It’s been just over three months since Matt inaugurated the VentureBeat Life Sciences page, so I thought I’d take a moment to ask our readers for your thoughts. From the beginning, my goal has been to offer an analytical perspective on the workings of the venture biotechnology and medical-device industries, and to connect that on one side to the scientific advances that underlie them and on the other to larger issues that confront the life sciences — for instance, healthcare reform, drug and device approval regulation, and the treatment of patents and intellectual property.
A few months ago I also took on responsibility for covering life-science funding announcements, and the site has probably tilted a bit too heavily to the news-brief side ever since. I’m not particularly happy about that, and I’m working to strike a better balance between the often straightforward news briefs and longer pieces. In part, I just need to rein in my inclination to dig into unclear or incomplete announcements, since the payoff often isn’t worth the extra effort, and it takes time away from other posts I could be writing.
We’re also aiming to make the site as easy to read, navigate and comment on as possible. Some changes along those lines are already in place, and more should be on the way. Last week, for instance, our crack tech team eliminated the code that forced every post to “jump” after 10-12 lines. In addition, I’ve started pushing the text of news-brief items “below the fold,” so that you won’t see more than a headline unless you click on the “Read More” link. (To my surprise, this even works for RSS readers; I’d erroneously assumed yesterday that it wouldn’t.)
With luck, these changes will reduce the “clutter” created by news briefs while making the more important stories stand out. It could even spur my productivity, since there’s suddenly a lot more white space to fill. In any event, we’ll be continuing to tweak things going forward, so don’t hesitate to let us know what you think about the changes so far and things you’d like to see in the future. Feel free to sound off in comments.