Hello Manga Bookshelf readers!
We watch our page stats pretty closely, and one of the main reasons for this is to try to learn something about how people get to Manga Bookshelf and how easy it is for them to find the content they want once they get here. Historically, the vast majority of our site traffic has come from links accessed offsite, on Twitter, Facebook, and other blogs, or from search engine results—links that usually go directly to an article the individual wants to read. Lately, however, a growing number of readers have been entering the site from the Manga Bookshelf front page. But where they go from that point on has been a little surprising.
As a result, the questions most on my mind are, “Are people finding the content they’re looking for?” and “Have we made that content easy to find?”
You can help me answer these questions by participating in the poll below! Please feel free to use the comment section to elaborate on your experience or what you’d like to see on the Manga Bookshelf front page. I can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to adjust the site to please everyone (certainly an impossible task!) but we will take everyone’s comments into consideration while contemplating our front page layout!
Elaboration strongly encouraged. (If you don’t tell me what you’re missing, I can’t fix it!)
If there’s anything else you’d like to share, I’d love to hear it! What regular columns are the first ones you look for? Do you come to read a particular writer? What kind of content would you like to see more of?
Thanks for your feedback!
Edited to add: I’ve already made some changes based on comments here, so keep the feedback coming!
CJ saysOctober 30, 2012 at 12:37 pm
I’ll admit, the search could use a bit of tweaking. When I search for, say “Sailor Moon”, I wanted to see reviews and opinions on it, but half of my results are always the top selling manga of the week/month in the US (because Sailor Moon always tops that chart). I feel like it makes me sift through more than I should need to.
Melinda Beasi saysOctober 30, 2012 at 12:51 pm
Thanks for the feedback, CJ! I’ll start looking for a better search tool that will allow me to configure some options for weighting titles, etc. I’ll let you know when I have something better in place.
Melinda Beasi saysNovember 1, 2012 at 7:48 am
UPDATE: I’m test-driving a new search engine for the site. Let me know how it works out for you!
Rij saysOctober 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm
I’ve bookmarked your front page and usually check every other day to see what’s new in the “Latest posts -sitewide” box. My only wish is that the box would be larger. Sometimes you have a mass of new content in the space of a day or two and and if I don’t check daily I might miss something.
Some of the “boxes” for features on your front page don’t get new content very often, Fanservice Friday was last updated in July. While some regular features, like Sinosphere, don’t have a box of their own.
Melinda Beasi saysOctober 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm
Yeah, the boxes definitely need to be retooled. The Fanservice Friday issue has to do with the demise of Fanbatte! which I would like to revive with the right person, so it’s been kind of a placeholder, but in general I’m looking to revamp that entire section of boxes in some way. Thanks for letting me know that this would help you! Also, regarding Latest Posts—that’s definitely a problem. I’m looking into a couple of different solutions, one of which would be eliminating that box altogether in favor of a more chronologically-based layout otherwise. If the rest of the page made finding the newest content easier, would you still feel like you needed to rely on that box?
Rij saysOctober 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm
If there was a simple way to see a chronological listing of new stuff added, then I wouldn’t need the box. Maybe (thinking aloud here) a calendar of some sort, that would allow me to see what was posted on Nth of Julember or something.
Melinda Beasi saysNovember 1, 2012 at 7:51 am
Rij, I’ve made some changes to the front page in hopes that it makes it easier to spot what’s changed, chronologically, in its (now) three major categories: Features & Reviews (and so on), MangaBlog, and News/Announcements/Random (Unshelved). I’d love to be able to eliminate the “Latest posts” widget if possible (I hate having duplicate content on the page, even when it’s just titles). Let me know if you think the new layout might make that work.
Justin saysOctober 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm
Oops, I didn’t read the poll question properly but I’ll explain anyways. I have Manga Bookshelf on my Blogroll, so when I find some time during the day or week I usually look at all of my links on it and that’s how I access the site. From there I’ll see what posts I should go look at :)
Geri-chan saysNovember 1, 2012 at 5:07 am
I answered “yes” to the final question because mostly I can find things easily, but once in awhile it takes me a bit of extra time to track down an old review or article. I can usually find it by using “search,” but as CJ mentioned, sometimes there are a lot of results to sift through. I miss the A-Z review list that you used to have, which it made it really easy for me to look up reviews by title.
I also agree with Rij that either a larger “Latest posts” box or a chronological listing would be really helpful. I usually try to check in every day, but it’s easy to miss new posts if I have to be offline for some reason.
But overall I think the site is great, and I really appreciate being able to check in on all my favorite manga blogs from one homepage!
Sherry saysNovember 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm
Maybe I’m just missing it on the site, but an easily accessible and full list of tags that can locate posts by series, column name, author, etc, would be great for navigating the site. For example, if I want to know what series or topics MB has written articles on, a tag list would help with looking for that.
Anyways, love this blog, keep up the great work
lys saysNovember 1, 2012 at 2:53 pm
I usually come to the site from outside sources (or from MangaBlog, which I guess isn’t so much an outside source), so I don’t spend much time on the MB front page. But on the occasions I have gone there, it was usually because I was interested in a title and wanted to find reviews of it by any of the various writers collected here. If it’s not a huge task to compile (and maybe it is—if that’s the case, I don’t expect you to go and change everything), I too would like some kind of tag list for series titles that have been reviewed here, either in Brief or longer forms (including articles/essays).