houses on lansdowne

Morning Brew: March 13th, 2008

Photo: "Lansdowne Homes" by blogTO Flickr pooler Derek Flack.

Your explanations for a click-through in my morning news roundup:

I slept in this morning, and in a half-sleeping state decided to take a departure from the usual Morning Brew - to address an issue that has been brought up by a few loyal readers. The issue? Some readers find that having to click-through to read the complete Morning Brew is not particularly efficient or fun.

Here's why we made the change a few months ago.

Aesthetics and efficiency. We want to make scanning the main/front page (blogto.com) more consistent and less painful. Multiple long entries create a really long main page, which looks bad, and requires a scroll-wheel workout to navigate. The potential for articles at the bottom of the main page to be ignored or overlooked is greater.

Statistics tracking. In order to tracks statistics for the Morning Brew (which is important to me and helps me revise my strategy to improve the brew content-wise) it has to be clicked on. If it's on the front page in its entirety, I have no way of knowing if people are reading it or not.

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Ad revenue. The only way blogTO writers can get paid is through sharing of revenue generated by advertising. To ensure that this is possible (and the site stay alive), we have to generate pageviews. A significant number of people read the Morning Brew, so it makes sense for blogTO to register a pageview that helps our writers get paid.

Reader interaction. Since making the change to click-through, one of the surprising positive effects has been on the number and quality of comments the Morning Brew realizes. By introducing the click-though, readers have proved to be far more likely to read the comments (which wouldn't be showing if the entry were all on the main page) and contribute to them. We've seen a huge change in reader interaction within the Brew, and for this reason alone I'm convinced that the new model is better.

With all this in mind, is having a click required to read a bad way to go? Feedback appreciated.


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