Neatorama Suggestion Box

confusionWe’ve been thinking about a new project for Neatorama, a possibile way to bring you enhanced content. It’s still in the planning stage, so we want your input. What kind of things do you look for when you click on Neatorama? What posts would you like more information on? What would you like to see more of, or less of? What suggestions do you have for us, to make your surfing experience more pleasurable, or more informative? Do you have any questions we could work on answering? To get you thinking, Alex tells me that the best comment or suggestion could win you a Neatorama t-shirt (old style). Thanks!

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Newest 5 Comments

I would love to see a little 'slug' that says what you will get when you click on an item from Neatorama. For example, "Weird" "Funny" "Video" "Human Deformities", whatever.
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When I posted this "suggestion box", I was looking for suggestions for content. Yes, I got a lot of good ideas, but Alex got more suggestions for functionality than he bargained for!

The crossover with mental_floss is mainly my fault, since I write for both sites. I have a daily column of links over there. I try to find enough good stuff for both sites, but when I find a really good story or link, it's hard to say that one site "deserves" to use it more than the other. It's like deciding whether to post something that Boing Boing already linked. On the one hand, you figure if its been there, everyone has seen it. On the other hand, a lot of people say they don't go there. I don't want y'all to miss out on something really good!

As to the necessity of advertising at Neatorama- I don't crunch the numbers myself, but two years ago I complained to Alex about the cost of bandwidth. He told me how much bandwidth this site used, and it made my head reel! It's only grown since then. Success has its price.

Thanks to everyone who posted to the suggestion box! We should do this about once or twice a year, dontcha think?
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More ...

Re: Calendar with condensed version of Neatorama by Nicholas and sort by date idea by gabtastic. Hm, those are two neat ideas. Let me see if we can do them, maybe in the archive section ...

Re: User forums by Kelly. Another neat idea - I've been trying to get one done, but got side-tracked. Later this year, maybe :)

Re: Search box to find a post by its title by andrewstewart20. We have this already - the keyword match has to be exact though.

Re: re-size on full window by Jason. Hm... that would require a redesign of how my tables are done (yes, I'm an old school coder who prefers tables to pure CSS layout). Not hard, but just a lot of work. Probably won't happen unless a horde of people started asking for it!

Re: flurry of activity by ian. Yes, this is a by-product of how I write for Neatorama. My posts are prepared off-site, and then uploaded to and posted on Neatorama in a batch. I've spaced posts before, but most of the time, I just forget to do that. :)

A post every hour is a standard I just can't begin to dream to fulfill ... not without quitting my job and working full time on Neato anyhow.

Re: magic category by qureyoon. Believe it or not, we used to have a magic category, but it was so skimpy that I just did away with it ... we'll try to find more cool magic stuff for you.

Re: contributor by floatingk. Hey, thank you for the offer! I'm quite flattered. We'll probably open up Neatorama to more authors in the future, but for the time being, we've had enough great people writing for the blog. I'll keep you in mind, though, floatingk!

Re: static ads by Evil Pundit. I'm all for it - unfortunately, I haven't found a high paying ad network that displays only static ads. I've heard about The Deck, but never got invited :)

Re: USA-centric perspective by Lasse. Kind of hard, since I live in the US - I don't know how to write in a non-USA-centric perspective!

Most of Neatorama readers are from the US, too, although we do have a significant number of international readers. We have international authors, so maybe they can put a more "international" feel to the site.

Re: related posts by Fran. That's a good idea - I don't know if there's an automatic way of doing it. I try to put "Previously on Neatorama" kind of links whenever I remember.
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Wow - thanks for all of the suggestions, guys! We've done quite a bit of work upgrading Neatorama these past week or so.

First of all: load time by Nick, rianfike, and everybody! By far it's the biggest complaint most people have.

I think we've managed to make Neatorama's posts load faster. For the most part anyhow. I notice that the post content now loads much, much faster on Firefox (not sure about IE).

With one (minor) sacrifice: when a post gets very popular, like when it's dugg, the server will automatically use a memcached version. This means that if you comment, it won't show up for a minute or two.

Neatorama's front page is always cached. This is why there is a lag before author's posts hit the front page.

Re: Neat-O-Meter or Neatness Factor by rianfike and others. This is actually something I had been trying to work on for oh, about a year or so. Haven't gotten very far (obviously!) Neat idea, though.

Re: Title Link to Story by X-Shark. This is hard, because it would require a serious hack into wordpress and altering the way authors write their posts.

Re: Previous and Next Posts. What an excellent idea, DaMamaJama! We used to have something like this on Neatorama, but a few skin upgrades later, we discarded it. Now it's back, with a more simple and direct buttons below the post. For this, you'll get a free Neatorama T-shirt as promised!

Re: indented comments by NiteWhite. This is also hard, plus I actually don't like that commenting format. After a while, it's hard to who's responding to what (like in a long reddit thread).

Actually, I have a full time job - so when I'm busy IRL, Neatorama doesn't get updated as often! I think Neatorama's authors are what's neat about the blog.

Oh, and Neatorama doesn't have employees. It has one slave: me.

Re: quotes in italics. Really? This is surprising to me, since that seems to be the standard of quoting stuff (putting it in blockquotes with italics).

Re: tags. Great idea, MrBinky - Wordpress has tags capability built in, but I just never got in the habit of writing what the tags are! Oh, I promised that I would start and I did ... but a few posts later, I forgot about 'em.

Re: Neatorama Channels. Excellent idea - maybe sometime in the future, as that would require a lot of work :) Specialization into niches is obviously a way to make the blog grow (for instance the Popsugar and its sister blogs) - but that would entail an organization beyond this one guy (me).

Re: Bait cars. I don't know about bait cars, Mike Ross, but bait donuts I really don't like. I always fall for them.

Re: Design by Xultar. Yup - here it is! A little cosmetic upgrade for Neato (while keeping the overall "simple and white" theme).

Re: One long article a day by Adam Freitag. I'm trying to bring more long, exclusive articles (like Neatorama Only, Bathroom Reader, and mental_floss articles). If you guys know any authors who'd like to collaborate, please let me know!

Re: Center justifying the page by Glen. Isn't Neatorama centered? I don't know about justifying the blog. It's beyond any justification!

Re: Target = Blank by SenorMysterioso. This was a big debate I had a while ago, ultimately it lost because that's not the way most websites work. Plus, I don't know if people with older IE browsers (yes, there are still a lot of them) like it when a link spawn a new window.

Also, this would either require a custom hack or force authors to write their post in a new way (putting in the target = blank in the code for their links).

Re: Reader Profile by SW - this is an excellent idea that I have no clue where to begin. We were talking with another company about hooking up a social networking / community to Neatorama, but we couldn't resolve some technical issue regarding the way comments are handled. Maybe in the future ...

Re: Polls by Ali S. I really, really liked polls, but had to stop for a while because the poll plugins we use really taxed the servers to its maximum capacity!

Re: Long post and post size by OddNumber, Video Game Dork and VonSkippy. Hm, well, we can do the "read more inside" kind of deal (it's a built in function in wordpress). It's just I've never remembered to do that! I've never had any problem scrolling down (or hitting page down on the keyboard).

Re: duplication with mentalfloss by Bwest. Really? We don't coordinate or anything like that ... They're an excellent blog with many writers, so they cover a lot of ground.
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I would love to feel like I'm not just living in a province of the USA. I really like Neatorama, and I realise it's a product of America, but it would be great if the internet felt more like an international space. Somehow even the stuff you feature from other parts of the world seem like they're being seen by an American tourist.

Less of the US domestic politics, US commodities, US TV shows, US nostalgia and US in-jokes. Not none, just balanced by a global perspective. Does this mean more international contributors? There's more to life than the US of A. 'Us' is bigger than that. More of a sense of fellowship-in-weirdness with a whole world of neatoliciousness please.

The humour is great and I also like learning stuff. I don't have time to trawl around looking under every rock, so I really rely on you to chuck the good stuff at me. Keep up the good work, and keep getting better.
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