Fuel for thought

Posted by Ian
 
This morning’s lead feature on the homepage examining the rising price of petrol seemed to touch a nerve.
 
Far more of you decided to click on the story than an average Monday morning, something that prompted a degree of discussion at our daily editorial meeting as to why certain news and current affairs-based articles "work", as it were, and others don’t.
 
Here, the mix of the enduringly controversial price of fuel, the ongoing crisis in the Middle East, the evergreen talking point that is the cost of living, and the added twist of self-empowerment ("how to protect yourself from soaring petrol prices") came together to prove sufficiently intriguing to get a fair few of you wanting to know more.
 
However there have been other instances of a similar kind of piece, with a similar combination of ingredients, that – to be frank – haven’t done quite as well as we expected. This is speaking from a purely data-driven point of view, of course. For while we can measure statistically how successful or otherwise a particular piece of content appears to be, we can’t measure it in terms of, say, how many of you actually like it. Or loathe it (!)
 
So one of the chief reasons for launching this blog is to begin to understand more about what all of you, our users, think of us, the MSN homepage.
 
If you have liked something enough to want to click on it, we’d love to know what you actually thought of what you saw, and what it was that tweaked your interest to make you want to read more. But equally if you have clicked on something and found it to be not at all what you were expecting, the same thing applies. Why were you disappointed? What can we do to change things? 
 
Above all, we’ll be trying to use this blog to open up our process of editing the homepage. Which means we’ll be chatting about what’s coming up in the week, talking about what we discussed in our daily editorial meeting, drawing your attention to interesting and engaging content, and generally giving you the inside view on why we do what we do.
 
We look forward to hearing from you.
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