volume, is that right? I don’t know why the answer is relevant to this discussion or if there is even a right answer?

To answer your question about what we do to encourage loyalty after 10, it ranges from investing significantly in servers, people and tools to keep the site up so that everyone who participates can get a return from their investment of time…to fast turn around on submissions or questions…to the things we don’t do that keeps the integrity of the site high enough to attract quality visitors daily –so that the cycle is completed and our expert authors get more exposure and traffic from their efforts.

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 3:21 PM

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16

Chris,

If you refer back to Post 6: “Said another way: Some Platinum authors are too efficient and submit marginal articles in high volumes and I’m not talking about Lance”

My question is quite simply: “What is your perception of high volumes?”

You made a statement, I was curious to understand on what basis you arrived at it?

You said:

” To answer your question about what we do to encourage loyalty after 10, it ranges from investing significantly in servers, people and tools to keep the site up so that everyone who participates can get a return from their investment of time!to fast turn around on submissions or questions!to the things we don’t do that keeps the integrity of the site high enough to attract quality visitors daily ‚¬€so that the cycle is completed and our expert authors get more exposure and traffic from their efforts.”

Precisely!! No differention whatsoever – you provide that service to all your contributing authors – there is no distinction. My point is obvious, I think? Where is the customer loyality initiative?

On EzineArticles, you write one article and you are an Expert – really? You write ten and you are a Platinum member, then what?

Clearly, you are appealing to the masses and as such, my assertion that you are concerned mainly with volume, holds true.

Jonathan

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 3:43 PM

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17
Thad Ferguson writes:

I think the bigger question Jonathan is what are you writing articles on EzineArticles.com for?
If the increase in traffic and exposure is not enough of an incentive for you to write more articles then what exactly is it that you are looking for?
I submit articles here for the potential traffic and exposure that it brings to my site which as a platinum memebr allows me to submit an article and in general have it up within 24 hours as a basic memeber it might take 3 or 4 days for it to be approved and that was when it wasnt as busy as they are now.
If you want to see no quality article submission sites they are out there and you can tell the difference.
It is also why EzineArticles is #1 if you have a suggestion for improving the benefits of being a platinum memeber then by all means go ahead.
To simply say that they arent doing anything and have nothing to back it up with is pointless and absurd

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 4:32 PM

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18
Thad Ferguson writes:

In regards to why EzineArticles is #1 it is because they do not accept low and no quality articles.
(I realize that my thoughts tend to flow into one another on here which in general is why I dont post as often as I would like)

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 4:39 PM

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19

Thad,

Your loyality is admirable – mine remains undi minished!

Chris and I may disagree on certain points from time to time and I will always test his resolve, particularly when it comes to issues that I have a strong opinions about.

However, never doubt my loyality to Ezine – if I were not such a fervent supporter, I would walk away rather than attempt to effect change and improvement.

Oh, and don’t apologise for your “thoughts”, just say it from the heart, we understand you.

Jonathan

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 4:53 PM

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20
Louie Latour writes:

Chris,

When a platinum author is downgraded to basic or basic plus are they reinstated to platinum after submitting the 25 articles?

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 6:37 PM

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21

Louie,

After they have submitted 25 more, their account goes into the Platinum upgrade decision queue. One of our editors reviews their history since the downgrade and make the upgrade decision accordingly.

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 6:56 PM

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22

All,

Thanks to this blog thread discussion, we came together yesterday internally to brainstorm solutions to our missing membership levels, disparities in quality from Platinum authors who have volume without very high quality, and other member-trust issues that needed to be addressed with a small change in our membership status levels.

In the coming week, I’ll be sharing what we came up with yesterday and will leave it open for comment so that you can tell us if we’re on the right track or not.

Platinum won’t be going away, but a new level above that will be introduced to recognize QUALITY original articles when combined with VOLUME… and I hope this will prove that we value BOTH, quality and volume instead of volume alone as some perceive.

More soon when we get a pretty graph done to illustrate the proposed membership status level changes…

Comment provided April 4, 2007 at 11:41 AM

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23

Sounds like a good plan Chris – I look forward to what you present tomorrow…………..and the pretty graphs….

Comment provided April 4, 2007 at 12:22 PM

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24

Attaboy!!

Comment provided April 4, 2007 at 1:14 PM

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25
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Comment provided August 17, 2013 at 7:14 PM

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