Introducing TLDR, a new way to read Digiday

For most publishers, the article page is the new homepage, accounting for the lion’s share of visits. Digiday is the same. We’re happy to take the wraps off our new article page, which aims to make it easier for visitors to consume content in different ways.

The first big change we made is to shift to infinite scroll, which loads articles one after the other. The Internet has long been like Phoenix: a series of cul-de-sacs that force you to turn around repeatedly. That’s changed with the rise of feeds. People are used to endless streams of information, thanks to Facebook, Twitter and others. Our new page aims to be more like a stream.

The second big change is the introduction of TLDR, a new way to customize content. Most of our stories are between 500 and 700 words. That can be too long for some people at some times, especially if they’re on mobile and have five or 10 minutes before a train comes. That’s where TLDR comes from. It’s based off the Internet slang “tl;dr,” which stands for “too long; didn’t read.” The expression is often used for short summaries of long posts. (It is, admittedly, used less courteously, but we prefer when authors use it as a way to summarize longer posts.) When you switch on TLDR mode on, you’ll be taken to 50-75-word versions of our stories. (Try it for this one to see what I mean.) Our reporters now write two versions of each story. TLDRs will get you the key facts and points you need to know.

For now, TLDR is defaulted to off, but we’re going to track the numbers to see if it should be the default for mobile in particular. We are also using TLDRs elsewhere, in newsletters, on Facebook and even on Instagram.

 

We have other article-page changes you’ll notice, such as moving away from the right rail. We’ll only show one suggested story there as you scroll, and most of our advertising will be embedded (and labeled) within stories. This is also driven by mobile, which doesn’t work with a rail concept. Ads are clearly all moving to the stream, even display ads. We’ll also intersperse our sponsor content in the stream. Every third story in our infinite scroll will be a post from sponsors.

Thanks to Meredith Bagerski for the page design, creative director Peter Surrena for bringing it to fruition, and Alley Interactive for development work.

With any site change comes a lot of bugs. Please excuse these as we squash them over the next few days. We’re excited to see how the page does and to tweak it as we go. Please get in touch with problems you encounter either through email or on Twitter.