Maven Coalition News (2018 Holiday Edition)

A regular compendium of news and tips for all Mavens (channel partners) on the Maven coalition.

Hello Mavens!

Prior to the holidays, the Maven product team wanted to give an update on recent and forthcoming feature releases as well as the issues we’re actively working to resolve in the coming weeks.

Single Column Success

With the majority of Maven sites now using the new single-column layout, we’ve seen a platform-wide increase in pages/session. This is good news because the goal of this feature is to use pictures and/or text to get users into more stories and spending more time on your channels. For the channels that are producing multiple stories on a daily basis the gains can be significant.

Here is a look at data from one of the channels that switched to Single Column on Dec 4th, 2018.

This data compares the 2 weeks since they have been on Single Column to the 2 weeks prior. The number of stories posted are consistent across both time periods. You can see that pages per session and session duration have increased. Additionally the feature has caused a significant reduction in bounce rate for the channel.

We still have a few large traffic channels that we haven’t moved over to the Single Column layout. Once we do move these remaining channels we expect similar gains. These channels will move early in 2019 once we ship a few small enhancements (i.e. medium layout, etc.).

We also shipped an improvement to the “Community” stream UI to provide a better experience when reading. We removed the gray box around links/embeds that you share in the right rail:

Additionally Single Column channels can now show the Story Summary text with the story in the stream - see example below. It also shows on mobile for all formats of single column, except Compact view. This is optional so please let pubsupport know if you want to configure your channel this way.

We are close to completing our version-1 Single Column layout. If you have any questions or bugs on the Single Column layout, drop a note to pubsupport@maven.io.

Focal Point Image Setting is Now Live

One of the challenges we ran into with Single Column was finding 1 image that looked good in a desktop stream and a mobile stream. There are some pictures that just can’t be cropped without losing the intent of the image. Our current solution to this is to allow a user to choose a focal point to center around. This is in production now from the edit menu that is available by clicking the pencil above the image.

We are taking feedback on this feature. Image processing is an area we will be examining closely in 2019 to ensure you can use beautiful pictures to drive page views and engagement.

Medium View is Coming

While the original Single Column was designed to get users into additional stories with pictures, we complimented it with a Compact View that allows you to drive users into stories or conversations with your words. Compact View is working very well on forum based rooms with lots of conversations. While this is all good for your channels, we needed a format that blended pictures and words to drive users into stories from the stream. Introducing Medium View:

This feature is close to finishing initial development and we will be testing it soon. If you have any questions on this format you can send a mail directly to derek@maven.io.

Winter Bug Push Priority List

Thank you to all of our partners who use pubsupport@maven.io to report issues and feedback. As we end 2018 and move into 2019 we are working on a push to resolve the top bugs impacting publishers. Over the last month we have been pouring thru messages to identify the top issues we need to fix. Right now we have a good list, but we need to hear from you. If you have issues that are blocking you each day from getting work done and would like to see fixed, please let us know ASAP. We will review the reported issues with the current list and plan the fix with our Winter Bug Push, if possible.

Maven to Maven

A friendly reminder to use the Maven to Maven room a lot more in 2019. Not only is it our “best practices” repository, it’s a place for pubs to meet and learn from other publishers. Being a part of this room and experience will help you see the utility of the platform and better drive your communities

That is all for now. From the whole team at Maven, have a great holiday!! We are looking forward to working with you all in 2019.

Thanks,
Derek Liddell - VP Product Development

Pete Treperinas - Director Publisher Development

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