So I decided to review lifehacker.com. This is certainly an up and coming website that has lots of useful and entertaining types of articles. So where to begin… I just typed in lifehacker.com in my Google Chrome browser and the first thing I see when I get to the home page is this huge Delta video ad which takes up like all of the page. You actually have to scroll down in order to view some articles. So this experience makes me think that lifehacker.com is primarily interested in monetizing their content and not so much in delivering a great reader experience.
Well, let me move on. So after scrolling down to view some of the articles, on the left hand side I see an invitation to enter your email address to sign up for the lifehacker newsletter. Below this prompt, I notice more advertisements, which is beginning to annoy me at this point. I am actually starting to get confused as to where the actual content is versus the advertisements. Perhaps lifehacker.com is doing this on purpose to generate more clicks to their ads.
Still to the left hand side of the page, but scrolling down below I see lifehacker advertising the content on their other subdomains, which are also advertised as actual categories on lifehacker.com. I also see the popular content section, which further advertises content from lifehacker.com. So I guess they’ve gotten their interlinking right. However, I am getting a bit bored at this point, because while the website is doing a lot to generate traffic to its content and getting advertising clicks, it is not delivering all that much in terms of entertainment value.
As I keep scrolling down through the home page, there is one Google Adsense advertisement that keeps following me on the left hand side, which is otherwise left blank. I feel like this is either weird or maybe I am crazy. It takes an incredibly long time to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page. You feel like the home page has no end. I do not know if this is good or bad, but personally I do not have a lot of time or patience, so in my case this is just annoying.
Wooh!, I am finally all the way at the bottom of the lifehacker.com home page. So now again I see this huge advertisement, which I might click by accident because by now I am tired and half asleep. I see an option to read more articles and move to older articles in the list. I also see a bunch of other website sections noted. So next I am going to go over each one of those sections.
So I click on the “About Blog” section. At the top I see this big picture with blue on top and green on the bottom with a logo in large letters that says Lifehacker. The blue looks like the sky and the green looks like grass. Smart move by lifehacker.com. So looking down I have to say that lifehacker.com has some weird names for some of their job titles. Like what the hell is Masthead? I have never heard of such a thing. After Googling the term, I realized that it means something like the publisher and this is where Lifehacker wants people to send their content ideas. They also have weird titles like “Deputy Editor”, and again after Googling this one I found out that the “Deputy Editor” title is just another name for Associate Editor. So I guess lifehacker.com is trying to be all fancy. At the bottom of this page describing the people who work for lifehacker.com are options to subscribe to various social media feeds and also again I am hit with an advertisement by Gear from Kinja Deals. Basically, lifehacker.com is greedy and does not miss any opportunity to sell. Also, I actually expected this section to talk about the content of the blog and the page itself, not so much about the people who write it. Why do I get the feeling that lifehacker.com is owned by a bunch of narcissists?! Also, the pictures of some of the writers are decidedly odd. There is one guys holding a drink of scotch and others who look like they may be overindulging in donuts or just plain high or confused. So the content on lifehacker.com is coming from questionable sources at best lol. Also, I notice that the page just keeps on loading in my browser. I do not know if this is because the Lifehacker team updates their website 24/7 or because this site has some sort of bug. Either way this is weird and confusing and Lifehacker needs to stop being cheap and greedy and invest some of those dollars they get from those annoying advertisements into a good IT team. This website sure could use a lift.
Now scrolling further down on this page I start seeing a bunch of articles and now I see people’s comments showing and asking me to read the article in full. I also see options to share the articles on Twitter and Facebook. Once again it takes an incredibly long time to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. The content is just unrelated to the original page purpose, which makes it really confusing. I guess the whole purpose of this long scroll time is to make me click on as many items as possible. However, I just get the impression that this page is a hot mess along with its many editors. Someone needs to stay off the booze and get their shit together!
Now I am at the “Need Help” section of lifehacker.com. I am now taken to a separate page called the “Kinja Help Center”. I wonder where the weird name comes from. Are they trying to be like the ‘Ninja Help Center”? LOL:) Well, I do have to say that this page is not all that bad. It does provide many helpful tips/discussions on how to use the website. Also, on the right hand side lifehacker.com does give you an option to email them through the website if you have some additional questions.
Now I entered the Lifehacker store. I see some tee-shirts and hoodies being sold with various styles of the Lifehacker logo on them. They come in black, grey, and white colors. Some of the writing is in green as well. The prices are very reasonable ranging from $23.99 to $44.99. You can also buy the Lifehacker die-cut sticker for $6 or a three pack of these stickers for $15. Also, at the bottom of this page there are some sister stores that are mentioned. The sister stores include Kotaku, Jalopnik, Gizmodo, Jezebel, and Deadspin. I am going to visit each one of these store separately and talk about them in more detail.
Now I am at the Kotaku store. So Kotaku is a video game blog and website that was initially launched as a part of the Gawker Media network in 2004. In August 2016, Univision Communications bought Gawker Media in August 2016, and renamed it as Gizmodo Media Group. Now this store also sells T-shirts and Hoodies at the same price point as lifehacker.com, however, these items come in all colors of the rainbow and have the Kotaku logo on them. Some of the clothing items also feature Japanese writing. Stickers are sold here as well.
Now off to Jalopnik store. Jalopnik is all about small old broken down cars that somehow keep going. Now this store also sells T-shirts and Hoodies in a wide variety of colors at a similar price point, however, also has accessories and decals along with some strange and sort of depressing messages life “drive free or die”. Stickers are available here as well.
Now lets visit Gizmodo store. Gizmodo is a technology, design, science, and science fiction website that also offers articles about politics. It was initially launched as part of the Gawker Media network and run by Nick Denton. It runs on the Kinja platform. So the Gizmodo store also offers colorful T-shirts and hoodies within the same price range as the other stores. The only difference of-course is the Gizmodo logo.
Next is the Jezebel store. This store has an erotic note to it. Some T-shirts actually show the middle finger. The color scheme is geared more towards the darker shades. Jezebel is a blog that is directed towards women. It talks about celebrities, fashion, beauty, sex, etc…The merchandise is still within the same price range as the other stores and of-course features the Jezebel logo on it. Some of the clothing does not have a logo at all, just an image of the middle finger along with the structure of the female fallopian tubes. Sick but cute. Yes, this site also has stickers.
Okay, now heading to Deadspin store. This store also features T-Shirts and Hoodies with the Deadspin logo within the same price range as the other stores. Also, the color scheme is black, white, and grey. Stickers are available as well. Deadspin is a website that talks about sports news and anecdotes.
Now I am going to visit the “Video” section of lifehacker.com. This section features a longs scroll of videos along with ads in between. Nothing interesting to see here.
Now moving along to the “Skillet” section of lifehacker.com. It seems like this part of the website is all about cooking. I like that Lifehacker came up with some creative section names for their page, however, I must say some of these I had to Google so they are a bit confusing. I also like the I can easily access the comments associated with each blog post on the right hand side next to each article.
Here goes the “Two Cents” section, which gives people’s opinion on a whole host of popular topics. Well, its fun, but I just could not care less so next…
The “Vitals” section is all about health. I’ve got to say that these website section labels are hilarious. This actually confirms my theory that the staff is on crack!
I am now looking the “The Root” section, which has all sorts of content and honestly not sure what the purpose is. I must say that a large portion of the content is racially skewed. So maybe this is all about our ancestry and where we come from.
Okay, so there is also a section titled the same way as each one of the stores. There are a whole bunch of sub-pages within each store title page. Not sure exactly what is the purpose of so many sub-divisions. I don’t know if this is how lifehacker.com divides the money between its partner pages, however, for the reader this is just plain confusing. I think they do not need to let the reader see which content comes from which subpage. As long as they have clear labels for each content category, this should be enough to direct the readers to the content they are looking for. So overall lifehacker.com definitely has some work to do as far as integrating the different sections of their large website. I am sure they can afford a good SEO/web development team so they need to get on it!