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What can we do to have more people use ManageWP.org?

Feb. 14, 2014

The power of this site is a function of number and quality of its users. The more there are the better quality of content will float to the home page and the user experience will be better.

My question to you is what can we do to bring more people to the site?

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31 vote   Flag
Niels van Renselaar

Although I heard about it during WordCamp Europe I only just added the website last week to my favorites. Not sure why. Maybe add a twitter account to easily track new posts?

Perhaps it may also be a nice thing to "feature" posts that have a high number of votes during a short period. I can't really distinguish good reads on the frontpage from all the other articles. They all look the same.

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Vladimir Prelovac

Yep, I was thinking of highlighting the articles that got a lot of votes with a different shade or something. Or the ability to display only them.

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Tim Nash

I think there are several issues.

Quality, the vast majority of submitted articles are regurgitated duplicate content. This is partly due to a limited pool of stories, and the fact a few people tend to push their own stuff regardless of its suitability. This isn't unique to ManageWP.org but a general problem with crowd sourcing.

Quantity, sort of covered above but people are not really sharing stories, this is partly due to a site mechanic the 3 story limit means the odd day when I find 4 great articles, 1 doesn't make it. That said that mechanic is the only thing stopping the site falling down with the less quality sites who insist on pimping.

HomePage, For me I don't even look at the homepage/hottest its a waste of time, as basically everything with 1 or 2 votes get promoted, the first impression for new people is one of mixed content. it's also while an interesting design hard to grasp what's going on. There is no call to action or even an introduction so new people will just be lost.

Branding, let's face it the ManageWP association and branding, is offputting, confusing I suspect many people simply don't realise this site and the .com provide different services.

So we have the issue, that people are slightly abusing the site, to promote low quality which in turn is getting to the home page, which adds to the confusion and overall appearance that it's some sort of club for ManageWP.com customers. I think before looking at getting more people dealing with some of these issues should be the priority.

With young crowd sourced sites, the most successful ones have a good moderation and curation team. While having a algorithmic home page is great on a large site you might want to consider a more selective curated homepage.

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Vladimir Prelovac

Hi Tim

I take your points as very good ones.

To address the quality of content - Not anyone can post to .org anyway and that is the first barrier for spam. But when people eventually start posting article clones or bad tutorials, the site relies on other community members to help deal with this by simply flagging the article. We really tried to perfect that feature, but the problem is it isn't used even be experienced and savvy members like you. Perhaps it is not obvious that it will help weed all the bad stuff out and that anyone can basically help curate the content? Let me know your thoughts.

As for name confusion I had a long think about that and decided that we follow the WordPress lead with .com being a commercial service and .org something that we give to community. Our plan is to also open-source managewp.org (as soon as he code is re-factored for that). Perhaps better communicating this message would help?

The reason why articles with 1 or 2 upvotes get promoted to the home is that simply there aren't enough upvotes - which is the problem I am trying to address. The home page should reflect current articles and in a day only a few will get more then a few upvotes.

Finally I would like to turn the question around and ask you why do you keep coming back? What is the thing you like about the site? Perhaps focusing more on doing that thing will also help the community thrive.

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Tim Nash

The problem is there isn't really a duplicate content/this is rubbish option the few times I have tried to report things nothings happened, the articles remain, no feedback to say hey thanks for that, but we decided x is ok. Consequently if the feedback system seems like its going to an echo chamber there little point providing it. If you look at the various models for this type of setup most either rely on a moderation team from within the community or give the community direct power, either through down voting or a negative karma model. Normally reporting is more hey this is donkey porn type reporting, things that need immediate attention. Even the classic sites like Digg had a strong element of manual control over the front page, which while easily gamed had some barriers, currently ManageWP doesn't and this I strongly feel has a negative effect. Introducing negative voting comes at a cost of massive politics management and whinging, one of the reasons stack overflow works so well is the earning of privileges, combined with if you take action against another individual it costs you karma as well as them. this provides some check and balances.

If it was me, I would look at offering negative voting for a certain percentile of the community, but when they negatively vote have them lose karma, and force them to say why, It was low quality, it was a duplicate story, it really wasn't on subject. Leave the report option open to everyone. This certainly will help you engage people like myself into helping with moderation, I can see the effects of my efforts, it will help bring a bit of community as well, if you combined it with article comments (which has been raised repeatedly, and while I appreciate your reasonings for not having comments, really hurts your chance of ever really creating a community) Then you have a feedback mechanism that works quite effectively.

I think you have to while the community is growing, curate the front page manually, or at least have some one vetting and ok'ing them before going live. This also will help with improving voting if it only takes 1 or 2 votes, then most articles will be popular before anyone votes on them, there isn't a 'need' to as they are on the front page.

With regards to the name, I honestly think this was the worst mistake you've made, you have mixed your branding and products, the fact you plan an open source version of ManageWP and plan to use it on here just compounds it. ManageWP.org would have been the perfect place for open source project based on the .com version. It's an utterly bonkers name for a crowd sourced news platform for WordPress, which has no relation to the .com other then the owners. However it is the name it currently has one thing to help might be on the home page directly under the menu put a nice big text box that explains what is going on, check out inbound.org which is a great example. I personally would not mix the ManageWP.org with the open source version of .com unless you move the current site to a new domain, If you do go this route I think a lot of people will feel confused and cynical about such a move.

All sounds a bit grumpy it shouldn't be, I think the idea had a lot of potential and something that was on my own list to look at when ManageWP.org launched I was both glad and sad, glad it was out of the ideas stage and someone was doing it. But I was sad because your implementation seemed to have taken the worse of many systems and created a not very compelling offering. Why am I still here, because if ManageWP.org fails then I think it will be a real loss for the community, I also sort of need the idea to work to justify that it was a good idea.

Currently you don't have a community, you have a handy link resource and link resources don't need engagement. If you want a community you have to give the tools to communicate, help people feel empowered and to feel they should be helping.

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Brin Wilson

Wow...i hate to say it (because I hate to be so negative), but Tim seems to have really hit a lot of nails on the head (with his very constructive criticism)... hear! hear!

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Tim Nash

really didn't want it to be negative, and it is meant in a spirit of improvement not to upset anyone. Unfortunately while criticism heavy hopefully it also shows that I really think their is huge potential.

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Vladimir Prelovac

Thanks Tim, all good stuff, especially the negative vote being an earned privilege. I already have an idea how to do this.

To clarify we are planning to open-source the managewp.org project.

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Yoren Chang

My suggestion might not help to get more people to here, but I'd really like to have it.

I think it would be great if I could follow some members here, which I could subscribe to the articles they share or upvote. The point is articles get high upvotes might not be interesting to me, but articles shared by some members, even get only 1 or 2 upvotes, still very worth reading. This feature will definitely make me visit here more often!

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WPSpeak

I do support this suggestion.

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Vladimir Prelovac

Thanks that's a good one. Do you have a suggestion how would that function on the site (not the follow bit, but reading their content).

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Yoren Chang

If we'd implement this feature, in the first place, add a link in the "Latest" page to filter the content from members I follow should work. There must be many other ways we could improve it later.

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Vladimir Prelovac

Good idea, it can be another category simply called Following

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Vladimir Prelovac

I also would like suggestions on how to get more people find the site in the first place. Considering that not very many do so, the percentage of users that keep using it is pretty good.

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Troy Dean

Well you could always sponsor an influential WP podcast that goes out to over 10K subscribers a week like WP Elevation :)

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Vladimir Prelovac

The only problem is this is non-commercial project. You'd actually have to sponsor it ;)

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Troy Dean

Nice response :)

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Lisa League

I think that if you click on a story to read it should maintain some sort of top or bottom bar so that you can vote after reading it. One of the social sharing tools does this, you can click to close the bar, but then you do t have to remember to come back to vote.

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Vladimir Prelovac

We already considered this (basically iframing the story). The only problem is that the URL wouldn't change (it would stay managewp.org/something in the browser) but I think this can be solved with adding Share button

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Leif Quitevis

Along the lines of Tim Nash's idea about a selective curated homepage, I would consider adding a blog component to the site. I'm not sure what your SEO strategy is or how all the shared links on the homepage work towards achieving a high ranking in search results. ManageWP.com/blog has some great content that would probably be more at home on your dotorg site, so maybe that's a start. It could also open guest blogging opportunities for selective members - in a qualitative manner.

I like the idea and concept behind the site and think that it will continue to grow in members and usage as you actively solicit ideas to tweak it and make it better.

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Tim Nash

I'm not sure this is a great idea, ManageWP.com already has a general blog, and really the .org fufils a very specific niche inside a niche. Other then news about the site itself if you try to introducing publishing along side curation it tends to ruin the message on both sides.

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Vladimir Prelovac

I agree with Tim here, managewp.org blog would have to be maintenance in nature, featuring new updates to the site.

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Ivica Delic

I really, really wanted to use only ManageWP.org for my complete content curation. Therefore, in some period of time I was using in parallel 2 systems: my "old" one through Twitter following and ManageWP.org. However, I established that majority (if not all) of the articles I was reading through Twitter I saw also in ManageWP.org, which is understandable as there is not such new / original WP articles on the web.

What would, maybe, help me to use more often this site instead Twitter is some sort of "filtering" content of greatest interest to me, something like previous example for "follow some members". This is a great idea. But, I would like to have also the possibility to filter content through keywords for articles titles (or/and article summary).
To give you one example: I would like to read all the articles that have word(s) "tools", "plugins" or/and "freelancers". In choosing these words I should be fully in control and searching algorithm should be "smart" in a sense that if I put word "tools" for the filtering he recognize also word "tool" as a word of interest to me, etc.

So basically, this is about creating personalized content "streams" only relevant to individuals who has different interests, tastes, skills, technical backgrounds, etc. We should be bale to create various different personalized content streams or one or whatever we want to "follow": by authors, voters, titles, article summaries, article text, article category.... So, on the homepage we just click on the personalized stream(s) and read what WE want to read, other articles are HIDDEN from personal view. Possible duplicates articles wouldn't be showed as well as the system would recognize it is duplicate content. It would be also helpful if we could "subscribe" to our ManageWP "content streams" so we receive e-mails (on the immediate/daily/weekly/monthly frequency) so we can read article on ManageWP.org, comment, vote, etc. Something I currently do directly on Twitter.

I don't care much about "voting" system - it is alway personal experience of one part of the people which doesn't have to be of importance to me (e.g. if "voters" are in majority developers and I'm not developer).
Prerequisite for this system to function is a LOT shared articles on ManageWP.org. Btw, you can see that Zite (and not only they) did this for smartphones and I would like to have the same on the desktop.
In this case I would (most likely) abandon current Twitter Content Curation and switch completely to ManageWP.org... and this would save me a lot of time, that we all don't have enough. :-)

Ivica
PS This article I read on Twitter and decided to give you my opinion, hoping this would be a helpful small contribution for ManageWP.org.

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Vladimir Prelovac

Thanks for suggesting more personalised content streams there is definitely something there, but at the moment I do not know how to get there..

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Michael Tieso

Here's some suggestions I can quickly come up with.

1. There needs to be a direct link on ManagedWP.com dashboard and on the main site that's brings you here. Right now it's difficult to find if it's there at all. Not sure how many people that go on to your .com know about this site here.

2. Comments articles would be a nice addition. I'm thinking HN comment style.

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Michael Tieso

I've noticed also that a few people here suggesting down voting. If this were implemented, I suggest adding a minimum karma that would enable this feature. Otherwise you'll start to see too many people gaming the system.

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Vladimir Prelovac

Yes this would make sense. We will also better promote this on .com site, thanks!

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Fernando Tellado

Accept news in Spanish :)

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Vladimir Prelovac

Hmm... not ready yet but good idea definitely.

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Brin Wilson

I don't think you should be focusing on getting more users - I think you should be focusing on improving quality (which might then bring more users?). The issue for me is there's too much content and everything seems to have between 2 and 4 votes. It's starting to feel like a low-quality twitter feed of WordPress-related content... sorry. Also - an actual suggestion for getting more users: change the name to something relevant to the idea of the site (ref: Tim's suggestions above).

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Vladimir Prelovac

Re name change - do you have an idea?

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Brin Wilson

How about starting a new thread where we can all brainstorm and bounce around new domain name ideas? Will surely be a giggle and may even lead to some good suggestions... trackwp.com ... communitycurated.com ?

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BobWP

Yep, this is a tough one. When you launched I joined with the intentions of visiting more often. But I had already many WP sources set in place, as well as following on Twitter, and eventually found that by the time I ended up here I was just seeing a rehash of what I had already seen, and a bit overwhelming. For a user like me, it would be more of a change of habit and how I have scoured certain sites for the past years. I think there are some good perspective here in the comments.

Even though you would think this kind of feed site would be more convenient, I am still use to going to the source of specific sites that I have followed for sometime. Not sure if this even helps... but I hope you can get it figured out, especially to bring in new readers!

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Brian Krogsgard

I have to agree with the others on many points. But definitely in terms of the name and how you are framing the site.

Even when just sharing this URL on Twitter, I hardly new what to call it. I said the "ManageWP links / news site". Before I settled on that, I looked at the home and about pages to see what you call it yourself, which doesn't occur. ManageWP.org just doesn't deliver the site's purpose, and as I've noted previously and as others have here, it's also just confusing. The WordPress.com naming is one of the most confusing things about WordPress -- a trait to avoid, not copy, in my opinion.

I do hope you find success, but I think it'll require significant changes. This model you currently use needs massive scale (as I've also noted before) and as I discovered myself when I launched Post Status and you're discovering now, is really hard to achieve.

In the meantime, I agree that more curated content could go a long way. And I also think you need to simplify the functionality of this site, not add to it. Right now it's confusing to use and confusing to participate in.

I rarely submit my own posts here. But if I don't, they rarely get submitted at all, even when I think they are pretty good. On the other hand, some of the other sites commonly listed here must have super-fans that are also community members here, and they submit every post for them. That creates a strange bias in the sources. Not sure how to solve that, but the problem exists.

I could go on, but I might have to charge you for it, and it might also end up making you more directly competitive to me :) Seriously though, good luck. Good sources of information are always great in the WordPress community.

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Vladimir Prelovac

Why can't you just call it managewp.org?

Better curation of the content seem to be a recurring theme, thanks for emphasizing this. Strangely I do not see us as competitors, you are running a blog after all and I do enjoy and upvote your content.

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Brian Krogsgard

I don't think we're competitors now. But I originally wanted Post Status to be similar to what ManageWP.org is now, but I quickly adjusted as I realized I just wouldn't hit mass scale like I needed. And I liked blogging too much to just do links :)

Re: the name. It doesn't tell anyone what the site is or does. Even those that know what ManageWP the service is, ManageWP.org means nothing, and you just see a grid of article titles. It's why I have the tagline below my header for "WordPress News & Link Curation" - to define the site, since the name Post Status doesn't do much either.

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Brin Wilson

"On the other hand, some of the other sites commonly listed here must have super-fans that are also community members here, and they submit every post for them."
- yes, couldn't agree more: this is annoying! If the site is meant to showcase the best posts, something needs to be about this: I think a lot of the best posts are slipping through and a lot of posts from sites that already have massive followings are not only submitted too much regardless of their quality, but ALSO upvoted too much (presumably by the people who know the name of the site). Question: has anybody ever upvoted a post here after having only looked at the title and the name of the site it's from? ... I'll bet they have...

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Tim Nash

'On the other hand, some of the other sites commonly listed here must have super-fans that are also community members here, and they submit every post for them. That creates a strange bias in the sources. Not sure how to solve that, but the problem exists. '

You could partial solve this algorithmically, by reducing the amount of karma for the share, and upvote is worth the more stories from the same domain the submitter has. This would encourage link diversity, but only if Karma was directly linked to the story visibility.

The problem is balancing this against a first or new poster with great article.

The second way is education, most social media platforms have a no self promotion for a reason (however much it appears to be a joke) and within the Guidelines for this site is such a clause yet it's completely unenforced, you can't really expect the community to enforce this even with the right tools which currently is lacking. I'm afraid some nice friendly chats might be needed and more aggressive ones if they don't go well, even if this reduces the number of posts, it will improve the quality.

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Vladimir Prelovac

I've compiled a list of suggestions that surfaced in this thread.

- Duplicate content/this is rubbish option for flagging :)
- Provide better feedback for flagging articles (yes flagging eventually removes the article)
- Negative voting available to members with this privilege/perk/badge/
- Adding comments to articles
- Changing the name (any suggestions?)
- Follow members, and easily be able to filter content on the home/latest to these members only
- Reading stories in an iframe (so you can immediately upvote/share them)

Feel free to comment/add more

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Brian Krogsgard

Two things:

1) Putting stories in an iFrame sounds like an awful idea. I would probably never click a story here again. I'd value sending people to the other sites over keeping people here.

2) I would also add more consistency in the UI between the home page and latest links page. There is very little context for latest links, and that may help, adding screenshots or the description in addition to the title.

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Brin Wilson

Tell people what the site is when they arrive. If someone new comes to the site and looks at front page, will they know what the site is?
Also: I think iframes are a bad idea... that would be more like taking content from the community rather than helping promote it. Same with comments - shouldn't comments stay on the original sites?

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Yoren Chang

I'm not big fan of the iframe idea, but sometimes it bothers me that I have to go back and upvote an article. How about we add a setting option for members so we could decide if we'd like to see the articles in an iframe or not?

To the negative voting part, I'm not a big fan of it either. Just like my proposal to add functions to follow members, I feel some articles with high upvotes are not interesting to me, but I believe it could be helpful for someone else, we'd better not to downvote articles but indeed we need a way to promote high quality articles. I'm not sure if the algorithm has existed, but I believe this is what the karma is for, votes from members with higher karma should be weight more, right?

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Tim Nash

The problem with using karma, without community feedback is its to easy to game as basically if every action is positive then to garner the most karma is simply a matter of throwing as much content as possible regardless of quality. The report option, seems far to harsh, where as negative voting for a percentage of high karma users could provide some balance if used correctly.

There will always be cases where high voting articles are not interest to individuals, you simply skip them, even following users you will have the same issue.

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Yoren Chang

I think we encounter different problems, so to me, following members could solve my problem, but not yours. And downvotes can solve your problems more than mine.

I believe suggestions here are all valuable, we just need to be clear about what exactly the problems we'd like to solve.

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Tim Nash

I really like the idea of being able to see friends/interesting peoples shares but as you say I think we have somehow mixed two separate problems :) though as a caution, I would I think prefer to see my friends shares as a separate view option rather then have the system give them a higher weighting. Maybe a /friends/ view which shows what stories my "friends" who I follow submitted and voted on, and access to individuals feeds if I want to go ultra stalker like.

Otherwise I could end up missing out on interesting content from other people with low karma who might be their first posting, yet it could be a great link!

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Yoren Chang

Totally agree with you here! :)

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Ellen Moore

There needs to be more interaction between people, either by commenting on posted articles (which may draw comments away from the original article, really don't want to do that) or make the Answers section into more of a place where people can ask questions about themes, plugins and such (that's what I thought Answers was to begin with). There is a need for this. On the Advanced WordPress group on Facebook it is exploding with discussions on these kinds of topics but the structure of Facebook groups leaves a lot to be desired, i.e. categorizing posts and easy search methods. Also there are a lot of beginner questions asked and it is an Advanced group, or trying to be.

It would be great to add some kind of discussion component, separated by topic and maybe skill level (beginner and advanced discussions).

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Vladimir Prelovac

Hi Ellen

"Answers" is exactly meant for the purpose you describe, discussions about anything. Perhaps it should be renamed to better emphasize its purpose?

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Vjekoslav Cerovina

ManageWP.org Interview of the week! ...can be visible as premium content only to registered users. The visitors that are not registered can see only one part of the interview. This is site about the world of WordPress. So, at the top of all the content we share, see and read here over the week it might be interesting to hear the opinion on some new revelations and trends from top experts of WordPress global community at the end of the week. It would give a new dimension to ManageWP.org and i think its going to have impact on attracting new users. Definitely it will grow the brand. At the end... its a thing that will be in a function of mission of ManageWP.org, if mission is to make WP community stronger, bigger, etc. ...and it is. :) Its not going to transform ManageWP.org into magazine, its just a "live" trip of ManageWP.org. We share different interviews here, but this one will be unique, because ManageWP.org is a top community of WordPress. I think you will understand what i mean. Also, the award for most shared and most voted website at the end of the year is something that can be good. Just use statistics! Best WP content website most shared and officially most voted by ManageWP.org community. :) The awarded can have digital brand-sign ManageWP to put on their website or maybe even some cash-prize, etc.

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