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PSFK: Headlines, Chinese Links & The Volume Of Content

A response to comments about the increase in volume of content from PSFK.

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
Piers Fawkes, PSFK on April 6, 2011. @piers_fawkes

I received an email today saying that the PSFK feed had got “rather spammy of late.” Since our new site launch there has been an increase of regular posts, an addition of ‘headline’ links plus we have been posting links in Chinese. The volume of links in our RSS and Twitter feeds is increasing but I’d argue that rather than being “spammy” we’re evolving into an essential daily read for our audience. I acknowledge that there there may be a little bit of getting used to as we move from what some might see as a ‘marketing blog’ to a ‘go-to resource for creative professionals’.

In terms of the headlines, this is part of our mission to help our users see PSFK as a trusted resource so that they don’t have to look at so many other sites/rss. As I said in this interview, I want to inform our audience of creative professionals with a broad range of news that affects their lives and livelihood. The links I posted as headlines today are just as important to monitor as the regular content the rest of the team contributed.

Regarding the Chinese links. We’re on a mission to inspire a global audience. I had already been speaking to Jan Chipchase in Shanghai about the importance of sharing PSFK in China when I attended TED Active this year and saw this video by Chinese artist Weiwei who has subsequently gone missing under police arrest. It reminded me that it was important for PSFK to provide access to new ideas to people around the world so that they can make things better. Our translation of the titles of our posts is a simple step towards this. We post 3 to 5 Chinese language links every night to our content in our feed at a time when most European and US visitors are tucked up in bed.

Our audience of readers is very important to us. But our aim is not to have an audience of nodding heads – but an audience that reacts to our content: Agree, disagree, bookmark, copy, use, share. Not all the articles on PSFK are going to be relevant to every reader and not all the links in RSS will be either. People don’t complain to the NY Times when they write an article which isn’t relevant to them. We are always learning and adapting and I’m sure there’s a better way to frame the headlines and other language links (and we’re reviewing it) but if I spent all my time worrying if something we put out would be universally accepted we wouldn’t be where we are today – in fact, we wouldn’t exist.

Thinking...