another kind of version of the frontpage.
and my ideas on this.... i like the new portal feature, even though it's still under construction, it would be really handy to add a kind of mini-portal to the frontpage for new/non-user visitors, to feature the latest news and developments on livejournal, and also to help illustrate how versatile lj can be, by using headlines from the comm_news journals - eg, community spotlight, customisation tips, newbies, interviews of lj users... providing links to what livejournal users have done themselves and what lj users have found that's worth sharing - there's a lot of nifty journals and groups on here...
umm ok. what else. yes. the tour thing. i remember that i mentioned something, to Mark, about doing a tour, with screenshots, and simple kind of walkthrough, 3-step captions, for new and potential users, but he said that he thought someone was doing that already. i think. [i can check my icq history, but i'm not sure it goes back that far.] i'm willing to create a new account, turn it into a community, and customise it and all that, to get screen shots and type up a rough [but not too rough :P] instructional sort of thing to make into a tour. getting a paid account will be part of one of these tours, because we have to be realistic. having proper, full, customisation options is really only open to paid accounts, and this is something that a lot of people will want to know about. how do i make my journal look like my website, and all that....
if we want to become more than just a journal site, and try and focus on the idea of simply being a regular, updating, dynamic content sort of service, then we do need to focus on the different possibilities for livejournal. ie, individual users, communities. groups, businesses, using lj as a simple news service, comics and the like. that's why there are a few different sections next to "take the tour!" it breaks up what, to some, is a complex process with several options and possibilities. we need to focus on our target groups and really show them what makes us useful for them.
the developer tour i am not precisely clear on, but there was a section for developers on the existing front page, and i do think that the development side of lj is important, but i am not sure that most of you brainy developer types really need a tour. i just put it there for lack of a better place to put it. maybe interested parties would be a better title, people interested in using lj systems for an office WAN or LAN or intranet or whatever, or schools, or whatever. or just software people who want to work on something new. i don't know.
it's pretty useless me trying to write new content for the front page if i don't know what content exactly i should be writing about. these are just my ideas. i think that this might work better... the existing one has too much information at the very first glance... we should be clear, concise, and to the point, as well as enticing. then, there will be links to more information, if people want it. we need to hit visitors with a list of features that kick the arse off anything else available right now and then show them that it's incredibly easy to use [hence the ultra-simplified 3-step "how to get a journal" list] and it's also free to use and free from advertising. people want more for less, and we have a lot of features that several other places don't have.
that's all well and good, getting new users, but if they join, and remain free users, then there's no income and no growth. we need to sell ourselves twice - once, to get people to join, and a second time, to get people to contribute by getting themselves a paid account. this will be in the tours... all the way through, if the individuals tour mentions customisation [and it will] then it will also mention "if you want more control over the style of your journal, get a paid account" [or words to that effect.] depending on what happens in the future with S2 and lj in general, the tours will need to go over a feature, and then say "but it's better if you have a paid account, you get more space/control/options."
the blurbey bit down at the bottom right kinda sucks, in theory. i don't know what should go there. maybe some legal stuff. TOS, under-13 age limits, GPL and open source stuff, that sort of hoo-haa. i don't know... i do need some help here. i don't think i have really missed anything, nothing seems to be glaring me in the face when i look at the image, but there may be something you feel is more important that needs to be included.
i'm not a professional website designer or anything, but i do some designey stuff of my own, do my own website and all that... i think we need less "long" text on the front page and more of a point-form page with links to more information. we can't bombard new users, they won't be new users at all.
someone, tell me what the hell i am doing!?
[and yes, i realise i left frank out, but there is plenty of space to put him back in his little upper-right home, i just wanted to get the gif file done and with as few colours as possible.]