Say Goodbye to the Gawker Newsfeed
Gawker's CMS, Kinja, rigidly adheres to a chronologically ordered feed, with no real ability to feature or "pin" posts. This is fairly unique among publishers in our space. Buzzfeed, Vox, and Vice, to name three frenemies, all devote significant real estate, on desktop and mobile, to "featured" stories; of the three mystical axes of content organization—"latest," "popular," and "featured"—Kinja devotes space to only the first two.
This can make it difficult, in a direct comparison, for Gawker's front page to stand out. Newsfeed was an attempt to move the "latest" list to a sub-blog so the homepage could be devoted to "featured." Another way of thinking about it is that Gawker's front page would become the big top-story "splash" of the previous design, while Newsfeed would be the "latest stories" rail.
Ideally, this design would satisfy everyone: Obsessive readers, who could simply read the Newsfeed; regular but infrequent readers, who could load the front page to see the best of what we'd done in the period since they last visited; and drive-by social-traffic readers, who don't give a shit about our homepage since they came from Facebook.
This has worked to some extent. Newsfeed has seen a slow increase in adoption as a direct destination, but after six weeks is still only at around 40 percent of what our homepage traffic is. Overall traffic's held steady at a respectable 17.7ish million uniques for February, but we won't get a gold-and-white dress photo every month, and we were seeing frustrating dips in time spent on the site. We also were worried about SEO trouble, as the sub-blogs don't reflect as Gawker.com posts to Google, but that was a relatively obscure worry