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We're back!

76

As you can read in my previous post, I consider the 'YourNews' experiment a bit of a failure. Like most people here, I missed the old site. So, as of today, we're back! Please submit your news through our good old contact form again - our inbox is rather empty at the moment :)

I read all the replies and suggestions and I think you're on to something. In the near future, I'd like to do the following:

  • Stop using 'Pligg', the software that powers YourNews. I'll have to figure out a way of how to implement a Digg-like system using WordPress. If you know how, or if you can build it for us, please let me know! I'll keep YourNews online for a while longer.
  • Integrate YourNews on the homepage, but less prominent than the headline news. I'm open for layout suggestions and/or new designs! If we're going to reshuffle the homepage I have a few more ideas to make the site more attractive.
  • Reorganise. Appoint 'Editors of the Day' to run the site one day a week. Appoint editors for special interest fields. Turn myself more into the manager of this site than the daily editor. If you're knowledgeable in a certain field (and you can prove it), please contact me.
  • Focus on quality, not quantity.
  • Have more fun!

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.

76 Comments

  1. I miss your news :)

    I love fresh news pouring in. I use planetblender.org for rss feeds.

    Put the your news on the right hand side and everyone is happy :)

    P.S. I hated the your news login compared the the openness of this posting method. So I did not sign up :)

  2. Very good news ! Thank you Bart !

    Beside the obvious problem of quality content of the "your news" system, I noticed that pasting text was not possible. I had written a long post in a text editor, and I have never been able to paste it in the thread field...

  3. This is by far the best news format for Blender Nation. The previous experiment resulted in a lot of poor quality Blender articles, some of which are of questionable value.

  4. boy i missed this site hopefully some editors pitch in; sadly I am the exact opposite of my parents who were both news editors I can't write to save my life so I can't be of any help.

  5. "Reorganise. Appoint ‘Editors of the Day’ to run the site one day a week. Appoint editors for special interest fields. Turn myself more into the manager of this site than the daily editor. If you’re knowledgeable in a certain field (and you can prove it), please contact me."

    I can't think of any reason you'd need a blunt jerk that's overly critical on board, but if you think of one, let me know.

    Other than that, I hope all is good Bart. I want this website to stay. I love it. I also love that idea.

  6. A sigh of relief - the old site is back :)

    The digg experiment was a good move though, Bart. You can see how much you were missed ;)
    And people won't take you for granted, hehe

  7. Yeah, I like this more quality form of news, but I also like previous more frequent feed, so it's cool to see that you plan to keep them both! \o/

  8. Great news! Sounds like you have some good ideas to take BN in a more effective direction that will hopefully reduce your stress level.

    Thanks for all your hard work!

  9. I don't think it can be considered a failure. Maybe if there had been absolutely no news posted, we could have said it was a failure. But it worked! There were news to read.

  10. I would say that the experiment was very successful since you actually learned something from it and will improve this site based on the result. :)

  11. nice to see you back Bart. but i still think a hybrid system should be better. anyway, welcome back. we were all waiting for you and blendernation.

  12. Good thing to see that you're open minded enough to experiment with something new.
    And even better to see that after a careful evaluation you've decided to stick with the old format (with perhaps some changes).

  13. WB!

    As I like the old design better, I appreciate that you reverted to old BN style :)

    And I'm totally content with it's current state now, no changes necessary imo. But feel free to experiment, a site can never be perfect.

    Thx for BN, it really ties the room together :D

  14. Welcome back Bart!
    Here's my point:

    - BN has to have this kind of front page and front news as it has always been. We need a front-man/editor like you to take care of the news. As many people already said, BN as it is now looks much more "live".

    - Community news are great, but can't be the front page of BN. First of all because no matter the system you are going to use to filter or publish news, internet people are a huge uncontrollable stream and the democratic approach doesn't work in terms of quality. Because quality is selective, rare and that is the opposite of common. While knowledge has to be shared as something "common" among and by everybody, quality is different. Unfortunately (but I think it's better in this way), quality is for few (neither for me most of the time) so it's utopic to think that the whole stream could be quality itself. "Leaders" (beware the meaning I want to give to this word!) leads streams to the quality, for leader I mean somebody who is able to get the best out of every single member of the community. :)

    So my point is that I love BN as it has always been, but I also love the idea of having an RSS-feed as it is now already in community news! :)
    Keep up the good work, now it's my turn of publishing links, now that BN is back I feel motivated! :D

  15. GREAT!

    The democratic approach is overrated. Filtered content is what makes this site great, and I'm glad it will continue to be that way.

    I hope you had a nice break, though, it is good to have you back.

  16. Hi guys,

    I think the old site wasnt bad...because we had much more information...and I think that can evrybody sort out what is interesting and waht isnt...

  17. Good call on all your suggestions there Bart! :D

    The experiment worked in bringing some interesting articles to the fore but there was, as we'll mostly agree on, editorial shortcomings in some of the posts and articles.

  18. Thank you for returning! I read your site every day and didnt like that self-promoting by users recently.

    If you redesign it, please make sure to keep that site small in terms of file size! (for mobile devices)

  19. Happy Day!

    You've got a lot of 'go', Bart - I really admire that. I'm glad to see you've got plans in the works to offload the work to minions - very good idea. I'm also really happy to hear that you're going to integrate a community-style Digg system for community news - also awesome.

    You're a legend, mate.

  20. Thanks Bart!
    I was not much of a fan of the "Yournews" site, even though I know you did a lot of work for it. I think the old site was (and is wonderful.) I hope you can get people to help you take the load off your back. Blendernation is the best blender news site there is, bar none. :)
    Kory

  21. Hey Bart, whenever one gets a new engine for a car you spend some time fine tuning it. It seems you threw a new engine in there and when the results were not perfect, you pulled it out again. I think you should have tweaked the number of votes an article need for example and maybe guiding people to write at least something that many consider an interesting read instead of the "Check this out" + link posts.

    Increasing the number of votes for the front page publishing. I liked having a bit more items every day than the old method had, but if there's 100 new items a day on the front page it might be to much. I really hope it doesn't drop back to 0-3 a day. Maybe a max number of 5 posts would be good. And if there's News, it should not be put on the shelf in favor of other news. News is news and should you decide its worth publishing by all means publish it when it's still news.

    I think the number of reactions dropped because the high number of posts. People can't spend all day discussing things. But also that needing people to read and vote the submitted news before it goes to the front page will cause that many already have read the news. Maybe you can find a balance.

    And I also think changing the lay out of the site at the same time as experimenting with user submitted content could cause a shift in the user's experience of the site. (Same applies again, you seem to stop with user submitted news and poof, the old look is back). What impact did the new look have on your experiment?

    You need to find the balance for these things I guess. Maybe there can be a way so people can have the best of both worlds! I liked reading some more news than only one or two items a day. But if you have to much, that's not good either. I'm sure there are many people who can write good news items that in the old way didn't got their chance, and in the new way were buried in the number of posts. Community news should be part of BlenderNation. So please look at other possibilities to have the best of both worlds.

    Thanks for reading, Bart, and I hope you found some suggestions and observations useful.

    PS. allow users to enter some IRC room discussing news items and stuff. (I remember being kicked from the BlenderNation chat only because it was a 'private' room)

  22. I have always enjoyed this site in any form. That being said, I liked the digg style the best, because it provided a lot of cool links of Blender stuff I had not seen before.

  23. I am very glad to see the "Focus on quality, not quantity" aim on your list. A few posts per week is enough for me. But it is very important that it is real news with substance. If I wanted to read posts of "forum quality" then I would go to BlenderArtists. I rely on the BlenderNation editors to sort through all the available material and select only the items that are substantial enough to justify spending my time. So far you have been doing a very good job - especially Bart.

    If too many news items are worthless to me, I will definitely stop reading BlenderNation. So please - continue the old style and select only quality news!

    BTW: I read BlenderNation exclusively through the RSS links. Stuff that is only on the front page (as apparently this YourNews thing has been) pass by me unnoticed.

  24. yay Blendernations status is back to normal:)
    awesome...
    the new site wasnt too bad..but i think such one would better be off as a separate section of blendernation...
    often the news weren't as substanial as the nes youd expect at the nation...however the ammount was great and there was lots of useful stuff in it aswell...
    i guess we need the best of both worlds :)

  25. Great to see you back - BN has been an almost daily visit for me since inception... Nothing quite like an editor making the call on what gets posted.. Keep up the great work.

    mthoenes

  26. Hi,
    For me , "Yours news" was a good idea, but too information.
    As you said Bart " Focus on quality, not quantity" ; I really agree with that.

    In my opinion , this site is THE reference for blender users (with blenderartists).
    I connect to BN every day since many years ; but I have to say that since christmas .... i 've "just" take a look ..... sometimes ...

    I am even not a expert with blender, but most of my little humble skills are due to BN ; and i'm not the only one !

    I am proud to say that I registered today (after beeing an addict for many years as i said ) , to tell you :
    how happy i'am to see you back and support for all the efforts u made for us.
    Please keep up your great work

    BLENDERNATION ROCKS !!!!
    (sorry for my bad english)
    --
    WinZs from France

  27. Alexander Blank on

    Great news! I found the self-service news idea somewhat clunky and uninteresting.
    Bart: your writing is something I really missed these past few weeks!

  28. OmG! I so missed this site, maybe it is old, but it is well constructed and still beats the latest innovative designs and communities.

    Thank you for bringing back this nice place!

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