The person or website to develop this type of software implementation will be a hero in my book.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been reading an article on a website such as Engadget, C|Net, Wired, or Gizmodo and found articles which seem to be relevant to the information I’m reading, but turn out to be old, outdated, useless articles about stuff which has already been resolved, released, or beaten to death by every blogger on the Internet.
This system is outdated in itself. When an article is written it is given markers such as categories and tags. These markers are used to make article suggestions. Mostly, these article suggestions serve the same purpose as the article title (which rarely relates to the actual content of the article, sort of like my blog). They’re only there to make you read more of the website’s stuff and get them lots of hits, and increase their ratings, and get them more money. Very rarely do these articles have anymore information you could use. I constantly notice these articles are much older than the one I just read. Older article means older information. Older information in the technology world means outdated information.
The part which strikes me particularly odd is how these articles are dated. Yet, when a newer article comes out these old articles linger. Why? They’re outdated. Some articles will be updated with information as it becomes available, but usually this is an official statement by the company the article is about. Basically they write a scathing review of some companies alleged actions and then wait to hear from the company. That’s guilty until proven innocent. Kind of backwards.
Each of these articles should have some sort of timeline feature. Something that allows 1 article to be written if that’s all which is needed. But then, also allow for a type of “update” to the article to be written later, with the older article still in tact, in a sense, but with the new, updated information placed at the forefront. This would alleviate the number of redundant articles that are posted while also placing the important information about a topic all together. Then, these (very specific topics) could be linked together with categories and tags.
Let’s say the iCandy 6 was released about 5 months ago and rumors are beginning to spread about the iCandy 6X. So naturally, every iTechnology blogger is hemorrhaging “facts” they’ve uncovered about the new device. You know, things like a 10 times faster processor, a camera that can see into your soul, a microphone that can hear your grandpa fart from two rooms over, and a battery that can be recharged with goats blood. So, iSheep.com writes their article about the features this revolutionary fondle phone will finally get. Then, just 8 days later, everyone’s favorite sun-ripened tech giant announces the iCandy 6X+. They don’t give you what iSheep.com promised, but you buy it anyway because, let’s face it, they own you and your digital content and the only escape you have is found in your medicine cabinet.
Now, when iSheep.com goes to write more information about the actual product they don’t create a brand new article. Instead they amend their previous article. They add the actual specs, the actual names, and the actual release dates. This new information is displayed right up front, but with the original article. It’s all on the same page; pictures, links, and everything. Now, the only place you have to go to read about the upcoming and then real release of your favorite thing for the next 2 months is just one page. Every time there is an update, it can be placed on this page.
This works with more than just a single product as well. Let’s say TootyFruity and Singsing are getting ready to sue each other. So, naturally iSheep.com must defend their mother country from the attacks of the ne’er-do-wells who are only out to copy the masters of the rectangle and alphabetized icons. The article would be “Singsing attacks our mommy. We throw our pacifiers at them!” Then, as the case develops they would not write new articles. They would amend the main article. Now, again, you only have to go to one place to get all the information on this specific story.
Doesn’t that sound better?
Yes, Google will sort things by date for me, but that doesn’t help me much when I’m reading an article already. Not to mention, I can’t search with Google if I don’t know what I’m looking for. (at least I don’t think Google has perfected time travel yet)
Oh, and “hubs” are stupid. They’re still unorganized and full of outdated articles.