Bringing on Asides: Yay or Nay?

Posted: March 05, 2010 Comments(11)

I’ve toiled back and forth between the possibility (and feasibility) of adding asides to Monday By Noon. I’ve constantly wavered back and forth between whether they’re applicable and also whether readers would enjoy such posts.

When I think about asides, I basically equate them to Tumblr style posts. In the case of MBN, I’d use them to briefly discuss current events, give opinions on articles, display some random bits of information, and the like.

I’ve contemplated avoiding the integration with Monday By Noon altogether and going for it with a one-off Tumblr site but something about that didn’t seem right when I’ve got a perfectly good platform right here. I don’t plan on wavering from Web design with the asides, and I don’t plan on being overbearing, but I’m really curious as to your opinion on the matter.

Without a doubt, the founding principle of Monday By Noon will be a weekly (feature length) article every week, but I’m finding myself wanting an outlet for shorter quips that come up throughout the week. Twitter has been a decent forum for that, but 140 characters doesn’t really cut it in the long run.

I guess what I’m trying to ask is if you’d be bothered by the inclusion of asides on Monday By Noon. Would you prefer that the existing feed encompass feature length articles only, and a new feed set up for asides? Should the main feed blend the two, but a separate feed be set up for the feature articles only? Are you even using the feed anymore? I’m truly curious about your opinion here and welcome any and all opinion you’ve got to offer.

Update: Todd brings up a great point that I’d like to be super clear on. The core purpose of Monday By Noon is the weekly publication part. I don’t want to change that at all. I’m simply toying with the idea of increasing the post frequency throughout the rest of the week. So to be redundant: the weekly feature length articles aren’t going anywhere and they never will, this change would be adding shorter posts to the mix as well.

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  1. Yes, that would be an integral part of this change, without a doubt. I think adding asides will not only (hopefully) be of interest to readers, but also get me thinking a bit more formally about our consistently changing field. Thanks so much for the input!

  2. Awesome, do you think that the existing feed should remain as is, and exclude the asides, or should the existing feed have everything and a new feed be added that just includes feature articles?

  3. I would welcome the asides, I’d say go for it. I do have your feed in my Reader too. Perhaps separate article and asides feeds could be set up for those that would mind. But, if the asides you write are more often relevant to the web and technology, maybe it’s not as big of a departure from the norm.

  4. Thanks for the input! The asides would definitely be related only to Web design and development. That’s a main reason for Twitter not being applicable here. My Twitter feed is anything and everything. The subject matter would remain on point, but not as in depth as the weekly pieces.

  5. I’m also for asides. I think the way to do it would be to add asides to the main feed and provide a new article-only feed. Maybe put a little note at the bottom of each post in your feed to say “Just want the articles? There’s a new feed for that.” to make it easy for people to switch if they start seeing the asides and don’t like them. There are plugins for inserting little bits like that to the bottom of your posts in the feed.

    FWIW, I’m expecting great content from your asides and I don’t think many people will want to exclude it once they’ve seen it.

  6. Love that idea, and I think I’m comfortable with it as well. I’m hoping that people will appreciate the asides as well, since there is so much going on each day that doesn’t get the focal attention of a weekly feature article around here. Thanks so much for your thoughts!

  7. Speaking of feeds, I’m a little disappointed that you have moved to only showing excerpts in the feed instead of the full article.

  8. Hey Matthew, thank you very much for leaving your honest opinion. Truth be told, I wavered back and forth quite a bit on that, and with the inception of asides as regular short posts, I will more than likely bring back the full feed structure. While I can see providing excerpts only as a feasible solution for feature-length articles only, I don’t agree with requiring a click-through to read an aside. Again, thank you very much for leaving your note, as a probable RSS-only reader, it’s possibly rare that you click through to read comment threads so I appreciate you breaking the mold in this case.

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