Monday, January 04, 2010

ILuvSA: Change And What You Can Expect For 2010

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Reply To Some Recent Questions

I Luv SA has seen some meteoric growth, from its inception in 2008, until today. The site celebrated its 1st year in May of 2009, and had received around 300,000 visitors. Today we stand at around 800,000 visitors.

But, in the grander scheme of things, is that the measure of success? Our answer is NO.

You see, the one trick pony political websites have only one theme; bash the establishment in a demeaning and derogatory way, with very little intelligent discourse or original commentary. Most of it is predictable, and it is a scenario we want to avoid, or pack it in.

I Luv SA wants to be more things to more people, and this formula has slowly evolved since the beginning. We have taken the view that we are prepared to lose readers, but in exchange for more engaging dialogue. This dialogue will not only encompass South African affairs, but will include commentary on global events that have a bearing on South Africa in general, and any other topical subject. The object will be to become a source of information, that is truthful, enlightening, intelligent, stimulating and meaningful; sometimes using sourced MSM articles and sometimes original editorials. This is not to say that we will not be defined as being derogatory or demeaning, or that we won't offend anybody; quite the contrary. If we aren't offending, we aren't doing our job; but our scope will be broader, and our language will be moderate.

For example; one thing I Luv SA has always endeavoured to do, is to periodically conduct its own research. These haven't always been "best sellers" but it is something we do, to get a better picture.

Despite these intentions I would be remiss if I did not mention that the task is an overwhelming one. The small group of contributors are a highly ethical bunch (a non-negotiable prerequisite), but we all have full time employment, so it was a devastating blow to lose Doberman.

We acknowledge that the volume of articles has declined, but we think that is okay. Part of the high volume strategy was to garner internet traffic; that was achieved and now we hope to consolidate our readership. Despite the adversity, though, I think we have done okay.

So what changes have taken place and what can you expect?

Twitter. You will notice that there is a twitter section to the left of your page. This shows the latest posts, but also includes links to topical articles that we do not repeat on the blog. So scan the twitter list from time-to-time.

Ratings. You will see that each article has a 5 star rating facility. We know that we get approximately 50-70,000 views per month, and many of you do not participate in the form of comments. If you have enjoyed an article, or not, please select an appropriate rating. We view the scores, and it allows us to see what articles appeal to our readership. Sometimes you will see that additional I Luv SA articles are recommended for you, this is just an extra feature.

Horizontal Menu. You will notice that there is a menu just below the header. We would like to include options that are meaningful to our readers. Besides the existing options, perhaps an article Top 10. However we are open to suggestions. Let us know what you want.

Finally, we always require contributors, so if you want to help out, drop us an email.

We hope you still find the site interesting, and that the new changes will improve your experience.

9 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work guys, I really enjoy this site!

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work. I like to see a diverse range of articles - not just from SA as I think they're all relevant and they also help to "lighten" the mood of us ex-pats towards what's going on in SA. This site has helped me make peace with my decision to leave SA and its great to see the comments from the readers...

Anonymous said...

Bravo VI, you have made a very wise editorial decision. The fact that you have a full time job and other responsibilities doesn't hide the passion you feel for I Luv SA, saturnine as it may sometimes seem.

In fact, bravo for the moderate, level headed contributors who make I Luv SA the success it is. We are sufficient in number as well as in quality to keep the candle from flickering out.

It's regrettable that Doberman left but he really fired the candle for I Luv SA from both ends for a long time. I'm sure I speak for all of us when I express gratitude to Doberman for setting the website on a path conducive to the kind of balanced discussion we enjoy for the most part.

VI, I like the interactive additions you've made with twitter, ratings and the new horizontal menu. I look forward to your continued management because you're a brainy guy with an inbuilt - dare I say it - bullshit detector.

Sakkie de Kok said...

I once questioned the lack of dialog on the comments section, and, on reflection, I feel the reason was the sheer volume of articles published on the site. By the time the comments section warms up there are already another 10 articles published, so they never develop into anything worthwhile.
As such, I think your idea to publish fewer articles is a positive step in the right direction. Well done.

Anonymous said...

@Sakkie. Thanks. All depends on who determines what success looks like.

Exzanian said...

The only problem I have with this site is it's so damn addictive! I just keep coming back for more...

Anonymous said...

@ExZ. Ha ha, I know what you mean; even our detractors can't help but visit to slander us.

FishEagle said...

VI, the new ratings system is cool because it's a form of feedback that motivates to improve on the articles all the time. Before it felt like we were working in a bit of a void. Great stuff.

Islandshark said...

Well done VI!