Looking back at the first month of Shacknews Cortex

Looking back at the first month of Shacknews Cortex

Hey Shackers! Shacknews Cortex launched exactly one month ago today. Here's some interesting information I have compiled to celebrate.

the man with the briefcase

Hey hey hey! It's that Briefcase Man coming at you with some hot Cortex stats. I know my best friend LolaThePom is out there giving you Carnage Reports every day, but I am here to tell you the good news about Shacknews Cortex!

Shacknews Cortex was launched on November 10, 2020. Some of these stats provided include our Google Analytics as of the time of posting on December 10, 2020. Going forward, I will be providing updates on the first of the month, but I really wanted to look at things after the first month of the platform's existence. One goal of the Shacknews.com Phase 3 update was to increase pageviews from user-generated content (UGC), so that will be how we look at things going forward. I will be combining pageviews from Cortex and Chatty to look at these stats, so our year-over-year data will reflect the bonus of Cortex article pageviews. 


  • Shacknews Chatty pageviews grew 35% year-over-year in October 2020, before the launch of Cortex
  • Shacknews UGC pageviews grew 90% year-over-year in the launch month of Shacknews Cortex
  • Shacknews Cortex pageviews amounted to 34% of Shacknews Chatty pageviews in the launch month of Cortex
  • 361 Shacknews Cortex articles have been posted
  • Shacknews Cortex and the Gamification Engine are having a postive effect on Chatty pageviews
    • I will continue to monitor this correlation

SEO Wins


Shantynews has been a huge highlight of Shacknews Cortex launch. The whole team over there is doing their best to provide the very best satirical content made for Shackers. Shantynews has accumulated 850 [lol] tags in just a month. They even went viral tonight during The Game Awards 2020 with a tweet from our buddies at the Valve News Network.

That article ended up doing more traffic than most of our regular Shacknews coverage of The Game Awards 2020. It is nice to see a surprise like this happen since the goal of the Cortex launch was to increase pageviews and social reach. People seem to not be sure if Shantynews articles are real or not, and I think that speaks to quality of the satirical articles that they are cranking out.

People are winning Shacknews 

You could win Shacknews.

It's great to see people winning Shacknews. Shacknews Cortex is a game that gamifies all parts of Shacknews.com. That means people can win the game by just posting to Shacknews Chatty, or they could just read a bunch of articles on the front page. They even get points for creating Shacknews Cortex articles. Points were retroactively given to existing active users, and we are excited to see people continue to figure out the meta. 

There is more to come

Shacknews Cortex introduced our Gamification Engine. We built this engine to be expandable, and I look forward to introducing Shacknews users to new ways that they will be able to generate points. It is a miracle that we even got this to work at all as the Shacknews comments system and front page both have very long histories as we approach our 25th year. Much of my work at the site has shifted to development of new and fun ways for users to interact and express themselves. Our Shacknews Cortex 1.0 launch was not perfect, but we are very pleased with the state of the platform one month in. 

We will be listening to feedback on how to improve Shacknews Cortex going forward, but our development efforts are currently focused on even newer experiences for Shackers. 

I leave you with this picture of Shacknews Chairpet of the Board Princess Lola Foofybutt, Empress of the Universe.

Lola is the best dog.

Check out our Shacknews Cortex update 1.0.2 patch notes.

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola