Perfecting The New Americana: Data prompts cool changes to the site

Data prompts cool changes to the site

Dear Readers, new and old:

First, thank you so much for visiting The New Americana. Our mission has evolved since we launched the site last year. Our primary goal is to be the best source for the conservative, cultural, Federalist, or religious news you need.

To that end, we’ve been carefully watching the data that has been accumulating for a while. We’re learning which article types you want to see, what sources you prefer, and which topics intrigue you the most. Since we strive to continue our growth path for years to come, it behooves us to make minor adjustments from time to time. We want to try new things. Sometimes, they actually work.

This will be our last adjustment for a while because it’s the result of pure data. Before, we asked for feedback and received plenty of it, but unfortunately the ideas of the vocal few are not always indicative of the general opinions. By focusing on data, we’ve come up with some changes…

The stories that matter to you

When I first built this site, I built it the way that I would want a conservative news aggregator to be. At the time, Drudge Report and other similar sites were very much focused on promoting Donald Trump. During the primaries I supported Ted Cruz and wanted a venue to counter the pro-Trump right-leaning sites that opposed him.

Obviously, things are different today. While we’re pleased that Hillary Clinton lost, we’re not going to become a pro-Trump echo chamber. The Republican Party in general has shifted swiftly to the left, particularly when it comes to big-government overreach and irresponsible fiscal decisions. One of our new focus points is to be a truly fair voice by calling it like we see it. When Trump or the GOP does well, we’ll cheer. When they do poorly, we’ll oppose. The same holds true for the Democrats (though it’s often hard to find anything positive to say about them) as well as smaller parties. We believe in life, freedom, and reining in the overreach of the federal government. That won’t change.

What definitely HAS changed is that we’re not going to load up the site with too many links. Our original plan was to have more links that sites like Drudge. We even had a poll and we received a good number of responses saying that we should keep the link count high. Unfortunately, the poll data wasn’t matched by the click data. It seemed that the more links we kept on the site, the fewer clicks they would get. It makes sense, of course, but we don’t want to have important links lost in a sea of frivolous links, so we’re now going for quality over quantity. The data tells us what stories you like. Pro-gun, anti-socialism, pro-life, anti-overreach… these are a few of the topics you like the most.

More quality. Less quantity. This means our story vetting process is going to be improved.

More real-time updates

Stories closer to the top receive more clicks. This is, of course, a no-brainer. However, we realized that the top section formerly called “Selected News and Commentaries” received the lion’s share. That means that stories which are important are getting missed by many if they don’t spend time at the top.

Our solution: make it a stream. Every story that we link to will start at the top and work its way down over time. By keeping it as a stream rather than pushing some stories instantly to the lower sections, visitors will no longer need to sift through older links or miss some of the newest ones. We’ve renamed the section “Freshest News.”

To make this work properly requires us to update much more often. This will make it harder, but it should allow our visitors to see every story. By staying on the page and allowing it to auto-refresh every few minutes, new stories will appear to you much more often than they’ve appeared in the past.

Rucker’s Briefs

I had no idea that quick opinion pieces would be so popular, but apparently readers love them. Here’s a quick rundown of “Rucker’s Briefs.”

We’ll do more of them. Does that mean we’re going to slow down on the full commentaries? Absolutely not…

More commentary

This is one of the area’s where we can always use help. We have some great writers, but since we can’t pay them yet, we can’t expect them to write regularly. The solution: more patriotic and willing-to-be-unpaid writers! The long-term solution: generate revenue. This brings us to…

Giving up on ads

The advertising revenue model simply doesn’t work for us. That’s a testament to our readers; so many of you are too smart to click on ads that we don’t make the money we otherwise would based upon the traffic. To put it into perspective, a similar site that has an ad platform we were using generated more than triple the revenue we did with the same ads despite having about half the traffic.

I don’t blame you. I don’t click on ads, either.

With that said, we’re switching to a three-pronged revenue model to help us expand the site. First, we’re killing off all normal ads other than Google. Those ads seem to do okay. We may end up killing those in the future as well since we have no control over the content (some of you have seen Planned Parenthood ads coming through Google which we clearly do not support). We’re also keeping the Amazon section, mostly because it’s fun to post links to interesting products.

The second thing we’re doing is launching a GoFundMe campaign for the site. We have NO idea how this will work out, but we figure it takes around $50K/year to pay good writers and editors for part-time work, so we’re giving it a try. If you can help, please check out and share our campaign. Who will be the first contributor?

The third way to help is to contribute to our lone sponsor, the Federalist Party. We’re tracking funds that are generated from this site to the party and a good chunk goes directly towards growing this site.

The best way we can contribute to promoting conservative principles is by being the best news aggregator on the internet. We will always strive to improve and we greatly appreciate your readership. Spread the word! We’re ready to help take down the leftist mentality regardless of which party is spreading it.

Conservative News

JD Rucker

JD Rucker is Editor of this site as well as Soshable, a Federalist Christian Blog. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, and co-founder of the Federalist Party. Find him on Twitter or Facebook.

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