We're Back, Just Like We Said We'd Be Back.
Well, we’re back. It has been over two weeks, but I think the downtime will be beneficial in the end. While that may seem like an odd thing to say, it has allowed me to have a lot of much needed time off from the site. In the past few weeks, I have been able to relax and just enjoy time spent doing nothing. Something I previously, never could get myself to do. Before this entire fiasco, I was working on some market research (which I will continue to do now that everything is back online) to help improve BestTechie. I have already received a number of responses which I’m currently analyzing and this input will help determine the future direction of BestTechie.
The downtime also allowed me to make changes to the sites design. While I like the layout of the design, I felt we could do better. Webair, the company who provides web hosting services to BestTechie was kind enough to offer their design services to assist with the changes. Many of the changes are subtle, but we hope they will provide a better overall user experience. We have redesigned the logo, the navigation bar, the footer, made changes to the headline and featured articles section, increased the image sizes for post thumbnails, and added sharing buttons (Twitter, Facebook, Buzz) on individual post pages.
However, there is some bad news to report as well. Unfortunately, we had to revert to an older database for the forums. The database is from mid-January, so there is a lot of content missing from the forums. While 5 months may seem like a lot of lost data (and it is), it could have been much worse. I’m asking for your help to rebuild what we lost. How can you help? The best way is to participate in the forums, ask/answer questions and join in on discussions. Thank you to everyone who offered their help and/or reached out to myself and the BestTechie community. I say it all the time, but we have the best web community out there.
In an effort for transparency, let me lay out my thought process so far. I’m hoping everyone can provide additional feedback on it and we can go from there.
Where should we focus?
- How To’s, Reviews, and Analytical Articles.
- Increased video production (reviews, cool tech items, short/feature clips, weekly recap).
- More interaction on Twitter.
- Create a product (software or ebook).
- Facilitate more sharing on social networks and more comments on the articles.
- Cross promote the blog and the forums – get users involvement in both higher.
What areas should we ignore?
- We should cut most news content (unless we’re breaking it or it’s unique).
- Along that same thought pattern, we should get rid of fluff/filler content, “over-reviewed” app reviews, “Just released” posts, etc.
Below are some questions I came up with to assist with this process of determining the future of BestTechie. If you would like to answer them (and we encourage you to do so), you can either post a comment with your response or email them to me using the contact form.
What we want to know:
- What makes you read a site daily?
- How do you find most content you read and/or watch every day?
- How do you normally consume content?
- Would you rather read one really good article per day or be presented with several shorter worthwhile articles?
- Watch video content or read or both?
- What makes you want to share something you find online via Twitter or Facebook?
- Are there any technology information sites you read daily you wish would do something different? If so, what would you like to see and why?
- In your opinion, are there any voids or gaps in any of the major industry blogs? If so, what?
I’d like to personally thank all of the people at Webair including Mike Christopher, Sagi Brody, Gerard Hiner, and Dan Batten for helping me through this tough situation, you guys were excellent and really came through in the clutch. I would also like to thank Mike Mansell (one our contributing writers) for his extraordinary help in recovering posts from January, reposting them, and re-adding all of the thumbnails to the posts.