Discussion

How Can We Make This Site Better?

Now that we've moved off the Ning platform, we'd like to hear from you about how we can make this next phase of ND even better. What do you think of the new organization? Does it make things better or easier? How could we improve your experience as a reader and/or contributor?

(This is not a forum for technical complaints. Please send those to help@nodepression.com.)

Other tags new ndupdates

Dave, see my discussion at http://nodepression.com/article/gram-parsons-country-music-hall-fame-you... where 20-30 pages of historic discussion have been lost.

This was in response to a question asked on Dec 13, 2014; see previous comment about what's happened to this discussion.

As this makes no sense, I was responding to:

Shelley, what is the best way to find a community discussion thread that goes back a couple of years.  I'm looking for one called something like "Best Live Concert" where folks discussed some of their personal experience live shows.

Thanks

Which is the last entry visible if one goes to this discussion through: http://nodepression.com/discussion/how-can-we-make-site-better

To see a response to this question, go to: http://nodepression.com/comment/46255#comment-46255, which should also give you the posts up to present which aren't showing at the main discussion address (http://nodepression.com/discussion/how-can-we-make-site-better).

Just listen to mine - the Jumping Hot Club Radio Show for all your Americana, Roots, Country and Blues needs. You're welcome and here's no need to thank me :)

Do you know that when I receive an email notifying me that someone commented or replied here, it takes me back to that first page from August? I have to manually move to the last page and hope that item was posted there, and not nested in an earlier comment. 

Hi Ed - Yes, we are working on that. It is a known issue that we're trying to fix.

It's all been a bit quiet on this thread so I thought I'd throw a stone in the pond.

     After all of the hoo-hahon here over the last few months and 'promises' of imminant changes nothing appears to have actually changed - yes/no? As a prolific poster myself I welcome all of the new corespondents to ND but I'm wondering  why so few 'readers' bother leaving comments - it's not just my prose; very, very few reviews or articles get commented on (apart from the same hardcore from the olden days). 

    Can we arrange for new readers to have to comment on at least six stories or be banned for life? (only joking but I hope you get my point) - This is meant to be an interactive forum yes/no?

Speaking of 'points' - it was only after seeing my Chuck Prophet concert review 'twittered' by No Depression this morning that I realised only two others have bever een twittered - what is the criteria for having reviews/articles promoted via Social Media (does anyone else know ND has  both Facebook and Flickr accounts?) .

    It's the same with the 'Editors Picks' which are very varied, even random; but I don't believe any of my work has ever been featured  so; again what is the criteria for being included?  I will change my styles accordingly if it means more people reading my purple prose.

Last but not least - my longest running gripe (and I know others agree) is the 'latest posts' section still getting clogged by multiple posts of photos and videos (which get incredibly low views btw) - when; if ever is this going to be changed to give reviewers and writers a better chance of getting their work read?

   # While I use my own writing as examples the points I make are meant to be all inclusive - especially for new writers who could be put off by the lack of reads and comments.

 

love, kisses and smiley faces

Alan, I can't speak for our editor as to why peeple get added to collections etc but I will answer the parts where I have direct knowledge.  

We have a release with more enhancements coming very soon (like this week soon). It will include a note from the development team about what those positive changes are. As I have told you before via personal email, all these things have a process, require testing and take time. If we go making changes willy-nilly, we could break something that is working properly. 

I would also like to add that I personally recall your articles being tweeted (that's the technical term) more than an handful of times (and I've only been here 6 months). What you are not realizing is that we don't always include your "@" handle and so you are not directly notified by twitter. With only 140 characters, it's more important to write something in the description so people will want to to click through than include the handle (which in your case takes up 15 characters). And yes, at least 38,147 people know we have a Facebook account and at least 23K know we have a twitter account

We love that you write consistently and we do feature you consistently but we ask you to continue to be patient. Positive changes have already been made since August 8 and they will continue to come. 

I agree with your lament and concerns about lack of comments being posted anymore. I think it is because the most prolific commentors who were also very knowledgeable and fun to read have left this website in disgust. The new owners decided that the community aspect of this site was the least important and saved fixing that until last. I have only recently been getting email notifications when someone comments on a posting which I did. It took forever to start working but now it seems to doing okay. I wonder if there is someway to contact all those people who have left to tell them, "Come back--it's been fixed." I should go back through my email history and get a list of those I miss the most.

There you go Alan.....throwing rocks into the bath water again. Bless you.

Over the five plus years I've been here on the site, I have always been treated very fair and kindly by Kim and Kyla with having my posts featured on the front page, in the Twitter and Facebook updates, and in the newsletters. Had it not been for those forms of promotion, I doubt that I would have the opportunity to reach thousands of readers with some of my articles. And as you and many others here may recall, sometimes the comments stretched on for months...often taking a life of their own. It was a great ride, and I couldn't be more thankful for the chance those two women gave me. 

However, as you and others have suggested on this thread, something has changed.

Last week I was as frustrated as you are, and Kim and I had a good discussion on why we're seeing changes in readership and content. She offered some really solid suggestions to me for my future posts, and offered her own thoughts about how and why the site is now getting a new wave of contributors. And the old way of being featured and promoted is simply that...the old way. Things are moving so fast now on the content contribution side, that a post you may have seen on the front page for a couple of days is likely to be replaced in less than twenty four hours. Blink and you miss it. How can you comment when you don't even see it? But, as Shelley point out, the Twitter and Facebook followers haven't been affected, and I imagine the newsletter continues to get sent out to the same amount of people. So should you have the good fortune to be listed there, you may have a fighting chance to be seen.

I think Dennis makes a significant point: this is becoming more like a magazine in terms of content, layout and philosophy, and moving away from the previous community-based contributor and reader theme. I believe that many folks simply moved on when prompted to re-up their user names and passwords, I think many are confused by the redesign and find it overwhelming to try and find things easily, and I think that the overall content and subject matter has shifted.

So that I'm clear: none of that is bad or somehow problematic, especially if you're the new owner/mangement team. After all, when you buy an old house you either remodel it, or tear it down and build it again from scratch. People move out; new people move in. So in real estate terms, what we are witnessing is the gentrification of No Depression. 

Like the old guy in the neighborhood, I'm not happy that the deli has been replaced by a scented soap shop, that the car wash is now a Gap, or that my barber sold out to Starbucks. I can't find what I used to be able to get by just walking down the block; and I have to travel two miles to the nearest pizza joint for a good, cheap slice. Who cares? 

My suggestion on how to make the site better?  Take this discussion thread down, let the people who are paid to keep this website going do their jobs as they see fit, stay if you'd like, leave if you want, keep posting things if it makes you happy, stop if it's just pissin' you off.

 

 

I totally agree with Ed . . . take this thread down!  I'm tired of all the complaints.  I'm very much the old guy that Ed describes, but sooner or later, you have to decide to adapt to the new neighborhood, or move. 

I don't  understand. If you're so sick of this site why do you keep reading it to get annoyed again. Instead of being tired of it--you should retire yourself from it. I will probably stop checking it out myself but will make one last plea to the powers that be to try to bring at least two people back to the neighborhood. These are two guys that always had interesting things to say and they are sorely missed by me at least. I don't know if those who now run this site can contact these people or not but if they can here are their old user names: Steviedal; Bruce Brantley.

After investing God knows how many hours into writing for ND and feeling as if I was an integral part of the community over the last few years; are you three gentlemen suggesting I pack up my kit bag and leave the 'site' because I feel passionately about the recent changes, and vocalised that passion?

Hey Alan Harrison (I believe that's your name) I hope you aren't including me in the "three gentlemen" as I never suggested you leave this site and I, for one, like your postings and usually agree with you (except for your mysterious take on the Kinks). So keep being passionate and vocalize to your heart's content as far as I'm concerned. 

Apologies - I forgot to add a SMILEY FACE :) to the post; I obviously have my issues; and much to Shelley's chagrin I keep vocalising them.....but I ain't going nowhere!

       I've had several offers to take my pencil case to other websites; but for better or worse I rather enjoy all of these shenanigans - it's just like a home from home some days :)

 

# I just wish I could keep my big mouth shut!!

yah, what the hell - what's a family without a family fight. and the holidays aren't even here yet!

 

......I see what you did there....funny....very funny #smileyface 

I misspoke in my comment . . . thought I had editted the error.  I did not mean tear down the site; I meant tear down this thread.  I like the site just fine!

........don't get me started on needing a spewll-checker!!!!! #smileyface

I, for one Jeff Gilbert, thought you meant this thread and not this site because that's what I meant when I said I'd probably stop visiting this "site" meaning "this thread." Got that? I've confused myself now. Anyway, to clarify--this site is fine and improving; this thread may not be worth visiting if it depresses you but some are obviously still finding it useful. 

of course I knew what you meant - that's why I reacted the way I did (thinking I was being funny; obviously I wasn't!) and don't forget we are now clogging up the New Comments box.....so I will have to write in and complain about that too #smileyface

Yeah, I've been avoiding this thread, but I always want to see what Easy Ed has to say, so I'll blame it on him.  And there I go, further glogging up the recently added list.  OK, I'm done. 

Glad I was able to stir the pot.

No Alan...never menat to suggest that you personally pack up your pencils. But I do think that the ship has done sailed. 

It just seems to me like this:

Gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown

And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin'

Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'

 

The Wise One has spoken and passed judgement - I shall take heed.

 

 

Agreed. But is the Wise One you refer to Easy Ed or Dylan?

Back in the day (I began in the mid-90s) we had website designers. They are a dead breed; design and usability has been taken over by I.T., and all they see is code. Code is the thing ultimately, but it needs to be driven by usability and input from designers from the Zen of CSS school. The whole web is going this way (to hell). Have you tried using the "new" Google maps (as opposed to the old one that worked) as I try to check my route to Nashville next week? Website after website I see this (again, as one who designed them back when there were designers). I have to agree with Ed's recent comment on here that should have been a stand-alone piece. I'm out (applause dropdown choose italic), except to check in occasionally (just misspelled the last word, good thing I noticed, this here CMS doesn't even have spell check). "Get out of the new one if you can't lend a hand"; I feel as though I've tried, to no avail.

Don't leave us Will. You are one of the few who still comment on this site and your input will be missed. I too hate that there's no spell-check anymore and so I keep making errors I don't catch. I've also noticed on websites I must use (like our local metro trip planner) that have been changed and supposedly improved are actually worse and more difficult. I use to think old geezers that complained about change we're really out-of-it but now I know what they meant. Not all change is good and these days you can't even get out of the way before you're bulldozed by the bullshit. Another complaint I have about this "new and improved" site is that when replying to a comment (like I'm doing now) one can't scroll back up to the other comments on this thread but can only see the one that you're commenting on. Sometimes another's comment is relevant but you can't check it out without finishing one's comment and then going back to the original posting. (I just noticed that by submitting my comment it does go back to the original thread so I can then look at another's comment and edit my own if need be which isn't so bad I guess.)

I guess most of the changes don't bother me as they do some of the rest, but regardless, I heartily echo your sentiments, Dennis. Please don't leave the site, Will! It's always fun and educational to read your posts and you help keep the rest of us on our toes as you carry the torch for the Church of Gram and others.

Listen to the Wise One of your choice - Bob, Easy Ed or Donovan Leitch but...I have to say, I've looked around a little, on other sites (time is short and getting shorter) and I still don't see anything that comes close to ND.  

I like visiting Johannas Visions but it's narrower in scope, less participatory and editorial (and now they've redesigned it, too, so when you pull it up, something called All Dylan.com comes up - not a change for the better).

But I digress.

Please hang out, ye of fading faith.  You still may not like some of the changes but on balance, I think there's much more good than bad here. (I wish Steviedal would come back, too, but I guess it's a free country.)  "Without freedom of speech, I might be in a swamp.'' (obscure Dylan reference number .9999)

 

Just so you know, spell check is a known issue that we are working on.  Likewise, we will be enhancing the readability of the comment threads. It's on the list. 

Thanks Paul and Dennis, I appreciate the appreciation. But as someone who has been frustrated by this in a professional capacity before several times (I.T. in charge of the re-design, and those guys were even good!), I just don't have the patience in my "old age" for this crap anymore.

One other recent occurence that didn't help. (And you may not see this comment btw if I mention it, but I'll then send it to everyone I know.) There are some folks down in Winter Haven, FL, who have been slaving away at trying to restore Gram Parsons' first venue, The Derry Down, where he played with The Shilos (many consider up there with The Journeymen and The Kingston Trio). Want to make it a place for young talent to hone their skills again. Anyway, this week it looks like their Kickstarter campaign though given our best efforts is going down in flames. About a month ago I'd guess I wrote on blog here about the campaign. I spent a LOT of time on this piss-pour editor editing it, and finally published it. Within hours it disappeared; they deleted it and I was told they don't allow Kickstarter promotions. My pleas that it was about saving a piece of the history of American music went unheeded, and when I asked for it back, they told me it was gone (all my edits, everything). You've heard the cliche nothing is ever really deleted, it's somewhere, that is true. Especially on a site like this. The guys in the back room are saying otherwise.

Now I'm not saying the KS failed because my blog wasn't posted here, especially with the lesser regard here these days for Gram Parsons, and of course fewer eyeballs on this re-design. But I did find this at the time they told me KS campaigns were not allowed:

"Eric Erdman launched his “Eric Erdman’s New Songs Need Some Muscle Shoals On Em” campaign on June 17. His goal is $15,000 to record his next album in Muscle Shoals." Hmm, the blog was published June 20, three days into the KS campaign. And later in same piece, "The Mulligan Brothers are launching a Kickstater campaign in July to help fund the production of their second album."

Here's my blog on my Wordpress site, but without all the edits that weren't saved here: http://graminternational.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/why-you-should-support-the-gram-parsonsderry-down-kickstarter-effort/ - PLEASE do not delete, it's my article on my platform, and besides, as I said, the campaign is not going to make it with three days to go. I got well over 200 views on it, wonder what it would have done here.

This is time away from trying to set up a radio interview for http://gram2014.us next week, 17 bands over two nights and it's just me putting this together. And I've been doing all I could for the Derry Down. Everyone's time is a factor, as I believe Paul said, time is short and getting shorter. I have enough frustration; I'll try to return occasionally, just for you guys because you're wonderful. I hope the "regulars" do keep at it; there is something to be saved here by those who have the energy. As some have suggested, I'm poking at enough windmills.

Just saved this this time to Notepad (when I started you weren't a real coder unless you only used Notepad!).

From the swamp, Carry on yall.

I'm off to work soon so I don't have time to read if someone else has said this but...

I really miss the ability to subscribe to certain topics. i.e/ "What are you listening to now?" or "What is your favourite album this week?" I notice that they're not seeing as much action as they were when that ability is there.

Life gets in the way and it's easier to join in specific conversations or thoughts when new posts result in notifications in the inbox. Even if there was an option to be notified once a day about updates and who has posted in that particular discussion board. This would ensure that there wouldn't be say... twenty notices clogging up the inbox but rather one.

Each discussion could have the option to pick, even, if the person would rather be notified with each post, once a day, or once a week, etc

Just a thought as I really miss the notifications on specific discussions. Now I had best get moving or I wont be as early to work as I had hoped for.

Stina - A digest version of email notifications (posts that you have commented on - so you are now following) rather than only individual notifications is probably possible. I'm sending your request to the Dev Team to add to the list. Thanks!

No problem. Thanks for looking into it.

- Stina

Jah Bless!!!!!....I wish you guys the best in making our platform all you can!!

I feel compelled to say.....I vote for Craig Young to be president after Obama leaves office.  He has the coolest, varied, interesting musical postings I have ever seen.  From this I know he would be an awesome President.  (he probably would not want that job though!)

Peace all and keep the music of your lives flowing strong!!!!

Me in the Crossroads shirt at the Sunflower Blues/Gospel fest in Clarksdale, MS

 

 

Tommy

Sorry could not get my picture to load....

You should be able to edit that comment and try to add your image again. Note that your photo must be hosted somewhere on the intenet (the url would end in .jpg etc) or an Instagram URL.

As C. Elliott's posted photos of Ray LaMontagne are comprising half of the Recent Posts, I'm wondering: All your pics are hosted by Amazon Web Services (his for example: http://test-nodep.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/styles/xlarge/s3/images/main_image/photo/097A8644.jpg?itok=G4B2xkax). Why not devote a server to .jpg's and allow folks to upload pics to the site that way? Isn't it costing you to rent space with AWS? (Also, never researched AWS that much, can one, besides you guys, upload to that location?)

there's a Flickr page dedicated to ND photographs; but hardly used these days https://www.flickr.com/groups/nodepression/ #justsaying

I hesitate to chime in.  It is odd that when I am adding pics to an interview I need to upload them and they show up as recent posts. Out of context the photos make no sense. A random album cover? A random book cover? Inserted into the interview they add something. Initially they simply clog "recent posts".  

If there is a better way I'd love to know how to do it!

And while I'm at it......

 

Note that the photo does not have be hosted on No Depression. It can come from anywhere as long as it has a photo URL. It can come from Flickr, your own blog or website or someone else's.

For example, let's say I'm doing a Wilco piece and I want a picture and I know the one I want it on The Wilco website (http://wilcoworld.net). So I go there, right click (or Cntrl+Click on a Mac) and choose "open image in new tab". The tab opens and I copy the URL from the top browser bar  (http://wilcoworld.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/wilcworld2-988x621.jpg) and then use the URL to add the image to my piece. 

Voila!  There it is...

 

And what happens when Wilco updates those pictures, take them off their site and that url is no longer active? Or doesn't it work that way? 

This is plumb ridiculous. I mean, really??

(Although I'm not really interested in Wilco anyway, more of a Son Volt kinda guy.)

There's already a bunch of legacy holes from ning Ed. Geez, I thought I left but have to get away from where-to-stay-in-Kentucky details! Besides this is getting LOL amusing.

Ed: Then the link would be broken. It's that way with YouTube videos and other similar hosted content already.

I'd make sure the source was something that would endure. If it's coming from your own blog, website or Photobucket account, then you can be pretty sure it will stay there.

Thanks Shelley. That makes more sense than the way I was doing it!

And potentially a higher chance of breaking copyright laws this way. Right click, save location, post as yours? Kidding again, right?

I agree Will. I was talking about album art, book covers, etc.  

Which are all are under copyright, which is why ND is letting a third pary handle it (Amazon). No idea on the details.

No lawyer I, but I believe most of the afore-mentioned falls under the category of fair use, particularly in this not so brave new cyber world. . We're dancing a bit on the head of a pin, methinks, folks...

Happy Halloween, regardless.

 

 

 

 

No doubt Paul. So back to my question about uploading pics rather than copying out another location (a highly unusual method for a site like this): All your pics are hosted by Amazon Web Services (i.e.,  http://test-nodep.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/etc.jpg). Why not devote a server to .jpg's and allow folks to upload pics to the site that way? Isn't it costing you to rent space with AWS?

Two quick comments.

The reader input into "Your top 10 albums" is one of my favorite features of ND.  This year I especially like the running total of top-albums that agregates all the responses (http://nodepression.com/top-albums).  One thing that is not clear: Does this "View current standings" link really rank order all the submissions or is it in some other type of order?  Adding a subhead to the top of the list such as "Rank order of all top 10 submissions" would be especially helpful.  If it is just a random listing of any album mentioned, it is a much less useful list - but its hard to tell.  I like to review albums I have overlooked before I vote, and a rank order listing would help me prioritize my remedial listening to at least those titles that are recognized by more ND readers.

Secondly, for us older folk the color of the type (in this discussion forum as well as elsewhere) with the tan background  is a bit harder on the eyes.  If the type color was a more solid black it would be easier to read (I like the tan background though).

 

Hi Davel - I'm passing your comment on to others here to possibly get some more wording added. Just so you know, the way it appears is current unless someone has added an album which hasn't been verified. Once the album is verified, it will get added in to the rest according to its point value. So, aside from that, the standings are pretty accurate at the current time.

I love the current standings feature!  It would be great if the point totals were shown for the top 10. Certainly not required but the data must be there and it would be interesting to see if Lucinda and Sturgill are running away from the pack or the top 10 are tightly bunched. Thanks ND!

When will reinstating the much missed "groups" and the wealth of material they once held see the light of day? If not possible any chance of "back to square one" and a basic structure?

Well I miss it anyway.....

I'm back for my monthly visit. Agreed Alan, one of my first questions ages ago. I've found that if you search, that material is there currently. They apparently don't intend to reinstate groups. Pity. See you next month maybe.

Thanks for the heads-up on this. C'est la vie.

Perhaps the powers that be should remove the message in Community which states "GROUPS SOON".

I just found myself in a footnote of a currrent doctoral dissertation:

36Posted by Will James, http://www.nodepression.com/group/gramparsonsprojectBB/forum/topics/uncu... (Accessed: November 13, 2013)

Guess the committee will have trouble finding it! (References my previous ND group on Parsons which had been no. 1 in members.) They're going to find:  Page Not Found - Bummer

 

  magazine - reviews - bob - kealing - s - calling - me - home - gram - parsons

Btw, adding the word "Bummer" is just another FY, esp for those of us who find the current site lacking; just one example being the lack of navigation to existing former content, e.g., the former online communities called Groups. Possibly meant to be humorous (most credit I can think of), it's not.

When I first joined ND I became a member of a couple of groups; but never knew what their purpose was. Can you enlighten me please?

If it wasn't clear to you, I doubt it. They were basically "interest areas" within the broad stroke mission. Especially helpful were the regional ones, such as Seattle and Area Code 615 (Nashville) that I managed , along with those dedicated to certain artists (e.g., my Gram Parsons group that had the most members out of approx. 187 Groups). 

I was in the same boat when I joined ND - never figured out what Groups was about.

Following the launch of the new site, we analyzed the Ning Groups functionality, and came to the conclusion that it doesn't make sense to try and reproduce it, precisely because it was confusing. We're planning a new, hopefully better, way to allow folks to follow and interact around favorite topics, like artists, locations, etc. There are a couple of other things we're doing first, but this should come in the first half of next year.

Thanks for your patience and your continued support - very much appreciated.

As someone else asked, what about the considerable legacy content? I put a huge amount of man hours into the content for Area Code 615 (Nashville), Buffalo Heard, and Gram Parsons InterNational groups. I know my friends in Boston did the same with their very active group, I'm sure we all did.
 

Loved your group, Will, and a couple others as well. Groups were a good feature.

 

Thanks, well, I'm outa here again, ck in again end of next month.

Just when you thought it was safe and we'd all gone away.........

     When oh when is something going to be done about the 'latest posts' panel? It's still getting clogged up with video and photo multi-posts which stops readers seeing the more 'creative posts' that are surely the life blood of the site?

#I am primarily a photographer that writes; but who needs to see 6 almost identical photos of a concert? 

It's definitely on the list of things but I'll remind the Dev Team.

Said the dude who bumped 20 of his own posts and took over the entire new comments section..........

yep; that's me....amd your point is?

Is it just me or have we given up hope of any changes to the ND Format following our earlier requests? 

    I still have several gripes; but two in particular; the 'Recent Posts' file still gets clogged up with photos and videos from the same poster meaning new reviews/interviews etc get lost very quickly.

    The other is that unless a review gets 'featured' on a Friday (when its there all weekend) some are only up a few hours before being replaced; yet other 'featured items' can be up for days on end.

    Recently my Justin Townes Earle - Absent Fathers cd review was 'featured' but because of time differences had gone by the time I logged on in the morning (UK time) yet Bill Frater's 2 line crib from the Press Release for the same album, and a video was up for a week at least. One of these took a lot of time to write and research; the other didn't.

    Ho hum; as usual I should just get on with things and let my elders and betters rule the world. #JeSuisCharlie

Like Alan, I am also annoyed by the clogging of "Recent Posts" with photos and videos.  How about two separate "recent" lists?  One for photos and videos, the other for reviews, releases and interviews?  Seems like that should be pretty easy to accomplish, and it would be a major improvement to the ND website.

LIKE

There is ongoing discussion about this. It hasn't been abandoned. As to how long things are featured for, everything is featured for much longer than it was on the Ning site, first off. But some days we get a giant flood of content. Other days, very little is posted. We don't control the flow of content, so have to work with the waves we get. So, some days things pass through the homepage in six or eight hours. Other days, they may get to stay there all day long. It depends on how frequently people are posting and how much timely stuff shows up at once. Either way, the shortest amount of time something remains on the homepage is still twice as long as it remained on the homepage on the Ning site. Also important to note that not everyone who comes here ever sees the homepage. That's why we're focusing time and effort on helping people navigate from where they land to all the good stuff folks like you have posted. Figuring out that magical formula takes time, though.

The only point at which we will have abandoned any updates, improvements, or enhancements, is if we ever have to shut this thing down. Otherwise, we ask for your patience, and for you to keep suggesting new ways we can improve things.

Perhaps some  insight or info on the ongoing discussion about what has not been abandoned? These issues were posted so long ago. What are the pros of leaving the recent posts the way they are? As has been noted, it's an incredibly easy coding fix, so the length of the ongoing discussion must involve differing viewpoints from the usability team?

I'll try to summarize some of the considerations for this particular issue (let's call it "one poster monopolizing the Recent Posts block" ), which have come up in our discussions. (We don't really have a "usability team" or a "dev team"; I would seem to be the usability team, as well as being 1/3 of the dev team.)

First, the issue seems to come up most often with photographs. Most people typically post a single video at a time. Our Video Editor often posts multiple videos, but he generally does it about once a week. So this is mainly a problem with photos, which people tend to upload in bunches (from the same show, for instance.) The ability to create a single gallery with multiple photos - which we are committed to implementing - should handle this case.

Second, since the sidebar appears on every page of the site, sidebar space is at a premium. Adding another block to the sidebar requires a very compelling case.

Third, our analytics show that this block does not actually drive a lot of traffic to individual posts. There is some question of whether it should be there at all.

Meanwhile, there are ongoing fixes, enhancements (like the dramatically streamlined comments section), and new features (like the Reader's Poll - and an upcoming one that I think you'll dig) that by necessity have taken a higher priority, taking into consideration our very limited resources.

Dale, are you saying the "Recent Comments" scroll drives very little traffic to individual posts?  

 

That is what he said.

Hey, you know what might be helpful for the members? I assume you have Monday morning meetings like everyone else where you hash out progress and assign action items. I know you're busy, but perhaps if someone sits in (I assume this is virtual but may not be) who could briefly report on ongoings, new initiatives, and responses to commonly or persistently asked questions. Just a thought.

That's right. Most of the traffic to individual posts comes from a) links "in the wild," typically facebook, twitter, or somebody's blog, b) posts that are featured on the home page, and c) posts that appear on the the landing page for each content type (e.g. /videos, /live-reviews, etc.)

Those stats could of course be interpreted as evidence of the issues inherent in the makeup of the Recent Posts per Alan et al.

#shakeshead #shrugsshoulders  #baffled

My 2 cents worth:

First, the things I really like

  (1) ND 'big tent" philosophy of including most any roots style of music has been maintained

  (2) The site continues to contain well-written articles and comments by contributors, some of which are musicians or others in the music business.  I especially like the album and concert reviews.  I pass these on to my friends at local public radio stations.

  (3)  The content is well-organized into the proper categories (interviews, reviews, community discussion, articles, etc.) and you can see the possibilities at the top of each page

  (4)  A lot of nice colors on the new site

In other words, I'm a happy camper when it comes to the ND content.  The biggest problems I have are with how the material is organized and displayed.  I realize the past is history but maybe some tinkering can be done.  The staff has already taken me up on the suggestion of creating the "recent comments" section separate from "recent posts" so that the community discussion comments do not get lost in a sea of photos and videos.

The first issue is that much of the main page for each category is taken up by the lengthy "featured" category and the fact that the handful of items listed do not change very often.  I don't think I have ever clicked on any of the featured items on any of the pages.  When I see these four items, I immediately want to see a longer list and choose from that list. Also, the lead-in discussion of each item is too long and thus only a few items can be shown.   If we're going to have this category I'd rather have more items and less lead-in verbage.

For me the "popular" category is useless.  What I liked about the old site, say the community discussion or blog page, is that most of the page was taken up with a listing of all recent postings with a couple of lines about what the poster wrote.  By clicking quickly through a couple of pages the reader could get a feel for what discussions were of most interest to folks who commented. This helped create a more interactive back and forth discussion.  Now much of the layout is focused on 4 "featured" items and a listing of "popular" items under that category.  I guess this is why I use Rhapsody instead of the streaming services that suggest playlists, create radio stations, and cater to the social media angle.   I like to just go to an artist and get a listing of albums, tracks, etc. and find what I want to delve into.  In short, I would like the page to focus more on helping me find out more possibililies under "interviews" for example and then to navigate to the item I like.  Then I can focus on the verbage.

What I do now to navigate the site is to go to a particular category (discussions, for example), find the "All" listing and then immediately click on "More".  By doing this I can see a number of possibilites on one page and then begin clicking through other pages to find an item of interest.  Then I can look at the item and find the comment section that follows to see what others think..  I guess my point is that a lot of the space on the first page of each category is taken up with material that eliminates the possibility of a more comprehensive listing of recent items posted under that category and ways to navigate to older items under that same category.  

The other interesting issue is the fact that the same "recent comments" and "recent posts" listings are shown on all of the categories (interviews, reviews, videos etc.).  It would seem better to have the "recent" listings apply to postings or comments just for that category.  Now the same "recent posts" displayed on every page has postings for videos mixed in with interviews mixed in with podcasts.  For example, why can't the recent posts or recent comments having to do with interviews be shown only on the pages that you get to when you click on "Interviews".?

The "editors collection" list of featured items on each page does not do anything for me.  When I see the handful of items listed ("country outlaws", for example) , I immediately want to see a lengthier list of items under this heading.  I'd rather not have the small list, or have an easier way to get to a longer list, maybe in a special topics section.  I think the old printed volumes of Allmusic had a lot of special topics page that would, for example, discuss "Memphis Blues" in the
Blues publication.   If "country outlaws" topic is going to be broached, I'd rather emphasize a way to get to a more comprehensive listing of interviews, videos, reviews, etc.

 

#like

Dave - many of these things have been considered and are being worked on, indeed. These things take time to enhance/reimagine/etc. So be patient with us and know that many of these things are being addressed behind the scenes.

Thanks Kim.  I'm patient and I'm hanging in for the long run.

I had a popular regional group that appears to be gone now. I created it as service to artists (and fans) to help them promote their shows and music, so it's a shame it's not accessible now. :(

Kal,

Many of us have been 'round and 'round and 'round (it won't be long, sorry Neil) on this; at least they finally dropped the word Groups from the Community nav. Groups are gone. The content bizarrely isn't (if you're going to do away with them why don't you do away with the content also? now they probably will!). Easiest way to find your content: Basically, go to Search, put in the name of the group in quotes, see All Results, get the returns, set dropdown to Any, and I think get all or most of it. Doesn't assign a URL unfortunately so you can't really share it.

Alan only here when it's March and still looks and feels like January and I want to feel even more like Groundhog Day.

But don't expect to see pics, they didn't migrate that server.

 

I had a strop and left; but there's nowhere better than ND on the web so I've come back; tail between my legs.

    That said; nothing has changed, has it? Please, please, please restrict photo and video postings to one per day by a member - it is still blocking the 'recent posts' colomn and immediatly bumps off some really interesting/important reviews and articles (esp. as only a handful of people check them out )

 

Was that nice enough?

As I have all along, I'm ageeing with Alan.  The glut of photos and videos rending Recent Posts virtually useless.

That patience we're working on it thing is really getting old. And I'm not here still.

Who was that masked man????? #like

Alan and now Will? It's like I stepped into the Wayback Machine. Nice to see you again, if nothing but  for old times sake. There does seem to be a lot of tweaking on the site, but little as it relates to all the past feedback and suggestions. Perhaps they'll revisit it after all the new programs and 20th anniversary is done with. One new wrinkle to the long list of enhancements I'd add is that often the site runs (or loads) slow. I see it myself, but it's one of the first things people bring up to me whenever I mention I post here. Doesn't happen often, but consistently enough to be problematic. And before you ask, I use Safari but not everybody who has brought it up does...so it is across all platforms. 

Before any of the new kids on the block pipe up; I'm well aware that we are now in danger of hogging the 'cooments' section with our howdy do's - but in fairness the comments box isn't really as active as it could be, with the same old names cropping up day after day.

      keep on rockin' bonny lads and lasses 

Using my favorite web site optimization analyzer on just the main page should give you an idea why. Ask me if you have any questions about this.
Wait forgot that I can't upload an image... I don't use Instagram.

There is just one image but when I publish there's two. NO idea. Spent too long here again... http://atticweb.com/images/NDoptimization030215.jpg if easier to read.

I dunno...I see what you mean about the photos but I like the videos, which give me a direct sense of what the artist is doing  The writing is great, too, but in a certain sense it can be like dancing about architecture, to quote Martin Mull., or Zappa, or someone.   (I'm speaking about my own work here, too, please don't take offense, talented and dedicated writers). Great for context, depth, reporting, insight - but sometimes I just like to hear people perform.

My suggestion would be just to flip the videos with the photos on the site so they come first and  limit the photos if that can be done without undue stress on the tech and editorial team.

As Ed says, people are working really hard on the 20th anniversary plans  so...patience is probably the order of the day here. Good to see that you've stayed the course, Alan, and to see Will again, even if it's just for a guest spot. 

Paul hi; thank you #blush

   I'm not against videos or indeed photos (I am a photographer after all!) my point is that multi-posting of photos from one concert or someone banging up 6 videos from You Tube bumps the written word out of the Recent Posts box.

    One photo from a gig/concert should suffice with a link to the photographers website and/or Flickr or whatever and a limit to one video per day per person should suffice surely? They are all from YouTube anyway; it's not as if 99% or EXCLUSIVE to this site.....wheras much of the written work is.

Just reminding you all that we have this link http://nodepression.com/posts/all (All Posts) that can either be accessed by using the "More" button at the top of the "Recent Posts" box or from the "Community" menu item. You may have to scroll past the things that don't interest you but it is a comprehensive view of all the recently posted content (and not limited to 10 items).

CAUGHT US!!

  Shelley hi; we are aware of that thanks and I'm well aware of Kim's point about people accessing the site from direct links rather than coming in through the front door; but there will still be many regular 'readers' who do come in through the home page and after looking at the featured work will want to see 'what is new' in the recent posts box; or is that just me being lazy four times a day? Otherwise what is the point of having a Recent Posts box?

 

#backintotheshadows :(

I may not always comment, but I'm always here (M-F 8am-10pm Pacific Time/Stacy does early morning East Coast & weekends). "What is the point of having a Recent Posts box?" is a very good question indeed. Basically it was put there to help people find things when we switched over from Ning, since that was how people found things on that platform. We are continuing to evaluate the usefulness of that space among other things.

Oh dear.......what have I done? Hopefull I'm not 'other things'

Me and my big mouth/typing finger!!!

People are not things. I just mean that we are continuing to evaluate how people discover content on the site and we are discussing ways to improve all of that.

I still forget to put smiley faces on my posts :) sorry :(

Alan, the lack of discussion is my biggest disappointment in the new site.  The educational aspect of the site is better than ever, the fun quotient is much lower.  Used to be lively discussions, now they are like listening to Kenny G.  Certainly long past debates generating hundreds of comments like those about Jesse Dayton, Linda Chorney and that guy - I forget his name (kidding) - that Will passionately supports are seemingly unlikely to repeat. It is telling that this particular discussion remains at the top of the "most popular" discussions, that two of the current featured discussions were started in October and combine for 569 views (out of how many site visits since Oct?).  The 3rd featured discussion was started in December (about Christmas songs) and has 856 views.  That 4th featured discussion has 1323 views since early February.  I've adjusted to the new layout though I still don't see the need to differentiate "recent" and "popular", which strikes me as redundant going by the frequent overlap betwen the two and as cluttering the screens.  I think I/we get distracted by the fact we can just click on "more" to see..."more".  But of course clicking "more" brings up more, say, "articles", not more of everything submitted regardless of "category", which means going menu by menu. 

With all of that said am still a fan of the site and I'm hoping the discussion side of thing is being taken seriously.  If we accept that content has improved - I do, not that it was ever bad - it should follow that the number of usual suspects actually particpating in discussions and leaving comments would grow, not shrink, as has seemingly happened.  An odd cross current that hints at....what?

 

Couple thoughts...redux. I pretty much only use the All option to see who is posting what and about whom. The menu option by category doesn't do anything for me, but I know that some people appreciate that navigation technique. I rarely engage in comments on long posts because frankly, I can't read 6-7500 words at a time unless they're on paper. In regards to past comments and discussions and wondering what happened, I believe it's because the Ning transfer made it so that users needed to get a new handle and password. Who has time? I've been harping on this for some time: allow comments without logging in if you want to foster engagement. And finally, hi Jack. 

#like

"...that Will passionately supports are seemingly unlikely to repeat."  Of course you're referring to fried clams.

How you doing Jack? And the rest of the old bunch, and I use the term old affectionately.

Dropdown to get italics, worst content editor ever.

This site is so user unfriendly that I'm not even understanding these arcane questions on navigation anymore.

Until next time I remain,

Sound As Ever (how the guy "Will passionately supports" signed his letters),

Will James

PS - Btw, I believe some of you are in the SoCal area; I'm planning a pretty big event this fall, if interested contact me as my Group to write about it is gone ;).

Fried clams will repeat on you, Will. 
 

 

 

#LIKE, although my wife says she'll never eat clams again. Wait until I get her back to the Summer Shack in Boston again for their whole belly clams. 10-4. Over and out.

Why that must be a Gene Simmons clam.

Wow, the page that started that "lively debate" is still there (Grant's Gram rant) but the record-breaking number of comment pages are all gone; some stellar stuff in there lost to history, or more accurately, ignorance. I guess you're right about lively discussions being a thing of the past J-2.0. Here's to Kenny G!

http://nodepression.com/article/gram-parsons-country-music-hall-fame-youre-kidding-right

I would like to offer an appreciation for everything that ND and Freshgrass have done to keep this site alive and revitalize it. I was a subscriber of the magazine before it crashed and a user of this site from it's inception. Yeah, when it was on Ning it had a lot of groovy bells and whistles, and I miss some of them; I also understand that those bells and whistles are very costly and that Ning charges up the wazoo. This site could have easily crashed and burned, like the magazine did, but they found a way to survive, and do it in good style. I think they deserve a big thumbs up and a vote of appreciation for what they have accomplished. 

This site looks better than ever, it works great and more people are submitting content than ever before. To paraphrase Pontius Pilate, "I find no fault with these dudes."  Keep up the good work, No D, and thanks for keeping the doors open for those of us who value roots and independent music.

Thank you :-). We do appreciate hearing that.

Your check is in the mail, sir.

Thanks for that!

So Lost Hills, you think they've come that far since you made this (accurate) assessment: "Obviously a big shift away from the members, and the social aspect of being part of a group. You can't up;load photos, videos or your own music to your own page anymore. Or have friends or make comments to people's pages, because we really don't have our own pages anymore. Very stark differences with the old site that don't seem to bode well for future growth and engagement..." [Aug 2014]?

I've had time to observe, reflect and consider, Will. As I said, I miss some of the bells and whistles, too. But I understand that they cost a lot of money and I think that keeping the site open and keeping it free are important.

But would it cost that much to get a coder? I actually suggested that to K. when I thought Ning was bad (they were typically I.T. slow, but oh for the good ol' daze). I mean, how much are they paying Amazon for this blankity blank? Get some cheap hacker kid who knows how to make an interactive site, buy a few servers, and sit back and think big!

My two cents: I think I'll abstain from the rest of the discussion, which seems like it has the potential to shed more heat than light, with lots of insolubles on both ends.

But...and this is a suggestion that perhaps should be made privately, not here, the thought has occurred to me that with the move to longform features, this might be the time to suggest the unthinkable: A return to the print edition (in addition to the online site, of course).

It's not unheard of even in this digital age, and there might be ad support for it, even if it ends  up coming out just once or twice a year. A lot going on with the 20th, I know, so the timing of this idea is probably off for the short-staffed crew, but...might be something worth considering. What goes around comes around, or so I've heard.

Websites are a bit archaic these daze, especially if not highly interactive with high socialization features. I don't go there, but the ND Facebook pagehas the capability to be much more socially interactive (now that this isn't), although usually much smaller bursts of Like or tweet-size tidbits. Bands have of course discovered this, much easier to communicate and get feedback on FB than clunky websites.

And for what it's worth, I've been trying hard to shed lots of light here Paul; ck the Optimization/loadtime analysis, discovery of a break in this discussion, etc. etc. 

Not knocking the suggestions, Will, which seem constructive if they can be implemented (and I see that the break thing has already been fixed, so that's good. )

In general, the discussion seems a bit circular, though, so I thought I'd change the subject and see if anyone liked the idea of a print presence. Okay, I'll head back into my cave....Have a good Sunday, though, folks (of all persuasions.) 

 

Back at you Paul. Love this Daylight Savings thing, ought to have it all year... Good to know that's fixed, let me check.

P.S. Yeah I think print is still way expensive but may fit the older demo (I assume still) of the ND audience. Big Pharma ads?

 

Hey, we'll always have Cialis...

I think some other pubs (The Believer, Oxford American) still do print music issues, sometimes with CDs, too) but you're right, probably too costly. Another discussion for another day 

-30- (dictated but not read from my iPhone)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey, if vinyl can make a comeback, why not print?

 

#LIKE

If I try to go to the discussion "How Can We Make This Site Better" (http://nodepression.com/discussion/how-can-we-make-site-better) the page returns end at Dec 13, 2014, no comments from this year. Only way I can get anything past 12/13 is to put in the URL for a comment made after that date. What am I doing wrong? And if nothing, why is this content hidden?

I see what you mean. The content is not hidden intentionally, though. It looks like a bug that must have happened to when we pushed the last set of changes. I'll bring this to the developers' attention and we'll try to get this fixed ASAP. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. In general though, issues like this should be sent to our help@nodepression.com email to assure the quickest response.

Sorry forgot about that (tech issues, but wasn't sure it was one).

i wrote this to stacy a little earlier but this might be the best home for it 

 

stacy was outside for about 10 minutes and blew so clean rain washed air on the computer and now it is working - well heck i wanted to read and i have a question for you  on the main page of the magazine are all the columns to read and all but nowhere is the discussion column listed out there it is only when you open up one of the sections that there is a headline of the sections and only when you open up the community page that discussions are found - it seems to me that would one of the main purposes of a magazine is to get readers reaction to articles or questions they have - it promotes dialogue and makes sure a magazine is vibrant and alive - 

and the question i was asking about what is americana music was from the first mention of it to now one of the main questions i hear and seems to promote lively interaction - i would love to know easy ed’s take and some of the people from australia and canada’s takes - and if a magazine is raising questions like that it stays vibrant and in touch with the community and thus almost propagates itself and gets lots of subscribers etc -    sincerely bob gottlieb   

@bob: Six years ago when this site launched it was designed for creating a community where discussions were a huge part of it. That aspect has pretty much gone away with the redesign of the site and new ownership, but it may be a pause rather than a stop. It's a topic that they talk of addressing. In regards to Americana, it's a radio format and marketing handle that really lacks a definitive definition. I use the term under duress and prefer roots music as a more apt bucket. As you probably noted in your comment, the best Americana music often comes from places like Australia, Canada, the UK and Scandanavia.  

 

 

bobeasy ed 

thanks i had a feeling about that - i was only introduced to the on line version 2 or maybe 3 years ago - i subscribed to the had one way back when - and it seemed a different mag - i see you all over this version so i guess you are considered reliable info - if we look at rolling stone way back in the early 60s when it was starting or mother jones a lot of what kept those going was the discussions and arguments they generated and there probably would have been a revolution if either tried to do what n.d. did when it stopped printing - i don't know kim r or any of the others i associate as powers that be but if they really want a magazine they should start encouraging discussion i mean i have been getting this at least 2 years now and it was literally just the other day when i found, under community, the discussions - but that should have a place as 

When will reinstating the much missed "groups" and the wealth of material they once held see the light of day? If not possible any chance of "back to square one" and a basic structure?

A lone voice in the widerness as usual.

Take your base Balfour. Sorry. My myriad comments here all still stand, inc. groups (two of which I had in the top 8, one no. one, in members, or of almost 300, not that I'm paranoid).

I agree with you Easy Ed about the term "Americana." It seems to come from that typical American hubris in which we are always beating our chest about being the greatest at everything except for those things we try to deny like racism. Considering the eclectic styles enjoyed by visitors to this site I think roots music is much better

The term should be outlawed. Signed, An Outlaw

We need to revive, "Cosmic Country."

 

The problem with "Cosmic Country" is that it's still country. Roots music includes a lot more than that such as the Blasters, David Bromberg, NRBQ, etc. etc.....

 

cosmic country for many seems to draw a picture of the early twinkly sparkly bands the fused county and acid together - and cosmic country does not include most gospel, blues, field hollars, tex-mex, cajun, zydeco etc - for me roots about covers it tho not many people include the cajun, zydeco etc there - 

how about alternative music? - or maybe non label specific - or something else  - or ... 

 

cosmic country for many seems to draw a picture of the early twinkly sparkly bands that fused county and acid together - and cosmic country does not include most gospel, blues, field hollars, tex-mex, cajun, zydeco etc - for me roots almost covers it tho not many people include the cajun, zydeco etc there - 

how about alternative music? - or maybe non label specific? - or something else?  - or ... 

Dale Watson, who's as close as they come to the real thang, calls it Ameripolitan. Never liked that, but if Dale likes it... And no it probably wouldn't include bluegrass, etc., which is the big thing here. I'd love to just go with pop country (to be polite), country, and folk (remember that? inc all other roots music).

I came into the site today and assumed you were having technical issues. Now I believe I'm wrong and that this is a new format. I wouldn't think you could possibly come up with worse design, usability, and community building than you already had, but you've managed to do it. This is a big FU to any of us who have been told "we're working on it" over and over past couple years. Benefit of the doubt, this is a beta release that got published by accident?

a new site is bound to have glitches - accept them, notice them, and move on - and instead of being constantly negative, the easy path, how about constructive suggestions about what is wrong or how to fix some of the problems - in other words think and think constructively - these people are trying to do something for all of us and for the most part i have found them to be helpful and trying to do their best - so if you can't help it would be nice to not have to read constantly negative comments - do you want to try and offer something constructive or do you just like to criticize the efforts of others - 

to all of you at no depression - from me and many others thank you for your efforts and if i can help please let me know 

I would say TAOBOY that you are being rather negative about being negative. The reason Will is so upset is because he's been visiting this website much longer than you have and added many suggestions to this posting which have probably been ignored. I'm not near as upset as he seems to be. What pisses me off is all the people who used to comment on this site that were so interesting but left out of frustration and haven't bothered to come back and check it out since it isn't nearly as bad as when the site was first sold. I haven't worked with this new format enough yet to really have an opinion about it.

Well, it looks like they have eliminated "community" and "discussions." I'm getting email notifications on this thread and the Ian Tyson one and they seem to still be functioning. But if you go to the front page, there is no way to access existing discussions and if you click on "post" it doesn't allow you to start one. I noticed that the site was down last night for maintainance... Right now it looks like Will might be right. Temporary glitch or the end of an era?

Sorry - after investing many, many hours into ND over the years with Exclusive interviews; World first album reviews and numerous gig reviews (that's for Taoboy), I can't help but stick my nose in here!

I've been watching this thread from the shadows and I am one who left, came back (tail between the legs) and following being left out of the 'paid ranks'for a third time left again.....to set up my own website The Rocking Magpie https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/
It's well documented that I didn't like the all new ND that followed the 'takeover' last year; but slowly got used to it and the subsequent tweaks ; but Dear God; what are they thinking about with today's site????
OK - you can't please all of the people, all of the time; but how will anyone coming to the site know how much great work is beyond that sparkly homepage? What is the demographic that will get excited by these changes? On first impressions it looks like a giant backward step for what is/should be the Premier source of Roots/Americana music on T'internet.
Aaaaggghhh.

Back to the shadows.

 

i believe that 2 negatives make a positive and i know a lot happened before i was here however looking at the negatives mentioned i didn't single out anyone i just commented on them and and what they generate as opposed to what positive comments generate - 

did anyone else ever thank stacy, kim, kayla and whoever else is trying - 

bob

Here's a brief explanation of the recent updates, for anyone concerned that we've flown the coop. We haven't. We're just continuing the evolution. Hope you enjoy it. Please send any technical issues (site errors, things not working) to help@nodepression.com. Thanks!
And here's a little Easter Egg just for you guys. We will be making the "feed" in your user profile (your "my page") much more robust in the coming weeks but until then you can check http://nodepression.com/posts/all if you think you might be missing something.

Shelley, where can I find "my page", I don't see a link to it anywhere anymore. 

 

 

Okay...I will now join the chorus of "What the fuck have you done to this site for God's sake!!!!" You no longer give access to reader comments? There used to be a sidebar showing recent comments but now there is nothing. There is also no heading at the top for comments. Have you decided you no longer want peopele to carry on conversations? It sure seems that way....If so...adios.

Dennis, you can read the comments of any article you want and join in any conversation you want. Just scroll down to where a post's comments are. If you want to follow a comment thread, either "like" the post or comment on it. If you want to follow its author, click on the big red "follow" button next to the post's byline.

That may be true but it isn't nearly as convenient as it was. Now I will have to go search out every post to find something of interest that I haven't already commented on. When you listed the latest comments to posts that would automatically lead me to posts I was intersted in that I hadn't seen because I don't have time to constantly search the postings. It was also great to see who had left a comment because there are certain people who I find interesting so I would follow whatever they were commenting on. At least you have retained the notification to one's email when another comments on a post that one has commented on.  I do thank you for that. Also..I apologize for getting so upset as to express myself with such lack-of-taste. I often stick my foot in my mouth and then regret it later...

I want to follow what is interesting but I have to find it first and the new system makes that more difficult. The old system (with sidebars) often directed me to a great article or a Donovan discussion when I noticed that ND readers had recently posted comments.  In my opinion the new ND stifles discussion, debate and community but then I don't use a mobile device, don't get alerts, don't twitter or facebook. Hell, I still get a daily paper so I know I'm not the norm by any stretch of the imagination.

The scrolls for "recent comments" and "recent posts" were really, really, really, really useful in keeping a finger on the pulse of what was newly submitted and what other people were commenting on. In other words, they helped short circuit navigation from menu to menu to menu to menu to menu (this site is very compartmentalized and menu driven). They provided in a glance what people were submitting and finding of sufficient interest to comment about. A list of what's trending.  These two scrolls were important in promoting the social aspect of the site. A bit of glue. For example, there are some folks like Dennis and Hal, among others, whose comments alone can draw me to an article or review that I was previously unaware of, had only skimmed, or intentionally bypassed.  I find their comments consistently interesting, insightful, humorous, they stimulate conversation.  If I can't easily find them, that's a loss of "community". Please reconsider reinstating these scrolls.  What was the rationale for eliminating them?

As for this discussion, if I had never commented on it, or been aware of it, how would I ever have stumbled upon it?  It's not a "story", "column", "review" "release", or "media".  As far as I can tell, and I hope I'm missing something, the only way to find this discussion is either a) clicking the link in the email notifying me of a new comment, or b) entering "improve this site" in the search bar and then scanning the drop down for the discussion.  If I was unaware of this discussion, why would I ever type that phrase in the search window and wind up here?  

What happened to the "contributors" section?  If I now can "follow" contributors, how can I find them without going menu by menu by menu by menu. Is there also a way to follow "commenters", or just the piece they commented on?

On the plus side I like the cleaner layout, visually it looks better to me.  Content has never been a deficiency on this site going back to day one in 2009, but it is better than ever under the current team, the long articles are well done as one example.  Now if we could simplify navigation and get discussions back on track to match the level of content, we'd be on to something...bigger and better.

 

 

i have some agreement with jack that this site is now less cluttered looking - and it is cleaner - almost too clean - and if you don't have people finiding people and discussions what good is a magazine - the best ones promote social interaction - and i'll say it again but there must be interaction between the readers and also between readers and editors - right now you seem to have only the latter - and always remember that the one thing people hate is change and it seems like you might have made too radical a change - i did find the old site easier but i am giving this one time to see what i think - 

Jack and other recent commenters have stated my continuing concerns well.  I've been toying with the new layout for the last year and still find navigation a challenge (see my January 9, 2015 comments) and feel that the community forum is not as much fun as it used to be.  Also, I still have problems in the search mode trying to find popular discussions that took place prior to the change-over.   The result is that I'm going to the site only a fraction of the time that I did before.  Too many other options out there in cyberland.  On a positive note, ND content is still excellent.

Jack 2.0, you expressed perfectly the concerns of many of us who love the conversational interaction of this site which seems to be the lowest priority of the tech people who keep monkeying with it. I for one could care less about "a more robust looking contributor page" (or however that was expressed since I cannot now scroll up to the previous comments like in the past--another dubious "improvement.") 

But what excited me the most about your comment was when you mentioned liking to follow my comments since I often feel like I kill a discussion rather than contribute to it. Like you, there are certain people who comment on this site that I follow closely such as yourself, Hal, Jim Hunter, Lost Hills etc. etc. not-to-mention all those wonderful music lovers who contributed so much but have long left this site in disgust. But the ability to follow those favorites easily has now been taken from us. Someone mentioned there are plenty of other sites on the internet one can go to so perhaps I should start looking but I'm not a computer person and don't enjoy surfing the internet. Like Hal, I don't do Facebook or Twitter or even own a Stupid Phone (oh, I mean Smart Phone) and I still read the newspaper on paper so I'm just another Luddite curmudgeon I guess who stumbled on this site and experienced euphoria until they sold it.

Yeah, this really sucks.  The "all posts" listing shows only current postings.  And when I find my "follows" list and click on this topic, the most recent comments are from December of last year.  Is someone trying to screw this up?  In addition to making it virtually impossible for members to talk to each other, the new design is incredibly ugly.  Sorry to be so negative, but there is no other way to react to this disaster.

Well, it's sad to see everything falling apart. Some people need to do some soul searching. You're not going to make more money by driving away your biggest supporters and fans. No Discussions? Eliminating features is going to make you more money? Do sopme soul searching on this - how have you managed to alienate both Grant and Peter? If you can't have regular input from Grant and Peter then how do you even have the guts to call your site No Depression? You're fukkin up and you need to rec0gnize that you're fukkin up and you need to apologize and look within and correct your course. 

 

Just to respond to the Grant and Peter question, they haven't been materially involved with No Depression for most of the past decade. That's not something that came of FreshGrass's involvement with ND, by any stretch. In fact, Peter wrote our first commissioned feature after FreshGrass took over last year and both Grant and Peter made themselves available for a long feature in this year's print magazine. But they sold their shares in the company many years ago. II'll let one of the technical guys respond to technical issues and specifics about how discussion remains possible on this site, but just wanted to make it abundantly clear that the current team had nothing to do with "alienating Grant and Peter" (something that never actually happened, not in the way that phrase implies -- see the oral history of ND in the print mag).

Well, Grant hasn't posted on this site in over a year. Been about a year since Peter's one post, too (hard to tell because you keep reposting all his old stuff.)  Doesn't look to me like he's even a "member." Hard to tell what being a "member" means anymore, though, since you've eliminated all the community aspects of the site. 

While much of the content of No Depression is improved, it is losing its soul by cutting off and alienating long time users.  It has become very difficult to find and post comments, especially in a "Community Forum" format.  This makes absolutely no sense.  Please increase the prominence and functionality of a User Forum section; the forums drove me to this site multiple times a week.  Since the redesign, I am terrribly disappointed at how No Depression seems to have spurnned its user base by not allowing them a prominent place to post comments.  As a result my frequency to the site has diminished.  Can't you tell this by analyzing your traffic that users are turning away.  Its such an easy fix.  Please don't go away by not heeding the advice of the community you helped bring together!

I agree 100%, Davel.  Since my last (admittedly negative) comment about the redesign, I have tried to keep an open mind, hoping it was my problem, being naturally resistent to changes that disrupt my routine.  Buy I just can't warm up to the new site, primarily because of the problems noted so well by Davel. 

Well, now with the re-design that came out a couple of weeks ago, you cannot even find the community forum when you do a simple search on the No Depression main webpage.  I think it is under the IN PRINT heading.  The only easy way I can see to get into it is when you get the notification when someone posts a message on a discussion you have been involved in.  Maybe I'm missing something.

You are not alone in being unable to find/identify the community forum and long ago gave up trying.

Pages