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Why Neowin 5 is important for us

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Marshalus    50

As most everyone here knows, on Tuesday, we rolled out Neowin 5. In our front page announcement and in our forum thread we talked about some of the improvements that we'd made over the previous version like a new design, color scheme, XHTML 1.0 Strict rendering, etc. Based on some of the great feedback we've got from you over the last couple of days, we've tweaked a few things and will continue to do so in the near future.

The primary focus of the Neowin front page is news. Since 2001, that has been a lot of what generates new visitors and gets them coming into the forums and becoming regular visitors. In our announcements, we touched on something that we changed, but that I'm going to further elaborate on here. Aside from all the new "sexy" design changes, the biggest change you've probably already noticed is the overwhelming majority of space on the front page has changed from C&P news to what is now originally generated content by Neowin staffers and contributors.

Lets take a look at the current front page, but with an emphasis on space dedicated to content.

post-82-1224209755_thumb.png

At the top, you'll find our new event header. In this case it's a quick link to the Stardock sponsored GUI Championships. As most of you know, Stardock is a financial contributor to Neowin, but the GUI Championships are something that Neowin has promoted and contributed to for a long time. In the future, we'll be able to use this space for highlighting other contents or events. What this section will also do, is serve as a quick link to content focused around long term coverage or big events in technology. Examples would be the upcoming PDC 2008 which Neowin's Tom Warren will be reporting live from, CES which we should have a presence at in 2009, or to centralize news about an long term event like the release of major technology such as Windows 7, etc.

In the focus section right under that, we're able to provide some quick links to popular stories or forum threads of the day/week. Under that, the two big blue "ads" will be used to highlight major stories, reviews, or editorials. These images will rotate and their content will change on a regular basis. It's also a great way for us to highlight other Neowin services such as our Podcast, Apple forums, Shift Linux, or other things that you may not have even known Neowin did.

But the real guts of this is the news in the blue section of this image. For years Neowin has been a mostly cut & paste website, meaning we've syndicated the content of other news websites, but contributed little of our own. I've joked with staffers that C&P is like a drug, but it's one that we've decided to kick the habit of. Our main news section will now be things that are exclusives or originals stories written in our own words. This means our news team are no longer just considered "news posters" but "news writers" -- this is something we've wanted to do for over 3 years but have not fully been able or willing to do until now.

It marks an important shift and our growth as a site. It is something we're very proud that we've decided to do.

But, we still have to be true to our roots, and we're not fully dumping C&P. Our new "Around the Web" section is dedicated to syndication of content from other sites and forums around the Internet. We're a small staff, with limited resources in terms of time and manpower, so we will still utilize C&P to supplement our primary focus. However, our staffers will be concentrating on writing their own stories and as time goes on their submissions will be less and less.

This is where we're asking our members to help by contributing stories they find interesting to the Submit to Newsdesk feature. Instead of posting to "Breaking News" AKA "Back Page News" in the forums, we encourage you to use the Submit to Newsdesk feature. We know that in the past, we've been slow to accept submissions to the news desk. This will not be the case going forward and we are going to make a commitment to reviewing and accepting (or rejecting) submissions to Around the Web much faster.

We hope that you enjoy the new direction that we're taking our front page. We look forward to expanding our reach and providing our users with more insightful and powerful news as we move forward. As always, your feedback is encouraged. If you don't want to post something in public, feel free to contact us (see below) if you have any questions or comments you'd like to share in private.

Thanks!

Michael Stanclift (Marshalus)

Managing Editor

marshalus@neowin.net

Shane Pitman

Editor in Chief

shane_pitman@neowin.net

Steven Parker (Neobond)

Administrator

neobond@neowin.net

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+Gary7    7,380

All of you are to be commended on the work that you have done. The Main page IMHO looks better than it ever did.

(Y) (Y) (Y)

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Yusuf M.    1,362

Agreed. Neowin looks much better than it did with previous designs. :)

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ambiance    67

Hear, hear!

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darren89    0

in looks, v5 is definitely better than v4. hope you guys keep up the good work for neowin! :D

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redeemed    1

Agreed, keep up the good work devs and staff. There might be things that need to be ironed out and things for the end-user to get used to, but it is definitely a step forward. :yes:

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QuietStorm21A    1

Thank You and keep doing what you do because it makes Neowin great. Thx again!

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Andrew Lyle    336

Some people just don't adapt well to change. I however do. Excellent Job to the entire staff (Y)(Y)(Y)

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vip    17

I love it, much thanks for all the time and effort, it's much appreciated! Now, we're waiting on the forum which Flishy said was coming! :D

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Tech Star    254

Very nice post to clear things up for people. I love the new design and I am glad with all the hard work that has happened around here. :)

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Roger H.    776

wow.. nice... good read and i like the changes made recently. Bring on the changes to the forums too :)

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Damo R.    29,658

Congrats everyone's work is much appreciated (Y)

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StevoJD    0

Looks great, but something I miss about the last version is that the news "popped" at you immediately when seeing the site. Now, it all just looks like scattered text.

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Scirwode    18

Thanks for clearing everything up (Y) . I am glad that Neowin writers are making more of an effort to write original stories rather than just copy & paste. This will make Neowin much more unique compared to other websites similar to us.

Scirwode

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qdave    159
wow.. nice... good read and i like the changes made recently. Bring on the changes to the forums too :)

Change on the forums wouldnt really hurt. though it feels like it was changes just recently...time flies!

Anyway good work on the new design. You guys are the best (Y)

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DigitalE    10

Great job on the new home page. It looks wonderful (Y)

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bonmat179    0

wooo...! I very like Neowin v5 !!

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Budious    0

I really wish the option to go back to Shiftv4 was here until you get the v5 fine tuned.

Here's my main gripe of the layout, it's a total waste of screen real estate on a widescreen resolution.

shift5nt0.png

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APH-Alex    13

^ Click the button to expand

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Budious    0
^ Click the button to expand

Well the location of that button is not intuitive, nor is the result. I still have a 5cm margin on each side at 1920x1200.

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APH-Alex    13

Screen shot? Press Ctrl+0 as well. :)

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Budious    0
Screen shot?

shiftv5widedj9.png

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APH-Alex    13

I mean with the expand button pressed, and Ctrl+0 pressed. :)

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PricklyPoo    9

Looks great imo, I think it could just be a little bit wider.

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Budious    0
I mean with the expand button pressed, and Ctrl+0 pressed. :)

Yeah, you edited after I posted. But the result only changes the text size in the body, not the width of the margin.

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