Neatorama Update: September 2010

Hello Neatoramanauts! I'm sure you've been noticing a lot of changes on the blog recently so I'd like to take a moment to update you all about what's happening:

New Layout
Neatorama and NeatoBambino got new layouts, with cool footer art by one of our favorite artists, Adam "Ape Lad" Koford. Check out the bottom part of the blog for larger versions.

The Best of Neatorama

You'd probably be surprised to learn that we have an archive of more than 900 featured articles, including syndicated content from mental_floss and Bathroom Readers. Now, there's an easy way to browse these articles chronologically at the Best of Neatorama.

Farewell to NeatoGeek
In a short period of time, NeatoGeek has become one of my favorite things about Neatorama (where else could you read about The Value of Enterprise in the Star Trek Canon?), thanks mostly to John Farrier's hard work, so it was a very difficult decision for me to discontinue the sub-blog. Ultimately, the reason came down to cost.

Discontinuation of the Upcoming Queue
We're also saying goodbye to the Neatorama Upcoming Queue. While the UQ was the source of many neat and interesting posts, it took quite a bit of manpower to combat spammers.

On Starting New Projects
In a few short years, the blogosphere has changed a lot. When we first started in 2005, there were a lot of indie bloggers in the Technorati Top 100. Now, most of them are corporate-backed blogs and Neatorama is but one of a handful large indie bloggers still around.

So we have to be creative and nimble: we helped develop an infrastructure to create sub-blogs within WordPress (WP-Hive by John Sessford), created a crowdsourced blog post submission process (the Upcoming Queue), and started an online store (the NeatoShop). Undoubtedly, some of these won't work - but that should not and will not stop us from trying new things.

Talking about new projects, the NeatoHub is one I'm very excited about. It's a very similar concept to web rings (remember those from the early days of the web?) - basically, it's a way for bloggers to get exposure to a wider audience by joining a network of bloggers that display each other's best posts to viewers of the entire network through widgets like you see at the footer of this blog.

The NeatoHub is only a few weeks old, but it has already a significant traffic drivers for its members. The Hub is in private beta right now, but if you're interested in learning more about it (or noticed something's not working right with the new layout), please feel free to email me.

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Sad to see Neatogeek go, but thrilled to be rid of the upcoming queue (I was one of those people when it was brought in originally). I too will miss the turtle, I like the new artwork but it doesn't feel as final or something.
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My sentiments about the Hub are the same as Wes'.
When I see a story I want it to link directly to that story. I do not want link to link to link....I lose interest if I have to click a link for a story more than twice. if it was really an exciting or neat story that you would want people to see, you would link it straight.
As for people requesting that links open in new tabs - I guess that they just have not learned how to right click and "open in new tab" .
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@teh yoshi - I love the turtle myself, but it's time to let another artist have some time in the sun :)

@Edward - Thank you for your input! We always try to listen and implement whenever we can.

@Wes and Lucky - There are quite a bit of these "hubs" floating around the Web. What makes the NeatoHub special is that we limit participation to good blogs and websites, so no spammy links.

Funny how some people complain that links open in new tabs - that's actually the number one request whenever we solicit improvement ideas for the blog!

@Fran - We do have comment RSS on individual posts, if that's what you mean. I don't know if there's a way to do mark if a post itself has been updated.

@Christophe - we had about 32 million visits last year. Not so bad for lil' Neato :)
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A quite amazing trip was walked those last few years.
My curiosity goes on the trafic history of the website : how many passengers do you carry now Alex?

Keep up the good work ;)
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