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Mr Bill
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:56 am

I hate to let my browser keep and save personal information. That said, how about an option to log in for comments using our forum handle and forum password instead of my much longer e-mail address. Or is that a bad idea?
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:59 am

Waco wrote:
I think the main point to draw from this entire thread is that we're complaining about the changes because we view them as harmful to the site and that we clearly care about the site's survival. I'm sure it can be worked out to work with the new CMS, but if you can telegraph that sentiment to the overlords who managed this transition (I think I'm being too kind by even implying there was a plan, though) I think we'd all appreciate it. We're all invested in the site, the community, and the survival of both - I'm just amazed that anyone could see this transition and the timing of it as anything but a negative one.


THIS.

I stopped visiting other tech sites because of changes like this, but I never wasted even a keystroke complaining. Just stopped visiting them.

I think most of us complaining is, actually, a big compliment to you guys. You do a great job, and your job deserves to be easy and confortable to read. You are not a blog, your are not yet another tech site. You are f**ng TechReport. If we are moaning so much is because we want you to continue your great job. And it's truly amazing as I think not one of the original staff is still in TR (Scott, Cyril etc). You had huge shoes to fill and you did it great.

Al this grumbling is just a bunch of oldtimers trying to help you go in the right direction.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:04 pm

^This. All of this.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:08 pm

Hello Tech Report, what's happening? Ummm, I'm gonna need you to go ahead and come in tomorrow. So if you could be here around 9 that would be great, mmmk... oh oh! And I almost forgot ahh, I'm also gonna need you to revert back to the old site, that'd be great.

Oh, and remember: next Friday... is Hawaiian shirt day. So, you know, if you want to, go ahead and wear a Hawaiian shirt and jeans.
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Mr Bill
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:14 pm

rechicero wrote:
Waco wrote:
I think the main point to draw from this entire thread is that we're complaining about the changes because we view them as harmful to the site and that we clearly care about the site's survival. I'm sure it can be worked out to work with the new CMS, but if you can telegraph that sentiment to the overlords who managed this transition (I think I'm being too kind by even implying there was a plan, though) I think we'd all appreciate it. We're all invested in the site, the community, and the survival of both - I'm just amazed that anyone could see this transition and the timing of it as anything but a negative one.


THIS.

I stopped visiting other tech sites because of changes like this, but I never wasted even a keystroke complaining. Just stopped visiting them.

I think most of us complaining is, actually, a big compliment to you guys. You do a great job, and your job deserves to be easy and confortable to read. You are not a blog, your are not yet another tech site. You are f**ng TechReport. If we are moaning so much is because we want you to continue your great job. And it's truly amazing as I think not one of the original staff is still in TR (Scott, Cyril etc). You had huge shoes to fill and you did it great.

Al this grumbling is just a bunch of oldtimers trying to help you go in the right direction.

THIS. thank you both for saying it better than I can.
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:20 pm

rechicero wrote:
Waco wrote:
I think the main point to draw from this entire thread is that we're complaining about the changes because we view them as harmful to the site and that we clearly care about the site's survival. I'm sure it can be worked out to work with the new CMS, but if you can telegraph that sentiment to the overlords who managed this transition (I think I'm being too kind by even implying there was a plan, though) I think we'd all appreciate it. We're all invested in the site, the community, and the survival of both - I'm just amazed that anyone could see this transition and the timing of it as anything but a negative one.


THIS.

I stopped visiting other tech sites because of changes like this, but I never wasted even a keystroke complaining. Just stopped visiting them.

I think most of us complaining is, actually, a big compliment to you guys. You do a great job, and your job deserves to be easy and confortable to read. You are not a blog, your are not yet another tech site. You are f**ng TechReport. If we are moaning so much is because we want you to continue your great job. And it's truly amazing as I think not one of the original staff is still in TR (Scott, Cyril etc). You had huge shoes to fill and you did it great.

Al this grumbling is just a bunch of oldtimers trying to help you go in the right direction.


Clearly you speak for many of us, and said it better then we could.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:22 pm

So now that there is a post up on the front page, can we be clued in to the change in management/staff? Who is Renee Johnson? What does the "corporate" structure of TR look like now?
 
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:27 pm

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
It's WordPress so isn't it possible to provide a selection of different themes that users can try out? After a while, make the most viewed theme as the default one.
My limited understanding is that wordpress is super powerful if you can native code it. But the free public themes are very stogy. I used the Venture theme in my business web site. Good news was it only took a few days for me to make a free site that beat out what I'd paid too much for by a web designer. But it will never be as flexible as we are asking Tech Report to be because the activation energy is too high for me to go beyond using the free public templates.

I suspect this initial shock was simply a "hello world" version where the programmer flanged/dumped the front page stuff into wordpress to see if it came over properly and hopefully intends to interatively increase functionality. That's how I did mine and it did not matter if it was fugly at first because nobody knew the site existed. Its just painful to look back at that lovely hand crafted old site.

Anyway, looking forward to the improvements. And, oh yeah, I too would like a blue theme.
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:38 pm

At least now Zak can be sure his next big article won't land just before a big haphazard makeover. Probably. :) Hang in there!

And I noticed Usacomp2k3's Starlink article is attributed to "Administrator".
 
Mr Bill
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:39 pm

leor wrote:
Former (and occasionally current when I have to be) web designer here. So yeah, don't break production 101... pretty epic face plant while getting punched in the dick and choking on your gum... that happened, but we're here now so what can we do?

First off, Wordpress as a CMS doesn't really limit anything people have been asking for, it's just a bit less flexible than other options so some things might require more effort/creativity to implement. It seems like we're building a backlog of stuff to do here, so I'm going to make a guess at the priorities that will drive what gets done and what might not (given everything costs money).

1. Keep the site from dying/enable growth
This as the highest priority is potentially at odds with keeping the community happy, as the goal is to get new eyes on the site and those new eyes likely expect something different than we're used to.

2. Make sure everything works

3. Keep the community that's kept the site alive happy
So how can we achieve #1 without too badly compromising #3? We should organize our requests by things we don't like but can live with, and deal breakers. Also wherever possible, the old look and feel should be retained, that can be as easy as, when implementing a dark theme, just use the same exact blue we are all familiar with (new users won't care either way). If an effective balance between #1 and #3 isn't achieved, all this effort will be for naught. The success of this endeavor will hinge upon a mix of the passion and energy the old guard brings, and catering to the masses at large.

Information density isn't really a value in current web design, but I think this site strikes a decent balance. https://www.theringer.com/
One thing that site does is allow areas where grids of short story blocks can be put on the right. That theme allows multiple columns. I like the bit at the top.

Is it possible to lock the very top menu bar so you don't have to spend so much time scrolling up and down?
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:39 pm

SecretMaster wrote:
So now that there is a post up on the front page, can we be clued in to the change in management/staff? Who is Renee Johnson? What does the "corporate" structure of TR look like now?


Alright, here we go. TR is now owned by John Rampton and John Hall. It's still an independent site, just with new owners, we're not part of a massive conglomerate or anything. Despite being off to a rough start with the redesign, we're more stable now and the possibility to invest and grow actually exists, instead of just being wishful thinking. But both sides have some learning to do about the other.

Technically, the new guys have owned the site for a few months, but they have left business as usual alone (except for the Twitter and FB bots and the redesign obviously) while the rest of us have continued to do our thing as we saw fit. There's no indication that's going to change. Of course, the existing writers have concerns, we'd be crazy not to. Not looping us in before the redesign launched was very uncool. Hopefully, we'll get better at communicating and avoid missteps like that in the future.

Today is the first I've heard of Renee Johnson. John Rampton is the new "business guy" and the rest of the team is the same, save for anyone else we haven't been introduced to yet.
Last edited by drfish on Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
TR BBQ XVI is happening 8/10/19.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:42 pm

lftl: https://techreport.com/featured/3463422/new-design/

talk about barebones. there is virtually zero information here. I sure hope they plan on expanding on what went down, even if it's just here in the forums, but I won't hold my breath. Renee didn't even introduce herself. Neither have the new owners. Just....I don't know at this point.
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:46 pm

Hard to tell from the tiny avatar on the front page story, but it might be this Renee Johnson. (Sorry, you need to be signed in to a LinkedIn account to view the profile.)

Short version (assuming that's her): "Web and Product Consultant", looks like she has experience with WordPress and SEO (so that fits).
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:48 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Hard to tell from the tiny avatar
The s parameter controls the image size.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:49 pm

DancinJack wrote:
lftl: https://techreport.com/featured/3463422/new-design/

talk about barebones. there is virtually zero information here. I sure hope they plan on expanding on what went down, even if it's just here in the forums, but I won't hold my breath. Renee didn't even introduce herself. Neither have the new owners. Just....I don't know at this point.


Yeah. It definitely reads like a copy/paste script for "generic creation of new website"... except TR has been around for a long time. I get that they are trying to reintroduce the site to new/fresh eyes, but that post was incredibly sterile.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:50 pm

At least the comments on that post should be fun!
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:50 pm

Bringing up Twitter reminds of an issue that's bothered me for a while.

I've come so close to stop following TechReport on Twitter since they started reposting old tweets.
I can't always tell which tweet is about a new article or an old article. Having a new Ryzen article tweeted
and then followed by a tweet about an article from years ago isn't very useful. Please ask them to change
the twitter to only tweet new articles. That's what I use Twitter for. Not to see what article was posted
back in 2017.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:50 pm

Thanks for the update Fish. I'd be surprised if there weren't a number of people here who hadn't already put the pieces together on their own, but it's nice to have some kind of statement which actually says something. Even though Adam was always the "business guy" previously, there's no way you can be part such a close knit group for this long and not learn enough to avoid these kinds of problems were he still the one calling the shots.
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:53 pm

drfish wrote:
Technically, the new guys have owned the site for a few months, but they have left business as usual alone (except for the Twitter and FB bots and the redesign obviously) while they rest of us have continued to do our thing as we saw fit. There's no indication that's going to change. Of course, the existing writers have concerns, we'd be crazy not to. Not looping us in before the redesign launched was very uncool. Hopefully, we'll get better at communicating and avoid missteps like that in the future.

Today is the first I've heard of Renee Johnson. John Rampton is the new "business guy" and the rest of the team is the same, save for anyone else we haven't be introduced to yet.


This is interesting info, thanks fish. As has already been said, this whole affair has been delightfully clumsy, to put it mildly. I know you love TR, but I also know I would have a very difficult time sticking with them if this was how I was treated. If I were in your position, I would probably walk away from the this whole affair, but it seems you are stronger, or at least more committed, than I.

The last few days I have been wanting to stand by TR's side, but this info seems like a slap in the face to everyone who frequents this site. I'll be honest, I never loved the management after Scott left, but TR seems to be in a downward spiral even to this day.

So no one seems to know who Renee Johnson is? Her tone-deaf article on the front page was borderline insulting, but who are these contributors, and what are they aiming to make TR represent?
Last edited by layerup on Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:55 pm

The site gets mostly A's on this web performance test. My own home rolled site gets many F's.
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:59 pm

All I can ask is give them a chance. That's what I'm doing. Like I said, both groups need to learn more about each other.
TR BBQ XVI is happening 8/10/19.
 
Mr Bill
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:02 pm

Bigbloke wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:
juzz86 wrote:
You're doing a fine job from a tough spot mate and it's appreciated, thankyou.

I don't mind the new look so much personally (I actually find the article body far easier to read in this layout), bit generic but you'll fix all that up when you get the keys back.

Stick with it, all good 8)

Get the keys back lol

So if nobody else has already had the idea, you should compare current whois info to cached whois info. That'll give you an idea what's going on.


My Google-fu must suck eggs. I can't find anything useful that way. Only thing I found was that techreport.com was updated in April to a different privacy protection outfit to the one used back in 2016! Don't worry I wasn't going to blurt out any sensitive data, even if I could find anything!!!!
Here you go. It was posted earlier in the thread. I bookmarked it so I could remember the old days.
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Waco
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:04 pm

The odd "approval" thing for comments is screwing up the counts on the front page as well. It shows 9 comments, but only 2 are visible. That'll be a fun comment thread based on the (lack of) content in the post.
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SecretMaster
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:04 pm

drfish wrote:
All I can ask is give them a chance. That's what I'm doing. Like I said, both groups need to learn more about each other.


For sure. But maybe they should invest in someone with PR experience :lol: :lol: :lol:

Edit: And to be clear, this isn't a direct swipe at anyone in particular. It just seems that this whole process is lacking in the personal/human touch.
Last edited by SecretMaster on Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:04 pm

drfish wrote:
All I can ask is give them a chance. That's what I'm doing. Like I said, both groups need to learn more about each other.
Agreed. Good Luck. :D
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Waco
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:05 pm

Mr Bill wrote:
Here you go. It was posted earlier in the thread. I bookmarked it so I could remember the old days.

They were talking about whois info, not the old page view. The change in ownership shows up in the whois information.
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:07 pm

C'mon, people, give 'em a chance. Don't be so quick to write TR's obituary.

Sure, the transition could've been handled better; but unless future events prove otherwise, I'm going to assume it was just a temporary stumble. You don't acquire a long-standing web property with the intent of killing it, and quite frankly it was doing a pretty good job of killing itself before.

The previous owners have decided this is the site's best chance at survival. The alternative was likely to pull the plug and take the site off of life support.
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:08 pm

SecretMaster wrote:
drfish wrote:
All I can ask is give them a chance. That's what I'm doing. Like I said, both groups need to learn more about each other.


For sure. But maybe they should invest in someone with PR experience :lol: :lol: :lol:


Hey, I did my best under the circumstances! ;)

Regarding comment approval, I'm parked with that tab open right now approving as fast as I can. Like I said elsewhere, once you're approved the first time, you're good to go for future posts unless you mess up your name.
TR BBQ XVI is happening 8/10/19.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:11 pm

Waco wrote:
The odd "approval" thing for comments is screwing up the counts on the front page as well. It shows 9 comments, but only 2 are visible. That'll be a fun comment thread based on the (lack of) content in the post.


Yeah, it seems like there's some rather aggressive caching used in places to help speed up load times, but it's screwing up the totals on the comments and up/down votes.
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Waco
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:14 pm

just brew it! wrote:
C'mon, people, give 'em a chance. Don't be so quick to write TR's obituary.

I hope nobody is writing off the site for this little stumble! The community and expertise here is unparalleled. Once the kinks are worked out I'm sure we'll be back to the article comment thread antics of yore.
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