Original Design of IDG.net
Besides a search engine and newsletters, this version sported a java-enabled Personal Page that users could restrict to show only the news channels they were interested in.
IDG.net's Version 1 Product Channels
We had cute icons, but not a ton of expandability here.
Relaunch with a New Design
The second version was more globally focused and also added "micronetworks", subsites that could be quickly branched off the main site with a new URL and sold to exclusive clients. In addition, the new design had more room for ads "to the right of the fold".
Accessing the relaunched channel suite
Note the teaser with limited story count, and several related channels flowed in according to the template set in the publishing system (V2).
Viewing an IDG.net article
Note the See More (related stories) drop-down menu in the top frame. If the user came from a newsletter they could use this drop down to quickly flip through all the stories in a channel, newsletter, or their search results.
V2 — IDG.net's custom portal publishing solution
Using V2, a team of 18 editors could simultaneously process thousands of inbound articles culled from IDG's 160 website's worldwide. Editors created categories ("channels"), executed triage, and published "micronetworks", miniature versions of IDG.net sold to one or a few sponsors.
V2 was built in Java servlets w/jrun, on top of Oracle, by a group of three developers that I managed, including its architect, Brent Markwood.
Click to see: Editing Channels
Editors could add or remove channels at will.
Custom tags in templates
IDG.net designers had total control over all aspects of each micronetwork's look and feel. V2 was one of the first portal publishing systems in existence, and was much cheaper to develop and maintain than systems such as Vignette. Later, portal publishing systems would become the rage, but at the time there was little available.
IDG.net's management could call on dozens of premade reports or roll their own, to analyze how the site was doing.