New IPVM Homepage Released

We have deployed a new homepage, the first major change to the homepage in 5+ years, screencap below:

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Compared to previous:

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Here are the main benefits/reasons:

  1. Displays much more content, similar to how the NY Times, WSJ, etc. do so. Years ago, we offered far less, so it was OK to have a simple single-column layout. The new layout lets us dynamically show 5x more content in many different areas.
  2. Loads significantly faster, ~1 second instead of the previous homepage about ~3 seconds.
  3. New underlying architecture. As IPVM is now 14+ years old, the original software architecture we used is no longer optimal for 2020's development, so this is the first implementation of IPVM moving to a new, more current architecture.

Up next will be replacing the reports and discussion views, which cover most visits to IPVM.

Thanks to Duc, Long, and Thang for working on this and making this happen quite smoothly! We'll have more improvements to come and any design problems are my fault, not theirs.

Feedback, questions, and suggestions welcome in the comments.

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Wow, that's different. I think I like it, but I'm going to have to take time to consider. Dividing it into categories is good, I think.

Are you leaving Rails?

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Are you leaving Rails?

We are migrating away from Rails step by step but not certain if or when we would completely move away.

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I'm still surprised that Rails survived those DoS attacks. Ruby is not known for performance.

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I think most sites use solutions like Cloudflare or Cloudfront, etc. to deal with DDoS attacks, regardless of what the underlying web framework is.

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It's... interesting.

I think it's going to take some getting used to.

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Waitaminute... You're not using Lexend anymore? I wasn't a fan of Lexend to begin with, but I thought you were pretty sold on it being more readable.

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You're not using Lexend anymore?

Lol, related New Font For IPVM - Like It? Don't Like It?

I am not sure what the font is for the homepage but we were not trying to move away from Lexend, e.g., presumably the font here in discussions.

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btw one example of how the new homepage design lets us customize what is displayed, we can add related reports to the homepage very quickly, e.g., the big news today is 67 UK Parliamentarians Call For Total Hikvision & Dahua Ban and so we set the right sidebar to be 5 related reports:

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Tomorrow or Wednesday etc we can then switch to match another major news story or highlight a different trend, etc.

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I like the separation into categories, but why take up landing page space by listing related stories to the main story - right next to it on the top right?

if I click on the main story, I expect related links after I read the main story.

this is how it has always been, and i think it makes more sense than posting those related stories where the discussion threads used to be.

I had to scroll down 2/3 of the page to even find out why the landing page changed.

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Right. I find it annoying on other news sites where they have one new headline and then a bunch of old stories next to it on the main page just because they're related. It makes it seem like a bunch of stuff just happened in that topic, when there's really only one new story. Either have the old stories linked from the article page, or on the main page have a button that says "Stories related to this" that will reveal those old stories.

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when there's really only one new story

You are operating from the assumption that you have already read most of our reporting, while most people have not (to any site, NY Times, WSJ, IPVM, etc.).

That said, one of the other projects we are working on is to add more personalizaton / recommendations to the home page, like Netflix, YouTube, etc.

Btw, in our old site, we added a feature last year to pin 1 or 2 "older" articles and the result was much higher engagement for those articles than simply going chronologically. My takeaway was that a lot of people miss IPVM reports when they are first published but if you make it easy for them to see them on the homepage later, they will choose that over a newer report with narrower appeal.

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You are operating from the assumption that you have already read most of our reporting

I know this comment was to UD1, but I can tell you that I am not operating from that assumption. there are tons of stories that I don't read if the title or subject aren't interesting to me - but if I see them linked to a story that I do read, I may then click on them for a broader view.

although they are not specifically labeled as such, it becomes pretty obvious over time that the stories on the top right are related to the main story.

how many 'related' links do you imagine someone would click on before they clicked the main story link?

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although they are not specifically labeled as such, it becomes pretty obvious over time that the stories on the top right are related to the main story.

ok, I was mistaken. now the top right column appears to be stories that are not related to the main post, but I can't determine the lowest common denominator for what goes there.

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or am I wrong again?

the main story is a lawsuit and all the stories in the top right column are stories related to other lawsuits.

how is that helpful to those of us that aren't lawyers?

*Note: I am just being me - and I appreciate you allowing me to make fun of the process. but I am really also trying to help.

kind of.

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the main story is a lawsuit and all the stories in the top right column are stories related to other lawsuits.

Yes, that is the current layout. We can and will change the layout as new reports are posted.

how is that helpful to those of us that aren't lawyers?

That's why many sites (Netflix, YouTube, etc.) have moved to personalized recommendations, i.e. only show 70s movies and Seinfeld clips to you, etc. That is a next step for us, to use this layout to dynamically show reporting most relevant to one's history.

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That's why many sites (Netflix, YouTube, etc.) have moved to personalized recommendations

Yes, but most of those are considered failures. Netflix is mostly accused of trying to do personalized listings to obscure the fact that they are running thin on fresh content, I think that is the opposite of what IPVM is going for.

Granted it's only been a couple of days of the new layout, but so far I'm really not a fan. It's much harder to see what is actually new, and the comments/discussions data is not present or buried down, so it is also harder to see which things are getting engagement and possibly additional perspective/info/etc.

The whole layout just feels messy and unorganized to me. IMO there is much room to improve on the previous single-column report format, but I'm not sure that this is a step in the best direction.

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most of those are considered failures

Wait, what? Netflix and YouTube would be far worse if they just showed you a chronological listing of what's new. And I am certain I would read far more NY Times articles if they personalized the results for me.

I've definitely heard the concern about making it easier to see chronological view and we're going to see what we can do there. Thanks.

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I for one disagree with that approach. I would not welcome personalized recommendations on IPVM. If i happen to look up dahua one time, that doesn't mean I want to more Dahua articles for the next week or two. I prefer to see wha tthe newest stories are, and read those

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That's why many sites (Netflix, YouTube, etc.) have moved to personalized recommendations, i.e. only show 70s movies and Seinfeld clips to you, etc. That is a next step for us

not a fan of this.

I created a meme on a Knightscope post a couple weeks ago and I needed a street sign image so I searched Google images.

based on that search, for the last month, half of the ads I see are for companies that sell street signs.

I can maybe see why sites like Netflix and Youtube might use algorithms to do this - though I hate it - but I don't know why IPVM would do this.

if I click on a VMS story, then I get served up all the VMS stories ever posted?

this is not valuable, imo.

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IMO, Marty saying nicely that we don't care about "lawyers" stories. :)

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actually, I was making fun of the fact that the 'related' stories weren't related at all - beyond the fact that they were all about lawsuits.

and please don't call me nice.

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Relax, I know you are not nice:)

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This is awful IMO. Just in this example, the homepage is an entire wall of UK/HikVision. You would think the entire site is dedicated to this singular topic (someone is going to make a smart remark about this).

Like others have noted, related stories should be shown after clicking on an article, to ensure the suggested clicks are directed at the right people. If you have absolutely zero interest in the UK or HikVision (or whatever the "big" story of the day is), the current homepage layout is a complete nightmare.

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also, on the discussions landing page there is a (new?) filter by section - which should probably be 'filter by topic' imo.

say someone chooses Awards (as if that would ever happen)...

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once you choose a 'section' there is no way to go back to 'no filter' without reloading the entire page

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That's many, many years old. You just discovered it today. I am being serious.

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you know if I had seen it I would've said something before today.

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having a chronological option would be nice for those who do visit regularly...had to dig around to see what was new

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Cliff, thanks, there's a chronological view here (Reports Directory) that can also be filtered to show any combination of all posts, Public, Info+, Research, etc.

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thanks!

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Definitely bookmarking any chronological view as my entry point into IPVM.

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And that's not a criticism of the re-design! Just as a daily reader I'm looking for what's new first.

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Any chance you're going to quickly bring back and provide the dark theme for the front page? Opened it up in a dark room and felt like getting punched in the eyeballs.

After waiting so long for the dark theme, (and upgrading to Research), it would be a shame to be forced back to into reading IPVM only in daylight hours.

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good feedback! I did not realize we didn't have dark theme as I am in the light :) We'll get it fixed not sure though if this can be done today, tomorrow but checking now.

Related - Should IPVM Have A Dark Theme Option?

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my first reaction to the home page .. oh what fresh h3ll is this?

Until dark mode is restored, I will be cancelling by subscription, unfollowing you on Linkedin, blocking you on twitter, reporting violations to youtube, and giving you a 1 star yelp review.

(kidding, I'll get used to wearing sunglass at my desk i guess)

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I feel the recent comment section could be larger. It now only shows 5, always like browsing this to see recent comments and additions. With only 5 I could miss them more easily. Or a clickable option to see the longlist could also work, as the layout on the site it quite nice in this dimension.

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Agreed, I came here to say this same thing. That is my most visited section of IPVM.....since I cant afford research...

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I see I’ve also lost the view of how my comments have been liked / disliked.

more focus on the content and less towards the interaction

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It's also way too far down on the page, IMO.

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Feels... cluttered? Maybe I just need time to get used to it.

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Agreed. I have no idea what the newest content is, and honestly kinda hate the "related" article section next to the main news. If I cared about whatever the main article is, the link to similar or related content should be IN the article page, not cluttering the top of the main page. I had to scroll around to find that the Huewei article was the most recent article posted (I think). The design of the page is fine, I guess? It's just a lot of stuff I either don't have access to or have already read all over the place.

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agree.

"Displays much more content, similar to how the NY Times, WSJ, etc. do" -

just because those legacy outlets do it that way is no reason to copy it. i liked the different layout, because IPVM is a different outlet, makes me wonder what's next? are you gonna have those pop up video ad's in the middle of the screen

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gonna have those pop up video ad's in the middle of the screen

We don't do advertisements and have no plans to do so.

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I like the new look. Been on vacay for a weeks and come back to modernization!

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Where is the new Access Control Architecture 101 article? I don't see it anywhere on the homepage even under the access control section. Can there be a space labeled new content or something like that? I would not have even seen it if there wasn't a comment on the article.

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upper right, first listing for me.

this is why personalized recommendations and copying WaPO, NY times etc is a terrible idea.

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Thanks! Hopefully, I can get used to this layout quickly.....

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Hmm where have I seen this style before...

www.bloomberg.com

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Maybe having and more and less button. More to expand a section to show more articles, less if you don't care for access control for example. Also a button to hide research articles.

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Are the dates missing now or just for me?

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Yes, we removed the bylines and the dates.

We also are going to show all new reports in the upper right or center area, marked below:

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The other 2 highlight areas (2 x 2) were moved down so its easier to see the newest reports while allowing us space to promote various reports.

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I appreciate the feedback, including the negative, as we assess how to optimize the new layout.

One of the things I am confident in is that it is better to de-emphasize the focus on dates. I understand power users who read IPVM daily are focused on what is absolutely new but most users are less frequent and are more concerned about missing "top" reports rather than what was published an hour ago (though these changes today with news in the upper right and mid center should help to that end).

Also, dates are less central to IPVM reporting than they are to traditional newspaper stories like "Biden Waves Sparklers" or "Pelosi Greets Veterans" are really something time sensitive because they refer to a passing event. Most IPVM reports are as valid in day 120 as the day they are published since they are about broader issues or trends.

That said, I am looking to suggestions about how to better layout the homepage for different users / type of use.

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Hi John

Any thoughts on showing more of the recent comments?I took me a few searches to find this thread, as it is no longer in the most recent five.From the responses to my initial comment on this I see others feel the same way.

I am getting used to the new layout and it looks quite nice. Every new start has some tweaks, happy we can give some feedback.

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We're going to show a few more of recent comments on the home page but if you are interested in comments primarily then I would recommend bookmarking / going to the Discussion homepage, which has all the most recent comments, etc.

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Discussion threads used to be more prominently displayed on the home page.

I'm curious why you chose to make them much less so now with the new design?

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Showcasing our reporting and research is strategically more important than focusing on comments.

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Thank. I understand the focus on content over comments and appreciate the changes all the more

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I see that Verkada has its own section on the website. Is this a paid option?

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Do you think Verkada is paying us to call them "Hostage as a Service", that their salespeople are "arrogant, rude, and relentless", they have a "false and manipulative strategy" and an "unethical culture"? Are you serious?

No, it's not paid.

We are using the new homepage to rotate highlights of various reporting we do, e.g.:

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Sorry if my question disappointed you. But I see that I see. So I thought that you finally opened ads on your website and asked about the payment option.

Btw your first page generates vast traffic and they get it for free. Doesn't matter what is in your article. You level up them in search indexes.

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Any company can get their own featured section on the IPVM homepage to drive traffic. They just need to make several bad business decisions in a row.

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))))) Got it!

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Of all the changes lately, VerNADA getting their own smear section on the front page is the one I love the most! :D

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Dark mode for homepage is now live. We will continue to optimize it next week but we wanted to get fundamentals live this week, thanks Duc!

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Thank you very much.

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Any consideration to mobile viewing? Recent comments are almost at the footer and it's almost impossible to tell what are new articles versus related articles now.

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Yes thanks for that. We plan to do a series of mobile layout improvements next week.

Also we are now showing the 10 most recent comments on the homepage, double of what we were showing earlier in the week.

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So hard to navigate. no idea what is new and what is old. I have seen the same Hanwah review for 4 days. I don't have research so I don't care about it.

give us the old IPVM as an option. I want to know which articles are new and which are older.

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new ones are right up top right side

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Hanwha report was released Friday, it's Monday now.

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thx

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I like the look of the new page, but I'm feeling nostalgic for the old one.

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"I dont like it" - man who hates change

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We've added a new section to the bottom of the new homepage that allows showcasing more reports, to start we are showing 12 profiles:

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In the future, we can use this area to show various topics, e.g., IPVM tutorials, statistics, reports on video analytics, cameras, access control, etc.

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Mobile homepage optimizations have been deployed, most notably moving up newest comments so they can be found quicker and changing images shown to reduce deadspace.

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Update: We now added a feature to randomly show groups of reports, e.g. below we have 50+ profiles and the homepage will periodically randomly show different sets of 12 of those profiles at a time:

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This will help expose our various reporting to those who missed it when it was first published.

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The newest comments list seems to miss the most recent comments on occasion. Not sure if it's from caching or what.

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The homepage is rebuilt every few minutes I believe and cached in between to maximize page loading. We might invalidate the cache for every new comment but maybe not, given the tradeoffs of page speed vs inconvenience of a new comment not shown in the next minute.

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Three weeks in... I have to say I am happy with the new website. There was always a lot more on IPVM than met the eye on the homepage.. and now with this new layout it is very visible how much relevant content there is.

I appreciate the tips that have been taken and updates (IE number of recent comments). But all in all very nice!

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always a lot more on IPVM than met the eye on the homepage.. and now with this new layout it is very visible how much relevant content there is.

Yes, that's definitely one of the things that we even learned as we started to showcase various areas of our coverage.

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Not a fan of the new homepage. Removing the 'published on' dates gives me strong Taboola vibes. Seems... unbecoming of a respectable periodical like IPVM.

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arranged by expected engagement level

They are arranged by topic - finance, profiles, 101, access control, etc.

Getting strong Taboola vibes

We don't accept advertising and we are only linking to our own reporting.

For a full refund, please email info@ipvm.com and Ryan will process it.

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