Testing another related post recommendation tool

December 3 2013 | offbeatbride

sidebar recommend

Just a quick heads-up that I'm beta-testing a new related post recommendation tool on all the Empire blogs today. It's another AddThis tool, and I'm just going to see how it feels. I LOVE that readers can get more posts recommended, but it might be too much going on. I'm not really looking for feedback yet (at this point, I'm mostly just watching how it performs, rather than collecting opinions) but did want to let y'all know that it's in beta, and at this point is just a test.

Update: I'm wrapping up the test for now, as results were pretty feeble, with the the sidebar module getting roughly 20% as many clicks as the bottom right "What's Next" module. Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

  1. Personally I prefer this to the other one, it feels less "lurkey" though you might want to mess a bit with the branding, I assumed it was just an advert at first and that my adblocker had stopped working.

    5 agree
    • "Less lurkey"! I love that. Is it because it shows up right away? I know the What's Next module in the bottom right waits for you to scroll a bit before appearing…

      And yeah, since it's a beta test for the AddThis folks, the design is VERY basic. I love your suggestion about branding — like if where it says "Recommended for you" it said "Offbeat posts you'll love" or something, to make it clear that these aren't ads, but POSTS.

      4 agree
  2. Just as a heads-up, I have used AddThis and found it adds a LOT of crufty code and is a bitch and a half to style decently. In case you care about a random's opinion!

  3. Maybe it's just because I'm reading on a netbook (grad school procrastinating, woo!), but the side-based "recommended for you" is being overlapped by the bottom, lurkey-scrolly one in the lower right-hand corner. They aren't playing nicely with each other on my 1366 x 768 screen.

    Regarding any/either one – has anyone else had the "Recommended for you" algorithm conk out and link you to the exact same post you're reading? Is that just on my end?

    I'd also second the "Offbeat Posts You'll Love" or something rather than "Recommended for you," which is so generic I also worriedly assume that some horrible ad-ware has made it onto my computer until I see it's an Offbeat ____ post.

    1 agrees
    • Regarding any/either one – has anyone else had the "Recommended for you" algorithm conk out and link you to the exact same post you're reading? Is that just on my end?

      Not just you — that's a bug I reported too, that AddThis has told me they're working to correct. They're also working to make it so that the algorithm doesn't recommend a post you've already read. It's irritating to get into a post recommendation loop!

      1 agrees
  4. There's a lot of great feedback here for us. The side layer is still very new, so we will be working to make sure that it works correctly and plays nicely with our other tools.

    Thanks for taking a look at the new tools!

    Dave from AddThis

  5. I know you said you weren't looking for feedback, but it seems quite buggy right now and it's driving me a little nuts. First, the area that gets covered by the part that slides out when you hover, is not clickable even when the recommended post is collapsed. So as I scroll it messes with my ability to click on your Pinterest, recent comments, viral post, and patron sidebars. And the ads, too.

    Second, if it recommends a site tag to me, it tends to grab a screenshot of an ad. I have a screenshot I can send (if you like) with 4/5 of them showing a Zappos ad, and one of them says "Oops! File not found." That's happened with the bottom corner one too, but is a lot more obvious when it's a whole column of them. 😛

    Using Firefox at the moment, though both issues have appeared on Chrome as well.

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