I honestly couldn’t tell you what the home pages for several of my favorite websites look like. I do a lot of my reading through an RSS reader, which delivers new content from the blogs and news feeds to which I subscribe. When I do visit the actual sites it’s almost exclusively through links from Twitter, Facebook, Gchat, email, etc., which direct me to specific pieces of content. I almost never head over to a site’s homepage to see what’s promoted there.
But the home page still matters. A lot. That’s my takeaway from Gawker founder Nick Denton’s description of the site’s redesign. The redesign “represents an evolution of the very blog form that has transformed online media over the last eight years” according to Denton. And one of the central changes is replacing the reverse-chronological content display of the typical blog with “one visually appealing “splash” story, typically built around compelling video or other widescreen imagery and run in full.”
There’s a lot more in the post, including about the merits of video and of scoops over aggregation. But more than anything, I was surprised by the enduring emphasis on the home page, even in the age of Twitter. Maybe beyond the times oughta mix up the home page a bit?
(If you don’t have time to read the whole Denton post, The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal has a Gawker-esque top 5 takeaways post.)