December 19, 2014

Site Changes

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Hey guys – Just wanted to drop in and let you know about some of the things we’ve been doing behind the scenes here at AndroidGuys.  Hopefully it gives you a sense of what our mindset is and where are going with it.

About two weeks ago, we changed the layout to what you see today.  We did some research and found that it was more streamlined, loading faster than previous versions.  It also offered more information and articles to readers to check out for further reading.  Since then, we’ve enjoyed a decent bump in traffic, averaging about 15% more page views than with the last one.  Apparently, it’s also more search engine optimized.

Advertising has also seen a healthy jump as well.  With the new look, all ads are able to display on each page of the site, in the same spots.  As we watch the statistics and click throughs, we’re genuinely happy with the results, and based on feedback, so are our advertisers.

Having said these things, there are a few changes we’re still getting ready to unveil.  Check out the first two and let us know what you think in the comments!

  • A slow transition to Twitter based news articles only – We played with some various ways of implementing the social networking tool over the last quarter and feel confident in our approach to this.  Effective this coming Sunday, all of our articles will be 140 character blurbs with tinyurl’s to sourced links. Our hope is that we’ll get enough @replies and direct messages to share with our readers via retweets as well.  Expect more articles, albeit short ones.
  • A strong use of 2D/QR barcodes – There’s no limit to the potential of these little squares and we intend to use them in many cool ways.  Imagine being able to scan an image and be taken to YouTube reviews of software and accessories!  How about for special announcements or rumors from around the Android universe? Snap a picture and you’re off to see what other Android sites are saying!

The guys around here are really excited about both of these emerging technologies and think we could be on the forefront of both.  There are a few more ideas we are toying with but we’re not ready to let the cat out of the bag just yet.

We’re pretty sure that we’re going to lose readers over some of the decisions we’ve made.  Anytime you make adjustments to things people like, there are bound to be complaints.  Hopefully, we don’t lose too many and are able to build a stronger following in the long run.  Here’s the first barcode we invite you guys to scan.

– Scott Webster, Editor

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  • justingrammens

    Excellent! Looking forward to watching the Android community grow and your site giving us the latest and greatest news. Keep up the great work.

  • luke

    amazing idea! should be really cool!!

  • Jan-C. Borchardt

    Indeed, nice to see you're following in the trail that was blazed by The Guardian. But once again, please raise the limit for comment name length from 20 to 30.

  • Todd A

    These are probably really cool changes, but I think you are going to want to do some "education" on their usage (might limit the amount of "lost" readers). In my example, I'm a professional developer with a rabid interest in all things Android, but I haven't spent any time with the technologies this site is moving to. A FAQ on how to take advantage of the new content format would be a very good idea.

  • TareX

    Archipelago Archipelago v1.0 Addictive real-time strategy game. is that the most clickable link? :)

  • schwiz

    what app should we use to read your barcode I used ixMAT and it couldn't find anything on the web.

  • A S

    I can scan 1D barcodes with my bare eyes. Is there a special accessible version of your barcode for people like me?

  • chefgon

    1. Does that mean you're not going to be writing articles anymore? Short blurbs are fine for information previews, but if you're not going to be writing articles with your own reviews and opinions then there really isn't much point in visiting your site. 2. You're crazy if you think very many people have the slightest idea what to do with a QR code. You could at least publish or endorse a QR reader on the Android Market that you recommend for us to use. Even then, what's wrong with a hyperlink? We're already sitting at an internet enabled computer. QR codes are good for linking print media to the internet, but they are a cumbersome and unintuitive way to link between web sites. Basically, this whole thing sounds like you're jumping on some popular gimmicks and sacrificing the quality and usability of your site in the process. I fail to see what you or your readers are going to gain from this.

  • Cherry Doc Peppa

    Dude, scan that picture. It says APRIL FOOLS FROM ANDROIDGUYS.

  • chris

    heh, one of the better, believable gags. I hate twitter but I do love QR codes.

  • Todd A

    Heh, heh . Like this stuff all day long in the physical world isn't enough, I gotta endure it in my favorite Android site as well. … good times ….

  • Derreck

    Good to know you are making changes to your site. But my personal opinion is – spare the bells and whistles for later and focus on functional things first. The Home page takes a long time to load – dunno if its the bandwidth or the design issue. The comments Text Box also behaves strange sometimes…

  • Lars

    Haha, I can't believe all you guys fell for it, it was really far-fetched