Scott Anderson

A New NextBillion in the Works

Earlier this month, we announced several changes to NextBillion’s staff, including new writers and new editor roles. Today, I wanted to let you know about a couple more changes to the physical appearance of the NextBillion network, present and future.

NextBillion will be moving ahead with a project to redesign the front page and add a bevy of new features across our network of sites. We have issued a request for proposals (RFP) to execute this redesign and to integrate a series of long-planned enhancements. Many of the enhancements that we’re seeking have been requested by readers for some time and are aimed at improving the look and feel of the network of sites, as well as to more thoroughly integrate social media. We hope to have a new version of NextBillion in front of readers before year’s end.

If any of you have ties to strong web development firms that might be interested in this project, please feel free to send them this link to the RFP. And, if there are some important design features or upgrades you would like to see on NextBillion in the future, please chime in with a comment.

Secondly, you may have noticed that we’ve started hosting text-based Google Ads on the home page and blog/section pages of One reader asked if the ads are “worth it.” It’s a valid question. My response to him and to you would be, over time, yes they are. For small (but growing!) communities like ours, Google Ads provide a trickle of revenue to help offset some of the many costs that go with managing and hosting the site. Giant pop up banner ads, however, would be obtrusive and not worth at all worth the inconvenience to readers. And, we know that Google Ads do have some effect, as a significant number of new readers come to our sites each month because of the ads we place through Google’s pro-bono AdWords program for nonprofits like ours. But, like all advertisements, they are a necessary evil to help us continue to provide the content NB readers expect and deserve.

As always, we hope to hear from you about the redesign or any other thoughts you may have via comments below, and/or on Twitter and Facebook.

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