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Usacomp2k3
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:43 pm

Meadows wrote:
Here's the million dollar design question for the sufficiently bored among you.

https://imgur.com/a/on0xJBO

How does one "recent" column, and a Mini-Me "recentier" column right next to it, help anyone in particular?

The right one doesn't move when you scroll down the page. It's also there when you are inside an article.
 
Meadows
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:55 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
The right one doesn't move when you scroll down the page. It's also there when you are inside an article.

I know, but that doesn't do much to address the question itself now, does it.

Let's pretend we're John Doe, just browsing all the things:

Option A: He doesn't scroll down, he's just interested in what's new. Sees double. Calls to make an appointment with his optometrist. No practical use.
Option B: He starts scrolling down, and indeed the "recent posts" follow him dutifully, but he's not going to click them again because he's already seen those at the top of the page mere seconds ago and he already knows what they contain. No practical use.

Either make those links the "most popular posts of the past X days", which I assume might sound exciting to the new generation, although I wouldn't know, or make those links something else entirely, such as top comments, or podcast links (if you're ever going to do those again), or whatever's clever.

Maybe have the big column show new reviews and articles, and have the smaller column show just the blog posts and miscellaneous fluff, and disable the 3 item limit and fixed position on it?
 
Redocbew
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:01 pm

I'm not a fan of sticky columns in general. Why are you scrolling if not to get past the content that's currently on screen and move on to something else?
Do not meddle in the affairs of archers, for they are subtle and you won't hear them coming.
 
Meadows
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:02 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
It's also there when you are inside an article.

This is probably the one isolated use case where it might actually be useful, maybe weeks/months down the line when someone shares a direct link to an article with their chat contacts, who then get treated to "what else is new" on the side in a bid to make them click one more time before closing the tab. I can imagine that happening.

But just typing it makes me feel like I'm grasping at straws and even then, it has no use on the front page itself.
 
jessterman21
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:38 pm

I guess it's getting there - it's going to look like a blatant ripoff of Techspot when it's done, though.

Not pleased that there wasn't a testing phase - or input from contributors.

Thanks so much for talking us off the ledge, @drfish - you are our hero.
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SecretSquirrel
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:43 pm

tanker27 wrote:
The Egg wrote:
......but I think they've gotten the point now, and it's time to start fixing things and developing a plan.


Have they really? 5 Calendar days have passed and they still haven't made an introduction. And they certainly haven't laid out their plan and/or vision!


But it has't been five calendar days. It's been months. There has been plenty of time to develop the plan and vision and to prep introductions and explain changes. That's a valid reason for keeping things quiet for a while. It takes time to learn the environment, and even if you have something of a plan when such an acquisition happens, it's not till after the acquisition that you start getting a real understanding and can flesh out (or change) your plan.

Launch of the new look should have been accompanied by blog post from each of the new players, introducing themselves, and a post detailing the way forward and why the new look was important. Given the technical nature of the site and readership, getting pretty geeky about why certain things would make the site more g-bot friendly, even if it was slightly less human friendly, would actually go over pretty well.

John has "sold startups for millions" and "crashed companies for millions" and "written about both", all from his own words. I can't find any writing about either or really anything other than scads of "list-icles" with headlines that read line they should be on a pop-culture/trash click bait site. There are bits of useful tips in some of them. For example, setting your permalink structure to static so that links look like https://techreport.com/review/34672/amd-ryzen-7-3700x-and-ryzen-9-3900x-cpus-reviewed instead of https://techreport.com/?p=34672 is good. Yes, those of us who run our own web servers might see this as a duh, but for many folks who interact with the CMS to publish content, not to understand the nuts and bolts of how things work, thats a good and useful tip. Actual search engine optimization is technical both on the technology side and the writing side. The tech side is obvious, but the writing side is as important and probably more complex since it shouldn't be obvious to a savvy reader that adjustments to the content were made for optimizations sake.

Unfortunately, the longer thing progress, then more skeptical I get about the end outcome. While getting an influx of cash to buy review hardware is welcomed, I can only read so many "Top six reasons while Intel will cancel 10nm production"* type articles.

* Not picking sides or making any comments about any thread or other discussion from recent times. This was just the first goofy "Top <n>" headline I thought of.

--SS
 
SecretSquirrel
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:51 pm

Meadows wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
It's also there when you are inside an article.

This is probably the one isolated use case where it might actually be useful, maybe weeks/months down the line when someone shares a direct link to an article with their chat contacts, who then get treated to "what else is new" on the side in a bid to make them click one more time before closing the tab. I can imagine that happening.

But just typing it makes me feel like I'm grasping at straws and even then, it has no use on the front page itself.


I'm guessing that it's partly so that every page a spider hits has links to your top articles. That way, each time the site is walked, the "most frequently linked" pages are always your latest articles.
 
Redocbew
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:03 pm

jessterman21 wrote:
Not pleased that there wasn't a testing phase - or input from contributors.


I wouldn't have expected to have any input in design or testing just because I'm a contributor. The frontend isn't really where I like to be most of the time, so I would have thought twice even if that had been an offer to be honest. I guess that's why I'm still just a lowly developer. :P

At this point I really just feel bad for Zak. :cry:
Do not meddle in the affairs of archers, for they are subtle and you won't hear them coming.
 
Xolore
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:02 pm

Meadows wrote:
Here's the million dollar design question for the sufficiently bored among you.

https://imgur.com/a/on0xJBO

How does one "recent" column, and a Mini-Me "recentier" column right next to it, help anyone in particular?


The main thing I saw was how huge the entries for each article are. I have a bunch of custom css I've built up over the week applied locally by a plugin and apparently started to forget what the new design actually looked like. I see like 5 or 6 articles in the same space as you see 3. I think I should really put an effort to finding a good place to share all that but its...168 lines of css so far? Maybe a bit much for a forum post and I'm not sure if I'm even able to post links yet. I don't rack up many posts just lurking.

As for the new owners situation, it's really good to hear about the super cards for the navi review. I'm happy to even have new owners at all, but I'd also like to see some community engagement from them. People were already on edge about the site's future when we got blindsided by a major change so the dark thoughts came out. Some warning and an explanation ahead of time would have helped. There's plenty of people here who are a bit invested in the site (sometimes a LOT invested) and just don't want to feel like they put so much into this place just to have it taken away. There's a history of community involvement here, and I think we would like that to continue to be a thing.

Regardless, I can only hope the new owners and crew will actually feel welcomed to the BBQ. Everything will turn out better for everyone if they can be on good terms with the community.
I'll give another huge thanks to drfish and any others working behind the scenes for being mediators in all this. Hopefully next week is significantly more constructive and positive.
 
tanker27
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:17 pm

sweatshopking wrote:
Yeah, fish is right.
There is a good reason for why things are on hold, but they'll be moving early next week again. Depending on how things go I may even write more frequently, SO YOU CAN START GETTING EXCITED!


I LOVED YOUR GOG ARTICLE AND CANNOT WAIT FOR MORE!
(\_/)
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JohnC
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:25 pm

meerkt wrote:
Apparently they're having financial trouble there as well.

Well, they could have "financial trouble", but I would just say that they are just trying to adjust to current trend where Ads alone cannot provide sufficient revenue especially if you cannot grow traffic beyond certain point. Many people use browsers with Ad blocking and I am willing to bet a latest Geforce Titan that number of such people keeps growing, both on desktop and on mobile (did you know that Google made it much easier to block Ads system-wide in Pie?), especially considering another fact that Ads becoming more intrusive (for example YouTube shows multiple Ads at the beginning of videos for some people, this is the reason that certain alternative YT player apps are becoming more and more recommended in various Android communities) and, therefore, more hated by general users. And more and more Ad purchasing companies are becoming aware of those facts and willing to pay less for Ad impressions or not willing to buy more Ad time. So it is pretty smart for a site or any content creator to have options for readers or viewers to pay for content through direct donations, especially if you have a healthy community which respects what you do and which you also respect as content creator ;-) For example, on Twitch there are multiple ways to support your favorite streamer other than viewing Ads (which I bet 90% of users block) - you can sub, you can donate money with Bits (Twitch gets a certain percentage of that) or you can donate money through various other services (Twitch does not get a cut from them but they do not restrict the usage of those by any streamers) and smart streamers use all of those. And I personally used all of those, especially direct donations (because donating to your favorite content provider is fun especially if you have lots of disposable money, regardless of whether they need those or not - watching their reaction alone is worth all that, not to mention all the countless hours of entertainment they provide you with every day):
Image
Image

:wink:

Another forum I visit, related to Radar detectors and Laser jammers, has both sub system and also "server fee donation system" where members can freely donate money to pay for all forum expenses, with explanation of all fees:
Image

And guess what, every month there are ALWAYS enough donations to cover all those forum server and software fees ;-) TL;DR version: relying on Ads is unsustainable for several reasons, having a sub or donation systems is a must if you do not want to pay for your forum or site out of your own pocket or want your content to generate maximum revenue.


To moderators: sorry for this off-topic stuff, I just got a notification and wanted to provide my opinion on such thing. I also hope I did not break any rules regarding Ad discussions - I did not mention any specific apps or services to block anything or places to download them from, I was just trying to have a philosophical discussion regarding that ;-)
Gifter of Nvidia Titans and countless Twitch donation extraordinaire, nothing makes me more happy in life than randomly helping random people
 
tanker27
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:25 pm

SecretSquirrel wrote:
tanker27 wrote:
The Egg wrote:
......but I think they've gotten the point now, and it's time to start fixing things and developing a plan.


Have they really? 5 Calendar days have passed and they still haven't made an introduction. And they certainly haven't laid out their plan and/or vision!


But it has't been five calendar days. It's been months. There has been plenty of time to develop the plan and vision and to prep introductions and explain changes. That's a valid reason for keeping things quiet for a while. It takes time to learn the environment, and even if you have something of a plan when such an acquisition happens, it's not till after the acquisition that you start getting a real understanding and can flesh out (or change) your plan.

--SS



You're right I glossed over that, unconsciously assuming the new site launch coincided with the sale/take over. That makes it even worse!
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JustAnEngineer
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:37 pm

I am still being asked to enter an e-mail address and a new handle when I post a comment on the front page. These really need to stick to forum IDs, or at least be permanent and limited to just one handle per verified e-mail address.

There may be a few voting irregularities in the thumbs up/down system for comments. While my gold subscriber status allowed me three thumbs up under the old system, I now seem to have an infinite supply of thumbs. Can Waco's excellent comment get over +100?
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Yan
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:01 pm

Concupiscence wrote:
I'll let bygones be bygones. Let's just fix the interface, make introductions, and forge a path ahead. Sound good?

I'd like to see some evidence that the new management understands the problems and fixes them quickly. That's still to be established.
 
Rand
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:06 pm

Xolore wrote:
Meadows wrote:
Here's the million dollar design question for the sufficiently bored among you.

https://imgur.com/a/on0xJBO

How does one "recent" column, and a Mini-Me "recentier" column right next to it, help anyone in particular?


The main thing I saw was how huge the entries for each article are. I have a bunch of custom css I've built up over the week applied locally by a plugin and apparently started to forget what the new design actually looked like. I see like 5 or 6 articles in the same space as you see 3. I think I should really put an effort to finding a good place to share all that but its...168 lines of css so far? Maybe a bit much for a forum post and I'm not sure if I'm even able to post links yet. I don't rack up many posts just lurking.


I can't speak for anyone else but I'd definitely be very interested if you did pretty the links.
That's all outside my area of expertise but anything that can make the site resort to use would be welcomed
 
Rand
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:08 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
I am still being asked to enter an e-mail address and a new handle when I post a comment on the front page. These really need to stick to forum IDs, or at least be permanent and limited to just one handle per verified e-mail address.

There may be a few voting irregularities in the thumbs up/down system for comments. While my gold subscriber status allowed me three thumbs up under the old system, I now seem to have an infinite supply of thumbs. Can Waco's excellent comment get over +100?


You have infinite votes per comment?
Curious, as I only seem to have one thumb per comment.
Not that it really matters, just strange we'd be different there.
 
HERETIC
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:12 pm

Is there any chance that-The old comments layout/tree can be ported to new site?
Remembering that-Recent times, the comments section has become more important than actual content.

And I don't need to mention "SCROLLING" I think 100's have got there before me.
Bit like being in a class of 1000 people, and lecturer dumb's down to dumbest in class.........................
 
Yan
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:16 pm

Are the "traditional" writers now being paid? Or expecting to be paid?
 
MOSFET
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:46 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
I now seem to have an infinite supply of thumbs.


I seem to be be stuck at +2 per comment, and I'm a Gold subscriber (re-subbed on Sunday, possibly against my better judgement.)
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sweatshopking
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Re: Something's different...

Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:03 pm

Yan wrote:
Are the "traditional" writers now being paid? Or expecting to be paid?

Yes, that's the plan.
 
Meadows
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Re: Something's different...

Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:22 am

sweatshopking wrote:
Yan wrote:
Are the "traditional" writers now being paid? Or expecting to be paid?

Yes, that's the plan.

You can finally get a second horse for your wife.
 
rechicero
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Re: Something's different...

Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:15 am

SecretMaster wrote:
drfish wrote:
FYI, John is buying some SUPER cards to send to Zak for his Navi review. That simply would not be happening under different circumstances. Give it a chance, that's all I'm doing.


That's another good sign IMO. People might not like the SEO strategy and what might be produced as a result of it, but at least they are also throwing some $$$ towards the core of TR's strength.


The part I really struggle to understand is why "SEO strategy" means "humans can't read this sh*t". Right now I just can't read the Ryzen review. Just can't (thank God I read it while still readable!).
I admit I have close to zero knowledge of SEO but, come on:

is white background and blank space so relevant for SEO?

Is it necessary to have huge pictures and really little text?

Why news.x is a no-no? Even as an accessory web for old-timers (what it was, btw)?

Why is important to have a big column called "Most recent" side by side with a smaller one called "Recent post" that, surprise!, is exactly the same just with even fewer words?

Why do you need to add tables as images with the worst text wrap you can imagine?

From my ignorance I'd say SEO should be about actual content: the words written (using "popular" words for your target), maybe how they are organized (how to organize posts to segment the hits correctly) and not how they are presented. How a white background is going to make a difference??

I'm giving this a chance, but it's still unreadable...
 
drfish
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Re: Something's different...

Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:19 am

sweatshopking wrote:
Yan wrote:
Are the "traditional" writers now being paid? Or expecting to be paid?

Yes, that's the plan.


I won't disclose what the other guys have decided, but anyone that's been writing can negotiate a compensation arrangement. Personally, I'm still volunteering for a number of reasons.

rechicero, news.x was an old-school option where the full text of news posts was on the front page and it was scrollable backward a few days before having to pick another page. I'm hoping we can come up with an approximation but it's too soon to predict and, though I'd personally love to have it back ASAP, there are higher priorities.
TR BBQ XVI is happening 8/10/19.
 
bthylafh
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Re: Something's different...

Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:27 am

Meadows wrote:
sweatshopking wrote:
Yan wrote:
Are the "traditional" writers now being paid? Or expecting to be paid?

Yes, that's the plan.

You can finally get a second horse for your wife.


What if nobody with a horse wants to swap for his wife?
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derFunkenstein
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Re: Something's different...

Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:41 am

Yan wrote:
Are the "traditional" writers now being paid? Or expecting to be paid?

Now that I'm writing for two sites, I don't have much volunteer time. I'll leave it at that. :lol:

JustAnEngineer wrote:
I am still being asked to enter an e-mail address and a new handle when I post a comment on the front page. These really need to stick to forum IDs, or at least be permanent and limited to just one handle per verified e-mail address.

That is in my top five along with hot comments (after the voting is fixed), hot threads, better search, and better article navigation. That bunch of unnamed page numbers flat-out sucks when you're looking for specific content.

JustAnEngineer wrote:
There may be a few voting irregularities in the thumbs up/down system for comments. While my gold subscriber status allowed me three thumbs up under the old system, I now seem to have an infinite supply of thumbs. Can Waco's excellent comment get over +100?

Yeah, I discovered that too and have reported it. You just have to leave the page and come back, and you can thumb up again.

We're being pretty loud in TR Slack, but there's (echoing what drfish said) a VERY legit reason why this week was quiet on the design changes front, and I'm hopeful that next week it starts improving again.
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fyo
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Re: Something's different...

Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:32 pm

Page titles, at least home, needs changing. Currently, The Tech Report shows up as "Home - The..." on Chrome's fast dial (default new page).

Compared to the other issues, this is small potatoes, admittedly.

Edit: This is apparently the title for the forum. Still would be nice to have it changed, IMHO. Even if just prepending TR - .
Edit #2: Browsing the site with a non-mobile browser I can now see that, no, I was right the first time around. Page titles need reworking for mobile so that the site shows up properly on fast dials.
Last edited by fyo on Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
JustAnEngineer
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Re: Something's different...

Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:50 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
better search
Better in what way? I was actually impressed at how effective the front page search was at finding articles. The fact that a single text search field filled my 32" monitor was a bit daunting, but once I hit Enter, it slowly searched the site archives and returned excellent matches, which seemed to be organized in reverse chronological order. I could then scroll to the bottom of the first page and click on the number for the last page to get the earliest references to my search subject.
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drfish
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Re: Something's different...

Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:31 pm

I have to agree. The old search kinda sucked and I'm getting much better results from the new one.
TR BBQ XVI is happening 8/10/19.
 
derFunkenstein
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Re: Something's different...

Sat Jul 13, 2019 3:29 pm

Maybe i'm just dumb, but I'm not getting everything I look for in the search. It could very well be that whatever I look for didn't get ported; semi-recent articles from this spring are still missing.
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Redocbew
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Re: Something's different...

Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:26 pm

That'd probably be my guess as well(that stuff is missing, not that you're dumb :P ). I often had a difficult time finding stuff using the old search also.
Do not meddle in the affairs of archers, for they are subtle and you won't hear them coming.

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