All the Changes – Making TR Work

To my dearest Gerbils,

As you know, The Tech Report has a long and vaunted history of technology journalism going back to the previous millennia (sounds super long if you say it like that). Online journalism has struggled and many organizations have been hit hard over the last few years. This site has not been profitable for a long time, and Adam (Inkling) continued to run it out of his own pocket to keep the digital lights on. Obviously that isn’t sustainable. For those of you attending the BBQ this Saturday August 10th, please give Adam some well-deserved hurrah’s for his sacrifice for us. Some of you have heard numerous stories about how TR was founded, and some people (well, one) have even claimed I helped Scott start it. I’m not here to say what’s true or isn’t true, but we do need to talk about the site’s next evolution.

New Blood

The Tech Report now has new owners and with their help we will grow all that’s wonderful about the site: the incredible community of people who come here to read the best darn tech journalism available anywhere. The high quality of our work will remain the same. The new owners have repeatedly stated that they’ll going to invest in making sure that the site produces them same excellent material it always has. Nobody wants the Tech Report to go under and without serious changes insolvency is the inevitable outcome. They don’t want that. They bought the site, they want it to prosper.

I’d like to introduce you all to Renee Johnson, our new Editor-in-Chief. Residing in the Bay Area of California, she’s close to many of the companies we regularly write about (and enjoys weather that’s a hell of a lot nicer than Calgary, Alberta where I live). She’s been a writer for a long time and has skills and experience in improving web site traffic and publication profitability. These specific skills will be needed if we want TR to survive. Since Jeff departed we have badly needed a new boss, and I’m glad to have her on board. So welcome, Renee, I look forward to working alongside you and helping grow TR into a sustainable and growing business.

New Site

There is also the new site redesign, which has moved the back-end to WordPress and has an increased focus on search engine optimization and getting more users to the site. The new system was a shock to all of us, myself included. There are obviously still things we need to sort out, and I have been told they’re being looked at, including the currently non-functional mobile comments and comment editing. I realize how frustrating these are, but I ask that you all have patience. If you see a bug post it in the following thread or shoot me or Colton (drfish) a message in the forum.

Other changes are afoot as well. The content you know and love will continue to be produced. Hopefully you’ve seen them continuing since the changes started. There will be increased coverage of software and other technologies. We need to attract more advertisers or we won’t survive. New kinds of stories will be written to develop new forms of revenue, and they’ll get better as we get more comfortable with how to produce them. It’s necessary if we want to keep the lights on. Click on an ad once in a while for us. Help us help TR.

Subscriptions

For those of you with subscriptions, I know that there has been some frustration with the disappearance of the applet for managing your account. It’s on its way back very soon, but it was apparently more complicated than initially thought. However, you can manage your account through the emails you received when you signed up. Watch the site for news as there are new features coming for those who are subscribed. If there are any serious issues you can email renee@techreport.com to resolve them.

In Closing

There will be more new writers joining the team, and I hope we can treat all of them with kindness and respect going forward, as that has been sadly lacking up to this point in some of the recent comments. This truly is a personal appeal by me, your long time all-caps friend, SWEATSHOPKING. I’ve assured our new owners that you’re an intelligent, educated, and generally respectful group, and I hope that you’ll all continue to be the best damn community online. We’ve all made real friendships here and I hope that we can help new readers do the same.

I know some of you have been frustrated over the last few weeks. I remember my shock when my co-founder Scott (this may or may not be true, who knows anymore. Well, obviously I do) sold it, but Jeff and Adam did a great job keeping the content going as long as they could. That content is due to increase and we need your patience and support with the changes coming to the site to make that successful. I promise that I’ll continue to produce the same quality content I’ve written in the past (laugh away). So will others. We just need The Tech Report and you all to stick around to read it.

Sweatshopking

I WRITE ON THE TECH REPORT ABOUT ALL THE IMPORTANT STUFF YOU WANNA READ

35 Comments
    • JohnC
    • 2 weeks ago

    Josh, maybe you can answer this. Why do I see Renee as an author of all articles going back to 2014? This does not feel very honest, you should put something like “TechReport Staff” instead.

    Reply
      • Tamale
      • 1 week ago

      It also says 0 comments on all those old articles now – even if there are loads of comments..

      Reply
    • Panino Manino
    • 2 weeks ago

    I still can’t accept that I can’t anymore navigate through then old content because there’s simple no more “interface” in this site.

    Reply
      • Sweatshopking
      • 2 weeks ago

      What content were you after?

      Reply
      • Tamale
      • 1 week ago

      +1 – it’s wrong that clicking on ‘graphics’ takes you to ‘tags: gaming’ for instance!

      Reply
    • Rand
    • 2 weeks ago

    I really wish this had been posted when the site changeover first happened, the rather disastrously bad greeting Renee was left with might have been greatly eased if people had better understood what was happening, instead the messaging we got was rather tone deaf and she clearly didn’t understand the site she’d taken on at the time.

    The forums are practically holding a wake for the death of TechReport even as you’re talking of a promising future in the news blurb. So while the message was greatly needed, and I’m glad you’re writing it… I wish it had come much sooner, and from Renee herself as EiC of TechReport and whose reputation around here is pretty dire and in need of some rehabilitation.

    I’m vacillating between optimism, and assuming the site will be dead entirely by this time next year which is quite a swing. But perhaps more importantly, I rarely ever check the front page anymore after checking every day without fail at one point.
    Improvements to the design, and the promised content can’t come soon enough if the long time TR readers are going to stick around.

    In any case, pessimism aside. Thanks for writing this.

    Reply
      • Tamale
      • 1 week ago

      +1 – this is as appreciated as an earlier post just like it from Renee itself was needed.

      Reply
    • ermo
    • 2 weeks ago

    Thanks for the update SSK. Much appreciated.

    Can I just add that if indeed the new owners think its commentariat as intelligent as you say, surely they are aware that such an audience is in dire need of a comments system more reminiscent of the TR of old, including forum single-sign-on and subscription management per account?

    I’m a gold subscriber for now because TR has been a staple in my daily browsing habits for a long time. They say that old habits die hard. Here’s hoping that TR survives and thrives.

    Reply
    • Dposcorp
    • 2 weeks ago

    Been here since the beginning, and have learned to have patience.
    I’m game; gonna hang around for a while and see how it goes.
    Good luck TR,

    Reply
    • tanker27
    • 2 weeks ago

    This shouldn’t have been written by you SSK. It should have been authored by the new owners or even the EIC.

    Reply
    • bigbloke
    • 2 weeks ago

    If you want us to stay then fix the fscking comments system. As has been said way too many times the gerbils like to chatter together in a friendly sort of way. This gerbil keeps getting travel sick scrolling up and down this Fisher Price Baby’s Introduction to Comments with more white space than some trendy NYC loft.

    Reply
    • Wonders
    • 2 weeks ago

    Welcome, Renee! Props to MC Josh for this gracious introduction, and super-secret behind-the-scenes update on what most sorely expected to be a transparent process.

    The truth is: This “community management situation” was fully anticipated by some significant tails tucked between legs, in milquetoast fashion. You know who you are. No hard feelings. Though best laid plans usually end with either a whimper or a bang, everyone — and I mean everyone! — appreciates a curtain call with a bit of flourish, a dash of bravado. For old times’ sake.

    But, in lieu of that courtesy, and in the spirit of Josh’s update: Here’s to the new! Maybe, just maybe, the best for TR is yet to come!

    Reply
    • Meadows
    • 2 weeks ago

    So the new editor-in-chief “has skills and experience in improving web site traffic and publication profitability” but somehow still lacks the skill of introducing herself.

    Fine. Going forward, I’m not going to click anything that she posts.

    Reply
      • highlandr
      • 2 weeks ago

      Given that there are no comments allowed on the latest post, I’m pretty sure your (or mine, or anyone with half a brain) traffic isn’t wanted anyway.

      Reply
    • crystall
    • 2 weeks ago

    It would be helpful if – while the transition is still going on – you would refrain from posting filler articles such as https://techreport.com/software/3464169/best-cloud-solutions-for-small-businesses/ and https://techreport.com/blog/3464371/4-essentials-when-looking-for-a-job-in-software-development/

    That fluff will only drive away old readers and it’s very doubtful that it will attract new ones.

    12
    Reply
    • cygnus1
    • 2 weeks ago

    I love TR, I’ve been around here a long time, but only really active in article comments. I sent an email to the support address to cancel my subscription based on all these changes being poorly executed and poorly communicated. However, I’m not stopping coming to TR and if everything that’s being promised comes to pass, then I’ll be back in for a re-subscription.

    I just hope that too much of the community doesn’t disappear before the new owners can keep promises. Bullet points of news aren’t a valuable commodity, every site gets the same info but the TR community is what draws me, personally, to reading that stuff here.

    Reply
    • defaultluser
    • 2 weeks ago

    This site is headed towards death at it’s current rate. You haven’t posted a major review since the changeover a month ago, and critical thing s are still missing from articles (table of contents, comment using forum login, no hot forum comments on the front page)

    At this point, I’ve given up on the front page, and am just accessing the forums directly. A month waiting on reviews “in the pipeline” like the 5700 XT is beyond late, even for this site. This page has been killed by it’s new owners who don’t understand smooth ownership transitions.

    Reply
      • Josh Pozzolo
      • 2 weeks ago

      getting proper reviews is flipping hard. i don’t have the skills for a proper GPU/CPU review. Zack is working on the Super cards and the 5700’s. Thanks to shipping errors and other issues it’s been delayed, but it’s incoming.
      Content in the pipeline is the highest it’s been in a while, and should only increase. There are issues, but they’re being worked on.

      Reply
        • defaultluser
        • 2 weeks ago

        Excuses like that have a lot less weight when you see trash articles like “4 Essentials When Looking for a Job in Software Development” getting priority.

        You’ve never been this far behind other sites on your video card reviews since I’ve been reading it. I’m not asking for all of them tomorrow , but ONE OF THEM could be a better sign of life than filling the front page with trash blog posts.

        Reply
          • Josh Pozzolo
          • 2 weeks ago

          People are writing what they’re able to write. No question, TR’s been in a tough place for a long time.
          I’m not making excuses. You’ve read my piece, take from it what you will.

          Reply
          • adampk17
          • 2 weeks ago

          And the comment are closed on that article too. smh

          Reply
        • isotope123
        • 2 weeks ago

        Hey Josh, I’ve been coming here since my heady university days a decade ago. I’ve participated sparingly over the years, but this community helped me build my first (and now second) PC with the forums and the System Guides, and I’ve always enjoyed the in depth reviews. Yours is one of a small handful of sites I’ve keep the ad blocker at bay for, and I’d kept a silver membership for over a year when they first came out.

        My two cents is it’s okay to do what you need to do to keep the lights on. I’m willing to bet if no new content came out except hardware reviews, even if your reviews got 10,000,000 views each, it wouldn’t generate enough consistent traffic to pay the bills. YouTube reviewers take a lot of time to promote certain products for money, and I see these ‘fluff’ articles as just that, promoting certain products to make money.

        Anyway, thank you for taking the time to write this. I wasn’t happy with the changes, but humanising the effort goes a long way to creating good faith. Renee would probably benefit from a similar introductory post, I think she’s unfairly born the brunt of the wrath about the changes. Looking forward to the upcoming GPU reviews, good luck!

        Reply
    • chuckula
    • 2 weeks ago

    Even a 64 Coar Epyc 2 can’t get us out of this one!

    Reply
      • Josh Pozzolo
      • 2 weeks ago

      maybe, but it’d be a hell of a lot closer to solving this than a xeon would!!

      Reply
    • enixenigma
    • 2 weeks ago

    Thank you for the update. I realize that changes needed to be made in order to keep the site alive. I’d rather it be here than not here. That being said, I hope that the soul of TR remains. I would like to welcome and apologize to Renee. I don’t know that she’s gotten a fair shake thus far, but I am happy that she is here to guide TR forward. I wish her the best of luck in doing so.

    Reply
      • Grunt
      • 2 weeks ago

      Renee joined in such a way, that doesn’t warrant too much apologies. Maybe somebody was too harsh at her, but I don’t think the most common reactions were disproportionate.
      It’s nice that SSK is trying to smooth things out – I assume on her request – but IMHO she herself needs to step in and express her thoughts, feelings, regrets (if any), background, vision, etc.

      Having Jeff name recently replaced with Renee on all his articles and the disappearance of his farewell post doesn’t help. Who’s next? https://techreport.com/author/scott-wasson/

      Reply
    • DrCR
    • 2 weeks ago

    Thanks for the, albeit belated, damage control post. Shoulda coulda woulda aside, I’m looking forward to the positive evolution of beloved TR.

    Reply
    • atari030
    • 2 weeks ago

    Thanks for the update on things. This is the type of post that should have prefaced, or at least accompanied, the original site changeover. The way things were handled the last week or two (I sense) turned off a lot of the long time readership, but I’m hoping this isn’t too little too late. There are so many great folks on here that form the TR community….hoping most still around.

    Reply
      • MrDweezil
      • 2 weeks ago

      Yeah, this post a couple weeks ago would have gone a long way with improving how all this was received.

      Reply
    • pikaporeon
    • 2 weeks ago

    please please please bring back a next page button my carpal tunnel cant handle this

    Reply
    • Yan
    • 2 weeks ago

    Renee the editor-in-chief?

    Reply
      • simbaant
      • 2 weeks ago

      sucks isn’t it….

      Reply
    • Joseph Taylor
    • 2 weeks ago

    The site is functionally incomplete without a drop down page selector for multi page articles. This needs to be implemented ASAP!

    Reply

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