Loomio
Tue 27 Jan 2015 3:44AM

Reduce the blog to just blog, expand and improve mm.cc homepage into one pager, and add 'offerings' and 'open value network' pages on mm.cc

CT Connor Turland Public Seen by 7

This may sound harsh, but if you look at the components of the homepage of the blog, it's basically a waste of space. It doesn't convey almost any of the important aspects that a homepage should, and the same seems to go for the rest of the blog pages. They aren't set up for a person reading a website in 2015.

I propose the blog goes more into the style of our old friends, the elepath blog http://elepath.tumblr.com/.
blog

The 'offerings' page and 'open value network' page are outside of the scope of this proposal, other than the meaningfulness of their existence, details to be worked out as a separate proposal.

I propose the homepage includes the following components, in roughly the order listed.
-promo video in big format
- 'what is metamaps' section: 'make sense with metamaps', followed by a more in depth blurb
- a section explaining that metamaps.cc is a version of an open technology (this is a big thing missing from blog currently it feels like)
- built by an open and peer-to-peer network. don't use the term 'open value network' here, it requires too much explanation. use accessible language. follow with pictures of a bunch of our faces in bubbles. screw the fact that we don't have a name for the network, just leave it at that. rock the namelessness. we are a network. link to bigger, independent OVN page
- a small section dedicated to the fact that we have paid offerings, link to a dedicated page where they can explore this
- a few testimonials like this one from George Por "The work you guys are doing and the way you go about it makes my heart sing and makes me more optimisitic about the future of scalable collective intelligence and wisdom."
- Partners-ish section, like currently on mm.cc homepage
- Another Call-To-Action like, Request Invite, Sign In
- footer
Image of homepage

As a scope for this decision, I suggest that myself, Devin, Ishan, Robert, Marija, Raymon, and Ben should at a minimum weigh in on this, and that it take 5 'yes' votes to a proposal to move ahead.

As a process, I propose that Ishan design a very simple layout for the blog. I would volunteer to implement it, which would mostly involving removal of styling and pages, not addition, so that's easy.

This could happen in parallel with a design for the homepage done by Ishan, which I would also volunteer to implement. Implementation would be extremely easy, with a design in hand.

If people are enthusiastic about this idea, I expect that the list of components for the homepage will evolve with the discussion, until we reach a resolution, at which point homepage design could start in full.

CT

Connor Turland Tue 27 Jan 2015 4:02AM

As a side note, Ben has started working on this hackpad about 'products and services' which would / could potentially serve as the updated 'pricing / offerings' page, but I'd like to think that it could get a lot less word heavy, and thought about in the context of how it could stylistically appear, without being a plain text page, with an embedded map. In my mind, that's a hard sell. https://metamaps.hackpad.com/products-and-services-page-0Mp5aKsEC6H

CT

Connor Turland Tue 27 Jan 2015 4:31AM

Ben said: "am wondering how this deals with the issue of logged in vs. logged out status for visitors - is explore page now clicked thru to from home instead of being the landing page?"

I replied "I know that github is github, but they give you their marketing site when you're logged out on the homepage, and an activity stream when you're logged in, no more marketing site. I propose similarly. Keep the same logged in home."

CT

Connor Turland Tue 27 Jan 2015 4:40AM

Ben said: "but what if I want to access that stuff, or know that someone will see it, without having to log out first?"

I replied "Looking with that in mind, I guess github gets around it by only putting stuff that would be relevant to a logged out user onto their homepage. It's all part of the invitation to sign up sign in use the platform. In our case, we're talking about content that goes beyond that scope. I'm not fully sure what the answer is to that yet. Will think about it."

DH

Devin H Tue 27 Jan 2015 2:17PM

Before I vote: that new homepage seems super long. What's the user experience going to be like?

I think there is some value in a simple/powerful homepage and a blog where you can explore these resources further.

I'm not saying keep the status quo though. Can you describe in more detail how the scrolling works on the homepage, if the footer is fixed, stuff like that? I realize this is annoying haha.

I guess what I'm asking is what are the (new) goals of the homepage, and what are the complementary goals of the blog, and how are we accomplishing those goals?

DH

Devin H Tue 27 Jan 2015 2:18PM

As for accessing front page content once you're logged in, I think the quick answer is putting all of that information on a page accessible from the main menu thing. That's where I would look for it (since we don't have a footer with tiny text on every page, which is where I'd look for it first)

RB

Robert Best Fri 30 Jan 2015 10:46PM

I agree with this general proposal to change the homepage for people logged out.

RJ

Raymon Johnstone Wed 4 Feb 2015 1:52AM

I agree that simplifying and making it clearer
between people who are logged in / logged out is a good idea.

CT

Connor Turland Fri 6 Feb 2015 11:26PM

Yes, Devin, that is what bitHound just did recently, as we flipped the switch into open beta. Once logged in, the 'logged out homepage' becomes accessible at '/home'. @benjaminbrownell see above

To your other point Devin, I think the homepage could be streamlined down to just the 4 top sections that I proposed, with 'testimonials, partners, offerings, etc.' just turning into links to other pages.

I categorize the top 4 as:
1. video
2. 'make sense with metamaps' + blurb
3. 'open technology'
4. built by an open and p2p network

As for scrolling, simple but engaging like this https://www.bithound.io/

CT

Poll Created Fri 6 Feb 2015 11:36PM

Condense blog into streamlined place just for blog posts, design and implement 4 section scrolling homepage Closed Mon 9 Feb 2015 10:05PM

If we can agree on this high level strategy, then further proposals can be made with specific visual designs for both.

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 71.4% 5 CT DH MC RB RJ
Abstain 14.3% 1 IS
Disagree 14.3% 1 BB
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 1 JR

7 of 8 people have voted (87%)

RJ

Raymon Johnstone
Agree
Sat 7 Feb 2015 1:18AM

I think all of these steps allow us to operate more visibly and simply, also making us considerably more likely for more people to take interest.

RB

Robert Best
Agree
Sat 7 Feb 2015 7:03PM

I agree with all the points in the title of the proposal. Let's get clearer in scope and details, but I am definitely for enhancing the areas this points to.

BB

Benjamin Brownell
Disagree
Sat 7 Feb 2015 8:22PM

"I think we could probably do better" is my feeling with regards to putting this proposal in perspective next to other matters that I think are of greater priority and more clearly defined for action. Not so enthused for scrolling page idea

MC

Marija Coneva
Agree
Sun 8 Feb 2015 8:14PM

I agree with the need for an update presence and re-thinking before jumping into implementation what the highest leverage points will be to achieve that!

CT

Connor Turland
Agree
Sun 8 Feb 2015 9:38PM

I am big on the idea right now of just 'owning' where we are at. Saying to the world "we don't have it all figured out, but there are some things we do, and some things we have valuable experience in".

DH

Devin H
Agree
Sun 8 Feb 2015 10:05PM

I would be excited about someone putting time and effort into designing the UX of the blog pages.

IS

Ishan Shapiro
Abstain
Mon 9 Feb 2015 8:19AM

I recognize the value of it, and at the same time I'd like to put my time in other areas of focus.

MC

Marija Coneva Sun 8 Feb 2015 8:18PM

Few things including what has been mentioned in this discussion regarding the user experience and our collective identity that we will need to carefully re/visit and I think that can bring a fresh air into the space. Sometimes changing a blurb give new wings....or whatever :) So yes - let's creatively approach this and see what we come up with.

IS

Ishan Shapiro Mon 9 Feb 2015 8:17AM

I want to do this and see the clear need. and simultaneously designing the homepage doesn't motivate me currently. I sense a considerable effort involved in it beyond just design. I feel more like putting the energy I have available towards making a better experience 4 the users we have. that's where i feel the UX is really significant at this stage.

that said I think we can start a hackpad for a creative evolution of the homepage, and if people want to start gathering some media, that's good - when preparation is done and all the pieces there I am likely to execute the designs.

RB

Robert Best Mon 9 Feb 2015 4:50PM

Hopefully replying to loomio through email works as intended...

I just wanted to add that I think our "blog" should be its own independent thing, and contextualized that way... This means that it is prominently linked to on the homepage for logged out users... and a link is also available for logged in users.. (maybe with the links at the bottom i.e about, colophon, etc.)

Going to the blog would mean seeing the latest blog posts (currently our blog doesn't show any on the front page)... Then, other stuff like products/services/offerings/slidedecks are either just simple blogposts or are not in the blog area at all... This stuff can have its own presence on our logged-out home page, just like the blog, and when logged in it can be in the about/get involved areas

CT

Connor Turland Mon 9 Feb 2015 6:14PM

fully agree there Rob

CT

Connor Turland Mon 9 Feb 2015 6:59PM

@ishanshapiro it sounds for what the scope of this proposal actually is, you could have just agreed? I know that I made a suggestion in the initial description that you and I would be executers of the action, but I tried to leave that part out of what the actual decision was. This is just trying to narrow this down, as opposed to alternatives, as a desirable course of action, not necessarily to begin right away, or assume specific people. Also, voicing the other things that are being held as high pressing priority would be nice to have seen those show up in the question to the DevCom about priority? I would love to hear more about what 'making a better experience for the users we have' means and involves from your perspective

CT

Connor Turland Mon 9 Feb 2015 7:12PM

@benjaminbrownell your disagreement also held two aspects, one of whether this is "priority" and another one that hinted that you disagreed with the actual idea. Maybe we experiment with limiting the scope of this convo thread to how this is a good idea or not? That way, we can know that your 'disagree' is actually a block to the very idea of doing this.

I know that asking you further questions here is an implicit ask for you to dedicate more of your time to this thread, which sounds like that is the fundamental thing that you're not digging. It leaves us with an interesting question of whether doing that, intentionally, is a 'block' of its own. What it feels that I can do, is also show interest and curiosity and dedicate some time to that which you are emphasizing as priority, which I will attempt to do more of.

Back to content, the loomio homepage is another good example of a strong communication of what they do and what the platform is. Can you think of a style that you've seen that can convey all of that better?

BB

Benjamin Brownell Mon 9 Feb 2015 7:23PM

Sure. Couple of things - and by the way I don't resent being called back to this conversation, there are several interesting and illuminating aspects to it.

My overriding sense is that this isn't an initiative that is set to move ahead very swiftly or smoothly right at the moment - maybe that's because I can't see more of the 'sensemaking' map around what's involved. But it also has to do with the fact that I'm basically "OK" with homepage and blog as they are now, and have no problem waiting till another significant update push in a month or three to deal with updates there.

Second, I'm just not feeling that the increasingly ubiquitous scrolling homepage is actually a good choice for us, stylistically or UX, or content wise. I think it's significant to note that maps are a very different and unique UI / UX to almost anything else out there on the web right now with the degree of design sensibility that we have invested in it, and i'd want the homepage to really follow that trend and stand out in some ways, not just head towards convention or convenience.

Perhaps the blog site could change around to be more like that, and re-integrate some of the content that you are pointing to above. I don't know. I'd want to get more of this thinking out on a map where we can work with it, and frankly this doesn't feel like the time for me to invest much in that process. Glad to follow along and input here and there, if you / others want to take it further.

And finally, please don't feel like i'm coming across with resentfulness that you (connor) aren't doing other more important code work, it's not that tone of feeling in my mind, just a more practical desire to rank what I am seeing as priorities so that you are aware of that and can factor it into your decision making about spending time. Interests and enthusiasm are of course another factor there. Steer as you willl...we can all help set course!

DH

Devin H Mon 9 Feb 2015 7:37PM

The idea of making the metamaps.cc homepage in the style of a map is intriguing!

I think the blog currently doesn't draw me in. It works informationally but I agreed to this proposal because I think it is a priority.

My initial attempt to imagine a map based homepage would be awful UX. I think at the very least if it were map based we'd want all topic cards expanded by default to show more information.

Sure. Couple of things - and by the way I don’t resent being called back to this conversation, there are several interesting and illuminating aspects to it.

My overriding sense is that this isn’t an initiative that is set to move ahead very swiftly or smoothly right at the moment - maybe that’s because I can’t see more of the ‘sensemaking’ map around what’s involved. But it also has to do with the fact that I’m basically “OK” with homepage and blog as they are now, and have no problem waiting till another significant update push in a month or three to deal with updates there.

Second, I’m just not feeling that the increasingly ubiquitous scrolling homepage is actually a good choice for us, stylistically or UX, or content wise. I think it’s significant to note that maps are a very different and unique UI / UX to almost anything else out there on the web right now with the degree of design sensibility that we have invested in it, and i’d want the homepage to really follow that trend and stand out in some ways, not just head towards convention or convenience.

Perhaps the blog site could change around to be more like that, and re-integrate some of the content that you are pointing to above. I don’t know. I’d want to get more of this thinking out on a map where we can work with it, and frankly this doesn’t feel like the time for me to invest much in that process. Glad to follow along and input here and there, if you / others want to take it further.

And finally, please don’t feel like i’m coming across with resentfulness that you (connor) aren’t doing other more important code work, it’s not that tone of feeling in my mind, just a more practical desire to rank what I am seeing as priorities so that you are aware of that and can factor it into your decision making about spending time. Interests and enthusiasm are of course another factor there. Steer as you willl…we can all help set course!

Reply to this email directly or view it on Loomio ( http://www.loomio.org/d/DG0i5bZM/reduce-the-blog-to-just-blog-expand-and-improve-mm-cc-homepage-into-one-pager-and-add-offerings-and-open-value-network-pages-on-mm-cc?utm_campaign=thread_mailer&utm_medium=email&utm_source=new_comment#comment-495597 ).

Unfollow ( http://www.loomio.org/email_actions/unfollow_discussion/66828/BSyfqb9bws8P16u8BXZk ) to stop emails about this discussion.

Change your email preferences ( http://www.loomio.org/email_preferences?unsubscribe_token=BSyfqb9bws8P16u8BXZk&utm_campaign=thread_mailer&utm_medium=email&utm_source=new_comment ) to unsubscribe from Loomio emails.

BB

Benjamin Brownell Mon 9 Feb 2015 7:47PM

Well, what starts to come to mind for me isn't exactly a 'map based' home page, but some other kind of creative solution that somehow matches the kind of spatial, navigational feel of the canvas. Even if it was something with basically the same content that's laid out here, but you scroll through it by going IN TO the page along a Z axis instead of the Y axis regular scroll...or something that brought in some cool new famo.us ( http://famo.us ) flow elements...i don't really know what's possible within time, scope, energy, skill here.

CT

Connor Turland Mon 9 Feb 2015 9:04PM

Ok, I say we let this proposal close, and don't take it as a 'let's go forward with X' thing. It seems like there might be consensus about the blog side of things, which I will create another decision for here, but that exploration of the options for the homepage could be pursued a little bit more! I'm digging the alt. ideas that are surfacing for it, and think that we can refine the 'homepage' aspect of the proposal, with further collaborative thinking and dialogue.

RB

Robert Best Mon 9 Feb 2015 9:07PM

One thought I would add is... We are already asking our users to stretch cognitively and think differently (Thinking in terms of maps/nodes/networks etc..) So maybe it would be best if when they look at something like our blog or our homepage that there are many familiar aspects... vs doing these things differently too.

"Oh! This is their homepage... I know how to get the information I want from here!"

or

"Ok this is their blog... I know how to use this! I can click here and subscribe, I can see the most recent post.." etc...

CT

Connor Turland Mon 9 Feb 2015 9:09PM

I agree with that as well Rob, that it's an important aspect for us to consider. Mark from San Fran also made this point when we spoke with him