Labeling new and newish content Jason 14 Dec 2005

19 comments Latest by Qasim

I like how Mcsweeney’s labels its content sections: a red dot means there’s something NEW, a black dot means there’s something NEWISH. This is a smart way to help people find NEW NEW stuff and stuff that’s sorta new and recent, but not the newest. Sections without dots mean they haven’t been updated in a while.

19 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Michael Ward 14 Dec 05

Not a very accessible method - relying on colour alone.

Jeff Pamer 14 Dec 05

Color aside…you can still tell which sections are relatively new

Mark 14 Dec 05

A neat concept, but a bit incomplete don’t you think?

What’s the definition of “newish”? Earlier today? Yesterday? Last week? Two weeks ago?…

I’m not a reader of McSweeney’s, so that whole system might as well be a foreign language to me. On the other hand, regular readers would already have an idea of what was new and newish, so why have to explain it?

JF 14 Dec 05

Mark, they’re the editors, they decide.

Josh 14 Dec 05

Kinda reminiscent of those “new” icons that all the linkfarms had back in 1997.

Aren’t they just a crutch to make up for the fact that McSweeney’s doesn’t have a feed? Kottke had made a screen scraper a while back, but I don’t think it works/is up anymore.

Mark 14 Dec 05

Jason -

Ok, the readers are the editors (I think that’s what you’re telling me here). But still the question remains who are they labelling this for and why? Regular readers (and arguably semi-regular readers) should already know — right? New readers won’t have a clue, and assigning such a meaningless and undefinable term as “newish” isn’t going to help.

Eric 14 Dec 05

this scraped feed has been working for quite a while now:

http://interglacial.com/rss/mcsweeneys.rss

Jeff Pamer 14 Dec 05

Due to the style and organization of the site I don’t think it would necessarily be easy to tell which sections are new even if you are a regular reader. These dots are a simple way to grab your attention. Sure it may not be the “best” way to do it…but it’s not hurting anything

Brendan 14 Dec 05

I also enjoy the method employed by the http://dealnews.com / collection of websites (dealmac, dealcam, dealram, etc.). These sites content goes through a major update each day and minor updates throughout the remainder of the day. On your first visit to the site on any given day everything looks normal. On each subsequent visit, each new item is marked with a red ‘new’ tag next to it. This enables you to quickly scroll the page, stopping to check out anything that has been added since your last visit.

Josh 14 Dec 05

Eric, word.

Rob Sanheim 14 Dec 05

Thanks eric, definitely adding that to bloglines.

Eric 14 Dec 05

No problem. I use NNW, but if Safari doesn’t auto detect a feed or there isn’t an obvious link I look elsewhere for it. I probably found that via blogline’s search or syndic8.com.

Tony 15 Dec 05

I can’t tell a difference between the red and black. They look identical to me. So not such a great feature. Other than the fact that a dot means either new, or newish.

Josh 15 Dec 05

“Aren’t they just a crutch to make up for the fact that McSweeney’s doesn’t have a feed?”

Good point for all 3% of their readers that have an RSS feed.

Dave 15 Dec 05

How long have they been doing that? I never noticed it.

Yutai 16 Dec 05

This doesn’t excuse them for listing their humungo list of sectinos in all caps.

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