The New LGF Home Page
Creating and running an enterprise is a heck of an accomplishment. I am just a guest, so my two cents is barely worth two cents, but here they are, for better or for worse.
Change for change’s sake is not necessarily the best course of action. While Charles has been staring at this format far longer than I, and further, there is always risk in “standing still”. It can feel like the rest of the industry is passing you by. However, in my humble opinion, I don’t think this is the time for a change.
The best change is that which addresses a specific problem. Many changes in the coding of the site which facilitate embedding photos, videos, user created pages, and far more than I am aware of have made this one of the most remarkable sites on the internet. These changes addressed a specific problem and solved them seamlessly. (I really don’t mean to be a kiss-ass.)
Changing the layout of the home page doesn’t seem to solve a problem that I can see. While it is easy for a user to get used to something, and not even be aware of a shortcoming, I really don’t see any with the current layout. A recent example of a change which resembles the one being contemplated is the home page of slate.com. Until a few years ago, it was primarily a chronological list down the center of the page, with some featured stuff down the sides. Very similar to this home page. A couple of years ago, they went with a tile type layout, which really is a lot less easy to use. I really have to scroll down and look all around to find something that may be new. I remember at the time reading a lot of reader comments bitching about the change. Ultimately, I admit I do not know how it affected their traffic, I’m just writing as an individual user.
In addition, I would offer the example of Philadelphia’s Action News. It dominated the local news rating for decades, and a key part of its long lasting run at the top was the continuity of the on air staff and presentation. Viewers were so loyal they even protested the use of a re-recorded version of the theme music!
Content is generally the most important thing on the site. I would recommend against mixing up the content at this time. I really mean this with the utmost respect, because you are the driving force behind the development and success of the site, and as such you know better than I what works and what doesn’t. I am a genuinely conservative person, not right wing style but in the respect that change for its own sake should be carefully considered.
I leave with the admonition of my wife the foot surgeon. When she does a surgery and she achieves 16 degrees of a 17 degree correction: “Better is the enemy of good”.