Introducing Hot Air HEADLINES

posted at 9:10 pm on May 28, 2007 by Michelle

Heads-up, readers and viewers. Later tonight, we’re rolling out yet another brand spanking new feature. In the top box, we’ll be spotlighting must-read news stories, analysis, and blog posts. Like everything we do around here, these quick-link headlines will be obsessively updated to feed your Hot Air addiction. Many of you have noted that Hot Air has become your home page/first morning read. So we hope you’ll like this latest addition. Loyal viewers of our Hot Air TV shows will continue to get their fix of original programs, which we’ll post in Top Picks. (We’ll keep you posted on schedule changes.) The design change gives us more creative flexibility on the video side for enterprise and in-depth programming–and enhances overall reader usability with fresh, top-of-the-page content throughout the daily news cycle.

Video, commentary, community, laughter, tears, snark, headlines, and the occasional talking robot head. What more could you ask for? We’re full-service, baby. As always, send feedback and tips to tips@hotair.com.

-The Boss

Update (AP): In case it’s not obvious, new headlines will appear at the top of the left-hand column. The rest will cycle towards the lower right.

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Comment pages: 1 2

-The Boss

You can be the boss of me, anytime!

Lawrence on May 29, 2007 at 2:13 PM

CyberCipher on May 29, 2007 at 1:20 PM

Hey, send me an e-mail linking some of your work, if that’s okay — privately, if that would be better in this forum. I went back to college to study some of this stuff, and would love to know more.

manwithblackhat on May 29, 2007 at 2:13 PM

You are loosing what makes you different. There’s a million “Headline” link sites. What makes you different is the video. Having the video (Vent) front and center was your hook. Now, you are inviting people to immediately click away from HotAir. In addition, you are taking your competitive advantage (the videos) and pushing them out of view. Take the headlines and put them in a left hand margin to balance the one you have on the right. Focus on what makes you different…

TheBigOldDog on May 29, 2007 at 3:13 PM

For the umpteenth time: the video is still here. It’s at the top of the Top Picks column. For god’s sake.

Allahpundit on May 29, 2007 at 3:16 PM

that copy alignment gives me a headache everytime I pull up the page — any chance of changing it so that the headers are all left justified so that it looks more like:

Chubby America-hater resurfaces, issues threats. No, not Rosie. (SITE)

Anti-war Republican: Wolfowitz for Baghdad mayor? (Blotter)

Atomic cuteness detonation in Indonesia; fallout as far as Australia (AP)

The most vile Digg thread ever (LGF)

Business news: Al Qaeda merges with the Taliban (Wash Times)

Elegant solution to “the munchies” discovered (AP)

Phil Spector’s haircut explained (FR)

A believer no more: “I was on the global warming gravy train” (Mises)

Bush wonders: Why do amnesty opponents hate America? (AP)

Mitt: Will work for food (AP)

wordwarp on May 29, 2007 at 3:29 PM

I repeat: New Hot Air TV shows will be found easily at the Top of Top Picks.

Go there right now. Jihad Watch is available for your viewing pleasure.

And we’re experimenting with different embedded formats. Today ’s show is in nice, big iFilm embed format. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Michelle on May 29, 2007 at 9:18 AM

Hey Boss… I like it, I think this is a nice improvement. The best thing this new set-up will do, is allow “The Vent” to stay on the main page for several days, so people can continue to comment on that vent without searching back through the archive. Excellent !

I read Allah’s post on what is going to happen with the news headlines, but I still can’t envision exactly what he’s talking about, I guess I will see how that works tomorrow.

But I think he was saying, the headlines will transfer down the page on the right. That’s also very cool, if I’m understanding him correctly.

Now… if that is true… could that “block post” be given a “Comments” link thereby allowing us to comment on the articles ? Just a thought.

Maxx on May 29, 2007 at 3:37 PM

Allahpundit on May 29, 2007 at 3:16 PM

Your missing the point. Your regulars know that (if they care to spend them time to find it). New visitors will have no idea. having the video front an center is what catches their eye. It shows what makes you different. Your first call to action now is what? Stay, watch a video and discuss or, hey, here’s a headline click it and go away?

I hate to even use the this term, but you want the site to be sticky. You want people to come for video and commentary they can’t get anywhere else and be active members of the community. You don’t want them to be immediately confronted with choices that takes them away… think about it. I’d hate to see you give away what was your competitive advantage.

TheBigOldDog on May 29, 2007 at 3:42 PM

RE the comments about placement of Vent/HotAir TV, just a gentle suggestion:

As it is right now Vent/HotAirTV is right under the “TOP PICKS” heading. Changing that heading to “HOTAIR TV” or “VENT” or some such, and then moving the “TOP PICKS” heading down to be above the next piece in the column would help people to zero in on the days Vent.

I hope I explained that clearly…

infidel4life on May 29, 2007 at 4:22 PM

I’d hate to see you give away what was your competitive advantage.

TheBigOldDog on May 29, 2007 at 3:42 PM

What I was trying to convey as well. I guess traffic will tell the story.

Spirit of 1776 on May 29, 2007 at 4:33 PM

Boss and Allah,

I have what seems an important “point of order” here. Having fresh content constantly coming in at the top of the page is a very good idea, and having a selection of headlines is a good idea, too. However, in the present arrangement, the best space on your front page is given over to sending people away!

The latest browsers, such as IE 7 and Firefox, allow links to open in a new tab. I urge you to make that the default action throughout the site; perfection may not be achievable, but as far as possible, an external link should never effectively send viewers away.

You make your living from advertising. I’m sure you’ll agree on that basis that a viewer’s departure from the site should always be a deliberate choice, not a default action promoted at the top of the front page!

Switching to tabbed browsing can’t be very difficult. I’ve seen that the external links at Mark Steyn’s site, even to his own articles at other web sites, open in a new tab, rather than replacing the front page. I’ve never gotten the impression that Mark is especially Net-savvy, so if his site handles the matter correctly, I’m sure you can easily arrange for yours to do so, as well.

But again, I like the new feature, and I detect the wry mind of Allahpundit at work in the headlines. “Taliban merges with al-Qaida” is business news? That’s inspired.

Kralizec on May 29, 2007 at 5:41 PM

The latest browsers, such as IE 7 and Firefox, allow links to open in a new tab. I urge you to make that the default action throughout the site; perfection may not be achievable, but as far as possible, an external link should never effectively send viewers away.

Well, we’re trying to maximize page views. Forcing people to click back to our page for more headlines increases that.

Allahpundit on May 29, 2007 at 5:45 PM

Well shucks, be glad to do that for you.

Spirit of 1776 on May 29, 2007 at 8:13 PM

It’s not a big deal, but the comments look a lot better in firefox with the digg button removed.

forged rite on May 29, 2007 at 8:47 PM

Well, we’re trying to maximize page views. Forcing people to click back to our page for more headlines increases that.

Allahpundit on May 29, 2007 at 5:45 PM

No offense, AP, but it’s nice to know that the community is being inconvenienced to increase your page count. Personally, HotAir has been my first stop because it didn’t have the Drudge feel. I always thought the Blog and Hot Picks were HotAir’s idea of the hot stories of the day.

I know things have to change to keep things “fresh”, but the “click ‘em – pick ‘em” front and center concept should be placed in the right column where the links are.

Gimme back the vent, front and center, and let me glance at the news and other quirky links off center.

We all came here and stayed for a reason. Being a Drudge hybrid isn’t it.

I love HotAir and the stories and insight you, Bryan, Ian, the Boss and others provide. Don’t try to be mainstream, your concept was cutting edge.

BacaDog on May 29, 2007 at 11:27 PM

no good deed goes unpunished

EricPWJohnson on May 29, 2007 at 11:29 PM

no good deed goes unpunished

Seriously. We’ve actually added a new feature without taking anything else away, and people are complaining about the fact that they actually have to do a quarter-rotation on their scroll wheel now to see Vent. Unreal.

We all came here and stayed for a reason. Being a Drudge hybrid isn’t it.

Then don’t read the headlines. Just watch the Vent like you always have and ignore them.

Does everyone here understand that this isn’t a charity? We need ad revenue, and the way to get ad revenue is through extra page views, and the way to get extra page views is through adding more features. If anyone has a better idea about how to get more page views with Vent in that space than with headlines there, we’re all ears. If, on the other hand, you’d rather see the goddamned site fold, that’s fine too. But then let’s knock it off with the “I’m only trying to help” rhetoric.

Allahpundit on May 29, 2007 at 11:36 PM

Hey, send me an e-mail linking some of your work…

manwithblackhat on May 29, 2007 at 2:13 PM

Sorry. All my stuff is locked-up behind the company firewall. (Intranet accessible, but not available to the general public on the internet — unless you have a company account and the required software used to tunnel through the firewall.

I could, however, point you one or more internet accessible sites that were re-designed with Adobe/Macromedia development tools. Sites that makes heavy use of the Flash Remoting RIA capabilities (Adobe’s proprietary approach that competes with AJAX).

Sorry that I can’t be of more assistance. Here’s a good book for beginners that want to code with Adobe Flex: How could anybody NOT like a book that is written by a guy named Charles-E-Brown? ;)

CyberCipher on May 29, 2007 at 11:47 PM

Then don’t read the headlines. Just watch the Vent like you always have and ignore them.

If anyone has a better idea about how to get more page views with Vent in that space than with headlines there, we’re all ears.
Allahpundit on May 29, 2007 at 11:36 PM

Like I said, no offense AP. Just my thoughts. The addition of the headlines is great, but I think they should be an addition, not the main attraction, that’s all.

Hell, I’m happy to add to the page count here. If I could figure out a way to do it while asleep, I would.

You asked for contributor comments, so I gave you some. If they’re useful, great. If not, carry on with your plan.

I’ll still be here in the morning, sweetheart. Even if you don’t look like you did last night after 6 beers.

I’ll turn it on ya. You’re trying, so how can we help?

BacaDog on May 30, 2007 at 12:19 AM

and people are complaining about the fact that they actually have to do a quarter-rotation on their scroll wheel now to see Vent. Unreal.

That is not what people are complaining about, they are trying to tell you that you are loosing your unique selling point ie daily vent top and center and that the new aesthetics suck.

If, on the other hand, you’d rather see the goddamned site fold, that’s fine too. But then let’s knock it off with the “I’m only trying to help” rhetoric.

and statements like this will increase page views how?

Kahuna on May 30, 2007 at 8:47 AM

I could, however, point you one or more internet accessible sites that were re-designed with Adobe/Macromedia development tools. Sites that makes heavy use of the Flash Remoting RIA capabilities (Adobe’s proprietary approach that competes with AJAX).

CyberCipher on May 29, 2007 at 11:47 PM
Can you link a couple please? Thx.

shooter on May 30, 2007 at 10:46 AM

An idea for increasing page views: Thread ratings.

There have been some amazing discussions on this website brought to us by incredibly talented staff and guest bloggers. There are posts and discussions in the Vault that are full of thought-provoking information, controversy brought on by a complete continuum of points of view, hilarity, tears, and long lasting relevance.

What if each new thread had a rating feature sort of like Amazon uses. Each registered reader could rate the quality of the thread. Then in the unused space in the column under Top Picks, the most popular threads could be linked in a “Reader Picks” list that updates like the Headlines do.

As a result, really good links would have staying power and thus more readership.

Seems this would be especially attractive for new readers who are seeking to get acquainted with the Hot Air culture, not to mention a new category to offer advertisers.

RushBaby on May 30, 2007 at 11:57 AM

Oh, and Allah, I see you and the crew were taking a fair bit of carp for moving the Vent to the TopPicks section and asked for an alternate. I really like the new headlines feature, but I know some people were pissed about the channel getting knocked down, and you asked for alternatives.

So here’s mine, how ’bout putting a small button in the right corner of the “HEADLINES: WE PICK YOU CLICK” header that says CHANNEL or VENT or TODAY’S VENT, which heads to either a Channel page or to the day’s video in top picks. Might beat trying to dig through posts to find them particularly on heavy news days. Anyway, just a thought, Sorry to go OT…

Bad Candy on May 30, 2007 at 11:13 AM

Posted this elsewhere, but I’ll post it here, where its more appropriate…

Bad Candy on May 30, 2007 at 12:07 PM

CyberCipher on May 29, 2007 at 11:47 PM
Can you link a couple please? Thx.

shooter on May 30, 2007 at 10:46 AM

Brown’s book cites the following two examples:

1) The Watergate Hotel’s reservation site built with Adobe/Macromedia Flash MX 2004 (which uses Flash Remoting to access a ColdFusion based web-site).

2) Adobe/Macromedia’s Flex Store built with Adobe’s Flex product (Flash Remoting, MXML, Actionscript)

Have fun.

CyberCipher on May 30, 2007 at 12:41 PM

Brown’s book cites the following two examples:

Wow, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. Thanks.

manwithblackhat on May 30, 2007 at 1:15 PM

I don’t get it..where is the daily HotAir show?

mwe67 on May 31, 2007 at 7:05 AM

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