Redesigning Scoop.it & Your Web Design Too
If you don’t use Scoop.it and you are trying to get on the content marketing train you are risking your website. One your site is modeled or “indexed” by Google TESTING new content ideas somewhere else protects your digital assets. Some friends use landing pages and PPC to test content ideas. They put their landing pages into a folder and exclude that folder from search spiders (search Robots.txt to discover a way to exclude pages from search). They test content ideas before committing valuable resources (time, team, pages, social shares).
We use Scoop.it to protect our websites and make our content marketing get better faster. .
Scoop.it’s views metrics provide faster and more accurate “social” feedback than Google Analytics. When content trends on Scoop.it we blog it. When our blog posts are shared, commented and built upon we create “web pages” and add to “content silos”. My Blogs vs. Websites Curatti.com post shares the fading differences between blogs and websites.
As our content performs better it climbs our “commitment ladder” and influences us.
Redesigning Scoopit’s Homepage
Appreciate Scoop.it calling for template ideas. Before I share feed template ideas here are thought on Scoop.it’s “homepage” (Marty Marty Smith on Scoop.it).
Example of current Scoop.it design:
How I would modify this page:
Cha Cha Changes
I’m NOT a graphic designer nor do I play one on TV, but even with my inexpert hand you can see major and minor changes:
- Use analytics to set feed organization in near real time.
- Focus on content before curators.
- Fixing following.
- Top 5 List.
1. Use Analytics To Influence Design
One of the things I love about Scoop.it is the slate is cleaned every night at midnight. Yesterday’s views go into a feed’s history, but you build today’s views today. Scoop.it has a lot of customers in Europe. When we wake up we can see how content we published is performing.
I would love it if TODAY’s Martin Marty Smith Scoop.it magazine order (of feeds) reflected what is predicted to happen today.
“What is likely to happen today” is known by 6:00 am. My homepage would look like yesterday’s trending content until 6 am. At six the hero (largest image on a webpage is called a “hero”) becomes the post predicted to win the day in views based on views from midnight to six.
I made the hero BIGGER too.
We don’t have power over what appears where on our Scoop.it homepages now. No control is one reason I rarely link social traffic to my Scoop.it homepage. I don’t like sending customers or potential customers to a page and saying, “Here are haystacks of content you find the most relevant needle for you”. Webpages are STAGES where the play we write is performed.
Hierarchy is important in “stage design”.
Not all stage setting is equal. The web is built to PILE ON scaling some things and ignoring others. Predicting what content will scale is impossible. Knowing what content IS scaling means you can double down on winners and leave laggards behind. If that last sentence sounds like a LESSON you are right. Former Direct Marketing bosses cured my desire to pull laggards up. Why?
Because every moment you work on pulling laggards up is better spent doubling down on winners. Rich get richer. Big get bigger. Don’t judge. Do learn, rinse and repeat.
2. Content Before Curator
Scoop.it information hierarchy is upside down. The current Scoop.it curator homepage design creates a barrier. The design creates the feeling visitors must pass through “curator land” to get to content. Curators are important, but information about me (bios) doesn’t change.
I moved mostly unchanging curator information to the right. We read left to right. Moving curator bio and social over creates a hierarchy favoring trending content. Even if the computing power needed to make every feed’s position in the design based on movement was available I wouldn’t. I would SET the page and then challenge the “set”.
Take a snapshot at six am, set design order based on predictive analytics and see if the prediction remains true for the day. I suggest setting the feed order like this:
- Hero = model is predicting this feed will have most views today.
- Trending Below Hero = model is predicting these feeds will have more views than the next row.
- First Row – model is predicting this row will have less views than trending but more than the row below.
We could use historical data to set the design. The web’s time is always NOW. My Curation Revolution feed has been up the longest and so may “win” the hero most often if we use history to set the design. Using history makes the page more static. We have LESS to discuss on social TODAY. If Scoop.it took a snapshot I guarantee one of my first tweets of the day would be, “Come see today’s Scoop.it predictions” or “Scoop.it is really crazy today, it predicts X will lead in views”.
At noon I would check in to see if Scoopit’s predictions are right. If something from row 3 is winning I would note and encourage the rebellion. Setting the stage with predictions sets a “prove us right or wrong” conversation. Right or Wrong conversations are BUILT for social media.
3. Fixing Following
Scoop.it’s homepage has content and curator upside down. Following is also upside down. People follow FEEDS not curators. This forces people who want to follow ALL of a curator’s feeds to “follow” process 10 times (in my case). People follow other PEOPLE more than feeds. I wouldn’t eliminate following by feed, but I would offer and put the focus on following curators.
According to recently added “My Stats” there are 34,012 people following me.
WHY doesn’t THAT number appear anywhere except in My Stats? There is a confusing and contradictory My Community number. Following is the most powerful way to get more followers (sad but true). Simply sharing My Stats following on my “homepage” helps my community grow so the Scoop.it community grows.
4. Top 5 List
Some of our most successful Scoops were mashups created to share top 10 scoops for each feed. As much as I love the “clean slate” wipe that happens at midnight remember our direct marketing lesson – double down on winners and leave laggards behind. I had to dig my Scoopit Top 10 out from miles of analytics. Sharing Top 5 across ALL feeds automatically gets rid of the need to dig.
I LOVE Scoop.it’s emphasis on TODAY, but Scoopit is creating more work for curators. HELP US by doing an auto-share of content we’ve shared that WON. Winning Top 5 content helps defines how we curate. Clear winners reminds curators to “do more like that” and create legitimacy with new and returning visitors.
Lessons For Your Website Design
Redesigning Scoop.it shows a few of my favorite Internet marketing tactics including:
- Set your “stage” (webpages) to be aligned in a “hierarchy” of need.
- Create feedback loops and expose them (like nonprofits use thermometers to track donations).
- Don’t hide your analytics SHARE THEM.
- Double down on winners, leave laggards behind.
- KNOW what is winning so you can double down.
- Ask for and prize User Generated Content.
- Share MORE and then SHARE MORE.
The first bullet is the BIGGIE. When your stage is set your “play” makes sense. Sharing makes it easy to understand what you WANT your visitors to do. Sharing exposes what other visitors have done. We humans are PACK oriented. We want to know what others have done and are doing.
“Are doing” is becoming one of the most powerful web marketing ideas. When you share near real time information your authenticity and courage scores go way UP. When you (site sponsors) see and discover information at the same time as your community collaboration is easy, natural and real.