Is the Homepage Really Dead?

For individuals who consume most of their news online news online—the majority of readers—the homepage used to be the main destination for most news stories. Many readers would simply visit their favorite news organization’s main page and browse the featured stories, clicking on intriguing articles or stories they deemed important based on their font size and placement on the homepage. A lot of users still do this today, however, there has been a massive shift in the use of the homepage as a main destination for readers.

Many people expect their news to come to them these days. With an increase in the use of social media by readers and news organizations, people expect to see all truly significant news jumping out at them from their Facebook newsfeed, their Twitter feed, and Instagram page.

The “death of the homepage” does not mean people have completely stopped consuming news from news sites. It means that people are still visiting these sites (based on most studies), but they are doing so through different means. A lot of web traffic is now derived from “dark social” or Facebook clicks, links distributed among friends, and through indirect links.

Although news sites may have lost some of the attraction of the homepage, they have gained even more viewers due to an influx in social media. The lack of views homepages are receiving today just means that readers are reaching news sites differently.

This, however, will realistically change the type of news stories many sites are distributing. Stories will need to be as attractive to readers as possible so when they see them in their social media feeds they want to click on them. News organizations will also be forced to step up their social media game and create effective means of distributing stories via popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Due to competition to engage readers in stories and get them to visit the site, articles will become more “reader-driven.” What I mean by this is that news sites will want to put out stories that readers especially WANT to read. No one is going to click on a link to a story that doesn’t have a good headline or seems boring to read. This can be good or bad depending on how you look at it.

One concern with this is that popular news sites will begin producing many of the same stories. Many national newspapers with a wide range of readers will want stories that appeal to a large group. A lot of these stories could end up being the same for different sites with similar audiences. However, we do see this today relatively often so I don’t think it will be that big of an issue.

I don’

t see the death of the homepage entirely as a negative, it’s more of a change in distribution which will force news sites to do more to engage readers.

Survival?

I can’t figure out why I thought I was being discrete with the name of my blog “kaitkelozin.” Kelozin is my last name backwards and most people call me Kait, so if I didn’t already blow my cover with my not so clever URL it’s seriously blown now. I guess there’s no point in making a blog that people aren’t going to see, right?

As I’m nearing the oh so thrilling age of 21, I’m starting to regret not recording important moments in my life. It’s not for lack of trying…mostly just a lack of inspiration, time, and the fact that everything I write seems absurdly embarrassing less than a month post-publishing. I make blogs and delete them, it’s sort of a hobby of mine. You write a couple posts, take a hiatus, read them a month later, bask in the mortification and delete. It’s fun I swear!

I promise no matter how terribly embarrassing this post is in t-minus 11 days, I’m not going to delete this blog. I’m hoping to make it a public diary of sorts, minus some embarrassing details that I can’t force myself to relive in print. I figure I like to write, some people say I’m decent at it, and when I’m 55, famous and drowning in money I’ll want to write a memoir. Just kidding, but you never know.

See the goal of this blog is to document my survival. Nope I’m not a young adolescent trapped on a deserted island with a MacBook, just your average semi-dramatic college student!

Anyway, back to my survival. Almost all my friends at the undisclosed university that I attend will be going abroad this semester. Where you may ask? Think unoriginal, jappy abroad locations—Prague, Barcelona, Rome, Florence…a couple pretending to be adventurous in Australia—yep. Honestly I can’t even knock ’em, I would’ve probably gone to Barcelona or Prague myself if my double-major didn’t have a choke hold on my throat. Whatever, so I have some doubts regarding my sanity and survival this semester with minimal friends, an absurdly intense course load, and a new roommate who might be the strangest girl I’ve stumbled across besides me (Trina if you’re reading this, I’m sorry). I figured I might as well record my gradual loss of sanity so I can present this blog to my friends when they return as an explanation if I’m placed in an asylum. “Hey guys! I know I’ve gone mad without you, but read my blog!” has a nice ring to it.

My goal is for the musings in my blog to be 1000 times more intriguing, amusing, and fascinating (really getting ahead of myself here) than those of my abroad friends. Maybe I’m just jealous…no I’m definitely jealous, but I also think this could be fun. And it’s also a good way to start documenting the ongoings in my life for my future best-selling memoir! So while my best pals are gushing about their travels, I’ll be telling you about mine—from frat house to pizza parlor to library…woo. I promise to keep this blog as interesting as possible and that I won’t post 129 pics of food that you don’t care to see. It’s going to be a real challenge to compete with tales of the Trevi Fountain and the Lennon Wall, but hey, I’ve got sarcasm and wit that’s tough to compete with!

Well wish me luck on struggling not to delete this post! Oh, and on my sanity. Maybe if you’re lucky I’ll let you know how it goes. (Who am I even speaking to right now??)