Time for a good ol' update and introduction from little old me: I'm Sarah Pappalardo, founder and editor of Reductress, a satirical women's magazine that has been around since 2013. So, here we are, building out a little something we like to call: The Members Only Section, Phase 1.
Members Only is a special section for Coil-enabled users where they can engage with our content in a way that regular readers can't - specially curated feeds of content based on featured authors and irreverent tags we've used on all our legacy content, to create a new way to engage with our content beyond just the newest-first stuff you'd find on our homepage. Users will be able to upvote/downvote content within a feed, so that the most upvoted content will display at the top of the feed. That way, popular posts from years ago can still be enjoyed by our new readers/members. here's how phase 1 is going so far:
I spent the first chunk of this project designing the Members Only section and a bit of user flow to log in and out of this section using Coil:
While building out this basic functionality has been more or less smooth (thank you, a few key WP plugins), we are still having some "fun" discussions around how folks on non coil-enabled browsers will get to interact with this content, so we are playing with a few user flows that will allow for the greatest possible availability to our readers who are still using mobile Safari (which is like, 80-90% of our readers).
Creating an app will be the ultimate solve for this, but that's coming down the road.
The other challenge we face is that, while it's easy for us to build functionality that would allow users to share these feeds on FB and Twitter, we really want to be able to do something similar for Instagram. Right now, it's Instagram that's getting in the way of that, so we may have to keep this to FB/TW for now.
Commenting is still part of phase 2, but as this project is progressing, we're seeing more value in leveraging this into an app before we add that feature (it will allow more people to join and access our primary features before we add more functionality).
We're still playing around with the subtleties of the design, but here's what we have so far if you wanna take a look - shoutout to Jibran for the fabulous dev work here:
In the future, our editors will be able to update those featured author and tag columns with whatever we feel is in the zeitgeist (#SeasonalDepression anyone?). And while in our proposal we foresaw commenting as being part of phase 2, it's looking more likely that we're going to leverage this technology into an app first, so we can streamline the user experience first before adding more bells and whistles.
When we FULLY finish phase 1 (so close) and begin phase 2, that's when I will personally be turning my attention to the marketing phase of the operation - making a video and getting people to subscribe and join and play around in there. My film crew will be ready to go come November for that!
We are literally still finishing the look and feel and functionality of phase 1, and will turn to phase 2 and marketing soon!
Hmm, I'm not sure yet, but I'm sure this will come soon!
This is really fun so far!