When I launched Gittip over two years ago, one of my goals for the homepage was to quickly answer the question, “Does Gittip actually work? Is anyone making any money here?” I decided to add a leaderboard showing the top receivers on the site so anyone could see for themselves.
Within weeks it became apparent that the leaderboards were going to be contentious, and indeed they have been over the years. Gittip is about collaboration, but the leaderboards on the homepage lent the site an air of competition.
Yesterday, we launched a new homepage. It’s a much simpler introduction to Gittip, with a straightforward call to action: Sign in to accept payments! For those who aren’t ready to sign in, we provide a link to our About pages as a secondary call to action, and other potentially interesting pointers in the fine print. Once you’re signed in, the homepage shows a simple “Welcome back!” and a link to your profile. In the future we’ll be making the homepage more dynamic for signed-in users.
The community pages still have leaderboards for now, but we’re planning to remove them from there as well. We have conversations going about what behaviors we want to encourage on Gittip, and how to use the community pages to do that. We’re also talking about how to provide value for companies that have been using their place on the Gittip homepage as a form of advertising.