One core mechanic lacking in modern blogging: knowing who is reading your work.
With an email newsletter, the writer has reasonable confidence their work is delivered to a known audience. With a blog, the best the writer has are comments and Twitter, both which are totally broken.
There should be better tools for the writer to publish to a specific audience (say, <50 people), for the audience to receive the work through their preferred means (e.g. email at the end of the day vs. RSS), and for both to engage in a productive dialogue that evolves over time.
Oh, and one more important piece: a “Start Here” point of entry for those new to the conversation, so they can painlessly get up to speed.
WC Publishers Call for Speakers. This year’s theme: taking back the open web. Want to apply but don’t know your session title and description? We’re happy help you with a round of feedback.
Email newsletters are some of the best content being produced by media companies right now. It's amazing what's possible when incentives are aligned (growing subscribership vs. driving pageviews).
Happy to report that Bylines has found a new home with PublishPress.
Bylines is a modern rewrite of Co-Authors Plus that I started last April. It hasn't been anywhere near my primary focus for quite a while, so I finally called a spade a spade and started looking for a new owner. Fortunately, it's a perfect fit for the developers behind PublishPress — I'm glad my customers ended up in good hands.
You can read more about the announcement on the Bylines website.
Infinite scroll on the index view and article view seems to be all the rage these days. TIME reports their bounce rate went down by 15 percentage points with their redesign. At some point in the discussion, AdOps will raise their hand and say “how can we get ads in the scroll experience?”
Short answer: with code! Because AdOps only wants to create a limited set of ad slots, and Google DFP slots can be used once per page, you’ll need to display the slot first, and reload it for each subsequent use.
The slots are added dynamically as the user scrolls. If a given slot has already been loaded once, then the next time we try to use it we actually pull the first instance over to our new slot, reload it, and add a placeholder for its old position so the page height doesn’t jump. We can use the same trick scrolling back up, simply replacing the placeholder with the refreshed ad.
Google’s documentation has a similar example that’s a good reference point for methods, etc. Pay attention to
googletag.refresh( unit ); and
unitInstance is what’s returned by
googletag.defineSlot(), so you’ll need to store that somewhere for later reference.
I look forward to hearing about the straightforward approach I missed…
Building a WordPress-powered web app. Fun read from Quartz’s Josh Kadis.
Where Tumblr Came From. Wonderful “making of” piece.