Many of us have a set routine when going online.
Although that routine may be changing due to wholesale and rapid changes in social media sites and new brands being tested by early adopters, the fact remains that there are millions of blogs and websites competing for your visits.
For many, the days of visiting a particuar blog or website every day are long over and have been replaced by RSS subscriptions (most of which are FREE) and browsing headlines via RSS readers such as Google Reader. Others embrace aggregators (PopUrls, AllTop, etc.) for a 'quick take', and, of course, many have switched to Twitter for real-time updates on what's going on in their worlds.
In-depth studies have been done on how to acquire more readers. All kinds of tactics are employed by individuals and companies, large and small, to attract your viewing and, more importantly, keep you from wandering off-site.
Many blogs and websites have 'most popular' listings, and, of course, Twitter and others have brought us 'trending now' sections. For some, it's information overload. For others, once again, the 'conversations' are becoming fragmented.
In the 'old days', you bought a newspaper before getting on the train and pulled 'your' sections ... sports, stocks ... cartoons?? The rest of the paper was left on the seat.
Today, hyperlinks and aggregators have you jumping from site to site while major web players across all verticals are trying to figure out how to keep you 'on-site', but also to monetize that visit without sacrificing design.
Enter the NY Times.
Sometimes the simplest of ideas are the best and one caught my attention tonight.
While I often visit the Times website, it's usually a fairly brief visit.
That changed tonight.
Note: This may mot be new but it's the first time I've noticed it ... and it worked.
While the feature doesn't appear on every page, it does appear on many.
As you near the end of an article, a small non-evasive fly-out comes from the bottom right of the screen showing you a similar, current article on similar subject.
Considering the first article caught my attention span long enough to read it through to the end, what better way to bait me to stay on site than this?
Go over to the Times site here. Pick an article that interests you and spend a few minutes to read it to the end.
Did the fly-out catch your attention and take you to another page .... (with a different ad)?
Whoever came up with the simple yet elegant feature should get a bonus.
It just works.