thegunfeed.com Jumps In the Deep End of the Pool

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Someone sent us an email the other day announcing…a new gun magazine. No, seriously. Woo. Hoo. While they claim it’s a publication like no other — you should excuse our skepticism — putting out a new dead tree gun rag these days (with the monthly subscription “you the news faster!”) is evidence of either too many dollars with too little to do or a fiscal death wish fed by the triumph of hope over experience. On the other end of the spectrum, however, is a more modest effort, but one you’d have to think has significantly brighter long term prospects. Eric, proprietor of gunmartblog.com, has recently added a new firearms-related news aggregator sight to his vast holdings. Drudge-ian in its design and simplicity, thegunfeed.com looks to be a handy one-stop-shop for links to gunny news, opinion and kooky YouTube videos. Welcome, Eric and good luck.

comments

  1. avatar Carry.45 says:

    I don’t get it.

  2. avatar SCS says:

    Just visited their page, a bit of sensory over load for my ADHD brain.

  3. avatar Jeff says:

    Well, I can’t stand the web-1.0 format of drudge, which still looks like it’s being maintained with Netscape Composer, so… I’ll pass.

  4. avatar Matt in FL says:

    It’s really interesting to me how closely thegunfeed.com and thegunwire.com both rip off Drudge’s look, yet neither is as easy (for me) to read. They both feel like information overload, while Drudge does not. I think it has something to do with the horizontal rule Drudge has between each “subject” that helps give you a mental pause between lines and keeps it from all running together. However that doesn’t explain all of it, because I think thegunfeed is still easier to read than thegunwire, even though neither has the horizonal rule.

    1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      Speaking as someone who is trying to code a better mousetrap, how do you think it could be better laid out? Can you help me by providing some more info on your visual preferences?

      1. avatar MiketheHopsFarmer says:

        Redhead, legs that go on for days, smiling back at me, on the beach. That’d be my visual preferences.

        1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          ^^^^^^^^This^^^^^^^

      2. avatar CA.Ben says:

        Smaller picture and text for the header. The title article text should be smaller than the news site name, and the current title picture/text require way too much scrolling.

        horizontal lines between topics

        And right now, the three columns on the gun feed don’t fill my entire screen. Wasted white space on the left and right sides of my screen is a bad thing.

      3. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Nick,
        I’ve been a fan of Drudge for a long time, so I’m used to the style.
        I like it because after so much use, I know where to go on the page to find a link or other site I want.
        So, I kinda like the format of thegunfeed.com
        Just my two cents

        1. avatar rightontheleftcoast says:

          Me too, long time fan of Drudge, and because I am, I gave GunFeed a closer look and they seem to have some good content- but, as others have said, its cluttered, and maybe its that its a ripoff of Drudge and you cant come close to that, which is disappointing somehow. Its not the number and good-ness of gun stuff- I see plenty of that and will be back again.

          No, I think its they are missing the point of what makes Matt Drudge so brilliant-
          a. not just that he is on top of things, either he is OCD like Robert, or he has an army of more ADD guys, like Andrew Breitbart who worked for him for awhile, passionately scouring the news to be first to re-distribute it-

          b. no, the real subtle but powerful effect is how he positions items that create a contrast of counterviews, that in some cases expose ironically the hypocrysy, or stupidity, usually of the left,

          c.but also by going back in time, as in flashbacks, to show the evolution of the news issue, and also show when Drudge was ahead.

          Thats what attracts knowledgeable readers, is that extra layer or two about the news, and wanting to know before anyone else whats happening.

          Drudge has a 6th sense about whats breaking and whats going stale, and he is so good at stretching it out sometimes, and pumping certain things, that he actually has taken some of the “control” of the timing and the content of the “standard news-cycle” away from the MSM, and I am quite sure its why they are so furious with him at the top, and why so many at the bottom surreptiously follow him for a crack at a scoop or early breaking news they would have missed.

          I dont see how that works for GunFeed in that same way, as whats interesting to gunnies is more homogenous, but willing to watch and see how it goes. Actually, TTAG is doing a better job of that, Drudge-like, with this layout, and Roberts posts that attract some controversy.

          Also concur on visual layout fwiw about TTAG and what you could copy elsewhere to do it better – I like the article format you already have- and the interaction between readers that creates the community, but the limits of the scolling linearlly, and need to click “older” is a hassle, as is the apparent inability to get to or search easily, any past archives or comments.

          Recommend you look at Breitbart and see how they do it- lots of visual good stuff, but a grid like pattern you can scan, and scroll wayyyy down, thats lots easier than this,

          or PJMedias, with a slightly longer list of articles before you have to click on “older entries”, so you can see how NOT to screw it up, as they did with comment changes, particularly at Belmont Club.

          Half the value of TTAG to me, at least, is reading what the smart gun-folk you attract, think, especially compared to the nuttier folk or the bile at other gun-sites, names to be withheld to protect the idiots.

          I’d hate to see you lose the input from guys like Dyspeptic, Accura81, AlphaGeek and many more who clearly know what they are talking about, but who are also probably busy and unlikely to put up with a hassle commenting if it gets too hard like I see at Belmont Club almost happened.

        2. avatar rightontheleftcoast says:

          PS: sorry to spam with lengthy post above –
          but heres a better take on Drudge, coincidentally today, from a converted from hollywood liberal to conservative, also jewish writer- Robt, do you know Roger? Seems like a good guy to get to know.

          http://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2013/06/07/traveling-with-drudge-americas-indispensable-man/

      4. avatar Conrad says:

        My biggest beef with TTAG is that there are more articles within a 24 hour period, than I get to see in a page. I hate hitting the “older” link, don’t know why…

      5. avatar Matt in FL says:

        OK, but keep in mind I’d never heard of thegunwire.com or thegunfeed.com before a day or two ago when someone mentioned them in their comments here. My likelihood of returning would be 98% based on the quality of info I found there, regardless of how it looked (within reason, and these are both within reason), and I haven’t been reading them long enough to make that determination. There may turn out to be a lot of overlap between the two of them and/or here, and only in that case would cosmetics really make much difference.

        That said, CA.Ben basically wrote my comment for me. The tops of both of those pages as they’re currently displayed are pretty ugly. In the case of thegunfeed, HUGE picture and HUGE headline are literally all that are on my screen. I don’t even see the name of the page. In the case of thegunwire, there are lots of things wrong, most of them front and center. Like thegunfeed, I also don’t see the name of the page, but that’s due to the top half (literally, half) of my screen being taken up by non-news. At the top is the menu bar, which is fine, but then there’s a large ad for Freedom Fighter Tactical, followed by 5 lines that are variously more or less useless. On the “more useless” end are the “Follow us on Facespace/Twithead” links, as they duplicate the buttons for those two services that appear in the top right corner. And then there’s the “archive” link, which takes you to today’s stories, but no clear way to access older archives. Archive links should be at the bottom, as they’re not as important as what’s happening now. Basically, there are at least three (Facespace, Twitter, and archives), possibly more things that are being visibly represented (by putting them top dead center) as being more important as the content of the page. All told, the “content” of the page, which starts with a picture of Bloomberg, doesn’t even start until halfway down my screen.

        I think the text on thegunfeed is just slightly larger than it should be (slightly larger than Drudge, natch). Somehow, despite only being a couple points larger than Drudge, it has managed to cross the line into cartoon-land for me. The text size thing goes double for thegunwire. As CA.Ben said, the whitespace at either side is unnecessary and bad. Stretch the columns out. If you’re going to copy Drudge, do it unabashedly, because his formula clearly works.

        Horizontal rules between topics makes a BIG difference in readability, especially if the text size remains the same. Even though there’s a line skipped between each story on thegunfeed, the overly large type combined with the narrow columns makes the line breaks disappear into the noise. Thegunfeed does have three inexplicable horizontal rules on the page, one in each column, but why they’re there, or why they’re where they are is not at all apparent. They look accidental.

        I’ll stop now, but if anything else major jumps out at me, I’ll let you know.

        EDIT TO ADD: Also, on thegunwire.com, I just noticed the archive link in the linkstack is redundant to the top menu bar. So literally everything in that linkstack (Advertising, Facespace, Twitter, Videos, and Archives) is a duplication of something on the top menu bar. So the entire top half of my screen is wasted space.

      6. avatar William says:

        Well, not sure. Drudge’s look is one of the most copied out there, which is both good AND bad.

      7. avatar Pascal says:

        @Nick Leghorn

        See Arstechnica, The Verge, Engadget, allthingsd or reason.com IF it was formatted wider.

        Lot of constant information flowing but easy to read with nice sections on all those sites.

        I like Ammolands layout as well.

  5. avatar CarlosT says:

    I have no comments on the design of gunfeed because I’m on my phone, and the mobile page basically shows nothing and I can’t move off of it. I tried the built in Samsung browser, Chrome, and Opera. Just the same page with the same giant text about June contests and then nothing.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Yeah, I just tried it in all three of my mobile browsers, and I get the same results. A header telling me I’m on the mobile site, then the headline “June 2013 Gun & Gear Contests” and the page title, and nothing else.

  6. avatar ensitue says:

    You need Colum headers that read “Newest” “Old” “Oldest”

  7. avatar Leo338 says:

    I noticed Recoil magazine is back again as well. I almost bought it because they have a POF P-308 on the cover.

    1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      Erik Lund has an article about setting up the SCAR 17S for competition shooting in it that is pretty good. Other than that, you’re paying for gun porn.

  8. avatar rightontheleftcoast says:

    PS dont crap this up like USA Today has with all the gol-dang ads and overlays that you cant even lay your mouse idly in the margin somewhere, without something popping up, getting in the way of what you came to read.

    Or CBS where every stinking vid requires a 30sec commercial. If I wanted to be captive to senseless TV ads I’d watch tv.

    Or the Blaze, where every time you hit the landing page it launches the stupid box in the middle covering the article, asking if I want to subscribe or something.

    Or the hokey “whiteboard” that tells you what 24 things to stock in an emergency, after watching the little hand draw cartoons for 20 minutes and wont let you click out without asking you “are you sure…” duh. Are you sure you ever want me to buy ANYTHING from you or any whiteboard like it- scammers…spit.

    Its so bad I wont even go to those places or anywhere that looks remotely like them…

    whew. I feel better.

  9. avatar Saul Feldstein says:

    Shooting magazine sent me a free couple of issues, every page an advertisement with no independent testing or opinion. Sent back the card saying cancel, they proceeded to keep sending their unwanted rag.

    Then I got the first warning letter that I would be sent to collections for the amount of the subscription. After a blistering phone call (waited on hold for 10 minutes to get thru) and writing RTS with a Sharpie on the last rag we shall see how far they wish to go.

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