Artima has launched "Developer Spotlight," a new feed that scrolls down the center of the home page. Each day this feed will shine the spotlight on interesting content flowing through the various parts of the website--articles, chapters, news, buzz, weblogs--plus point to interesting content beyond Artima's borders.
Last Friday I took a new feature live, Artima Developer Spotlight, a news feed that scrolls down the center column of Artima's home page. Anyone can post news items to Spotlight, and I invite you to do so. A charmed circle of Artima moderators will decide what goes live. We plan to approve around three or four items each day.
All articles published on Artima will show up in the Developer Spotlight feed, as well as selected Artima Weblogs posts, Groups posts, Chapters, and syndicated content from News and Buzz. Since Artima's audience includes developers of all stripes, we will try to post content in Spotlight that will be of general interest to most developers. It will take some time for Spotlight to find its "voice," and you can help by submitting ideas.
I'm hoping that Spotlight will serve as a focal point for the community of developers that come to Artima, a place for all of us to share ideas and information. Artima has many streams of content flowing through it, but they are spread out all over, and they have different rates of change. Articles, which has the most edited, and as a result, generally the highest quality content, is updated the most slowly. Buzz, which is the least edited and most noisy content (though still quite interesting, informative, and entertaining), is updated the most quickly. There is often a new Buzz post every few minutes. The update rates of all the other features, Weblogs, News, Groups, Chapters, Pavilion, fall somewhere in-between.
Prior to launching Spotlight, the center column of the home page was devoted to Articles. This approach served to highlight the highest quality content, but because of the slower update rate of the Articles feed, made the site feel more static than it actually is. Spotlight should help make more visible all the new content flowing through the various parts of the website. New articles will show up in Spotlight, and you can see the list of the three most recently published at the top right hand corner of the home page. You can browse through all articles published on Artima in the Articles section, or browse through articles published in specific Zines such as The C++ Source and The Journal of Spontaneous Networking.
I like the new, cleaner look to the Artima site but I'm not so sure about this new "Developer Spotlight".
Previously, the central area was occupied by interesting articles that, although they weren't updated very often, the were generally thought provoking and frequently generated a lot of interesting discussion.
Now the central area seems to be dominated by frequently updated shortcuts to more-or-less unintesting blogs. One of today's items basically refers to a blog where one guy disagrees with what another guy says in another blog.
A quick scan of the central area shows that no-one has found any of the last thirteen items sufficiently interesting to reply with a comment on their own.
So please, can we have a return, in the central area, to quality over quantity and a return to good, Artima based content rather than just have it become a collection of pointers to dull blogs and obscure software release bulletins (which have their place - but not in the middle of everything).
Thanks for the feedback Vince. There may be one innacuracy in it, though, because you posted a response to this blog, that means someone responded to one of the Spotlight posts, because this weblog post was pointed to from Spotlight. Wait, now there's 3 comments...
Anyway, I do appreciate your concern and working on another blog about it. I'll point to it when I take it live.
How do you design a website home page to give the best impression of both the quality of the site's content and the update frequency? Take a walk down memory lane, and see how Artima's home page has morphed as the site evolved.