ReveNews’ 2012 Resolutions – A Year of Evolution

In much the same way that people post their resolutions for the new year, today I’m posting my resolutions for ReveNews. When I agreed to take on the role of Managing Editor, I had ideas…lots of ideas. Some of those ideas have worked out great, others not so much. The stories that you the reader seem to like the most, sometime catch me off guard and others that I think you’ll love, just sit there.

Part of my reason for posting these resolutions comes from the recent discussion about whether the “golden age” of tech blogging has passed or not.  For me, the perspective isn’t one of some golden age, but whether we’re delivering content worth reading. At some point, it was said that the golden age of radio had passed, but look at what we have now: NPR, Pandora, Last.fm, SiriusXM. Radio evolved to become something different from its original form.

I believe the same holds true for blogging and long-form writing. Perhaps this will prove another idea that I get wrong, but I hope not since I’m one of those readers that doesn’t mind reading long. I know I’m in the minority, but that’s OK as long as I’m not the only member of that minority.

For 2012, I hope ReveNews can accomplish some great things.

Increase Publication

Part of this goal hinges on recruiting new writers. So if you know someone or you are that someone who likes to write about what we cover at ReveNews, send me an email, britt@revenews.com. If you’re content to remain a reader that’s fine by me, but I could still use your help. Do we cover stories that help you become a better affiliate or marketer?

Do we need to expand our coverage into new areas? By the end of 2012, we’d like to see two to three stories a day getting posted to ReveNews. That goal didn’t seem so daunting when I started, but after a few months behind the wheel, I will consider it a huge accomplishment if we can get there. BoingBoing makes it look so easy. It’s not.

Event Prep

One of the areas we’ve had some success in is providing pre-event coverage for some of the industry’s bigger events. The main goal has been to provide you with a game plan for getting the most out of the event and insight into what some of the industry leaders are thinking about. For 2012, we’re going to spend some extra time to produce even better resources for you prior to the different events. If there’s a particular event that you’re curious about or would like to see covered in greater detail, let us know.

Sunday Editorials

One of the many reasons I was asked to come on board was to free up time for the Editor-in-Chief and co-Publisher, Angel Djambazov, to write more. For 2012, we hope to convince him to do his writing in our Sunday editorials. If you know Angel, you know he likes to push and question. Our hope is these editorials, both by him and others on our editorial staff, will cause you to think about something new and to ask questions. By the end of the year, we’d like to see these editorials appearing every Sunday. As always, if you have questions or topics you’d like to see us tackle, all you have to do is ask.

Weekly Newsletter

You may have noticed the small box in the sidebar, encouraging you to sign up for the ReveNews newsletter. For 2012, we plan to send a weekly newsletter that includes the week’s past stories at ReveNews. Think of it like a mini newspaper you’ll get in your inbox once a week. I know some readers prefer the option of having everything in front of them, so this newsletter is for you. As events warrant, we’ll also add original content to highlight something that may have gotten missed during the week.

I consider this to be a small, but weighty list for the coming year. If the ReveNews team can accomplish all three this year, I’ll be thrilled.

 

About Britt Raybould

Britt Raybould has a passion for telling stories and she specializes in helping companies figure out how to tell their own stories. Through her firm, Write Bold, she shows companies how storytelling can define them, both to their customers and within their industry. When she remembers to, Britt blogs on her personal sites at bold-words.com and brittraybould.com. You can find Britt on Twitter @britter.

Twitter: britter
  • Devin T.

    I think there’s a ton of potential in a site like ReveNews. Obviously, there isn’t much wiggle room when it comes to hiring writers since people generally look for incentives to do something. I think ReveNews needs some serious work to become the hub that it was at one point (when Sam Harrelson was Publisher). Some of the big things that need to be done for RN would be a few tweaks to the design and updating the site in general so that it is optimized for both the mobile web and Windows/Mac/Linux browsers. In 2012, it’ll be beyond important to optimize your sites for the mobile web as traffic moves from traditional desktop/laptop computers to tablets and mobile phones (iPhone, DROID, etc). Above all, ReveNews needs to bring back the micro-content aspect of things. Blogs like Daring Fireball and PayPerTrends are doing this since the posts there are generally less than 300 words in total (excluding quotes from articles). 

    Anyways, here’s to ReveNews in 2012. 

    • http://www.brittraybould.com Britt Raybould

      Micro content as you describe it does have its place as part of the overall content strategy. However, we want to avoid the classic mistake of trying to be all things to all people. The very sites you name specialize in that format and do it very well while ReveNews aims to provide in-depth content that tries to ask the next question in the discussion. It’s my hope there’s room for both.

      • Devin T

        I believe that micro-content continues to be important for sites like ReveNews. If you promote the concept of micro-content, the concept of writing for RN will be attractive to more writers (see my site at devintonhaeuser.net since I’m doing mostly micro-content). I think in general, ReveNews is a great site, but it needs an overhaul to get it to be the bustling hub it once was…. think about a membership program where readers can chip in if they find any value in the content at ReveNews (look to loopinsight.com, paypertrends.com/love or http://daringfireball.net/members/

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  • Pat Grady

    “For me, the perspective isn’t one of some golden age, but whether we’re delivering content worth reading.”  Exactly what I was thinking! In addition to that angle, I see proliferation itself causing the noise-to-signal ratio to increase beyond interest sustainability.  Quantity of publishing goals are too common, wouldn’t you agree?  :-)

    • http://www.brittraybould.com Britt Raybould

      True, quantity may be common. But in this instance the numbers are connected to the bigger idea of making ReveNews a better resource for both marketers and affiliates. While I appreciate the appeal of less is more (and it would certainly make my job easier), I can’t pretend that we’re doing full justice to the interests of our readers with one story a day.

      The reality is that an increase in quality content will allow us to reach more people. I don’t believe that hitting the publish button for the sake of publishing is a worthwhile goal. I do believe that publishing to inform, challenge, and trigger discussions can go hand in hand with setting quantity as a publishing goal. To your very valid point, yes, setting quantity publishing goals is too common. What is uncommon is connecting those goals to bigger objectives and that’s what I hope we can do at ReveNews in 2012.

      • Pat Grady

        in this case, i do agree with you – professionally edited, multi-person curated, disagreements-welcomed content found here, should grow in quantity.  just conveying, aside from the hit home point here, that virtually everyone feels the same about their own content… hence the pollution.  screening tools are always behind the prolif curve, here’s hoping they continue to move forward fast enough to sustain interest where it rightfully deserves it.

        • Devin

          @b97eb0d1839197a824bab32a34e4d0af:disqus But isn’t the beauty of blogs like ReveNews and TechCruch that they’re not dominated by editors? I don’t think group blogs need editors, honestly. Trust your writers and be a publisher/community steward instead. ReveNews, at this point, is dead. It’s time for a change around these parts. Wouldn’t you agree?

          • Pat Grady

            i agree, not dominated = beauty.  so why is the change you suggested needed?  i don’t think it is.  keep doing it the right way, and it’ll pay off.  good editing with freedom to speak to smart people about interesting topics is why i keep coming back.  quality over quantity, which was my earlier point… if this became a voluminous noise box, i’d skip it.  real conundrum of modern publishing, for sure… money = scale = noise = disinterest.

          • http://www.brittraybould.com Britt Raybould

            Pat, the last thing I want to do is make ReveNews a squawk box that distracts instead of informs. So don’t hesitate to speak up if you feel we’ve gone too far in that direction. It will be a fine balance to maintain.

            I’m glad to hear that you see value in the editing aspect of ReveNews. Good editing can make the difference between thoughtful analysis and wandering content. I suspect most writers (including myself) will acknowledge that editorial support can strengthen their work.

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  • http://www.weboutsourcing-gateway.com/ Web Outsourcing Gateway

    great New Year’s resolution for ReveNews. You inspired me to having a New Year’s resolution too! Hope you can accomplish your New Year’s resolution. Good luck.

  • http://twitter.com/Trust Trust

    I’d say over the years, topics regarding affiliate marketing, tend to get more action.  Just a few random thoughts.

    Over the years, the only blog I read that I found of any use to me, was Sam’s blog when he was running CostPerNews.  That’s because he actually went into it and showed me ways I can use something to help my business.  I’d read some things and think great but how can I use this for my business, practical ways. As an example, I’ll read an article here about Get Social with Social Media and rehash some boring stats on social media which does nothing for me.  Show me a successful campaign, show me specifically how people are working it, etc.

    Forgot which magazine it was but they had somebody called the Spider.  I figured out who that was and understood why they posted under that moniker.  You could be a little more open and honest about some subjects.

    WordPress, the most widely used CMS.  How about somebody like a WP guru, going thru some of the newest plugins or well known plugins and how they might be useful to affiliates.  Other things related to WordPress.

    I saw a couple of Kevin’s posts here about analytics, going into details, screenshots etc.  Stuff like that is good.

    Have somebody that’s willing to hold some people’s toes to the fire to try to get some positive change.  Today, I’m reading at ABW somebody worried about starting a new Adwords campaign because the langauge Google used about being a bridge and “Please note that repeated or egregious problems with AdWords Site
    Policies can lead to account suspension for this AdWords account and all
    related accounts” Related accounts can be Adsense account and if you get that account suspended, you’re pretty much out of GAN as well. That’s not affiliate friendly and we have somebody from Google sitting on the PMA Board of Directors.  That doesn’t go together.  Who’s willing to speak up on that?  Get them to blog over here.

    Back in the day, you had forums like ABW or places like Revenews were you would go to for the latest.  Nowadays, it’s pretty instant, Twitter, Facebook etc.  So, you have to do more than just repeat what people have already read.  A little more than a news aggregator.  You can have that but a little more of the details, things affiliates can actually use to grow their business, etc.

    • Devin

      ReveNews has seemed to deteriorate ever since Sam Harrelson stepped down as Publisher and moved on to pursue other opportunities in the affiliate space… not quite sure if you’ve heard, but he’s back with something very similar to CostPerNews –> http://www.paypertrends.com 

    • http://www.brittraybould.com Britt Raybould

      Your suggestions are definitely on point. We’ve gotten a good response to the more proactive and action-oriented articles like the ones you noted from Kevin and plan to do more in the future. It’s a very valid critique that we need to be more than a news aggregator. However, it always seems like we get some of our highest traffic on the stories that are highlighting current news. So again, it’s one of those issues where we want to provide thoughtful analysis, but readers also seem to appreciate those notices about different events that are likely to have been seen first on Twitter or Facebook.