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?