Adil Najam and Owais Mughal
Regular readers might have noticed that ‘something happened’ to our two side columns yesterday. Essentially, a lot of the material about past posts disappeared. You might also have noticed that we have been having ‘overload’ outages on the page (these are the equivalent of internet load-shedding, I guess; we have recently had days with nearly 10,000 visits/20,000 views). The former happened as a result of our attempt to fix the latter.
Old readers would remember that we started with a fairly simple format and then had a really useful set of inputs from the readers on redesign last August. As a result of these ideas we moved to our own domain and launched a new page with new features in September (with great help from friends like TeethMaestro, BD, etc.). Since then we have been implementing occasional changes (in style, in number of posts, and especially in the side columns). We had hoped to implement some other major changes by our first anniversary, but that was not possible for time reasons.
The essential principle is “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.” We believe that MUCH on teh page is ‘not broke’ and does not need to be fixed. So tell us also about what are the things that work for you and should be retained. But then also on things that can be improved or should be dropped or need to be added.
We know that speed is a problem, especially for those without fast connections. Ideas on how to improve this without going too far away from the current ‘visual’ style of ATP.
Is the page too cluttered? Or do you actually like, what one reader called, the ‘candy store’ look of the page?
How many posts per day should we have. We started from about 3 per day. For last many months we were at one-per-day. Is that too little? Too much?
What about the mix of posts. Some like only politics. Some want only cultural stuff. We are committed to having a mix. But the question is, what is the best mix?
What are best ways to incorporate ‘news’ posts and to make them even more interactive.
All bloggers are always worried about how old posts just disappear. We have been very very lucky in that many of our old posts still get significant traffic. People are always interested in the music of Attaullah Niazi, the films of Waheed Murad, the life of Edhi Sahib, the caps of Pakistan, the trains at Bolan Pass and the adventures of Inspector Jamshed. A major interest for us is to provide easy to use ways for readers – especially new readers – to visit older posts that are still of interest to them. Any ideas?
Also, do please tell us which particular posts – or what types of posts – from the past you think we should feature in teh right-hand columns?
By the way, what do people think of start ‘reposting’ interesting posts from the past? There was some great, not time sensitive, posts in the early days that many have not seen yet.
Please, please, please help us figure out how to deal with the few ‘shararti loag‘ who never seem to learn and force us to waste too much time in managing moderation lists.
We know many do not like ads on the page. Please hold your comments on that for now. We will say something on that separately soon. Meanwhile we will try to have fewer but more effective ads in the future.
Not every idea, not even every good idea, may be feasible or possible to implement. Also, we suspect, different readers may want different – sometimes opposite – things. So, readers, please be patient with us and understanding if we are unable to do what you suggest.
We are sure we will think up even more questions soon. But those are a few that come immediately to mind. Any suggestions? On these and other things we should be thinking in redesign.