Ease of Use Hints and Bandwidth Errors

So far, our changeover to a ‘pure’ WordPress editing backplane is going OK except for two issues.

A few readers have expressed a severe dislike of our new layout because there are now two links to click during the day’s reading, instead of one.  I apologize.

But there are very good reasons why we have gone down this track, not the least of which is that pages will load faster and the new format is praised by mobile device users.  While I’ve been getting old, the market has been moving and phone/mobile devices now represent somewhere north of 25% of the market.

BUT it is not necessary to click back to the Home/main page to continue from the regular column to the “Coping” section.

If, at the top of the regular news content, it doesn’t ‘grab you’ there’s a convenient “on to the next item” shown up here at the top:


Then, down at the bottom of the page, there is a similar link that looks like this…


Now, I will admit that this may not seem terribly convenient, but it only takes a couple of days’ worth and it’s not so bad.  At the risk of sounding like one of them two-bit politician types, “trust me” on this.

On the “business side” of the equation, it works out like this:

  • The new approach is “mobile friendly” which means our long-time readers who’s been after me for a while (OK, year, then) to get the site so it can be seen on iThingies get their wish.  I actually keep an older Android unit around and it looks really fine on the Kindle HD and the old 2.3 droid units.
  • The next reason has to do with bandwidth:  You don’t pay a dime for UrbanSurvival – which is fine by me…pleased to provide the site and make whatever comments seem useful now and then.  BUT did you know on an average day Urban is on the order of 3,500 to 5,000 words?  What this means is that many sites publish a bunch of short articles (anywhere from 200 to 1,500 words) and that’s it for the day.  Around here, that doesn’t event get us through the headlines most mornings.
  • Now the reality is that advertising is driven by the number of Page Views a site gets.  I have been advised (and even I stoop to taking advice now and the, although not without serious resistance) that even if a couple of readers stand by their “George is only worth one click a day” posture that the increase in our rankings from the second (or third click) by more loyal readers should “score” something.  A thousand words of content per click doesn’t seem unreasonable, at all…If an extra click or tab is too much, then I expect you won’t be reading books on electronic platforms either…why an extra click or two per day is far more exercise that some figure it’s worth.
  • Then there’s the matter of page load times.  Within the next week, we should be one of the fastest sites on the net.  Bear in mind that this is one of those calculated “Great Leap Forward” kinds of things, which I hope will have better results than Mao’s Great Leap plans which met with mixed success…but maybe it’s too early to tell.
  • So, where do those tens whole dollars in additional advertising go go?  For one, I just laid out $630 this morning to move UrbanSurvival to its own private cloud server.  What happened this morning (508 Resource Error) was that we simply ran out of available processor clicks.  We’re on a shared hosting plan which while good isn’t like having our own massive server, so based on your continued interest in the fields of economics and such, I’ve plunked down the dough so time will tell if I’m a genius, or a fool.  We should complete that part of Ure’s Great Leap Saturday and Sunday of this coming weekend.

I’d like to thank the people sent in comments – especially the few who don’t like change – but size matters and since we have a growing following, we’ve needed to focus on items that really matter.  With the new system running, I will miss the opportunity to invent constant errors in the time/date stamp on the page.  I’ll also miss manually doing the RSS feed and all the other housekeeping tasks.  Even the old MOBI version of the site is now obsolete with this Great Leap.

Even worse than all this automation, a couple of readers have complained about the lack of typos in this morning’s report.  Again, hate to blame it on quality control/constant improvement (Kaizen) but the new writing platform I’m using now spills blood under any word I miscreate.  So I’ll hopefully be able to fix a few of these before publishing.

Oh…and this afternoon, the charts on the site may look a bit wonky as several readers want the old-style charts (slightly larger) to be used. 

You ask, I listen….so thanks and keep those cards and letters… Smile