“The best on Megamind” or as a good idea to “kill” a promising site in a couple of months

    I am one of the loyal fans of Megamind, I really like this site, so I think a lot about how to make it better. This article is my second attempt, the first, in my opinion, has been very successful .

    imageNot much time has passed - in the region of the month since the Megamind administration made revolutionary changes, the main result of which was the introduction of a fair rating system. Today in the top lines of the list began to show off those who deserved it by right - the authors of interesting and informative articles published on this site.

    Megamind is a separate platform, but thanks to the banner “Best on Megamind” we can observe from GT and Habr that interesting things have appeared on this platform, and in one click make the transition to the material you like. Very comfortable right? Users often do not have time to browse the entire list, but it is very difficult to overcome the temptation to get to know the best materials. For authors, minus Megamind - while a small number of published articles - is becoming a big plus. By publishing an article on Megamind, it’s easier to find yourself in the “Popular for the day" section, which means that your creation will be in front of visitors of GT and Habr for a whole day, and in the "Best on Megamind" section! Is this not a reason to post your article here, because not only people who are interested in the business side of the issue will see it, but also a wide range of users from other sites? Great, isn't it?
    We look further - according to the “Popular in a day” window, “we have as many as 17 popular articles in a day, truly not a bad result! Especially taking into account the fact that summer Friday is not the best place to write an article, and in general today is the middle of July - the height of the holidays, in which any normal IT person thinks about the warm sea, the white sand beach away from our borders and problems. and suddenly next year only the North and the Arctic will remain accessible from the oceans ...

    The picture looks very kind to investors who invest in the resource, but is it attractive to companies leading paid blogs on the site? Just a few simple questions can break the idyll: Why did not one of the “popular for the day” articles by the end of the day even come close to the border of a thousand views?, in the afternoon of the next day, some approached the 2000 mark, but this is not too buzzing . Why were 13 articles published all day, and 17 popular in the day? Why was almost one half of the “articles” written by one author, why did the number of pluses that earned him publish very quickly and regardless of the time of publication reached the magic number six for the site, and then progress slowed down dramatically? Why do many “popular articles” consist of 5-6 paragraphs and are not burdened by design, graphics or too much meaning? And the main thing - if everything is so beautiful, why by hook or by crook both independent authors and corporate blogs are still trying to publish their materials exactly matching Megamind’s themes on Habré and even GT?
    Let's try to turn on your brain and deal with this in more detail, but at the same time take the risk of giving unsolicited advice to the administration of the resource. Yesterday's story of the transfer of hubs at neighboring sites and the reaction of the Habrasociety to it show that this is not superfluous. As always, I welcome the expression of your ideas regarding the arrangement of our favorite site and I will add the best ones to the text of the article, of course, indicating authorship. The result of the article will be a survey on which it will be possible to vote for proposals to improve the site.

    Is everything written is an article?

    Even a cursory analysis of the list of “Popular articles of the day” shows that out of 17 at least 9, and this is more than half, are not at all. Sorry, this is not an article. This is news, and, not differing in high quality of presentation. In addition, the overwhelming majority of them were written by the same person not participating in the user rating, and their content is 30-60 percent links to previous news on the same topic, posted on the same site, in most cases by the same person.


    It seems that there is nothing wrong with the fact that the resource is positioning itself as a “territory of developers" and publishes news from the IT world. Is not it? And it’s not the bloggers who are engaged in their publication, it’s mainly “people specially trained for this” who are professionals in their field. That's all right, but the question arises of how strong they are in this particular kind of creativity, because news is very specific content, which is not customary to mix up with analytics on serious and even very portals.

    What are the similarities between the “flies and cutlets” & “news and analytics” pairs? Both should not be mixed.

    Let's take a closer look at the bad practice of mixing news and copyright material:

    • News is often judged not by how well written it is, but by how important it is for the reader of the event itself. The consequence - it is profitable to publish sensational news first, albeit sacrificing quality, but collecting a large crop of pluses "for relevance."
    • For the above reason, the news is often "clogged" by the number of pluses good authoring articles. At the first stage of publication, articles against the background of rating news do not fall into the “best articles” section. The first hours of an article’s life are very important, because then it can simply get lost under the mass of the same news. The authors are upset when they see how their material, for the preparation of which they sometimes killed more than one day, disappears amid reprints from RBC or Vedomosti websites, and this is done in five minutes at best . For many especially beginners, this discourages publication for a long time; some will permanently switch to Read only mode. Less authors -> fewer readers -> fewer advertisers -> less money for resource development ..
    • Based on the news, you can write interesting articles, but many are not allowed by moral principles to do this, since the topic is already dragged into the news. Thus, the site again loses unique content. Let's compare: Here is a deep analysis of this topic by a new author, by the way from the sandbox, and here is one of the regular news on this topic . Do you feel the difference?
    • A person could have spent time arguing in comments on news articles reading and discussing an interesting article.

    Even when you are familiar with the news, do not forget which segment of the audience you work with.

    Another nuance that directly affects attendance is the incorrect news feed angle, which does not coincide with the target audience. What I will write further is not “watered”, it is a business and nothing but business. If you read the news of Megamind in a few days, it becomes clear that they are trying with all their might to highlight all the bright and beautiful that is happening in the Russian segment of IT and, at the same time, about what is happening on the other side of the cardon, either not write at all or imagine events as an appendage to the great Russian achievements, or pick up news with a negative connotation. I do not know and do not want to guesswhether this is a consequence of the life position of a limited circle of people who account for the publication of more than 95 percent of the news on Megamind, or the editorial task, but this is an ERROR. Its result does not reflect well on the popularity of the site, I will explain why.
    The target audience of this site are IT specialists. This part of the country's population is the most educated, proactive and involved in connection with the outside world. Even if Levada’s latest research is taken for the truth and that at least 80 percent of the Russian population dream of a special path and choose spiritual bonds instead of expanding contacts with the outside world. These are not empty words, I am based on the results of my recent article on the neighboring GT resource.

    It can be seen that no more than 20 percent of habrayuzers believe in the “special way”, the rest understand that today's vector of the country is not optimal and are ready to look for other ways of development. The Habr-wide sample is much more representative than the Levada-wide sample.

    News in the future tense is a fairy tale.

    With endless news in the future, that the government will allocate so many millions to the next import substitution project, you don’t add optimism to readers, because they understand that most of these good intentions, at best, will remain intentions, at worst, will lead to the banal “cut” of the allocated funds. If you want to inspire optimism, then select positive events for the news topic that have happened, or better, write an article about this. After all, the same people who are scribbling “news” today can write excellent articles, I know that for sure. True, not 10 pieces a day, but maybe this is for the better?
    When printing news for the tenth time on the “law on oblivion”, and reporting that it has finally been passed by our glorious parliament, do not limit yourself to the enthusiastic comments of prominent thinkers and officials, keep impartiality - either no comments whatsoever, or the points of view of both should be given parties. News is not an author’s article, where subjectivity is often even welcomed. Otherwise, you cause, in most of your readers, annoyance. Yes, most of them will remain silent, but next time they will read the news and at the same time articles in another place. You need it?

    Harmless advice?

    What to do, because the news is far from annoying for everyone, and with proper selection they can even attract new users? I will try to offer several recipes:
    • It’s best to separate your feed from analytics. In no case should you mark news in the “Popular for a Day” windows, and even more so the “Best on Megamind” windows.
    • In order for news not to leak into analytics, post-moderation should work well. Especially at the initial stage.
    • Today, more and more serious sites generally disable the ability to rate and comment for news, believe me, this is not casual. In any case, they should not compete with real copyright articles for attracting attention in the section “Popular in a day”.
    • It is better if the news will be dealt with by “people not participating in the ranking”, but the Golden Rule should be introduced for them - the presentation of information in the news should be objective. Either no comments, or the arguments of all parties to the conflict must be given.
    • It’s good to pay more attention to foreign news, the world is big.
    • Better less, but better! The practice of replacing copyrighted articles with news is deeply flawed. Let there be less analytical material, but the increased quality will encourage more unique users to read it. If people without a rating publish at least one interesting, even translated article, instead of 10 news feeds, the resource will undoubtedly win!
    • News should not raise the rating of the one who writes them, since they plus, in the case of news, often not for a good presentation of information, but only for relevance - the speed of reaction. If you want to raise the rating, write an article based on them instead of news. Analyze the history of the issue, analyze the consequences.
    • If those who write news today are in no way connected with the administration and do it solely for their own purposes, it is worth limiting their ardor. I propose to introduce a limit - one publication per day on one resource. Perhaps the number of publications will decrease, but the quality will increase, because attention will need to attract one single article or news - this is a good reason to devote more time to it and try to stand out not only with a catchy headline, but also with interesting content.

    Nothing is earned so dearly and lost as easily as trust. To use it, you need to learn to value.

    So, what exactly is happening now and why is Megamind's popularity falling? And you, take the place of the average habrayuzer. He looks from Habr to the “Best on Megamind” window, follows the link, but instead of the article he gets to badly compiled news, the text of which annoys him, and which half consists of links to previous news that largely duplicate this one! Do you think it strongly motivates him to click on the link next time, and generally pay attention, in the future, to this panel. The best way to gain the trust of the user is not to deceive his hopes and offer bullshit instead of the best articles. Do not chase the quantity. If there are few interesting publications per day, then let the user, as the best, be offered only one really interesting, plus a couple of the last published ones, than a dozen low-grade. Then he will take the habit of using the service of cross-platform links.
    I’m sure that even those simple actions described above will quickly help to increase Megamind’s popularity, and the administration will not have to forcibly transfer articles from Habr that are clearly not intended for him, for example, a couple of those that were published there only yesterday and caught my eye:

    Tax gopher. Features of the application of the simplified tax system in working under contracts with Apple, Google and others.

    Technical Interview: Five Ways to Scare the Job Applicant / Five Ways to Enrage the Interviewer.

    But at the initial stage, you have to transfer it forcibly. It should be stiff. If you allow such an explicit violation of the subject of the resource, then the disorganization of the parent site did not make any sense at all and will do nothing but harm.

    Palantir, PayPal mafia, special services, world government as the pinnacle of the art of development.

    A little more about offtopics - I myself often touch upon sensitive issues, but I try my best to do it correctly and strictly in relation to the main topic of the article. I express my gratitude to the administration for allowing discussions that are conducted within a reasonable framework.
    However, at times such samples of folk art come across that you wonder! In order not to be unfounded, I cite the title of the paragraph the article published yesterday on the Resource for True Developers , which, by the way, was recently removed as non-core and not related to the development of the “programming microcontrollers” hubs and many others, which are quite popular. According to the administration, this articleand especially its title, apparently, is the pinnacle of the art of development, in contrast, for example, from the hub "Rotobotechnology Programming". Unfortunately, far from all readers were in agreement with this approach, it is rare to find articles on Habr that could get seventy minuses over Friday night and Saturday morning. The title, of course, should be bright, the content can be moderately provocative, but if the authors who place in the Zavtra newspaper feel completely at ease, it is unlikely to add to his popularity in the eyes of your target audience.

    Despite the problems of rapid growth, I consider this platform to be very promising and wish success to its creators in the field of developing popularity and monetization. Very few resources annoy their users with annoying forms of advertising less than Habr! Already for this, you need to love him and try to make it more interesting with your articles!

    Well, now the promised poll:

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    What is worth changing in today's Megamind?

    • 32.9% Megamind is not a news resource; I value it for analytics. Clean up the news at all. 96
    • 45.7% News in the morning is nice, but they need a separate feed, do not interfere with them together with articles. 133
    • 47.4% It’s wrong to evaluate news and analytics on one scale, these are different genres. News is rated for the event, and analytics for the work of the author. 138
    • 23% I would like more objectivity in news coverage. 67
    • 49.1% The best articles should fall in the best, and not all in a row. 143
    • 47% In the “Best on Megamind” panel, only articles should be displayed, but not news. 137
    • 17.5% It is worth restricting authors to one publication per day on one resource. 51
    • 31.9% I would like more news from foreign sites, but with translation. I can read the news in RuNet. 93
    • 9.9% I like it when everything is in one heap. In this I see the charm and charm of Megamind! 29th
    • 2% I have my own proposal and I will talk about it in the comments to the article. 6

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