Friday, April 20, 2012

Types of widgets needed on every content publishing website to optimally expose past and present content

The keyword here is expose [both past and present content]. Why? Because there is hidden value in both past and present content that can be harvested by optimally exposing the content. By effectively exposing the existing content, it is possible to achieve higher overall returns on investments already made [by way of reduction in the amount of fresh investment required to continually create new content].

Most Popular box on HBR, Apr'12. The sub-sections here are Most Commented and Most Read. The scopes are Last 24 Hours, Last 7 Days, and Last 30 Days.

In my opinion, the following types of widgets should be implemented on every content publishing platform [such as a blog, a photo or video sharing website, etc., and even for reader comments, since the comments too are a form of content]. Presently, websites implemente a subset of these widgets, resulting in sub-optimal exposure of existing content. Websites should implement all of these widgets.
  1. By publishing date: There should be two sub-sections in this box - newest and oldest. These sections should have list of articles/content in chronological order. Also, a calendar box should allow the reader to pull a list of articles published by choosing a specific date [day, week, or month].
  2. Featured: A list of articles that the website owner wants to highlight/push [although these articles might not necessarily have the highest rating by users]. The owner should be able to select, say 50 articles, and the widget should randomly display a subset, say 10, of those in this box.
  3. Recently edited/updated: Content that has been recently revised. This widget will allow readers to take note of content that has changed.
  4. Random: A randomly generated list of content. A button called "Randomize" will randomly rebuild this list. The idea behind this box is to expose past content on a random basis, to give past content visibility. Scopes: Recently, Today, Last Week, Last Month, Last Year, Ever. Default scope is Ever.
  5. Related: A list of articles that are related to the current article, based on similar keywords/phrases. This widget will require Cloud-based processing of all the content on the website.
  6. Suggested: A list of articles from the current website suggested specifically to you, based on your past content consumption, your demographics/profile, etc. This widget is also intensive, in that it requires significant Cloud-based information and processing.
  7. Popular: Sub sections in this widget will be Most Read/Viewed, Most Shared, Most Commented, Most Cited/Linked. Most Shared includes sharing both via email and social networks. Most Cited/Linked means that the articles in this list have the highest citations [in documents, emails, etc.] and also the most inward links from content out there on the Web. Scopes: Recently, Today, Last Week, Last Month, Last Year, Ever.
  8. By rating: Best rated. Worst rated. What makes this box different from the Popular box is that the sheer number of views, comments, etc., don't matter here. Scopes: Recently, Today, Last Week, Last Month, Last Year, Ever.
  9. Tag cloud: A tag cloud box should display the phrases/words used the most in all of the content on the website. Again, this box will require Cloud-based processing of website data. Once again, there should be scopes available for this box, to allow a reader to see the topics that a website has focused upon in the last day, week, month, etc. Automated construction of a tag cloud could use Amazon's SIP idea.
  10. Tags: The website owner should specify tags to every piece of content, and a user should be able to pull content corresponding to one or more tags [return articles using tag A; return articles using tag A AND B; return articles using tag A OR B].
  11. Search box: Of course, a search box is still required to allow readers to search for content using date, keywords, sentences, etc.

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