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Old 08-24-2006, 04:54 AM   #1
oneandoneis2
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Articles


I actually had a little difficulty in finding an article that I myself had written recently. Although there's a lot of good stuff in there, it isn't really as publicised or easy-to-find as it could be.

Having the article heading visible from the front page, instead of having to click onto a category first, would improve things somewhat. Or what about having the most recent article headers in the sidebar on the right, so that more people see them?
 
Old 08-24-2006, 08:03 AM   #2
jeremy
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Did the article search not work for you? Is this an issue for other members? If so, it should be possible to add a "most recent articles" list somewhere (although it's not something I'd add to the nav). Getting exposure for the articles is definitely a priority for us, FWIW.

--jeremy
 
Old 08-24-2006, 08:44 AM   #3
oneandoneis2
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Search did work, but if the person who wrote an article can't find it without searching, then how much chance does somebody else stand?

It's an issue for at least one other member - J_K9 agreed with it when I mentioned it on a recent blog post..
 
Old 08-24-2006, 08:59 AM   #4
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Maybe it will help me if you explain what issue you're having finding articles. We designed it to be fairly easy to navigate, but there seems to be a disconnect somewhere. When you click the articles page, you get a list of categories. We made a very cognizant decision to keep the number of categories very low, so they were of broad interest and things would be simple (currently, there are 5). Once you click on a category, you are presented with a full list of articles in that category, sorted alphabetically by article title. That means every article is 2 clicks away from the main article page.

--jeremy
 
Old 08-24-2006, 09:26 AM   #5
oneandoneis2
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I think it's twofold: Articles get very little "screen estate" on a typical LQ page, so just don't get noticed - I know the main reason I haven't submitted many articles is purely that I tend to forget that there is such a thing.

And the second is that if I think "What interesting new articles have been added lately?", if I click on the "Articles" link I then have to navigate through each category in turn to get an answer to my question.

And those categories aren't always clear-cut: My most recent article was on adblocking. Now, that could be under "Advocacy" because it's kind of biased towards using Firefox; it could be under "Home use" because it's talking about surfing the web for fun; it could be under "Opinion" because it talks about the ethics of blocking ads; or it could be under "Technical" because it talks about how to adblock with extensions, with CSS, with Java & Flash diasabled, etc.

It's not that it's a difficult process to get to the articles. It's more that articles just don't give the impression of being an important, worthwhile part of the LQ site.
 
Old 08-24-2006, 09:48 AM   #6
vharishankar
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I think one of the fundamental problems of LQ is that the forums dominate and the other sections don't stand out clearly and have a distinct identity and hence remain obscure.

One of my suggestions would be to have a completely different look and feel for the other sections like articles and wiki of LQ to give them a better identity of their own and make them stand out. Part of the reason is more to do with the psychological aspects of navigational cues rather than any real problem with them.

Right now LQ means the forums - the other sections really need to be highlighted and stick out on their own. A good start would be giving them individual themes of their own rather than mimic the forum colours.

Sometimes a complex site like LQ needs to have a less "integrated" feel so that there are better visual navigational cues that make it easier to browse.

And yes, I support the idea of having a "main LQ portal" which has a unique theme and which then highlights each section clearly rather than just have the generic forum theme.

Last edited by vharishankar; 08-24-2006 at 09:51 AM.
 
Old 08-24-2006, 09:49 AM   #7
jeremy
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Thanks for the clarification, that's definitely a perception we'd like to change. I think adding a "recent articles" section to the main articles pages could definitely help here. We'll also add an RSS feed, so you can easily keep tabs on the latest articles. I'm open to additional ideas on how to promote the articles and also LinuxAnswers (tutorials) section. Also, don't forget that if you see an article that you think is interesting, submitting it to LinuxToday/LXer/Digg/whatever will really help it get some additional exposure. Thanks for the feedback.

--jeremy
 
Old 08-24-2006, 09:54 AM   #8
jeremy
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The wiki does have a completely distinct look, and is actually a separate site with unique users logins. The articles section (and other non-forum) parts of LQ itself are purposely integrated into the main site look and feel. It's not that they look like the forums, it's that all portions of the main site are integrated by design. Having them all be disjointed would further serve to confuse, IMHO. While I'd agree that at one time, LQ did mean "forums" - I don't think that's the case anymore. The forums certainly dominate from a traffic perspective, but some other sections do get quite significant traffic. If anyone has any ideas on how we can better promote the additional sections of LQ, I'd be interested in hearing them.

--jeremy
 
Old 08-24-2006, 09:59 AM   #9
vharishankar
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What about a portal pulling in the latest content from all the sections? I mean, a genuine one, not a generic-looking one like we have now?
 
Old 08-24-2006, 10:15 AM   #10
oneandoneis2
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Quote:
I think adding a "recent articles" section to the main articles pages could definitely help here. We'll also add an RSS feed, so you can easily keep tabs on the latest articles.
Excellent, I shall look forward to it!

Quote:
I'm open to additional ideas on how to promote the articles and also LinuxAnswers (tutorials) section
Since there's already the four Tux penguins in the LQ logo at the top of the page, how about them being joined by a Tux for each of the subsections? It'd be a little more visible than the plain-text menus.

Or could the article "Discussion" posts get put in "General" instead of or as well as in their own dedicated forum? I don't know how many people visit the article discussion forum, but I know a lot of us look in on General from time to time.

Probably the RSS feed will do a lot by itself tho - I don't imagine I'm the only LQer who's addicted to RSS feeds
 
Old 08-24-2006, 12:50 PM   #11
J_K9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneandoneis2
Excellent, I shall look forward to it!
As will I! Those additional features will make it much easier to keep track of the latest articles - thanks, Jeremy

Another thing that would be useful is, instead of having categories for the Tutorials and Articles sections, use tags. Dominic's (oneandoneis2) example was a good one.
I also have a Nikto tutorial which I am thinking of submitting. However, I'm unsure of whether to put it in the Networking or Security section - it has to do with security because it shows you how to use Nikto to test your webserver's security, but it also relates to networking (for obvious reasons). If those sections used tags, I could tag my tutorial as both "Networking" and "Security", and so anyone looking for something like it would be able to find it in either section.

Just my

Cheers,

-jk
 
Old 08-24-2006, 06:48 PM   #12
J.W.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy
Once you click on a category, you are presented with a full list of articles in that category, sorted alphabetically by article title.
From a slightly different angle, would it be possible to permit the user to choose from a small menu of sorting options? In other words, rather than to statically sort by alpha, let the user choose to sort by alpha, or by date, or by author, etc. That to me would be the best of both worlds
 
Old 08-24-2006, 06:57 PM   #13
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I confess that I rarely use the portal/homepage - I usually arrive to LQ through the emails, browse around the forums a bit, and leave. It's probably a good thing, since I do have a real life that needs attention sometimes- I used to spend a good deal more time on LQ than I do now.

I usually don't scroll past the first ad- I understand that LQ needs revenue, but it's really obnoxious, a square ad that takes up a lot of real-estate. A skinnier ad would be nicer, and let me see the first news item.

I like the idea of pulling the most recent content from the other subsites on to the homepage. It would increase visibility.

titanium_geek
 
Old 08-25-2006, 02:36 AM   #14
oneandoneis2
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There are ads?

I usually arrive via RSS, so again I tend to miss the portal bit. .
 
Old 08-25-2006, 03:23 AM   #15
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And AdBlock blocks all the ads at my end, so I don't see a single one - I didn't even know there were ads on this site!

Cheers Jeremy - I look forward to the new features!
 
  


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