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farmpuma
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:07 am

Forgive me if someone else has already mentioned this, as I am only up to page eight on this thread, there is no support for older browsers. Opera 11 is failing with a security error. I eventually plan to update it, but I must borrow a "real" internet connection to do so.

And from the harpy section - TR is not TR without the white text on a blue background option.
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Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:47 am

drfish, any idea when the management intends to take a scalpel to these forums? Or did they provide any guarantee that the forums would be left alone?
 
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:12 am

DancinJack wrote:
I know some (most) people are upset about this process, but hoooooo boy, the comments on the front page are pretty awful. I'm even seeing long-time readers just bash with zero open-mindedness. I sure hope they just take a minute or two to calm down. That being said, there are definitely some helpful comments there too. I hope the new team is keeping an eye on them.


This.

The new owners have made some huge mistakes but at the same time, we're less than a week into the takeover and the real proof will be how they react to the feedback from the writers and the community. I'll be popping back occasionally just to see how progress is going.

Unchanged, as it is now, TR is dead. Not 'passing-away-quietly-in-the-night' dead, but a high-profile, gruesome murder that will be oft-cited around the tech web as an example on the worst, most catastrophic transition seen in decades. Not even SharkyExtreme.com was ruined quite as spectacularly as this first attempt at TR's remodelling!

To all the TR writers, hang in there! Your new overlords may seem to have communication issues and limited grasp of what TR was, but change was needed and with a bit of luck and perseverance, something less awful will emerge that you can be proud to be a part of again.

The best thing about making mistakes is that people can learn from them and adapt; Let's just hope that the new owners can accept/admit that this takeover/relaunch was a disaster.
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:19 am

Waco wrote:
I fondly (well, maybe not so fondly) remember spending entire weekends 10 hours each day cranking out launch-day reviews

When was that?

Even taking shortcuts (re-using old results within reason)

Isn't that the normal practice? Keep the base hardware and core drivers the same so that one doesn't have to retest everything, or at least only occasionally.
Though Windows 10 now makes it more difficult, I guess.

farmpuma wrote:
no support for older browsers. Opera 11 is failing with a security error.

Why not v12?
 
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:36 am

Chrispy_ wrote:

The new owners have made some huge mistakes but at the same time, we're less than a week into the takeover and the real proof will be how they react to the feedback from the writers and the community. I'll be popping back occasionally just to see how progress is going.

Unchanged, as it is now, TR is dead. Not 'passing-away-quietly-in-the-night' dead, but a high-profile, gruesome murder that will be oft-cited around the tech web as an example on the worst, most catastrophic transition seen in decades. Not even SharkyExtreme.com was ruined quite as spectacularly as this first attempt at TR's remodelling!

To all the TR writers, hang in there! Your new overlords may seem to have communication issues and limited grasp of what TR was, but change was needed and with a bit of luck and perseverance, something less awful will emerge that you can be proud to be a part of again.

The best thing about making mistakes is that people can learn from them and adapt; Let's just hope that the new owners can accept/admit that this takeover/relaunch was a disaster.


HERE, HERE! I agree wholeheartedly. However, something in THIS makes me feel like all of us will go unheard. And part of me feels that maybe TR should have just folded like the [H] and only the forums lived on?
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:40 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
A positive response to feedback provided:
Zak's excellent Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 9 3900X review is now front and center as a "featured" article" rather than buried down the page by news and blog posts.

I like the look and placement too, to be honest. Zak deserves to be featured.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:53 am

Captain Ned wrote:
Starfalcon wrote:
True enough, it isn't our business. Well guess Ill sit here and take what the new TR gives me then.

Some careful, yet unobtrusive, listening (part of the core job skills for a bank examiner, another is surreptitiously upside-down reading a document on a CEO's desk while having a conversation with said CEO) over the past 7 BBQs made it very clear to me that the finances were a wreck. On the record conversations with Adam made that even more clear. While the timing of The Event was a surprise, the fact that it was inevitable was well-known to those who read the tea leaves.

As I've said above, and in the BBQ thread, our new owners could go a long way to dispelling current bad feelings by coming to BBQ. As I said in the BBQ thread it would be our opportunity to show them that TR is a community, not a commodity.


The owners will still consider TR a commodity, but that is OK, it is a commodity. That's something the community has to accept. As long as the owners understand their commodity does contain a community, and act accordingly, almost everyone will be happy. This site is somewhat like a private golf club; there is a core of about 50 people that keep the club going, and a large fringe of other members that are just there for the golf.
 
drfish
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:56 am

Waco wrote:
drfish wrote:
But if you can only afford to pay your staff, well...

This is key, though. If we (as a community) can help fund hardware purchases for reviews of the caliber seen here while the site can pay for the staff to not volunteer 100%...that feels like a solution of sorts to me. I know from experience that reviewing for free only works as long as you can find dedicated staff that are willing to put the time and effort into doing a good job for essentially peanuts that you can get from reselling provided hardware.


This is about how it works when you have a fixed/dwindling income and one full time staff member, Jeff at the time - even if you are getting review hardware for free.

1) $n of free hardware arrives to review
2) Jeff's too busy running the show/reviewing the more important 10x$n hardware du jour that actually drives traffic/makes money
3) TR pays 3x$n to have a freelancer review the hardware (while wishing we still had an advertising contract with the hardware's vendor, but this is "better" than nothing)
4) ???
5) Profit! Content!

Essentially, only a narrow range of free hardware is profitable to review. If you get it, you have to spend more than it's worth/you'll make to review it and try to make it up later. Take note of the number of comments peripheral reviews get vs. CPU and GPU reviews. Oh, and every single thing I've written for the site, essentially just blogging about what I'd be doing/buying anyway? Yeah, that doesn't make any money by itself either, it was just my contribution to keeping gerbils engaged with the site and maybe scoring some click throughs on affiliate links. Sincere and dear community building, but not worth much financially. :(

Waco wrote:
Sorry to derail a bit, but the fact that there are ~60 comments on the Ryzen 3000 series review is telling enough. On the old site that would already be 300+. :(


The dev has been working on backend issues since making the initial tweaks we requested. One of them should merge the comments from Sunday AM with the ones posted since the redesign launched. After that, I've been assured he'll get back to our list and we'll work on prioritizing it. Top of my list is merging front page comment accounts with forum accounts/preventing spoofing of usernames, that's followed by a dark theme option, and then whatever items we can get from the list. I'll be strongly advocating hot threads and top comments.

FireGryphon wrote:
Whatever coulda-woulda-shoulda Monday morning quarterbacking is going on now, let’s not forget the present, where the site’s new ownership still hasn’t addressed the community. Maybe they don’t read the site and see how a majority of the complaints mention that one of the biggest problems is lack of communication, so maybe they don’t know.

Has any one of the site volunteers who we still trust mentioned to the new owners how much we’d like them to address us?


Repeatedly, and for a long time. I may as well share this, I wrote it a couple (few?) months ago when I first found out about the change and I thought I would get to make the introduction. Until The Click on Sunday, I still thought this was likely to be how the introduction went down, in the form of an interview (even though at that point I knew they wanted to update the site first and then make introductions, I just hadn't adjusted my questions yet so here they are in their original form).

Don't Panic. The Tech Report has new owners.
[subhead]Did you try rebooting?[/subhead]

[a couple paragraphs I'll write after I've had a chance to review your answers]

Please tell us a little about who you are, how would you describe yourselves?

What is it about TR that got your attention?

Could you talk us through your thoughts on the importance of independent media?

Share a peek into the future with us, what do the next couple weeks or months look like for TR?

Can you share a bit of your longer-term plan as well?

Where does hiring new full-time talent sit on your list of priorities?

TR's "Mechanical TuRk" and "inside the second" benchmarking distinguish the site from others. What do you know about them and do you intend to utilize them going forward?

I've heard that the need for better SEO will require a site redesign, can you explain some of the technical reasons why that's the case?

Do you already have an idea of what form the overhauled site will take and when it will be rolled out?

TR is known for extremely non-intrusive ads. Do you think that kind of advertising is still a viable way to support a site like TR?

TR has a foothold on YouTube but hasn't taken it to the next level. Is that something you're planning to address?

In what ways would you like to expand or focus TR's news and reviews coverage?

It's no secret that TR isn't getting as many review samples as it used to, do you have a strategy for turning that around?

What can gerbils do to help TR as it seeks to re-establish itself?

The 16th annual TR BBQ is on August 10th this year, are you going to be there?

Thank you for your time, any closing remarks?

[a closing paragraph or two]


Alas, it wasn't meant to be.

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
drfish, any idea when the management intends to take a scalpel to these forums? Or did they provide any guarantee that the forums would be left alone?


This one is actually addressed in Renee's post and on the header of the new site. The forums are here to stay. My understanding is that they are SEO gold. They may be migrated to a different platform, like the front pages comments were/are still in the process of, but I think they are safe.

I'll say again, we're dealing with a different kind of animal than we're used to and we're all learning. If they can do their thing and it helps pay for TR to do its thing, it could all work out alright. No one is trying to stop what the existing writers were doing. In fact, quite the opposite is true. They want more of it, just like the rest of us. :)
TR BBQ XVI is happening 8/10/19.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:05 am

Not fond of the tone-deaf post by "Renee". Not fond of new owners making big changes without even introducing themselves. This is a community. It's something really special. And the owners could end up killing it with their clumsy approach, especially if they come off as being cold and not even caring about said community.

I get it that entrepreneurs need to make hard decisions, but this was a badly messed up implementation. It makes me ask the LAST question any new owners should want anybody to ask...and that is, "Do they actually have any business experience or is this all just book-knowledge from too much secondary schooling in too short of a time?"

That said, at least the forums are mostly intact, so for now we still have access to a great repository of knowledge. For that reason, I've decided to take a "wait and see" stance on the rest of it.

But write this down. I will be very unhappy if we start seeing clickbait ads with huge pictures of toejam, tumors, or bad teeth. So don't do it.

Fish, thank you for standing with us as best you can.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:15 am

drfish wrote:
The forums are here to stay. My understanding is that they are SEO gold. They may be migrated to a different platform

Uh oh. I thought phpBB was safe. I hope it's not going to turn into a JS-ridden infinite-scroll 5-topics-per-screen #-days-ago facsimile-of-the-current-homepage sort of thing.
 
drfish
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:19 am

meerkt wrote:
drfish wrote:
The forums are here to stay. My understanding is that they are SEO gold. They may be migrated to a different platform

Uh oh. I thought phpBB was safe. I hope it's not going to turn into a JS-ridden infinite-scroll 5-topics-per-screen #-days-ago facsimile-of-the-current-homepage sort of thing.


Just speculation, but given their priorities, if another forum software offers better SEO/integration with WordPress, we're probably in for a ride. Just something to keep in mind. At least we know a forum is part of their plan.
TR BBQ XVI is happening 8/10/19.
 
meerkt
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:29 am

How come there's no GDPR cookie nag yet? :) (Never got the point. Mandating by law that people would be required to dismiss, repeatedly, a meaningless popup that no one reads.)
 
tanker27
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:34 am

drfish wrote:
Repeatedly, and for a long time. I may as well share this, I wrote it a couple (few?) months ago when I first found out about the change and I thought I would get to make the introduction. Until The Click on Sunday, I still thought this was likely to be how the introduction went down, in the form of an interview (even though at that point I knew they wanted to update the site first and then make introductions, I just hadn't adjusted my questions yet so here they are in their original form).

Don't Panic. The Tech Report has new owners.
[subhead]Did you try rebooting?[/subhead]

[a couple paragraphs I'll write after I've had a chance to review your answers]

Please tell us a little about who you are, how would you describe yourselves?

What is it about TR that got your attention?

Could you talk us through your thoughts on the importance of independent media?

Share a peek into the future with us, what do the next couple weeks or months look like for TR?

Can you share a bit of your longer-term plan as well?

Where does hiring new full-time talent sit on your list of priorities?

TR's "Mechanical TuRk" and "inside the second" benchmarking distinguish the site from others. What do you know about them and do you intend to utilize them going forward?

I've heard that the need for better SEO will require a site redesign, can you explain some of the technical reasons why that's the case?

Do you already have an idea of what form the overhauled site will take and when it will be rolled out?

TR is known for extremely non-intrusive ads. Do you think that kind of advertising is still a viable way to support a site like TR?

TR has a foothold on YouTube but hasn't taken it to the next level. Is that something you're planning to address?

In what ways would you like to expand or focus TR's news and reviews coverage?

It's no secret that TR isn't getting as many review samples as it used to, do you have a strategy for turning that around?

What can gerbils do to help TR as it seeks to re-establish itself?

The 16th annual TR BBQ is on August 10th this year, are you going to be there?

Thank you for your time, any closing remarks?

[a closing paragraph or two]


Alas, it wasn't meant to be.

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
drfish, any idea when the management intends to take a scalpel to these forums? Or did they provide any guarantee that the forums would be left alone?


This one is actually addressed in Renee's post and on the header of the new site. The forums are here to stay. My understanding is that they are SEO gold. They may be migrated to a different platform, like the front pages comments were/are still in the process of, but I think they are safe.

I'll say again, we're dealing with a different kind of animal than we're used to and we're all learning. If they can do their thing and it helps pay for TR to do its thing, it could all work out alright. No one is trying to stop what the existing writers were doing. In fact, quite the opposite is true. They want more of it, just like the rest of us. :)


Again, Ad-naseum, Part of me feels that some of those question are over the head of THAT guy. And I am OK with that personally. But some of those questions NEED answered!

As for the forums, I personally like PHBB. Its structure, while dated, is really the best. Reddit structure would be an arms length second. Anything other than that would be crap.
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Waco
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:43 am

meerkt wrote:
Waco wrote:
I fondly (well, maybe not so fondly) remember spending entire weekends 10 hours each day cranking out launch-day reviews

When was that?

Late 2000s through 2015 or so on another site.

meerkt wrote:
Even taking shortcuts (re-using old results within reason)

Isn't that the normal practice? Keep the base hardware and core drivers the same so that one doesn't have to retest everything, or at least only occasionally.
Though Windows 10 now makes it more difficult, I guess

I guess it's fairly common, but yes, Windows 10 makes it particularly difficult. Retesting with up to date drivers is generally preferred too since GPU launches (and even CPUs now) have drivers/OS updates that can dramatically swing results.
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:49 am

Fish, do you have a sense of what other websites/investments John Rampton and John Hall have made/purchased? I get the sense that this site is probably one asset in a very diverse portfolio, and I think the level of attention we are demanding from them may not match their own priorities.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:54 am

Mannnnnnnnnnn I hope they just update the phpBB for the forums and don't muck around too much. The 3.2 branch is easier to update for subsequent updates, and has a ton of cool features. I know for a fact Google already scrapes these forums, so hopefully the new owners don't change stuff just for change sake and implement a worse system.

edit: I think I should add this. I can probably, stress "probably," get used to the front page. Especially if they're going to continually make small changes that improve things. But man, if they put something in place in these forums that make the browsing, posting, and overall experience "bad" for me personally, THAT very well may be the death knell for me, personally.
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:59 am

drfish wrote:
meerkt wrote:
drfish wrote:
The forums are here to stay. My understanding is that they are SEO gold. They may be migrated to a different platform

Uh oh. I thought phpBB was safe. I hope it's not going to turn into a JS-ridden infinite-scroll 5-topics-per-screen #-days-ago facsimile-of-the-current-homepage sort of thing.


Just speculation, but given their priorities, if another forum software offers better SEO/integration with WordPress, we're probably in for a ride. Just something to keep in mind. At least we know a forum is part of their plan.


Goodness, I hope the change-over will not be as extreme for the forums. I use the TR forums for DIY searching/referencing when troubleshooting anything from computer tech to vehicle/appliance repairs to gun-smithing since there are many smart and professional folks here who have contributed valuable input over the years. I prefer to post in here occasionally more than on the surface page comments since I'm kind of old school (OK old fartish)
Please give us a head's up if that change is coming too. Another site's forum I enjoy and would recommend if it integrates better (but I'm not familiar with software SEO) is Head-Fi.org's but that is probably beacuse it seems like a very similar system to TR's. Just hoping the next switch will be more subtle...
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:11 am

drfish wrote:
Top of my list is merging front page comment accounts with forum accounts/preventing spoofing of usernames, that's followed by a dark theme option, and then whatever items we can get from the list. I'll be strongly advocating hot threads and top comments.

IMHO, those priorities are spot on.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:15 am

Agreed!
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:34 am

tanker27 wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:

The new owners have made some huge mistakes but at the same time, we're less than a week into the takeover and the real proof will be how they react to the feedback from the writers and the community. I'll be popping back occasionally just to see how progress is going.

Unchanged, as it is now, TR is dead. Not 'passing-away-quietly-in-the-night' dead, but a high-profile, gruesome murder that will be oft-cited around the tech web as an example on the worst, most catastrophic transition seen in decades. Not even SharkyExtreme.com was ruined quite as spectacularly as this first attempt at TR's remodelling!

To all the TR writers, hang in there! Your new overlords may seem to have communication issues and limited grasp of what TR was, but change was needed and with a bit of luck and perseverance, something less awful will emerge that you can be proud to be a part of again.

The best thing about making mistakes is that people can learn from them and adapt; Let's just hope that the new owners can accept/admit that this takeover/relaunch was a disaster.


HERE, HERE! I agree wholeheartedly. However, something in THIS makes me feel like all of us will go unheard. And part of me feels that maybe TR should have just folded like the [H] and only the forums lived on?


No, we are several months into the takeover. The new owners had time to figure this out on their own and had the volunteer staff in their ears for months.

If they came here a week ago and impulsively screwed up that’d be one thing, but what they’ve done and how they did it seem intentional.

To other points: we all want TR to make money and would stand for some hangers to get that done. But the changes made were not only completely different from an aesthetic standpoint but also from an editorial standpoint, and done without regard for the community. So we, the community, are concerned. Without warning the game board, pieces, and rules all changed literally from one second to the next. That’s the objection.

No one disagrees that TR needs to make money and changes are necessary to achieve that. The problem is that the way those changes were made, TR is no longer TR.
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:36 am

arunphilip wrote:
drfish wrote:
Top of my list is merging front page comment accounts with forum accounts/preventing spoofing of usernames, that's followed by a dark theme option, and then whatever items we can get from the list. I'll be strongly advocating hot threads and top comments.

IMHO, those priorities are spot on.


Agreed
 
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:54 am

SecretMaster wrote:
Fish, do you have a sense of what other websites/investments John Rampton and John Hall have made/purchased? I get the sense that this site is probably one asset in a very diverse portfolio, and I think the level of attention we are demanding from them may not match their own priorities.


I did the same searches others in this thread have done and don't really have anything to add to that. I've had my own priorities. ;)
TR BBQ XVI is happening 8/10/19.
 
Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:12 am

drfish wrote:
SecretMaster wrote:
Fish, do you have a sense of what other websites/investments John Rampton and John Hall have made/purchased? I get the sense that this site is probably one asset in a very diverse portfolio, and I think the level of attention we are demanding from them may not match their own priorities.


I did the same searches others in this thread have done and don't really have anything to add to that. I've had my own priorities. ;)


Do you fear that after the necessary changes are made, the owners might resell to the highest bidder? Because I suspect that is the business Rampton has had the most success in.
 
tanker27
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:14 am

drfish wrote:
SecretMaster wrote:
Fish, do you have a sense of what other websites/investments John Rampton and John Hall have made/purchased? I get the sense that this site is probably one asset in a very diverse portfolio, and I think the level of attention we are demanding from them may not match their own priorities.


I did the same searches others in this thread have done and don't really have anything to add to that. I've had my own priorities. ;)


OMG I just came across a video of 'him' speaking......makes my skin crawl. This whole "influencer" movement, mantra, of whatever you want to call it is nothing short of selfish, egotistical, and arrogant if not outright ego maniacal! /sigh.. :-?
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:32 am

Pretty shocking all said and done and I literally checked the calendar to make sure it wasn't April 1st. After [H]ardOCP closed up shop and (even before when they laid off their one other writer with what, two weeks severance and zero notice?) Dr.Fish bluntly outlined the state the site was in, I knew change was acomin, but Jesus Christ... A completely obtuse site redesign and a PR drivel laden "post" that should have been given in private to sponsors, but was instead lectured at to the regulars?

I'm sorry, but if all TR had left were volunteers manning the helm, it should have gone the same way as the [H] and pulled in funding for the forum through Patreon while leaving the main site static. Now it'll be what, a half assed CNET copy cat with job postings ala Slashdot that are a complete ghost town and everyone at best, eventually element blocks?

Damn... Just... I miss the Folding@Home days and Tribes 2 server nights. But I also miss having to remember the hyphen between tech and report, so I guess I'm an a antiquated nilly. Anyway... Goodbye everyone.
 
SecretMaster
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:32 am

tanker27 wrote:
OMG I just came across a video of 'him' speaking......makes my skin crawl. This whole "influencer" movement, mantra, of whatever you want to call it is nothing short of selfish, egotistical, and arrogant if not outright ego maniacal! /sigh.. :-?


I watched the first half of this video earlier (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQlvk6qPSCw). If the end goal is driving web-traffic and pageviews (presumably to bring in ad money?), it seems like he might be pretty good at squeezing that out for TR. Seems to me like he knows how to play the game. Granted I think the game is stupid, but I think that's how a website can succeed.

Edit:

Man I finished watching the video I linked. Go to 15:00 minutes in the video, when the Q&A starts. I think it speaks directly to a lot of the issues we are bringing up, and he honestly has a realistic/pragmatic view on the whole matter.
 
drfish
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:47 am

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
drfish wrote:
SecretMaster wrote:
Fish, do you have a sense of what other websites/investments John Rampton and John Hall have made/purchased? I get the sense that this site is probably one asset in a very diverse portfolio, and I think the level of attention we are demanding from them may not match their own priorities.


I did the same searches others in this thread have done and don't really have anything to add to that. I've had my own priorities. ;)


Do you fear that after the necessary changes are made, the owners might resell to the highest bidder? Because I suspect that is the business Rampton has had the most success in.


I don't get that impression. We've got some crap to work though, but there is promise.
TR BBQ XVI is happening 8/10/19.
 
meerkt
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:47 am

On the topic of forum software, it'd be nice to have quoted blocks link to the quoted message. The feature was added in phpBB 3.2, but apparently the forum is on 3.1.

Draal wrote:
having to remember the hyphen between tech and report

Or the space. :)
Last edited by meerkt on Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
Draal
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:54 am

DrFish - have you spoken or communicated with the new owners in some capacity? And if you are able to tell us, what was the internal announcement of the hand off like?
 
Mr Bill
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Re: Something's different...

Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:56 am

DrFish, when you mentioned that 'forums are SEO gold', is that because they are an advertisers data mining wet dream? Are the forum posts something to sell in the way Facebook sells its subscribers?
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