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

Hello developers at ND! Congrats on the launch! I can't even begin to imagine what an undertaking a project like this must be. With that being said, the following is no way a gripe or complaint, but  some constructive suggestions on how I think the overall reader/contributer experience might be made easier and better for all.

Right now with the current search engine on ND, if I enter in an artists name say for example Steve Earle, I get a drop down menu with only ten varied content results. I think it would be easier for users to see whole pages of results based on the section that they have selected. For example, if I select the video section and do a search on an artist, all my search results should pull up pages of videos by that artist. The same should be done for each section Album Reviews, Live Reviews, Interviews, New Releases, Photos, etc.

Also, I would like to see an easier way to move through video pages. Currently with the new platform, to see content posted several months ago you can only go back 4 pages at a time. I think it would be a easier for users to select the page number they want to see and go right to that page.

I think it might also be a good idea to change 'Recent Videos' to 'All Videos'? Because, that's where all the videos are, not just the most recent ones.

Now I'm sure ya'll have your hands full with technical issues and unexpected snafus so whenever ya'll get a chance.

Too early to tell. It is different, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. I'm just old and hate change.  Maybe a bit "too" organized. I liked the old home page and it's ........  clutter.  Knew where to find things. Not clutter exactly, it just seems this new look is fairly sterile, comparitively. Does that make sense? And once I get used to it, will it actually be better? I certainly don't hate it at the moment. I'm finding what I'm looking for. Browsing seems easy enough; haven't posted yet.  I'm hoping the darn things  a success, I can tell you that!

Looks like (at least some of) the comments didn't make the move?

It's not really that they didn't make the move, it's just that some are in boxes that we haven't opened yet. We're working hard to unpack it all and put it in the best spot possible.

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...

Lost Hills,

   That was a neat thing about Old site, you had your own page and you could have Friends, This site is just missing that interative thing, you can't. I found my page here and it had the one review that was featured and the about 83 that were not. Kudos for that. But, another thing was the discussion forums were all together, not here, I will leave here and find 2 advertisements. Kym said that Ning was not an alternative anymore, so I went to the ning site, and they have different levels of  functions with No Depression given as an example. I don't think the new folk want the interaction. You could have a regular forum section, which would be neat. Just some  thoughts, not my site, so, We will see what happens. One thing I know, Most publicists sending me CDs to review which I am getting away from, because of Health Reasons. They wanted reviews on No Depression. 

It seems, at first glance, that they have excised all the social networking functions that made the site fun. Is it fair to say that they are seguing from a music lovers discussion site to a music industry promo site? Seems pretty dry...  And what's up with a music site that has no music on it? That just seems super odd to me.

The "new" Drupal platform has very robust social Networking functionality and user blogs/galleries, forums are all possible. I've built several Drupal sites and first became aware of it  when I was a communty manager for sites(the  band  Toto, Monty Python).   As a musician, the social networking and music player were big attractions, especially when my music would be featured on the player on the front page. I use Soundcloud and can embed a player in my page, but without the social networking, I'm not sure what benefit there is. Porting a site like ND from one platform to another is a big effort, so I'm willing to  give it a chance to get sorted. Let's see what happens..

Hey Joe, the links on your profile page don't work. I think you have to highlight the link and click on the little chain icon and then reenter it. That's what I did and it worked for me. Couldn't figure out how to add a picture, though...

Thanks!  fixed... listening to' Lies don't mean nothing' as we speak.. the little film icon in the text  editor is for images, but they need to have a URL..

Thanks Joe. I tried that with images hosted on photobucket that ended in .jpg, as the instructions said, but they wouldn't take. I wonder if anyone has had success with that?

ND has made changes in the  profile.. I just posted a video to mine, works well!

 

That is one sweet Weissenborn, Joe! Nice playing, man.

Greetings. I promised myself I'd keep off the site until next week until more things migrate and get unpacked. But it's Saturday morning and I wanted to see if at least the site was up. And here it is. 

As this isn't the forum for techie things, I'll just share that I like the new clean look and the navigational design. I'm indeed missing the comment sections  to all the older (or recent) posts but will reserve condemnation until everything is officially moved. 

Like some of the others, the lack of capability to have friends, send messages, customize our own pages and the search functionality are disappointing. If these could be addressed I'd be a happy camper. 

All in all, despite what I'd call a painful launch with all the error screens and weird messages, I'm looking forward to the finished product. Thanks to all you techie folks. 

We are listening intently, don't worry. There are some things that we still need to make visible or easier to find and so that can be confusing. Other things won't be exactly the same but we'll take the user comments and get them to work in a way that is both practical and best for the community. Other than uploading MP3s directly and being able to customize your page using HTML, almost everything can be discussed. This is a great opportunity to take the best, give it a clean updated look and make it function in a smooth and logical way.

- I encourage you to make a list of the things that you would use most and let us know. Hit "reply" directly on this comment and I will make sure your suggestions get to the whole team.

(Be honest though, please don't just list it because it was on the other platform and it's not here now. We need the cream of the crop of useful things.)

Site looks great, it must have been a killer job to get all this together, make the move, so big thanks to all involved, as has been noted.

Cool that comments are being "unpacked'' - I think that will be a good thing. Typeface, headlines, images seem sharper, too.

Videos look slicker, but a little harder to navigate, as Craig noted. No word on how many viewers have seen the videos - has that been eliminated, or is it still part of changes to come? I kind of liked it.  Also: it looks like they can be shared on Facebook and Twitter but not Pinterest or Google+? these days? It's minor, but I liked having the other options and have been told that Google+ can help with SEO results, though that's certainly not an area  in which I'm expert.  Too much clutter to keep? Up to you, obviously, just a thought. 

Agree with Ed and Lost Hills on the friends and messaging stuff, though that seems like something that can be addressed relatively easily, even if it's in a slightly different form than we're used to. 

On the (most important) content front: Very cool that you ran Peter's piece; a nice bow to the past, while staying very much in the present. 

Thanks again and good luck on all this; my basic vibe is that the site seems more "modern,'' and no doubt we'll all get used to some of the changes earlier than we expect. Usually the first response to any redesign is negative - as an old boss of mine used to say, "No one likes change but a wet baby." But most of these changes seem like they're for the good, with mo' better to come, one hopes. 

 

 

-Counter brought back on views for the posts and videos. 

-Videos and pics on My Page. Some level of personalization. 

-Ability to leave comments without signing in. 

 

-When you post on an article or discussion, or if someone leaves a comment on something you posted, we'd get email notifications. Or you could opt out if you wanted. I just realized that's no longer working. Hope that's temporary or you've just lost the ability to create sensible conversations between people. (Maybe sensible is the wrong choice of word.)

Just a clarification: So far, when I've been able to get onto the site and poke around, I'm pleased with what the makeover has accomplished. I've overseen three website migrations and understand the complexities. 

When you pose the question of how do we make it better or ask us for feedback, you're going to get it. That shouldn't be misconstrued as criticism of anyone's work, efforts or ability. 

If people care enough to take the time and leave their thoughts, concerns or ideas...it's valid and important to them. Therefore I'd encourage people to not be self-editing in only talking about important things. It's all important. 

well said Ed..

Hello Shelly, 

In one of Ed's posts below, he makes mention of the " Email alert" that we would get (or not, if we so chose) when a post was made to a thread we were following; is that little nicety going to be brought back online on this new Schmurdpress platform? 

I really do miss that feature. 

 

WEB

Has this concern/question, about why we aren't getting email alerts when someone comments on a post we've comment on, been answered? I can't find a reply listed after the questions and there seems to be a problem with continuity so answers don't necessarily come after the question. I don't have time to go through all 4 pages to see if it finally got answered so figured I would just ask it again.

Yes, we are discussing this at great length and are working on getting it implemented.

FYI Dave stated the folowing earlier in a post today (currently on page 4)...

Things we are working on for Sept 15:

  • Notifications (lots of different permutations to be sorted out so it could take a few tries to get it just right)
  • Enhanced search
  • Enhanced media embedding
  • Redirecting old Ning URLs to the new site (this one is quite challenging)
  • Updated newsletter
  • Pageview counters (in place now)
  • Personalized profile page (in place now)
  • A bunch of stuff behind the scenes so that Kim, Shelley and Stacy don't have to work so hard

I liked the activity listing on the mobile version but that seems to have goen and so far I haven't been able to make much sense of it.  It's going where it's going so we'll see.

There is an activity listing on the mobile listing. Its called recent posts (there's also an active discussions listing). On mobile that's below photos and videos. Just keep scrolling down. On the desktop site, both those things are in the right column on all pages.

Keep it coming, y'all! And keep in mind the fact that we have a dev/design staff means this gets to be an ongoing work in progress. I've heard a lot of talk about it not being "done," and I honestly don't even know what that means. A good publication with an engaged community element is always evolving to meet the needs of its subject matter, readership, and contributors. We didn't let ND die when print became unsustainable, we didn't let it die when Ning became unsustainable, and we will continue to grow and evolve as long as you show up and help us steer this boat. Like I said when we launched the Ning site - this is only going to be as good as we make it together. The difference now is that we have more people with better skills to implement all these things in real time.

So don't hesitate to lay it on us. And know that we hear you and will be implementing some of this stuff.

One thing we haven't mentioned yet is that we have section editors -- members of the community who have been hired to manage the sections they've spent so much time in these past five years. Sloane Spencer of Country Fried Rock is handling podcasts. Bill Frater of Freight Train Boogie is managing New Releases. Craig Young is managing videos and C. Elliot is managing photos. Don't hesitate to contact them directly with ideas, questions, or feedback about those sections.

While I totally understand the need to monetize No Depression, I watched with great disappointment the transition of Rovi's AllMusic site from maybe the most useful music reference source ever, to...well, a barrage of invasive commercial promotion that you now have to fight through to get to the useful stuff. The user experience has devolved from a pleasantly quirky drive in the country to a compulsory trip to the internet dentist. Please use the AllMusic site as the canary in the mine shaft - if you start to think you might be moving in that direction, you've already gone too far.

Easy Ed's right.

Friends and messaging in "My Home Page" made it a community. And decorating made it nice for the artists, especially. Music info, Tour dates etc...

Is the NoDepression music player dead or waiting to be reanimated? My initial impression is the new ND is too organized(buried into too many categories) and isn't as friendly for a quick stop in and see what's new.  

Looks to be gone Hal because of content ownership issues I believe. 

Interesting take on the organization. I think I like it better. Need more time to acquaint myself with the benefits. 

I know we're not supposed to talk tech here. But you should know my list of things to address just got lost when I hit submit. Screen went white with the message that Safari couldn't connect with the server. Thirty minutes of work....lost in space. 

Will resubmit after the bugs are addressed. 

 I just submitted a video, I will say that the the picture resolution looks better than before, and it is avilable immediately, well, that is the way it looks now. Guess, it will be awhile before we see the finished product.

Jim

 

PS, I take that back, just went back to check videos, and now it doesn't work.

Hi Jim! I just checked and your video by Flatt Lonesome is posted and it plays just fine. You can find your video post on your personal page under "Contributions" and on the video page under "Recent"

Thanks Craig,

     I really like the video player upgrade, much better resolution,it just errored on me once, then I refreshed the page , and tried again and it worked. Let me ask you something , I see there are a lot less Featured contributers ,there used to be about 80, now I only count about 25. Can you still submit a review and have it appear on your own page or is it either all or nothing? I am cutting back on reviews, but there are some groups that I would like to keep promoting, I have my own blog, and I just started using facebook about a year ago and there is something fun about facebook, that really gives you the chance to see alot of what the act you are promoting is doing with alot of videos and livestream.

From what I can tell, every and all contributions that you make can be seen on your page under the contributions tab from newest to oldest. Concerning "Contiributors" I believe that the people listed there are ND community members that are featured regularly on the site. My guess is that list will grow over time.

You used to have a timeline index of all the different discussions going back several years.  I can't find anything resembling this.  Not better people!

It's still here: http://www.nodepression.com/discussions/all. Or, you can access it by clicking on Community > Discussions > Recent. If you page through that listing, it goes all the way back to the first forum discussion (What's your favorite Wilco album?) from Feb 2009.

A.M.

I don't see a "recent" option for Community.  I really miss the ability to click on the most recent posting to a specific discussion.  For instance, when I click on What Are Your Listeing To, I don't want to have to scroll all the way to the bottom for the "last" page, then again scroll all the way to the bottom of that page.

I think it's streamlined nicely.  I'll have to give some time to see how community interactions go.

never seen a worse mistake . took a great site aand totally demoplished it,

So you like third grade looking sites?

Fine .. as they say you don't like it, change the channel.

I never considered the old look  "third grade" , more like organized clutter.  I could find what I was looking for , but also ran across stuff I wouldn't have.   Now that I've figured out how to navigate, no problem. But the look is a bit sterile to some of us old-timers. Ones that prefer the 30 year old CHICAGO BEARS sweatshirt to the brand new ones hanging in the closet. But if the look is changing, so be it. One day she's going to throw away that sweatshirt too.

Hey y'all - just wanted to update you to let you know that we had a meeting today to discuss what's been brought up in this forum so far, and we now have a workable list of updates and wishes and fixes to prioritize and work on. Just so you know you're not complaining into the ether.

My impression is the discussion forums have taken a hit regarding posts with the main activity revolving around the new site. I hope the sense of community isn't  lost.  More of a comment than a suggestion I guess....maybe I need to start a discussion about Donovan?

 

There is no wrong time to start a new discussion about Donovan or fried clams.

Funny thing is, I'm sitting here listening to the Mellow Yellow album and munching on a fried clam sandwich while I wait for some of these issues to be addressed. 

At the moment on my plate is:

-Trying to post an article. No spell check that I can see. Text fonts go bonkers if you try to cut and paste from another site. Can't figure out how to upload a photo from a file on my computer. And then if I get through that, making sure the image doesn't pop up and break the formatted text. I'd like better directions on how to work the tool bar. Maybe even visual examples. 

-I really want to see how many views my posts and videos are getting. 

-Would like the comments from past posts restored. 

-Would like to be notified when someone posts a comment in my blog or any discussion or forum I've joined. 

-This might be there but I haven't found it yet: is there a view of all featured blogs and all community ones? 

-I hate My Page. It looks exactly like yours

-I don't seem to be able to search for members. And the contact button didn't work for Kim. 

Other than those things, I do like the clean look overall, and the organization. (Would like clarity on New Releases. What is that section about? Is there a release schedule? Are Bill's descriptions his own or cut from the press release?  Maybe I'm missing something.)

By the way, how are the password resets going? How many members did we have, and where are we at today?  Not email addresses; actual people signing in? 

No time for clam sandwiches around here.  Best I can do is try to remain mellow while sorting through feedback for changes that will improve things for everyone.  We are actively working on:

  • URL redirects for legacy content (ning gave us bad links unfortunately)
  • pageviews for post authors
  • notifications for comments
  • some profile customization (this ain't myspace and it ain't 2009)
  • enhanced search results

Actively working means that the 3 human beings who developed this site have these as priorities.  However, we are also focused on helping the 3 human beings who manage the content and users so that everyone gets through this transition as smoothly as possible.  

Please keep this in perspective when you think about "the techie people" or "the new owners".  There is no big corporation - just music lovers like everyone else here.  We care just as much as you do about this site and we are working our asses off to make it better.  I'm glad that there are some changes that you like.

I'd love to be able to take more time to talk about the huge increase in pageviews that we've gotten, the hundreds of new users who have signed up since we migrated, and the thousands of existing users who have successfully reset passwords, but I think it best to get back to the job at hand. I am trying to let my actions speak louder than my comments, so I apologize if I'm not able to chime in on this thread much right now.

Bottom line:  No Depression is still alive and people are using it more than ever.  That is only possible because of the work that the "new owners" and "techie people" have done.  We are truly sorry for any inconvenience along the way and we really do care about your concerns, so keep the feedback coming.  However, do keep in mind that just like an old guitar, the tone makes all the difference...

Thanks for all the updates. Glad you're capturing and addressing the issues. Even happier to hear that you're not losing members who won't want to have to reset passwords, and also picking up hundreds of new ones in just a few days. We blogger folks who've been around here for years and have happily contributed blood, sweat, tears, time, thoughts, ideas, music and even our own money to keep No Dep an ongoing entity are appreciative of the extra hands on deck. That tone you're hearing is the sound of someone who cares about how this will all turn out. 

And just like that, we added nicer looking profiles with embedded media and added pageview counts to your posts (only visible to the author or admin).  We'll make some more noise about this later, but I thought you'd like to be the first to know.

I'm still working on the URL redirects - that is proving quite difficult, but we will get there somehow...

I also should mention that we're seeing more than 50% of our evening users coming from mobile devices - that's a lot more than I expected it to be.

Thank you. 

Good going - congratulations on the mobile user progress and thanks again for all the great work!

Thanks also to Shelley for helping me get through my initial password snafus. Okay, time to give yourselves a month off (as if). Hang in there, and keep the faith.

Paul

 

Dave

Why are you no longer allowing everyone to see pageview counts?!  If I'm interested in a topic, especially if I like what's been written, I'm curious how many others have seen it too.

Sibylle

With the "popular" lists, we are helping readers identify the posts that are getting the most pageviews. We'd like to get feedback from the contributors first, to ensure that they are comfortable with people seeing the absolute number of views.

If the consensus is that they want everyone to see the pageview counter, then it's easy for us to make it visible to all. The pageview counter in Ning was just "on" no matter what - no options. Now, we can do a better job of addressing the needs of authors and readers alike.

Thanks for the updates and the hard work (I would have used "diligent" but I have no spell check haha). 

Very nice to learn that new members have come on board. 

As for the assistance from the support people,,,,, their response time and Job like patience is second to none! 

Shelley and Stacy, helped me a great deal in getting on board the new platform. I was one of the ones that ran into a SNAFU (or 3) while getting moved over.

I lost one post in the House Concerts topic and, since I am certain that it can not be retrieved from cyberspace, I am not to humble to admit that I think that that post had a crack at a Literary Pulitzer nomination; it was the kind of stuff that Longfellow, Yeats and the Bard old Billy Shakespeare himself would have wished they had come up with.

(crosses fingers and hopes like hell that the post is in fact irretrievable)

Keep up the great work all  and know for a fact it's appreciated!

WEB  

Dave, my two cents...you will be up to about a billion cents before this discussion wanes...if that ever happens...

    UPDATE: LOOKS LIKE I COULD HAVE ANSWERED A FEW OF THESE QUESTIONS ON MY OWN BY PAYING CLOSER ATTENTION - SORRY.  BUT QUESTIONS REMAIN TOO.....

* the biggest piece missing seems to me to be (no) email alerts to new comments and replies to blogs and discussions, thus stopping a discussion dead in it's tracks. As discussion is a core appeal of this site, an inability to follow a discussion will lead to reduced particpation, screen views, etc., the kinds of things you want to help drive ad revenue.  Hoping this is at the top of your list?

* how does one see ALL recent activity i.e. replies and comments to blogs AND discussions (the old forum section)? Or does one have to check each section individually (which is cumbersome). The scroll on the main page of the old site of recent activity for all blogs and forum discussions in the same scroll was very visible, accessible, and useful. The recent activity for active discussions" seems like it's supposed to be doing this but right now the only active discussion seems to be "How Can We Make This Site Better", going by the comment headlines displayed.  Is that recent activity function really capturing all discussions?

* tying into the above, for the recent activity summary, suggest making the words "commented on" a link directly to the comment that was added by the individual listed to the discussion names.  Right now we can click on the person's name or the discussion name, which redirects to either that person's "My Page" or to the first page/start of the discussion.  When articles/discussions generate a lot of responses, this can mean going through umpteen pages of comments to find the recent comment of interest. Needles in haystacks will inhibit discussion too.....an ability to drill down straight to the comment/reply of interest is really useful. I know that you will eventually add email alerts to discussions we're particpating in, but there are times when I've followed a discussion but not partticipated, and seeing a comment/reply by someone I find reliably interesting usually prompts me to check back in and that often leads me to add a comment.  OK, SOMETIMES IT'S THE SOFTWARE, SOMETIMES IT'S THE HARDWARE, SOMETIMES LIKE IN THIS CASE IT'S THE LIVEWARE - ME. I NOW SEE THAT THE SHADED AREA WITH TEXT BELOW THE NAME AND DISCUSSION IS THE LINK STRAIGHT TO THE COMMENT I WAS HOPING FOR. 

* MyPage seems not to document my participation as did the old My Page.  I found it useful to have that ability to revisit past discussions when a thought came to mind pertinent to a past discussion  AND I JUST NOTICED THE ACTIVITY BUTTON ON "MY PAGE" WHICH ADDRESSES THIS, BUT IS IT CAPTURING ALL MY ACTIVITY?  I ASK BECAUSE IT CAPTURED MT RESPONSE TO HOW TO MAKE THE SITE BETTER BUT NOT COMMENTS I MADE ON A BLOG.

* do I understand correctly that the only way someone can send me a message through this site is by going to my "My Page", hitting "contact", writing their message, hit "send" and it will appear in my email?  If that's the case, is my only way of repling through my personal (non-ND) email?  And doesn't that expose my personal email address in the process (not that I necessarily mind that but...).  Or am I way out in left field here (entirely possible)?

* I was one of the unlucky folks whose account didn't transfer over from the old site, I was told there was no way of linking me between the old and new.  Are we sure there's no reasonable work around for that.  Hated to lose 5+ years of, well, bullshit and so on...both Kim and Shelley were really responsive and quick to try to help, still wishing for a work around for this.  So I re-registered...

* overall, I like what I see visually, and functionally, I guess I need to let most of this sink in for a month or two.  Rearranging the furniture is inherently neither good or bad, but it is disorienting, so I hope most folks realize that and continue the contructive criticism, clearly the intent by the new owners and developmement team is good here,so we owe the same in return. Congrats on getting the shift started...

* I still think we need that "Donovan" button

Jack

 

 

 

 

"media" on User Profile works well, thanks!

 

"This aint myspace or 2009...."   made me grin ;)

Guess there will always be some resistance to change... that's how it goes.

And I hear the message loud 'n clear - for so few people having to undertake this huge task of migrating the site, and keep a cohesive content,  you guys are just plain awesome. Kudos.

I'm grateful that ND exists. Period.

(This comment was brought to you in the tone of a vintage Washburn).

Hey, EE, thanks for the thoughtful feedback. A couple quick tips from the front-end guy:

  • "Trying to post an article." Below the Body field, as you're creating a post, there are a couple links that might be useful. One brings up instructions on "How to format text, images, and embedded files" and the other brings up instructions on "How to work with posts that are pasted from your blog". Both of these are works in progress and will continue to be fleshed out as we hear about what people are struggling with the most.
  • What used to be "All Community Blogs" is now "All Posts" and can be found here. Featured posts have been broken up into categories, e.g. to find all featured Album Reviews, go to http://nodepression.com/album-reviews/featured, to find featured live reviews, go to http://nodepression.com/live-reviews/featured

Thanks Dale. Got it. 

Is editing after posting a discussion or blog no longer an option?  I  make typos, I've had artists ask me to correct a mistake or something I wrote just sounded wrong.

Seems like an odd thing to loose (sic)!  See what I meen?

You can always edit any new posts that you make. There is no issue there.

Looks like the edit feature is not working on all areas. I've got a screen shot to attach but it's not letting me...so I'll email it to the help@

By the way, I wanted to mention this earlier. I want to tip my hat to Stacy. She has been great in getting back to people and helping out whenever she's able. She and I traded emails on Sunday, and several people I know told me she was most helpful in helping out with the login process. In addition to being responsive, she has terrific communication skills and her humor and personality shine. She's exactly the kind of employee that you want to have interacting with your members. Thanks Stacy

We'll look into the editing of comments. It should be possible.

When you're logged in, go to one of your comments. At the bottom is an "Edit" link.

Congrats on the new site!  Looks clean and professional and I know it was no small undertaking. Kudos to those who have spent their summer working long hard hours to make it possible. I was in Idaho with no internet the days leading up to and after the launch which felt incredibly decadent.

Ditto what Ed said about Stacy.  I had trouble changing my password and she replied to my email to the Help@ address quickly and was very friendly and helpful.

After spending quite a bit of time poking around and checking things out over the last three days here are my suggestions:

New Release section:  So happy that this is back on the site(!) but It would be more useful if the headings included the artist name and release date. Having only the album title as the headline limits the appeal and usefulness.  I would also suggest having a comprehensive line listing of upcoming releases organized by the month of release (only the most anticipated and compelling releases would need to be highlighted with a blurb). This was one of the most trafficked pages on our old website when ND was still in print and would be a valuable resource to music fans and industry folks alike and drive considerable traffic to the new ND site.  

Photos:  For the "recent" and "popular" photos It would be great if it were possible to click backward and forward from photo to photo like a slideshow, rather than having to open a page for each individual photo. It would also be helpful if the thumbnails of the photos could be a bit larger so one could more easily determine if they want to click through to the photo.

Ability to follow: It will drive engagement and community building if there is a way to follow the comments on a post, discussion, video, etc. and receive an email notification when a new comment has been posted.

View Counts:  I miss the view counts on all the content, particularly the videos and blog posts.  I would often select which videos to watch based on which ones had a high view count.  It was also interesting to see which blogs struck a chord with readers and had high view counts.

For the "Recent Posts" in the right hand column it would be ideal if somewhere in that section it included a link to "all posts" under the community heading so that people could quickly and easily get to the page with all posts going further back.

For the "Active Discussions" sections in the right hand column it would be great if there was a way to expand that to have the listings go further back so that if one is away from the site for a few days, or for more than a few hours it was possible to see the activity listings going further back.  On active days such as newsletter days or when there is a contest the current active discussions would be gone within an hour or less. The activity feed is a great way to drive engagement on the site so having the ability to get to a feed that goes further back is key. From a design perspective I like that it's possible to click to either the specific comment or the discussion but it's not apparent that the comment is tied to the user and discussion above it so perhaps a hairline rule between each listing or something that signifies that the comment is tied to the user and discussion listed above it.

Newsletter sign up:  It would be wise to have a newsletter sign up form on every page and also as a default (with a check box to opt out) when new users sign up for the site. The newsletter delivers considerable traffic and engagement and having direct contact with readers is a valuable tool and as traffic to the site increases it will be important to capture these new readers.

Search function:  Doesn't seem to be working or be useful the way it's currently configured.   I tried searches for several artists and myself and nothing useful or comprehensive was returned. It would also be helpful to have a search function for each individual section of the site (reviews, videos, interviews, discussion's, etc.) and also the ability to do a comprehensive site wide search.

On all content types where there are the options "featured", "recent", and "popular" to get to more posts I find the "recent" listing to be confusing and misleading.  I think that having that listing say "all" instead of "recent" would be more useful as that is a cue that if one wants to see the posts going way back in time, not just the most recent posts, that is where they would be found.

It would be helpful to have a faster way to get back to older posts, discussions and videos rather than having to go back page by page which would be very difficult and time consuming if you wanted to go back to something months or years old.

Spellcheck for comments: This was mentioned on another thread and Ed had found it, but I don't see it?

Overall, great job!

Appears that spellcheck functionality works really well on the mobile site, but not on desktop. Particularly a problem when I wanted to write a fast blog and ended up needing to dump it into Word, where it lives in hibernation. 

If the automated spell check fails you, I'm happy to compensate. I'm probably up in your blog anyway, fixing your grammar and punctuation whenever and wherever possible. If you misspell "tomatoe" I'll fix that too. Doesn't mean you shouldn't TRY to spell things right and use commas and ellipsis correctly, but just sayin'.

Thanks so much, Kyla - means a lot coming from you.

Every one of your suggestions is a good one - many of them are so good that they were already in the pipeline.

We have just implemented View Counts, currently just visible to the author. Look for an improved Search function soon. Ditto for a pager that will allow users to input a particular page number, rather than scrolling tediously through dozens of pages to find older posts.

Several of your other suggestions are already planned, and the remaining ones seem entirely worthwhile.

(Probably Easy Ed's phone was doing the spellchecking - there's currently none in the WYSIWYG editor.)

Didn't even think about Siri spellchecking my words but you're correct. Probably the workaround for articles and posts will be to do it in Open Office or Pages, and cut and paste it. If I do that, can I choose the font or will it defer to a particular one?

Wanted to report also that in this comment section on the mobile version, as you indent the replies to a particular comment, the box  gets very narrow with only 3-4 words per sentence. ( Probably an Apple thing...skinny hipster screen.)

Can someone post here how I can insert an image into both an article and a comment box? 

Most browsers have spell check built in. I found this out as a started to type this. I'm on Chrome and it definitely has it. I looked up Safari and it has it too.

However, the best practice for any website is to always compose your (longer) piece in Word etc and paste it in. You never know when you're going accidentally close a tab, lose power or have a cat walk across your keyboard.

Oh, and whatever font style you choose, it will default to the theme font on this site .

Thanks Kyla! As the New release Editor I can say that the release date is needed in the heading and I'm sure Dave and all can make that work eventually. I've been trying to have objective information about NR's without being too dry and/or superlative sounding... it's a balance. I am also trying to go back a few weeks to catch some notable albums and upcoming releases and catch the cool indie stuff too...thanks for your input and I welcome any more comments on the new Releases section. 

Might be helpful to get rid of this on the frontpage    -Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in node_access() (line 3037 of /home/ubuntu/nodepression/webroot/modules/node/node.module).

 

Jim

Certainly. Our goal is for users of the site to never to see those, and hopefully soon, for those errors never to occur in the first place.  If you hit the little X on the top right, you shoudn't see it again.

Please keep in mind, this is a brand new platform for all of us, and since it's a lot of custom code, built on an open-source framework, we will get those from time to time. Hopefully though, regular users will stop seeing them soon.

In the meantime, feel free to take a screenshot or copy and paste the error text into an email to help@nodepression.com and I will report it to the Dev team.  Thanks!

I want to write a little note of appreciation to the people that were passed the wand from Kyla.  You're not some faceless company that's mining our big data, aggregating it, collalating it, targeting us with ads from Depends or cosmetics.  It's seems you're committed to make this as best as you can.  It's pretty obvious to see that. 

So Thanks.....it means a lot to me.  

Paul

Thanks Paul. Its been an amazing 6 months. And we are just at the beginning. I'm really looking forward to this next phase and we truly appreciate the support. Best, Chris
 

I miss being able to message friends.  That was a nice community building feature.

Me, too. Is this being considered for reinstatement down the road?

 

 

Couple of things.

can the list of active discussions just list the discussions and not every post as it's restricted to a top 10 .

can we have a see more facility in latest posts as it fills up with one person posting a load of photos or Craig posting videos. The old site used to show this as xxx posted 5 videos. The new one seems to list them all.

Comments should follow/show immediately after the article/review (as it does in discussions)  There is another (unrelated as far as I can tell) article and another post by the author. Then you see a blank space to comment and only once you scroll past that  do you see the previous comment!

I find it odd when one  member posts a bunch of photos they are listed individually. It looks like that is the only activity going on at NoDepression.

  Is there anything you can do to speed up site? I have a hi speed hookup and this site is a lot slower than the old one.

I posted up a link to a video on ND to Facebook. Friends said they couldn't access to ND via link. Any idea why this might be?

I'd really have to know which link you are talking about. We share lots of links every day to Facebook and they work just fine. Definitely check to see if there was a typo in the link (which you probably did already). 

If however, it's a link to an older post that was created on the Ning site, that URL has changed and so it will no longer work.

The post is here on the new site, it's just that now the links are structured differently.

For example your post Joy Kills Sorrow Goes On Indefinite Hiatus now has the URL http://nodepression.net/article/joy-kills-sorrow-goes-indefinite-hiatus

On the old platform it was http://nodepression.ning.com/profiles/blogs/joy-kills-sorrow-goes-on-indefinite-hiatus

Going forward, the new URLS will be shorter and more specific, with "profiles/blogs" in the middle being replaces by what type of content it is.  You can find all the correct links on your "My Page" on the Contributons tab.

I hope this sheds some light on the issue. If not, please feel free to email me or Stacy at help@nodepression.com and we can look into it further.

 

 

Did a copy paste from the site so it was new link. I'll leave it and try again later sometime. Thanks for feedback

I'm finding the forums a little hard to navigate.  For instance, in the What Is Your Favorite Album This Week forum, the first page has posts ending in mid July,and getting older as you scroll down.  The last page starts with posts from May, through April, and THEN starts with posts from this August, culminating in the most recent posts.

Logically, the most recent posts should either be at the end (as they are here and were on the old site), or at the beginning (which has the benefit of always coming up first when you go to the original post, but causes loss of context to some extent).  But they are often all mixed up, undoubtedly a function of the migration.  Don't know if it can be fixed, maybe we just have to wait for things to catch up.

 

I am with you Ron, the chronology (or lack thereof)  is more than a little confusing/frustrating. 

I liked being able to bring up a thread and see the most recent posts at the top and the older  posts lower down the list. As long, as you said, they are at one end or the other, it would be far easier to follow along.

It's kind of like Mich Miller's bouncing ball starting  in the middle of the song, it makes it difficult to sing along. (pardon that dated analogy for those of you that are age challenged lol)

 

WEB

Got to be honest , i'm on here a hell of a lot less than before, the new format for the Forum is garbage , i hate it . Sorry.

 

Saddest comment I've seen yet. This is coming from Steve, someone who has in the past been a regular reader and participant. 

I have taken a five day ND break, partly because it's clear I've overwhelmed the team with emails and comments on what's not working or has changed in functionality and design. But the other reason is that in order for me to get a fairly easy overview of what's new or updated, I've got to work harder to do so. 

Now, that might be a case of getting used to a new format. Hence the break. If I give it some distance it may make more sense. But it is somewhat curious that a thread designed not to be about tech problems is mostly about tech problems. 

Which brings me to this. 

I think the reason some folks are questioning certain changes, is because we lack something y'all have that we don't. The mission statement.

In Peters recent story he spoke at the beginning about a return to paid journalistic content. In addition to Kim, there are now several new paid feature editors. All great moves toward an attention to content. 

The missing piece though is what the long game is. Is this site still a community, or an online magazine?  Or do they each coexist, side by side? Also, with the recently enhanced design changes with mobile, and with more people coming here that way, how does that affect reading behavior? And participation? 

So I guess after some of the programming changes are finished, after we've gotten used to the new design, and when someone analyzes the data...it might be nice to know what the blueprint is leading up to.  

Have to agree on the  "discussions" (formerly "forum) section being less interactive/friendly, in both overall organization and especially minus the date/time of the last reply.  I found seeing the last reply date/time helpful in quickly deciding whether to check in on the discussion or not, those dates/times told me if it was, well, time to give another look.  The only date provided per discussion is the date it was started.  The organization of the old forum section was very good and is diluted in the new version.

Still hoping email notifications of updates to articles and discussions I've participated in are close to reality.  That's a HUGE missing piece regardless of how user friendly the actual screens are.  What's the rough estimate of when that feature will be installed?

I'm in agreement with the previous posts. I'll stick around out of loyalty with my fingers crossed.  The old ND was a vibrant community. The new ND just feels kind of flat. 

Minor clarification: We are not avoiding tech discussions here, we are simply trying to direct anyone with specific tech support issues to the right place so we can assist them directly. 

We do have a mission. However, we don't have a clear statement that will somehow set everyone's mind at ease. We actually manage the business pretty much the way we curate and feature things on the site. We listen to a lot of people's opinions, we make educated guesses based on our own experience and the insights gained from listening then we keep working at it until we get it right.

It's both a community and an online magazine. The content is sourced from the community, the section editors are longtime members, and the cover stories represent a small (hopefully growing) number of commissioned pieces that reflect the tastes of the community with a high degree of quality that motivates all contributors to raise their game. The community is held together by both the content they discuss and the camaraderie those discussions foster.

The challenge is to strike the right balance between these two states which is why we pose this as a question - how can we make this site better?  

"I hate this" is an understandable emotional response and I'm truly sorry if what we are doing is causing anger in anyone - that is the opposite of what we are attempting.  However, we can't fix emotions with software, so I need better information.

"I would like to get notifications when someone comments on my post" is clear and informative and we can work on it (which we are).

We've gotten great feedback on this thread and we have addressed issues and enhancements that have been identified here.  We're just gonna keep doing that.  We will keep you posted about things as they come about.  We're aiming to address another big chunk of bugs and enhancements by September 15 so we can  go enjoy AMA and the FreshGrass Festival.  The programming changes will never be complete.  The thing about writing code (or music) is that you just keep doing it even when it seems like you've done it all...

How's that for a blueprint? 

Feeling a bit feisty, eh, Dave? Well, why the hell not....

I don't  have the expertise to get under the hood with the various widgets.  But, to your previous questions, I think the new comments should still be first come, first served. And it seems like the comments on previous posts should be listed (as they were before), as they come in, so people  can check it out, and remember what they were arguing about - Dave Van Ronk, Bob's Superbowl commercial, Donovan's inherent dippiness, etc. - without scrolling back back back. 

 I think that's what helped keep the site vibrant, in Hal's term.  I do think the site looks better - more handsome, better designed and probably more marketable, at least potentially. If there's a way to combine the best of both worlds - and I don't see why there shouldn't - folks would probably feel a lot better, even if it takes awhile for some to get their arms around the new format, and see how it evolves. 

I realize that you guys are working very hard  just to get the new site up and running, while simultaneously tweaking things and dealing with kibitzing and opinions expressed on various fronts. 

But hey, that's show business. 

 

Since it seems as if you are replying to my earlier comment, let's be clear about a couple of things. 

I never said nor suggested you were avoiding tech issues. What I wrote was that for a post that wasn't supposed to be about tech, it seems to be the topic of choice. 

Not once have I ever said " I hate this." In fact, time and time again I've been consistent with my compliments regarding how the site looks and is organized. 

The majority of the feedback you've received on this and other discussions have been pretty consistent. That goes for me, Kyla and about a dozen other community members. They're not gut wrenching complaints but rather people trying to explain in detail about things that will make the site more engaging. I'm sure you're already addressing much of it. 

In an earlier comment you took offense to my tone. And clearly, I can be blunt. But on the flip side, your defensiveness is bordering on  being devisive. In the past when things got heated in the comments or discussions, Kim would usually step in about now and say "Please play nice".  

I do appreciate your stab at a mission statement and what you consider a successful blueprint for the future. It actually seems a bit fuzzy to me, but much of what you wrote also is encouraging. 

 

Other people have said they "hate" it, or that it's a "mistake" without telling us what can be improved. I think Dave was replying to several people in his comment.

Even though it is not my function anymore to tell you to play nice, I will remind you to do so. :)

I think it's pretty clear by now, but rest assured that Dave and his team have been working incredibly hard over the past six months to get us off Ning -- something that absolutely had to happen -- in the most responsible, comprehensive, thoughtful way possible. There are seven of us and tens of thousands of you. We could not have possibly anticipated everyone's favorite features of the old site, much less built them all in a matter of months. Hence, this forum. We are hearing you and discussing things at length and making changes and updating things and will continue to do so. It will not be perfect, ever. Nothing is. But we will make it as good as we can, as humans.

I understand the desire to have a mission statement, but...has there ever been one? Even "alt-country...whatever that is" wasn't much of a mission statement, once Isaac Hayes was on the cover. There was never a mission statement released for the Ning site other than, perhaps, "We want to keep ND alive." But if I were to take a stab at a mission statement here, I'd say perhaps we're taking a both/and approach. There are plenty of websites available for social networking and music streaming and microblogging and so on and so forth. They do it far better than we ever could, so we are focusing on what ND exists to do -- serve a community of music fans who love music that doesn't get talked about in this way anywhere else in the media or on the web. We serve this community by providing a space and a microphone for you to share your hopes, dreams, fears, interests, and concerns as they pertain to this incredible style of music that nobody can really agree on how to define. To step it up a notch, we're bringing highly skilled professional reporters (who are also part of this community, but have been absent in recent years) to do some research and tell you about the historical muscle behind the music, the cultural context of releases, the stories of the people who make it (as opposed to just their opinion of it).

ND remains like a giant houseparty, we just get to have more people in the house now. Wander around, join a discussion, head to the roof where someone's projecting videos on a wall. Wander into the den where some smartypants is giving a long, involved history of some band nobody's ever heard of. Take a seat in the living room where there's an open mic for anyone to get up and talk about the album they love right now. On the lawn, a pool of photographers showing off their shots. It doesn't have to be a "community" party or a "magazine" party. If the whole community is involved, it's a party for everyone who shows up. If, in your wandering through the party, you notice a shingle is flapping off the roof, or a pipe is clogged in the bathroom, tell us about it so we can get a roofer on it or a plumber on the case. But rest assured, as always, there is room for everyone. As long as you care about the music, and as long as we all play nice.

Kim....that was so perfectly written.  The term mission statement was probably incorrect on my part...vision and direction were what I was after. You nailed it. Totally cool. 

Just to set the record straight Isaac Hayes was never on the cover, but I don't recall that we ever had a formal mission statement so you are correct about that!  Looking back, if I had to come up with a mission statement from the print days it likely would have been something related to providing top notch content, and from the point the Ning site was launched the unstated mission in my mind was pretty much to keep the community thriving as everything else (content, revenue, traffic, etc.) stemmed from that at the root.

It's interesting to think back on the morphing mission from our print to online days. While they are probably useful I've never been one for mission statements and instead have always tried to move forward making the best possible decisions with the information and resources available at the time while having a loose idea in my head what the end goal is.  I wonder what the actual mission statements would have been at the time though as it's easy to look back now and come up with them with hindsight being 20/20.

Agree.  Mission statements are for people in suits and start-ups.

I think that should be the mission statement. 

That got a good laugh EE.

I actually tried to delete the comment but couldn't figure out how to do that.

Sorry - Isaac Freeman! I was picturing the cover image and the way Isaac was written. Anyway, it was never just alt-country, was my point.

Hey Ed-

Sorry if it seemed like I was singling you out.  That's not my intent.  It's just that in these 2 cases you have summarized other people's comments and asked fairly pointed questions so it seemed like the right place to interject.  

Don't take it personally.  We're both doing what we believe is the right thing for the community and I really don't think we're that far off in our views.

The ultimate destination is unknown, but the journey is underway.  There is no map to guide us, so we are relying on the advice of the natives and our own best efforts.  If we had a precise plan and specific milestones, I don't think that would serve any of us well.

"You never know what you got tell it's gone..." I loved the old "No Depression" but this "New Depression" I'm finding quite undesirable. I'm with you steviedal. I doubt I'll bother with this site much anymore.

Dennis, let's give it more time, things will get much better. Somewhere in this string is a note from the programming team listing enhancements they hope to install by Sept. 15. Some of those seem like they'd help address some basic missing pieces. 

Thank you Jack. Yes, Dennis we are working very hard to make things more user-friendly.

I'm with you, Jack

 Honestly, a lot of it seems similar to the old site - with the exception of the comments issue - but better looking, at least in my opinion. 

 They say they're working on it, and there's no earthly (or unearthly) reason not to believe them. Some stuff is initially harder to find, but in some cases this is just because we're not used to it. If it gets changed again, we might find ourselves asking for the version that was just unveiled. 

I'm seeing good pieces by Gillian, Kim, Kelly McCartney, Ted, et al, curated videos by Craig, who certainly has an expertise and a track record on this, and other new features, mostly for the good and some whose kinks are in the process of being worked out.  I haven't looked closely at Bill's New Releases section yet, but it seems solid, a good addition, too.

So yeah, I agree. Give it more time and maybe lighten up, people. It's true: you don't know what you've got till it's gone. But who knows, you might find yourself discovering something that's even better.  

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Alan, ND has given you a free platform these past 5 or so years to broadcast your work worldwide to your target audience.  That alone strikes me like justification for having patience.  I've enjoyed your work and look forward to more of it, but let's give the new folks the benefit of a doubt, clearly their intentions are good and enhancements will be made. Clearly they are listening. Rome wasn't built in a day and all that. 

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Lighten up, Francis, it ain't all about you. As for you being the only one not making money, that may come as some news to Kyla and the many contributors over the years.  It's been a labor of love. Post some ads on your own website. C'mon Alan, it's been a few weeks, skip the attitude and chime in constructively.

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Talk to me about the forums (actually, commenting in general). There are 2 different elements at play here:

  1. The order in which comments appear (oldest to newest or vice versa).  There are reasonable arguments to be made for oldest first or newest first.  What is the consensus?  We can sort it either way depending on how people generally expect it to be.
  2. The ability to reply directly to comments. We heard prior to the migration that the ability to reply directly to comments was desirable and so we implemented that across the board for any type (forums or posts). I don't think people are opposed to having direct replies, but it might be adding some confusion since the replies are connected to the original comment (indented below) and are therefor "out of chronological order".

I personally prefer to have my lists go from oldest (at the top) to newest (at the bottom).  It's the way I organize my e-mail in-basket, but I'm aware that this is NOT usually the default -- I have to make it so.  I'd prefer the forums were organized that way, but recognize the consensus may be different, with newest at the top being preferred, and I could live with that.

It would be nice, though, if upon entering a forums/discussions page they were structured so that when you entered you went to the "most recent" post, since most often I (and I suspect many) get there by clicking a link for a recent post.  As it stands, it seems you just get taken to the top.

With respect to comments being listed with the original post, but indented, I'm of mixed mind.  I do find it annoying to not be able to find the most recent comments when they are in response to another post.  This is the "threaded" model, and I hate using it in my e-mail -- preferring to sort strictly by date.  In e-mail apps, one normally has a choice -- you can set it up as threaded, or go to straight chronology.  Would be great if that were a user-driven choice -- not sure that is even possible, though.

I think it would be best to have the posts done as strictly chronologically, but to allow for a quote function -- e.g. a standard discussion board app used in many contexts has a "reply with quote" function -- the reply goes to the end (strictly chronological) but all or a fragment of the post being responded to is included as a quote at the top.  I like that.

It would also be great to have a preview function, so you could see how your post is going to look before actually posting.

Just a note, though -- the issue I raised above was NOT a function of replies, but was a fundamental problem with the ordering of old posts on the new site.  Perhaps not fixable and will resolve over time.

 

 

Before, when you just added a new comment to the original post it came at the end but if you replied to someone's comment it came after that comment so one knew what the connection was. Now one never knows what comment relates to another so you almost have to address the person by name and the date they commented to connect them.  I'm not complaining but explaining. I can't even imagine what you guys are trying to do but I've seem much improvement as the days go by so keep up the good work and thanks for your effort.

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Alan - we are commissioning two long-form features per month (5,000-7,000 words). If you have any ideas that would run in that length, definitely send them to me: kim at nodepression dot com. I'm accepting pitches for November and beyond (we're all booked til then). Currently, these are the only writing pieces we're paying for.

Kim...Alan and I  raised some issues with the new way which we'd write, insert, edit and spellcheck our pieces. I mentioned that it seemed that using a  Word-like program is the workaround, which Shelley concurred. I don't see any changes in this area listed on Daves current work list, so I'm wondering your thoughts. 

What directions can you offer as the best way to write and post, giving thought to formatting, adding media and editing (after posting)? I imagine I can spend time experimenting, but you've likely already developed a better method. 

Also, this mobile versus desktop view comment keeps popping up. Can you offer some feedback on what percentage of readers are reaching us? It really will make me adjust my style knowing how a post is looked at. 

Thanks. 

Honestly, I've been writing directly onto the site, as I always have. When I think I'm done, I hit preview then go through and make spelling and grammar fixes (the preview appears on the same page as the editing field, so it's quicker to jump from one to the other, compared to the old site, where it opened in a new tab for me). I think writing in Word and pasting it in is a fine fix if it works for you, which it doesn't for everyone (including me). I generally rely on my eye or Google for spelling, so the absence of spellcheck honestly didn't even register for me. Although now I'm realizing that Chrome marks misspellings for me (eg. "spellcheck," it tells me, isn't a real word).

I was used to checking formatting with photo alignment, etc., on the old site by using the preview button as well, so I do the same here. If I want to edit after posting, I click the "edit" button by the title and go to town. Are you not seeing the "edit" button?

Will give it a whirl again. And I'll look closely for the Easy Ed-it button. Thanks. (And I live in Safari land. Will see if I'm missing out on a spellcheck feature I need to turn on.)

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c)    The New Releases clog the recent posts with press releases from the label. A simple list of releases by date/artist would be more useful.

d)   Yep. I've commented on the random link.  What's the point?

e) Content gets buried quickly with the new site.

I'm not sure others agree but I find the uber organization too much. I'm sitting here at work wolfing down some quick lunch and in the past I'd log in and see what Easy Ed had posted, follow a few discussion threads and get back to work.  I don't have time to click on every drop down menu for featured, recent or popular (album review, live review, interviews, new releases, articles, etc... )and that has cut down my activity/involvement/interest on/in the site.

 

 

Have to agree with Hal, there's a lot of compartmentalization that I'm not sure adds to ease of use, by which I mean the ability to follow the flow of what is being added to the site.  This was an perception I raised during the test period the month before the new site went live.  That I raised it doesn't mean I was right then or now, for all I know most like the new section divides better. There are now 8 header buttons (album reviews, live reviews, etc.) not counting the "community" section and within each compartment are three sections; "more", "most recent", "most popular". So right there are 8 major sections to check individually seeking something of new interest, and counting "more", "most recent", most popular" there are 24 places to look for new contributions when formerly we basically had "blogs" or "forum".  Let's use the "articles" button as an example.  First I click that, which brings up what I am assuming are "featured" articles at the top of the page and there's a button for "more".  Below the featured section are "most recent" and "most popular", and duplication between those two.  Best I can tell, using the "more" button most closely approximates the old site ability to look through new and past blogs/articles?  Maybe that's all I need?  Or, if folks want the ability to look at most recent or most popular, the old drop down sort by feature in the old forum section might centralize the section more neatly?

Have to agree with Jack's lucid detailed description of what I was trying to say. Thanks.

Have to agree with Kyla too (and if you're gonna listen to anyone it isn't me it is Kyla).

I'm repeating myself so I think I'll shut up now.

If you just want to check in to see the most recent stuff posted, regardless of category of content -- a place where album reviews, interviews, photos, videos, articles, etc., are all listed chronologically, you can either click on community > all posts in the top nav, or bookmark this URL: http://www.nodepression.com/posts/all

Also, are you saying it would be interesting to you to be able to follow a specific content type? Not saying that's possible (I don't honestly know), but we are working on the ability to follow specific posts.

Thanks Kim. That helps but it still scrolls through everything!   

So yes, I'm usually looking for written content-articles, reviews, etc.

I'd divide the recent posts into 2 categories: recent photos/videos and recent everything else.

 

Kim, the URL you gave is very helpful and much easier to read than the "recent posts" listing on the right side of the page.  For some reason the typeface on "recent posts" and "active discussions" is annoying, at least to me (too much italics maybe).  "Music Festival Collection" style is fine.  Maybe I missed it but is there also a separate URL for "active discussions".  The bookmarked URL option helps me get back to the easy to follow format of the prior site when I want to look at recent postings for either the old "blog" or the prior "forum". 

Thanks for your hard work on the conversion.

@Dave Crotts - Check out those boxes this morning. Dave and the crew rolled out some changes to them overnight -- fewer italics, more readability, and a handy dandy "More" button at the top of both "Recent Posts" and "Active Discussions" so you can more easily and more intuitively get to those respective, comprehensive listings. Hopefully this'll satisfy some of the requests that we've heard regarding those things. They also made some updates to the New Releases section to make that a little more understandable.

I've said this before but just want to say it again publicly that we never in a million years would have gotten any changes or fixes through Ning in the amount of time that some of these things have been changed and fixed and updated. So, big ups to our dev team for their incredible listening ears and fast updating skillz.

re: e)  I do wish that comments on all portions of the site would be noted as recent comments rather than just in the active discussions.  I think that creates more attention to an article/review.

And dude, love your stuff....not rubbish at all.

 

Mr. Harrison. I know I and 3 others commented on your Chuck Prophet concert review and they show up when I go to that review. Are you saying you're not seeing the comments?

After posting the above comment as a reply to Mr. Harrison's 8/20 post it doesn't follow his comment but shows up much later and would make no sense at all if I hadn't added his name to the beginning. So I'm editing my comment to add this note about something I'm finding very frustrating.

Deleted

Deleted

Dave,  may I suggest summarizing the enhancements you're trying to implement by Sept. 15 as a way of reassurring folks of progress?  And periodic summaries thereafter?  Managing the communication of how things are evolving may be almost as important as making things evolve. Personally, I don't doubt where your collective heads and hearts are, but the more I use the new site it does feel like the furniture was rearranged to make the room work better,  but it also feels like some significant pieces are missing that detract from the new layout.  So I'm curious as to whether they are going to be put back in, and curious as to roughly when.

As I've mentioned before, if I had to pick the biggest missing piece thus far it'd be email notifications of new replies/comments to articles and discussions I've particpated in, which is what keeps conversations flowing.  As that feature is missing, conversation comes to a dead stop or nearly so, and that removes a huge fun factor from the site. Take this discussion for intsance, the only way to know if new comments have been added is to check back in and read through each page.  The active discussions summary at the right margin is only current at the time you look there, and there's no way to know what you missed. Email notifications handled that nicely.

 

Things we are working on for Sept 15:

  • Notifications (lots of different permutations to be sorted out so it could take a few tries to get it just right)
  • Enhanced search
  • Enhanced media embedding
  • Redirecting old Ning URLs to the new site (this one is quite challenging)
  • Updated newsletter
  • Pageview counters (in place now)
  • Personalized profile page (in place now)
  • A bunch of stuff behind the scenes so that Kim, Shelley and Stacy don't have to work so hard

 

Thanks Dave.

I know that this website stuff can be very complex, and require a great deal of creative focus along with attention to detail, and that smoothing the edges will take a while.  I know from personal experience -- my own large non-commercial website, which I've maintained as a solo act for many years, is being transferred to a related organization, and the responsibility-structure changing substantially.  I'll still be uber-editor, but will have minions to do much of the creative and detail work.  But it's going to be a big task requiring a great deal of work and will undoubtedly feature major screw-ups from time to time.

You seem to have avoided most of those, my congratulations!

I don't usually much care about vision/mission statements, believing that they often tend not to be very useful, but I can appreciate the impulse to set some of this down.  It might help to clarify things for people accustomed to the old site and way of doing things.  Something like the following might be useful as a vision/mission:

Vision

To create and maintain a financially viable forum for the appreciation, dissemination and promotion of roots/folk/Americana music, by

  • providing information about artists, performances and recordings
  • reporting on trends and developments in the industry
  • enabling fans, artists and hangers-on to discuss the music and the business, and to exchange opinions and perspectives

 

This is pretty rudimentary and undoubtedly different than what you folks would do, but something similar does provide a structure to hang a raft of other things on.  A good vision/mission statement raises many more questions than it answers.  For interest, what about "providing information"?  In what form? By whom?  Paid for or volunteer?  The Vision doesn't have to answer these questions, but it does help to structure them.

Anyway, I'm sure I'm way beyond what this particular discussion is for, but thought I'd throw this in.

 

Ron...that was what I was getting at. If you have a vision or destination, it's easier to figure out how to get there and what mode you'll need. Dealing with problems or complaints as they come up makes for a patchwork of never ending band aids. 

My presumption is that must have been discussed prior to making the changes, and I was simply asking for some of that thought process.  I think Dave took it to be a challenge, while Kim answered closer to what I was asking about. 

No harm...I think we're closer to being on the same page. 

While I was also enlisted to cruise the new site a month prior to launch, much of the issues that have been brought up escaped me. We didn't experiment with discussions and comments and email notifications. My assumption was it wouldn't  change. Would wish I spent more time digging around, but like most this is a labor of love, not money. I have other responsibilities; this isn't my job. 

Anyway, I'm running out of steam on this thread. Think it's time to leave it to others to figure out. Once I figure out how to post an article with italics, bold text, editing functionality, media inclusion and all that jazz  I'll get back to why I started hanging out here in the first place. 

 

italics and bold text are listed under the "paragraph" drop-down menu at the top of the blogging field (along with subheads and headers). click on the "add media" button (looks like a filmstrip) and paste in a URL to embed photos, videos, or soundcloud streams. for jazz, go to preservation hall.

Interesting. I see the options now for italics and bold, but at least on my iPhone the only way I get it is to select the text and pick the font style. But then, it won't allow me to go back to regular font. I'll try on a desktop later. 

Confused about adding or uploading a jpg file from my computer using the filmstrip. Where exactly do I find the URL for that? 

By the way, I went to Lincoln Center. They have jazz too. 

So to be clear, the filmstrip icon (just like the one that appears in these comments when you are creating or editing a comment) can embed a photo that is hosted somewhere on the web, but can't upload one from a file saved on your computer.  So for instance, to get this image below, I opened up another tab and Control + Clicked on that image from the front page of ND and copied the image URL. Then I came back to this comment I was working on and hit the little filmstrip icon and pasted the URL in, telling it I wanted it to right align.  

That's how the the body field works in the other types of posts too. 

One tip:  You can upload a photo to the photos section here on ND and then once it's saved, use the embed code under the photo to embed it into the body of a post.  

 

 

In my opinion, that image management arrangement is kind of limited funcitonality.  Posting an image of an album cover, for instance, isn't easily managed with a link to an image somewhere in internet-land.  You don't have control over them, and they could easily disappear.  And it's silly to post an album cover image to the photos section.  There are other instances.

Not sure why it's a problem to allow an upload, unless the platform doesn't support that.

There is an image upload option at the very top of most post types. What I'm talking about in my last commnet is about adding images to the body field where all the text goes. The Main Image upload works perfectly for album art that is at least 300pixels wide.

Thanks Shelley. I see that. What about uploading an image within the body of a post? 

At the current time, you can't upload a file (saved onto your computer) in the body but you can embed a hosted image.

This narrowing comment on comment thing is making it pretty hard to follow a discussion on a phone screen.

The last comment which I'm replying to was such a narrow text box on my iPhone screen, that I'm afraid this might be just one letter wide. 

Regarding the inability to upload files from your hard drive, I'd request that this goes on a to-do list for the future. I've done quite a few photo essays, and for reasons stated above, URLS are not a great option. Additionally, in my posts I try and break it up with graphics and photos. Sometimes they come from my own camera. 

Not an end of the world issue...but losing this function is a step back IMHO.  Thanks. 

Look at you with those italics. See? It's easy ;)

Easiest way to get italics or bold or bold italics is to use the keyboard shortcuts, just like in word.  Ctrl-i for italics, Ctrol-b for bold, and both to get both. Repeat at the end of what you want to format to turn it off.  Going to a menu is too much work.  Not sure how this works on an Apple product, which I don't think have Ctrl.

Dave, thanks.  Glad to see notifications on there, I suspect that alone will go a long way toward reducing some of the disorientation we're feeling/your hearing about, and will draw us into the flow of things more readily.

Thanks for this list Dave.  Nice to know how things are being prioritized.

I would implore you to do these two things asap as they are both key to keeping the community active: 

#1- Adding a link to "All Posts" in the "recent posts" section in the right side bar.  I wouldn't think this should be difficult or time consuming since it would only be adding a link in that box to a page that already exists? This way people would have an easy way to see all the new content that has been added rather than just the ten items that show up on the home page and can quickly scroll away.

#2- Creating a page with a complete listing of "active discussions" (similar to the "all posts" page, but listing only comments) and linking to that from the active discussion box in the right side bar.  This would enable readers to stay engaged and have an easy way to see what people are commenting on and where the activity and community is happening.  Currently if you don't check in every few hours you miss lots of recent activity since only the ten most recent comments can be seen.

Glad to see that "notifications" is at the top of the list on the roadmap.  As a part of this I would add that it would be ideal to include a way for people to follow a discussion as there are people who don't or won't comment on a discussion or article but would still like to follow it and receive an email notification when people comment.  It will also be important to have a way to also "unfollow" a discussion as people who comment, or choose to follow a discussion, don't always want to continue receiving emails about a thread indefinitely and this is especially important in the case of contests where the number of comments can be overwhelming.

I know your plate must be very full and your efforts are much appreciated. Keep up the great work!

I see that at the moment the only listings in "active discussions" are in this thread.  Does imply some lack of engagement with music-related topics, which may not be unrelated to perceived unfriendliness of the new format.

I've too many posts in a row here, illustrating my scattered morning mind, but one more thing.

I'd like for there to be a way of seeing what the most recent posts are in general, including comments on articles or interviews.  Some of these are of interest to me, and going back to check without some sort of prompt is not going to happen.  I quite liked the running list of all activity on the old site, which was an unusual and engaging feature.  

The objective for a site that is largely dependent on user-created content should be accessibility, be nice to see more of that.

Okay, I lied, here's another issue, my last for the day, or at least until tonight.

I can't see any way way to see a list of Discussion topics.  They are labelled as Forums up at the top of each topic, but the way you start one is from the "Post to ND" list at the top right, where there is a Discussion option.  "Active Discussions" at the lower right only contains a limited number of recent posts, which can be overwhelemed by a series of posts on a single topic (e.g. this one). 

Unlike for Reviews, Interviews, Articles, etc, there is no option in the bar at the top for Discussions/Forums, so no way of finding ones that you might find interesting and want to contribute to.  This is a sure way of ensuring that posts to forums taper off very radically, quite possibly having a detrimental impact on reader engagement.

Maybe I'm missing something, hope so.

 

Let me answer this one Ron:

"Unlike for Reviews, Interviews, Articles, etc, there is no option in the bar at the top for Discussions/Forums, so no way of finding ones that you might find interesting and want to contribute to."

The path to All Discussions is Community> Discussions > Recent/More

So in other words, from the front page, use the link for Community, opening up Discussions, looking at the Recent section and clicking More. Even though it says Recent, it is actually a chronological list containing 110 pages (if you click on Last) to see discussions from 2009.

The direct link to what I mention above is: nodepression.com/discussions/all and you can always bookmark that to get back there a little faster.

If you don't click on More you see the 10 most recent. To the right of that is Popular which contains the 10 topics that are being actively discussed now.

The answer to

"Unlike for Reviews, Interviews, Articles, etc, there is no option in the bar at the top for Discussions/Forums, so no way of finding ones that you might find interesting and want to contribute to. "

is that while Discussions isn't a top menu item on its own, it is under the Community tab which is a top menu item.

Okay, got it.  Should have checked there.  Thanks.

I clicked on that link (. . . discussions/all) and got the following:  "This area should never be empty."  Yet it is.

Yes, that was strange. I re-added the link above and it does work now. Sorry about that!

 

When I go to My Page and click the "activity" button, it brings up only comments I've made to the How Can We Make This Site Better discussion, and omits comments I made to a review of John Hiatt's latest record and to Kim's current interview with John Fullbright.  Is that limitation on activity intentional or an oversight that can be corrected?  The old site captured all comments/replies to blogs and forum discussions, comments on videos and photos, etc.
 

I'll mention this to the Dev team and see if it's something that we're planning to add.

We are adding more activity types along with notifications about them.  We have been slowly opening the firehose on activity since it puts a tremendous load on the server.  We don't have the luxury of spreading the load across a huge server farm like Ning did, so this is me being conservative.  In this case, we did focus on content first and community activity second.

I just logged on and the recent posts are all videos except for one podcast. What about breaking recent posts into two categories:  articles/interviews/etc.   and  video, photos, podcasts?

i guess there are still some issues to deal with. here is a good one. every time i try to log in my password gets rejected and i have to get a new one. not once have i been able to log in without changing my password again  and yes i hit the save button and it still doesn't work. still no newsletter. i have done the process for the newsletter three times now and nothing has ever come. i guess i'll give up on that one. however i would like to be able to log in and not have to change my password every time.

Hi Norm - Can you send an email to me at help@nodepression.com and also tell me what browser and version you are using? This does seem like an odd and annoying problem but it's probably best if we deal with it one on one via email. Thanks, Shelley

I'm still learning to navigate the new site, concentrating on the "Community" tab and "Discussions" under that tab.  I assume this replaces the forum or chat room type of discussion area on the old site (versus the blog portion of the prior layout).  I do not see a whole lot of new entries so maybe other folks are getting used to the new format also.  I do notice that when I am on any page of Discussions other than the first page (say page 3) and I click on the back key on my computer after finishing an entry, I am thrown back to the first page instead of to page 3 where I would like to continue searching the older discussions.  Thus, I have to take the additional step to go back to page 3, which requires remembering which page I was on.  I have this frustration with another popular public website, Accuweather.  Whenever I read an individual entry under the "blog" tab on the front page of that site and then press the back key, it takes me back to the front page instead of the blog menu so I then have to hit "blog" again in order to see the blog menu.  Minor irritant. 

Hello again. Thought I go back to an older topic previously discussed, as now it is causing some problems.

I really want to hear from people who may choose to correspond with me, and the old closed message system worked great for that. But while I opted in to get messages sent to my regualr email on the new site, its causing quite a bit more traffic from bands, marketing and publicity people and of course all those lonely hearts looking to hook up. And the other concern is if I choose to respond, I've handed out my email to people I may not want to have it. 

Yes...a workaround is to create a new No Dep-only email address. If I have to, I will. But I thought I'd throw it out again to see if there's been any new developments on this front, or if it's not really an option. 

One more question regarding all those deleted posts/replies from Alan....did he delete them or has whatever he wrote been taken down by site management? It used to be if I chose to delete a comment, it would take it off and not leave any trace. A box with the word "deleted" in it is not preferable I would think.

This thread shows three pages of comments on the iPhone, and six on my desktop. Why?

BTW.....I've tried several times to add to this comment through Edit. Won't work. And if it doesn't work this time, you won't see it. So nevermind.

 

I deleted everything after getting into a spat. but I had to write something  in the box so thought 'Deleted' a suitable missive. Sorry for the confusion

well, that's it for me. i still can't log into the new site without needing a new password every time. thanks everyone, i really enjoyed my time here. all the best in the future.cheers

Friends, posting photos within the body of a blog/article/interview is now very difficult. I'm having a hard time posting photos to the nd library, then finding them. I'm having a hard time creating my own file. I'm currently looking on line for a pic sharing site that will let me export a photo with that jpg attached at the end.

How hard would it be to  add a feature to allow photos to be uploaded and applied like the old format?

I am currently editing the website for the John Hartford Memorial Festival, which is hosted through Bandzoogle and is very user friendly. Please keep me updated, I am not giving up, I'm just slow and old, and way behind...Peace, Ernie

Ernie (and anyone trying to contribute something and experiencing some confusion about embedding photos and other media) please email me -- kim at no depression dot com. I'm happy to walk you through it and make your contributing experience more painless. It's really not that complicated, but it is different from the old site, and I reckon once you do it once, it'll make better sense.

Almost or just over a month in and time to reflect.

The mobile version - I have given up on this.  I used to run it off the activity feed and flip down to the earliest of something interesting or a point where I knew I'd been there before.  Apart from when ND ran competitions the traffic was easily manageble and this was perfect for a 10 minute bus journey.  The whole drop down and lists all over the place is to just way too messy for me to cope with on a small screen.

The Desk Top/ Lap Top Version - the old everything in one place worked for me because I block read and select.  Multiple menus and clicking and drop downs are a pain in the arse. 

The level of engagement seems to have dropped like a stone.  I suspect a lot of people, especially those who signed up on the back of the competitions only, never rejoined but there are a number of people - see Norm, steviedal - who've packed up and moved on.  Now to a certain extent this is a bit self-selecting as people  who liked the old site would have been more likely to engage and for the same reason more likely to disengage following the change in format.  Maybe there has been a switch from an active to a passive comunity with the introduction of paid for content.  If that's the desired transformation so be it.  

It's also the holiday period so perhaps things will pick up in the Autumn.  IIRC EasyEd asked what the statistics were in terms of sign ups (renewals), traffic, posts etc.  It would be ineteresting to know how that's going.

Personal view only. 

Outside of a comment I posted here the other day, I've been doing my best in trying to stand back to allow the developers time to process the feedback everyone has contributed and to make adjustments. I believe there is an update coming in two weeks. Until I see the modifications, I'm not quite ready to say adios. 

While I think that the tools to encourage engagement can be put back into place, and navigational problems can be addressed, my greatest disappointment is that instead of  an urban renewal project to make things better for an existing community of 37,000  people, it seems that the approach has been to build a new city fifty miles down the road with the expectation people will follow.

While there may be some merit in the 'if we build it they will come' philosophy, the repopulation is likely to take years. And we will lose people along the way, just like when the magazine ceased publication. In any event, it's like that old saying about it's too late to put the wine back in the bottle...or however it goes. 

Kim wrote something not too long ago about a song being incomplete until it's heard.  As someone who enjoys putting my thoughts down and sharing them with others, if there's nobody left to read it, then why bother? 

It seems that this discussion group is the only place on the site I can count on people actually seeing what I write. And commenting. Maybe the best solution to all the challenges here is that we should just keep this going, and eliminate the rest of the site. Just a thought. 

 

 

Replying here in response to the request for statistics (accompanied by my own commentary)

The observation that people are more vocal about changes they don't approve of is spot on.  We have had lots of positive feedback on the new design and organization, but not from folks who were really set on the way things were in Ning.  The reality is that content, not comments, are what people read most.  We focused our efforts on maintaining and highlighting the content that has been built up by this community and presenting it in the best possible light.  Based on the numbers, those efforts have been successful.  We are also listening to the feedback and have already implemented several of the items promised by 9/15 - a new search went live based on your suggestions and it's pretty powerful (notifications on comments are being tested as we speak).  

The level of engagement in discussions has dropped noticeably, but the level of engagement in contributed content is up significantly more, which means that overall traffic is up.  We've had more than 200K pageviews since the 8th which beats the old monthly average by about 20K (with a week remaining).  About 250 legitimate new users have signed up in the 3 weeks since the new site launched and mobile traffic is up from an average of 10-15% to an average of 25-30%.  The number of pages per visit and time on the site has nearly doubled.

This is not just about numbers, but it is important for us to balance the needs of the many against the needs of the few (to paraphrase a popular Vulcan).  It truly makes me sad to hear about a few people who are so fed up that they are willing to walk away, but with so many new people joining and so much more content being enjoyed, I feel like we are moving things in the right direction - on the content side.

However, we have not done everything we can on the community side and that's where most of the folks in this discussion seem to be focused.  We are a very small team and so we had to make difficult choices on how to start off this next verse (to borrow Kim's song analogy).  We chose to focus first on content and now that we have that well in hand, we turn our attention to community.  From now through the end of the year, we will be introducing major enhancements and altogether new features to encourage more discussions like this, curate more useful groups and event listings, and create opportunities for emerging artists and industry folks to add their voices to the mix.

We will be finalizing plans next week in a "Community Day" session similar to the "Content Day" session we had prior to launch.  All feedback is reviewed, all perspectives are considered, and ultimately we make the best decisions we can.  There will still be some things that we won't be doing (a proprietary messaging system for instance), but we will be organizing and presenting the community elements (discussions, groups, member profiles, etc.) with as much focus and real estate as we do now with content.  There will be as much space and attention for community stuff as there is currently for content stuff, but it won't be all jammed together in one firehose approach like Ning had.  It will be easy to find and share and engage with, but it won't be Ning.  

We're not going back, we're going forward.  I realize this is not appreciated by some, but it is necessary for the survival of this online community AND magazine.  As an aside to no one in particular:  If you must feed your anger or place blame, then feel free to make me the target, but please remember that I have no hidden agenda and I present myself to you openly, knowing that I am doing everything possible to achieve our common goal - to create a space where people can share stories and conversations about the music we love.  I am here for the long-haul and I hope that you will all stick around as well.

Dave,  you wrote "The reality is that content, not comments, are what people read most.......we have not done everything we can on the community side", which I was happy to see acknowledged.  I agree that content is what pulls people in initially, but it is only part of what keeps us coming back.  The real magic was always the interactive nature of the site, the ability to jump in and out of the conversation with the contributor and other respondents, to develop a rapport with other regulars, to feel as though you have a handle on the ebb and flow of the site.  You said that email notifications are a high priority for implementation around Sept. 15, and I hope/believe that enhancement alone would put a fair chunk of the missing pop back into the site.  Part of me wonders if the increased page views/time spent stats you cite are mostly a function of the novelty of something new having not yet worn off, and partly due to the increased compartmentalization of the site forcing folks to hunt around less efficiently than they are accustomed to, going menu to menu and sub section to sub section. I know I have had to.  I'm looking forward to the enhancements coming out in a few weeks and really am hoping to feel a closer connection to what's up around here.

 

 

 

 

Yes, honestly, that comment stopped me, too. 

I was going to respond at the time, but didn't, out of concern that I'd be perpetuating an argument that has already been quite circular.

But, for what it's worth, this is what I originally wrote:

"The reality is that content, not comments, are what people read most." 

Maybe. I'm sure there's lots of data to support this conclusion, as the mystics and statistics say it will, to paraphrase Mr. Zevon. 

As someone who's been through a number of redesigns and relaunches, one thing I've noticed, though,  is that people tend to draw  conclusions from data based on their preconceptions and thoughts about the best ways to proceed. Nothing wrong with it, necessarily, it's just human nature. 

But, speaking as someone who's been publicly supportive of most, if not all, of the changes, I'd be wary of stating these conclusions as facts. The numbers may say one thing, but the sense of community that comes with the site has been in large part due to the interchange of opinions. Somehow I don't think that's a function of Ning vs. the new site, as of choices that are being made along the road, as you are candid enough to acknowledge. There's an intuitive and emotional connection that goes with any successful publication, and that's what some fear is in danger of being lost. 

Like many others, I am waiting to see how the new community content is packaged and hoping for the best. It's a good site, regardless, and I have no plans to go anywhere. But posing it as a debate between the (selfish?) desires of the few as opposed to the larger vision of the many is a bit of a turn-off.

All this is said respectfully, but since you previously mentioned the importance of tone, it's something you might want to think about. We all want you to succeed and can no doubt make the neessary adjustments to most of the changes. But there's a difference between doing what's necessary for survival and winning an argument. 

 

 

 

 

Jack:

Well said man! 

I couldn't put my finger on it, nor could I phrase it as eloquenetly as you did even if I WERE able to pinpoint what's missing/diff from the old format. 

There was a closeness and intamacy when a discussion was carried on and even (or maybe BECAUSE) if it sometimes wandered off on to other topics, it was like a "real" conversation.... I think it  was Ten Layers that said it some time ago; I paraphrase  here:"its like shooting the breeze at a bar with a like minded patron, you forget the typos and go with the flow"  

With respect to page views, I know for sure that I am helping to increase that page count as I still find myself hunting and pecking for where I want to be and even as I post this message I am contributing to putting " How can we make the site better" thread back on top of the list of most recent posts, sorry to all that know what I mean by that.

WEB 

Howdy. I'm a designer/developer for ND. One of the things I'm tasked with is making sure that feedback from the folks who use the site gets put into our internal hopper of "things we could do to make the site better". Not surprisingly, this very thread has been the source of many of them.

I think some others on the ND team have addressed this issue in their own way, but I want to take a shot: we are very much aware that some of the "conversation" aspects of the old site have been lost, and that the sense of community that WEB mentions has been diminished as a result. We get that. We don't like it. We will fix it! (In fact, I think we'll make it better than it was.)

For what it's worth, here's how it happened: we needed to get off Ning in a big fat hurry. And at the same time, we needed to bring new users to the site, or it was going to die a slow painful death. (Not kidding.) Lastly, there were just three of us building this. We had enough time to either a) do the content stuff to the best of our abilities, and come back and improve the community stuff later; or b) vice versa. Of the two, choice A would bring the most new users to the site and avoid a slow, painful death; so that's the choice we made.

We hated to take the hit to the community aspect of No Depression, but we felt we had to, for the sake of survival. As we start to see the numbers that Dave referred to, it seems like we are getting what we hoped for in terms of new users who are looking at a lot more content than they did on the old site.

So now we are turning our attention to getting the barroom conversation going again, and stronger than ever. It's not going to happen overnight, but it will happen!

WEB, Jack, Easy Ed, all y'all: your contributions to this discussion is beyond valuable. Keep 'em comin'.

Thanks Dale. I appreciate the explanation from your perspective, and your attitude and enthusiasm. 

Great news! Thank you.

Great message, Dale!
 

BOOM! 

Thats what I'm talkin' about!  Thanks for that explanation Dale. 

Knowing that we can order a pint and shoot the breeze in the near future is great news. 

Bartender!  a round for the  house on my tab please! 

WEB 

thanks to stacy and the crew the problem has been solved. i guess i'm back on board.

1-It would be an improvement if the "recent comments" include comments on any content (articles, reviews, videos, and discussions).  Currently it's only forum comments and there is interesting activity that happens on the site that goes unseen. 

2-The "more" links (recent discussion) just goes to the page with all the discussions not the actual comments so that is pretty useless. 

3-The activity feed on the old site was the main entry point into the content and/or discussions for myself and many of the NoDepression regulars. A page that lists every single comment that is posted on the site would be an improvement. But that is from the idea of a NoDepression community which seems to be a low priority on the new site.

4-I'm not sure I see an increase in true content. Is every new release blurb and every photo and video counted as content? Pay Easy Ed to write some columns. There may be more content but I don't think I've laughed once reading any of it.  

First to Hal: There's no need to pay me to write something that you might find interesting, informative or humorous. This subject of paid content versus community contributed is not an issue for me. Money is nice; but this is for the moment a hobby and passion, not a job. For folks who sit down and write 5-7000 word features, and whose living depends on being fairly compensated, I applaud Chris and Kim for instituting it. 

The reasons I've not contributed anything since the switch of platforms  other than comments, is because I haven't been really inspired, have been enjoying the summer days, don't particularly like the new interface for media and layout...although that's just a case of me getting comfy with it, not a functionality issue...and I've been waiting for the community to repopulate itself. Dave's numbers aside, I've got a pretty good feel for site traffic and interest level...neither of which are particularly staggering. The season is a big factor, as well as the beaten to death lack of community tools. All of which is why I'm still around. 

To Dave: I do like your writing style, and you have a great knack for expressing yourself. At some point you should consider blogging about non-tech things. However, your frustration and defensiveness...which are pretty basic human feelings we all deal with...is closing the door on discussion and certainly this spirit of community. I contrast your tone with that of Stacy, who has helped me and others with grace and style. 

Either Chris or you once wrote that the past was as important as the future. This discussion thread is full of people who've already been here for the long haul, as you've expressed is your future goal as well. If you don't want feedback, save yourself time and turn off the comments altogether. But if you do want it, then join the community instead of fighting with it. 

Sorry Easy Ed if I put you in an awkward position by tossing your name into the ring.  At the risk of starting an "Easy Ed  Lovefest" I always read your posts (and to be perfectly honest  I'm  pretty certain I don't always read mine).  Hope to read you soon!

 

I second that emotion (both of them). Thanks, Dale, for the courteous and constructive response.  

 

I've had a couple of random thoughts about the site, after having sat out for the long weekend (well, sort of sat out -- I managed to download several new pieces of music from one place or another). 

First is an observation I'd had in the past, while participating in the discussions and forums.  There just weren't very many different people engaged with those discussions.  The same names (with the same valuable insights and observations) were there all the time, but not very many and certainly not very many new ones.  It seems to me that the biggest challenge for the new regime is to get more people, and different people, coming in.  The site needs to be financially viable and that's the only way.

That leads to the second thought, that content needs to be both worthwhile (on-topic, well-done, timely) and accessible.  Since only a minority of the content is going to be paid-for, it's essential that people be induced to contribute, and that means the old crowd and also a new crowd.  Have to keep the oldies happy while bringing in the newbies.  This will be a challenge.

I can see, posted here and between the lines as I peruse the site, the struggle to meet these fundamental needs.  I'm glad to see that there is some progress on the hit count front, and certainly hope that the reservoir of knowledgeable commitment so well represented in the old site can be nurtured, retained and revitalized.  At the same time I do recognize that change is never agreeable to everyone, and that achieving that last goal is not going to be easy.

On the accessible front, it does seem to me that not everything is as accessible as it could be.  It may be that I'm just learning the site, and will "get it" eventually, but it sure will be great to get better ease of access.

 

Couple of good insights there Ron. If you don't mind, I'd like to expand.

Participation by way of comments and discussions are a little tricky. While it's true that there has always been a small core group that seem to make the most noise, most readers simply don't comment at all. I've had posts that had several thousand hits, with maybe only 15 or 20 comments or replies. On the other hand, over the years I've probably had a several hundred private messages (in that old internal messaging system or sometime through Facebook) engaging me in a one to one conversation. Also, certain topics draw a crowd (think 'fried clams', Gram and Townes), while others attract barely a ripple (most posts about regional singer-songwriters). 

I like the concept of newbies and oldsters, and would further redefine it as simply the young versus the old. Don't know about you, but here in NY (excluding Brooklyn and the East Village) I see that the crowds at concerts are not Gen R, but Gen AARP. If the entire roots music community skewed a bit younger, I'd bet we'd see more vibrant content. 

Bringing back that mission statement fiasco from a couple weeks ago, if I wrote one for ND it might have a line that says something like 'reduce the average members age from 63 to 35'. (BTW: As I write this I'm looking at the Living Legends sidebar featuring posts and videos of  Joe Walsh, Steve Earle, jeff Beck, Chrissie Hynde and Rodney Crowell. Beneath it is an ad for an new Allman Brothers release. And the No Dep archive issue has Parsons on the cover today.)

 

Sounds good to me. Gillian?  You listening?  I'm 35!! 

To be fair, a number of the complaints that have arisen here about the appearance of things are commenting on changes that have been made to capture that younger audience. We can't have it both ways. Some things appeal to the "oldsters" and other things appeal to the "newbies" and we're doing what we can to balance both. We're on this new platform to increase readership and participation, to provide a better mobile experience (where most of the "newbies") are, and to provide a cleaner, less cluttered appearance (one reason we opted out of allowing people to upload a zillion photos into the body of the post, though definitely not the main reason, which I believe had something to do with storage).

Dave emailed us all last night with a sizable list of all the providers we're about to start supporting, which includes more audio, photo, and other content providers, meaning more opportunities to embed more media, make it easier, allow you to embed the stuff you're comfortable with and already use (so you don't have to stick to the three providers we offer now) and so on and so forth. I'm sure there will be more details announced about this as we get closer to the big content release we've all been asking you to be patient for, coming in another week or so.

Which brings me to my mothering moment, because I've been really surprised and disappointed at the level of negative-nelly-ness swirling around here in this forum. It's starting to sound like a broken record of complaints, and some complaints now coming out about the old site that we left because of what's been mentioned (as well as many other reasons). Come on now. If you don't like the amount of articles/reviews/etc going up, write one. If you don't want to write one, you get what other people write. Rome wasn't built in a day, etc. We're not a giant corporation. We're seven people scattered about the country, trying to keep something alive that we all very much believe in... and not only keep it alive, but improve it, prepare it for the future, build it in a way that ensures it'll thrive, serving several rounds of newbies and accompany all the oldsters through more phases of "roots booms". You and me here? We're in the baby stages of this thing. Have a little patience, have a little faith.

I know you're just chiming in because you care, but Dave gets ripped left and right, like everything you don't like is part of some agenda he has. His agenda is the same as everyone else's here, which is to keep ND alive in a way that serves the community best. But, where Shelley, Stacy, and I are communicators for a living, Dave is a developer and a project manager. Cut him some slack and stop picking apart his words, please, in the interest of playing nice. How many publications/online communities can you name where the lead developer drops in on a daily/weekly basis to provide updates about what the developers and designers are working on and to ensure readers that the "suggestion box" is being read? I can't name a single one. So, you know, be kind to one another and all that. And remember we're not here for the sake of perfection. We're here for the music. If you feel like tearing into Dave, maybe pause for a moment and turn on a song, and remember what I've been telling you since we launched Ning -- this isn't something that happens because of something one person does. This site is only as good as we all make it together. Smile at the person next to you, as Leonard Podolak says here:

 

I've been disturbed by the number of negative comments.  Sure, I had a couple of complaints early on, but overall, I'm liking the changes.  I guess we oldsters (I'm 67) take some time to get used to new things.  I remember being upset when the print version of ND was replaced by a website.   But old dogs can in fact enjoy new things . . .  I'm really liking the reviews of new releases, as they help me find new music by young artists.  Keep up the good work!!

Deleted (by AH) As my thoughts on the new site and new ideas don't appear to be in line with the rest of the community I will bow out of this discussion.

@Kim: Thanks for addressing the thought process in regards to placing photos in the posts. It's the first time I heard that it was a design/storage decision and that is totally understandable when you consider mobile versus desktop view. 

In thinking through my own posts, I'm starting to imagine that many people may be looking at it on a phone. If that's the case, I know from my own reading habits that I like quick, short reads. Forbes magazine recently wrote an article suggesting that 400 words was the perfect blog size but that 2,000 or more got better search results.  

As a younger person who is actively online, how do you digest posts? I know that here I needed to switch to my laptop to read many of the longer posts, like Peter and Kelly have done. But maybe people half my age are more comfortable on a small screen. Trying to figure it out. 

Before I check out of this thread as I've tried to do three times already, just wanted to note that after I read your words this morning I went back to the very beginning and re-read the comments again as they were posted. Without pointing fingers and kicking up another dust storm, I'll just note that this thread didn't start out negative at all. Most people here, including myself, took time to compliment the team on the new design and their hard work. It's a shame it's turned out as it has, especially since it appears to dominate the discussion chart every day. 

And now, back to the music. 

 

I digest posts all kinds of ways, which might be the main distinction between oldsters and newbies? Just guessing here. I have a laptop (PC), a tablet (Google Nexus), and smartphone (iPhone), and read things on the internet from each. The Nexus is a mini-tablet, so it's 7-inches instead of the iPad's 11-ish inches (I don't know the specs). I find it to be the most desirable medium between my laptop and phone. And, when I'm somewhere with a wifi signal, it's usually what I'm reading things on.

My favorite thing to read is very in-depth, long form investigative reporting or narrative journalism. If I'm going to read something online, I want to READ something, you know? Shorter things, I'll skim, or maybe I'll open them and never read them, or maybe I'll read the opening and decide if I want to read the whole thing. When I click through to an article someone has posted on FB, it's usually because either the title grabs my attention or the image does. If I click through to an article someone tweeted, it's usually because Rosanne Cash, Susan Orlean, or a small handful of trusted writer friends tweeted it. 

I love the way this site looks on all my devices -- it's much cleaner and less chaotic than the old site, which I thought was just too crammed full of stuff, pretty much from the time we launched. I particularly like the way it looks on any device when I'm reading an article, review, or interview. It's just far more readable. I also find the posting tool to be more amicable and intuitive than Ning was, though not quite as amicable and intuitive as, say, Wordpress. But Wordpress isn't there for talking about the kind of music I love, so I don't really care about that difference. I also find that posting and editing stuff from my phone or tablet is indescribably easier -- it was so much of a pain on the Ning site that I did my best to just never even bother. If I was on the road and had to fix a typo or something from my phone, it took forever and involved a lot of cursing.

I've been hearing for years that nobody wants to read anything long on the web, and I think that's something some business person wrote because they and their friends don't want to read anything long. I found on the old site that anytime I wrote 2000+ words, I got more traffic than when I wrote ~400 words. Often in the thousands of reads. Here, it seems to be an even balance. Anne Margaret Daniel's post about the new Bob Dylan Basement Tapes release got a whole heck of a lot of traffic; then again, so did Kelly McCartney's Generation R piece, which was almost exactly at 5,000 words. It's all about the writing and the subject. If both are compelling, people will read. 

For what its worth, my partner (also 37 years old) does most of her internet-looking on her iPad. She never used to read ND, but now will spend a great deal of time clicking around through the collections and related posts at the end of long articles she's just read, frequently commenting on how much easier it is to find the good stuff here, whereas the old site you had to wade through all the not-so-great stuff. She's not the type to tell me that just to make me feel good. So maybe it is a generational thing? Or maybe it's just a "people like me and her" thing. Who knows. 

Finally, I wanted to respond to some comments about the homepage. Nothing here was designed only to be viewed on mobile -- it was designed to be just as good of an experience on mobile as it is on...immobile. Also a good thing to remember is that new folks won't usually come to this site through the homepage, which is true of most websites and online publications. Many people will never see the homepage -- they'll come in because someone sent them a link or they got a newsletter or someone posted something somewhere, and then they'll click around. For those folks, the experience and incentive to stick around and read more and more stuff here has dramatically improved, in my very biased opinion.

That's my opinion and pomposity pricked AGAIN. For future reference I will keep my opinions to myself

@Kim: Great feedback and interesting how we each do things slightly different.

I totally agree with you about how people come into the site. I've got a bunch of followers who've never ever seen our home page or anything else. They come to my posts through my Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook links. My largest traffic posts were because someone in Dylan's camp sent out an email with a link and the Deads biographer posted a link on their community board in Europe. I also have two Japanese folkies who retweet all my stuff to their followers. 

So far I'd say that design-wise I've been pretty happy with the changes, although I find that the phone functionality is weird. But once I click into a post, it reads better than ever. For discussions, not so much. Videos are easy. 

As you've seen today, I posted my first piece in the new format. I wrote it in Open Office and cut and pasted. All media was easy to put into place. Italics were a little tricky, as was font size when I needed to go back and edit. But I managed to overcome. Tags had a limit of five objects or items. Not sure why that is...I need to learn more about it. 

Anyway, thanks. I'm back in the saddle again. 

Ah, the voice of reason. I'm an old dog and this is a new trick. I apologize if anything I posted appeared to be personal. It wasn't. 

Fair enough, Kim. Thanks for the wise and welcome reminder, and for the needed perspective.

And thanks to all of those on the team (including the contributors, of course) who are working very hard to make the site as good as it can possibly be.

Be nice to get younger folks on - sounds like a long-term project, though progress is being made. I see no reason that paying for select freelance pieces is anything but to the good - not disrespectful  in any way towards those who are and have been contributing their own posts or re-posts. Just a matter of value added.  

And the site itself continues to be free, as I understand it. Good deal.

See you around the bar. And thanks.

 

 

 

 

By oldsters I meant veterans of the site.  By newbies I meant new people to the site.  I'm sure there's a correlation with age, but it's not a perfect correlation.  And yes, I go to a concert featuring some form of Americana/folk/roots, and there is a lot of gray hair, or no hair (I fall in the latter category).

Age is indeed a conundrum.  I'm a geezer, but I tend to like best music by relatively young musicians, of whom there are many playing my kind of stuff.  Not that I don't enjoy the Hiatts and the Claptons and the Griffins and the Williams (and just what is the plural of Williams?), etc, but I get the most pleasure from young people I've not heard until today, whenever today is.

But you are definitely on to something, a younger demographic is clearly desirable, and I look forward to that!

 

All this about an older crowd, bar room talk, and WEB offering to buy us all a round, I'm getting the feeling it'll be crumpets and prune juice at 4 pm, preceding bingo.

In My Lucky Day, Jon Dee Graham sang "I can't complain, but that don't stop me".   And former Phillies manager Larry Bowa once said "I hate to beat a dead horse in the mouth".

 

 

Jack, 

Play your cards right and I'll have the kitchen whip up some cucumber sandwiches too!  It's just the way I roll. 

hahaha

WEB 

    I hear that some folk say that the site is too dark, what I get is just white. Also, my computer is on a hi speed hookup, and this site is so slow to navigate. I still enjoyed the ning site better, because you could see everything from one place. I was able to get a couple of reviews up, and a couple of videos., but I can't spend much time on the site because it is frustrating.

Jim

ND is a great website.  I'm a relative newbie on here but since I first joined - over a year ago - I visit often and have learned so much and been given great suggestions about arists and albums.   I don't contribute much but I read everything and I take it all in.

I absolutely love the new look.  I know you're working on the community aspects of the site and I share some of the concerns raised by other members but I'm not worried because I know you'll get there.  If any one of you guys ever gets to Wales, I'll buy you a beer to say thank you!

There's no depression about No Depression!

Thank you Gerwyn for your words of encouragement. We do appreciate it!

I was looking for an inverview mentioned in a post.  The writer was Kim Ruehl.  In the interview section I tried to search on her name, but no dice.  The search there only returns results for the subject of the interview.  I think it should return author results, too - there are interviewers (and reviewers, etc) I quite like and would like to see all their stuff at once, within the section.

whisper it; but I asked for a facility to be notified when 'favourite' writers post something. I keep and always have missed posts by a couple of guys (and Jela) so this could be a useful tool

 

 

 

#backtotheshadows

(Psst...this is coming. It's *really hard* to build, so some patience will be required. Much sooner, you'll be able to get notified when someone comments on a post that you commented on, or have marked as a "favo(u)rite" post.)

Searching on both article name and author should be easy, though.  Notifications will be harder.  Start with easy.

Have you tried search lately? We recently beefed it up without much fanfare. Be sure to use the "see all results" link at the the top of any search results, especially if you don't see what you are looking for right away.

I was referring to the search results on the actual album review or article page, wherehever it was, not the full tilt search at the top of a page.  Only returned title results.  Will check further.

One thing to note that might help:

If I'm at the top of the Album Review page and I add ' Bonamassa ' to the search (no quotes) and then I click on "see all results", it brings me a page of all results sorted chronologically (lots of pages). Now look closely at the top of those search results you will see "type".  At that point if you toggle it to "Album Reviews" you will see exactly 3 results for Bonamassa that match Album Review.  (Search includes words in the post, not just the title.)

It is also helpful to note that some of the older posts that we imported from Ning may  still be classified as Article (even though they are Album Reviews).  We have a way to convert them to the right type, but we'll have to do them as we find them. 

Yes, I understand that.

But if I go to Interviews/Recent, and search on Kim Ruehl, I get no hits except for a title that has "kim" in the text.  The search function on that page searches ONLY the item title, not the author.  It should do both. I think this is a trivial technical issue, with no downside.

R.

Ron, we know that currently searching by author is not working, and the dev guys do have it on their list. In the meantime, you can go here, if that's helpful. And, if there are other featured contributors whose work you want to find, you can click through to their member pages (and chronicles of their past contributions) by finding them in our Featured Contributors list here. (That page can be found by clicking on Community > Contributors in the top nav.) Or, you can simply click on their name in the byline of any of their current contributions that you see elsewhere on the site.

I've always known there were other ways of getting at contributions by particular authors.  I was just suggesting that it would make sense to have a general string search from the section-specific search function, rather than a search retricted to title.

PS - I like the new site.  I think it's great.  But it's not perfect.

rustle.....rustle......rustle.......thank you......rustle.....rustle (re-enters the shadows)

Welcome back into the shadows. Its a safe and quiet place for the old folks to rest our weary heads, as the mechanics work on the car. I'm sure you'll will be back on the road in no time. 

rustle....rustle....rustle....are you sure?......it still feels that there might be snipers waiting to shatter the uneasy truce....rustle...rustle....rustle (back into the safety of the shadows).

Ladies and Gentlemen it would appear that the Bar Is Now Open!!!

I am getting email notifications when others post to "active threads". 

Thank you loads! 

WAY TO GO TEAM NO DEPRESSION!!!!, you people are great! 

 

WEB  

Rockin' good news!  Now, about that first round...

Set'em up Bartender with whatever my friends would like but nothing with those little umbrellas ... too touristy! 

 

WEB 

 

Drinks on the house!! And thanks, folks, for your patience with the heckling (including my own). Good going!

 

 

Aww, thanks, fellers. We live for this shit!

I'll take an IPA, please.

The "wood background" is too dark. It makes all the new changes useless if the content is too difficult to read. I've tried adjusting the contrast and color on my computer. Please consider changing i

t to a lighter or more neutral color. Thanks

Hi Ed M. - Can you send a screenshot of what you are seeing to help@nodepression.com or embed an image here in the comments? There shouldn't be any text on the woodgrain background. That is only on the extreme edges - any black or red text is on cream or white. The grey cover story box has white text. Also note that I have had one other user report that and it turned out they were using a very out-dated version of their browser. Please make sure yours is up to date and let me know if you are seeing this on more than one browser. Thanks ~ Shelley

Are you guys still trying to bring back the feature where we get email alerts when someone comments on a posting that we have? That was my favorite part about the old No Depression.  It was great to turn on my computer in the morning and see many emails from people commenting on the same subject. It was almost like having a bunch of new friends. I now feel like I've lost all those friends. I don't have time to go through this long thread to see if any updates have been posted on that problem. It was over a month ago that I read it was the next thing you were working on. Have you given up or do I just need to be more patient? (Too bad I won't know if you comment on this without going through to whole process of finding this post and getting to the appropriate page.)

Hey, Dennis. Thanks for posting. This feature went live over the weekend. Please let us know if it's not working for you.

Also, to set expectations appropriately, a month is a pretty short time in the world of web development, especially when you're working on a whole bunch of things. Here are some of the other things we've been doing in that month:

  • Enhanced search
  • Updated newsletter
  • Pageview counters
  • Personalized profile page
  • Better New Release format
  • E-mail Notifications (comments on posts or discussions you commented on, comments on posts you contributed, featuring of posts you contributed)
  • Enhanced media embedding (support for any raw image source, instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, SoundCloud, MixCloud, Spotify, Bop.fm)
  • Recent Comment Box (with full list view)
  • Comments include time submitted

I'd like to add this bit since I just answered this for someone:

Q: How do I select a thread that I want to follow and receive email notifications? I'm receiving some but I'd like to get others.

A: The secret is just comment on it and you will receive a notification. If you are receiving notifications on some, it means you have commented on those since we enabled it. Note that it does not work retroactively so you may need to go back and comment on older stuff if you want a notification.

(takes deep breath)......as a contributer will/should I automatically receive e-mail updates if my reviews  or commented on or do I have to backtrack through everything leaving short remarks to 'enable the e-mail system'? 

Shelley, I've commented in this discussion after the email notifications started, but haven't received email notifications to comments added by others afterward.  On the other hand, I am receiving notifications when I've commented on articles, reviews, etc., just not to "community" discussions.   Are the notifications being turned on slowly section by section?

The site is clearly heading in the right direction, keep up the good work!

Shelley, I've commented in this discussion after the email notifications started, but haven't received email notifications to comments added by others afterward.  On the other hand, I am receiving notifications when I've commented on articles, reviews, etc., just not to "community" discussions.   Are the notifications being turned on slowly section by section?

The site is clearly heading in the right direction, keep up the good work!

Well...I made three comments yesterday to three different posts, including this one, and I didn't get any notifications so I don't know what to say

I thought I should let you all know that I got my first email alert just a few minutes ago that someone commented on a posting that I had commented on. So hurrah! It may finally be working. Thanks for your efforts which will go a long ways to restoring my enjoyment of this site.

Hey gang. Today was launched a $150,000 Kickstarter campaign on a subject I wrote about for ND in January. It's linked to on the Kickstarter page. I found the article and was glad to see the word "edit" only to find that I am not allowed to edit my own article. I've been an editor all my life btw, and on the web side I've also migrated web sites as large as this. I was only allowed to change the "main" photo, which I did, but could not alter the attribution. It was explained I'd have to write the help desk to edit my own blog. I'd be LOL if this wasn't so seriously ridiculous. If I had migrated a site and the VP found that he or she could not edit their own material, well of course I'd be fired on the spot, as well I should be in such a case. Also wondering where "my" groups are; had two in the top eight in number of users and it seems we're all gone now? Personal pages are skeletons. Is this a lengthy beta test? Were any usability studies done? Or is this it? 

Hey Hal, had any good fried clams lately? I haven't. 

 

No Will I haven't.  But soon. Very soon.

Where are they Hal? Where??

I'm on a new diet. Steamed clams only. No butter. Life is hard. 

Easy Ed, Hal, good to see you at this new joint. Wish they had clam strips though.

One minor usability tweak that I'd like would be to make the right-side column floating in some way.  Not sure if this is even possible, but I do find it annoying to be working my way through the recent comments or recent posts, and finish up a lengthy location, want to go back to find the next post I want to look at, and to find that I have to scroll and scroll and scroll to get to the right-side links.  Be nice if they were static.  One way to accomplish this is to divide the page  so that you can read down on the left side, way below the initial bottom of the screen, while the right side stays put.  This was easily done with the old frame structure (now seldom used), not sure how it could be implemented with your current technology.

Javascript, although I think there are better methods using CSS. Most websites these days are way too code heavy when CSS could accomplish the same thing (and is more W3C compliant). 

 

Good idea, Ron. Just added that to our Requests list. (Which means if that idea gets enough momentum, it's likely to show up on the site at some point.) In the meantime, here's another option: click the "More" link on Recent Posts or Recent Columns and use that list - then you just have to hit the back button instead of scrolling, which might be easier.

On a positive note, I started following the site in the Spring of 2013 and have very pleased with a number of things the site does very well:

  (1)  Inclusiveness.  I like the fact that I can find a Milk Carton Kids discussion on the same site as Tom Petty and U2.  A lot of us Americana/roots devotees grew up on rock and roll and listen to a wide variety of musical styles.

  (2)  Content.  The folks who contribute to the forum and write reviews and articles do a wonderful job.  ND is the best single source of information on roots music and the intelligent conversations about the music are a blessing.  I scan much of the content and really enjoy the postings of the long-time contributors

  (3)  Organization.  I have stayed off the site for a couple of months to see what improvements have been made.  I applaud the hard-working staff for their efforts and commitment to set up the new site and work the bugs out.   The categories shown at the top of the homepage make it easy to pick which area you want to delve into.  I'm still adjusting to some of the formatting and finding things but then I never learned all of the features on the old site.

  (4)  Diversity.  Similar to inclusiveness, it seems like the site has a lot of us grayhairs as well as younger folks, including musicians in the industry.  I think this adds to overall quality.  I'm not afraid of new technology and I like a lot of younger acts, including some I saw at Bristol Rhythm and Roots this weekend.

Thanks again for the efforts of the staff as well as readers who have taken the time to post and suggest ways to make things better.  I hope some of the folks that left will wander back.

 

Thank you for saying so! We certainly appreciate your positive feedback.

(takes deep breath) while I agree with our young friend's high praise for the website there are still some glitches (?) that need sorting out ASAP (in my humble opinion).

      As a for instance I've just posted a CD review and within a minute Amos has posted 7 new photos which means my review has dropped to #8 in the blink of an eye and other posts from the last couple of hours are lost until someone hunts for them.

   Please; can the link to things like photos or multiple video uploads read 'Amos has posted some photos' then it only takes up one line?

     While a good many of my reviews do actually get featured on the homepage; I'm finding album reviews  (in general) are getting buried like this and some are very well written and are pointing us to music we'd not find anywhere else. 

    And......you didn't think I'd stop there did you? As I mentioned before reviews across the site are receiving a lot less comments than previously - or am I the only one who cares about interaction?

 

    You wouldn't think I'd just had a relaxing holiday in Spain; would you? :) 

      

 I suggested breaking down recent photos and videos into a separate "activities" list or lists a while ago.

 

As a public service to Alan and Hal, here is a screen shot example of what they are speaking to:

 

 

 

Oh....can't see it? That's probably because if I wanted to share it with you I'd have to first upoad it into photos, and then come back to the comments section and then add in the URL.  No need for the developers to chime in, as they've already justified early on the reason why this was somehow better than in the past. I just forgot. Hoping Will can explain why you can add an image at the top of a new article but are unable to do so in a comment or in the body of a post.

While I'm here, the email notification of when someone leaves a comment on my post seems to work about half the time, but not always. And I'm still not receiving notification when something I post is featured.

Sorry....just another grumble from the old guy. 

Note to Shelley: Back in the old days I was given the ND Facebook Page admin authority to post when Kyla and Kim were on the road. I still have it and asked Kim a few week ago to delete me off the list. Noticed I'm still on. If you're able, please try and take me off. It messes with my personal FB page. Thanks.

 

thank you; young man. I don't want to get into another argument with anyone; but couldn't/shouldn't these things have been organised before the switch to the Star Wars platform?

An another thing.......only kidding :)

Hi Ed - I don't see you as a Facebook Admin so someone must have gotten to it before me.  

And just to clarifiy:
- A photo that you embed does not have to be hosted on this site. It can be from anywhere. 

- The developers are still working on the comment notifications. There are known issues.

- Notifications on a Featured post are not yet automated. Kim is doing it by hand.

Y'all realize there are over 30,000 page views for: "Page Not Found - Bummer"?
Yet the thousands of page views I had on a couple reviews are down to one or two, beginning at migration...

 

"Hoping Will can explain why you can add an image at the top of a new article but are unable to do so in a comment or in the body of a post."

Just saw this Easy Ed (as I'm getting some alerts but not others as I believe you also noted). I had just noted that weirdness in not being able to upload a pic directly to an article when I actually re-posted a Ning article to this new platform so that I could edit it (only way to do it without going to the Help Desk). Incredibly bizarre and no I can't explain it. But then I can't explain much about this redesign/migration.

Also (I think this has also been mentioned) perhaps don't even consider the photo posts as posts until you can figure out how to separate them out (insert them from a diffent database or section thereof). For example, as much as I like Alisa B. Cherry's photo contribs (I haven't looked at any but just to pick on the one currently domnating at right), they block all other posts. 

One thing I'm particulary senstitive to, btw, and which I hope will cease, is blaming the difficulties users are having navigating this site, dealing with the issues of this migration, and "understanding" the design/usability decisions that were made on the age of users (us old folks). Whether hinted at or said blatantly, age is not only not relevant to this discussion it's discriminatory.

Fried clams Ed!!!!!!!!!!

 

Will wrote: 'Whether hinted at or said blatantly, age is not only not relevant to this discussion it's discriminatory.'

This could almost be a separate forum topic. Not to fan the flames, since I've been taking great care in limiting any comments here or anywhere else on the site because I'm pretty much over the 'swords drawn' attitude of some members of the new team, but I think any acts of discrimination are less age-based and more experience-based. It's really a case of 'We know better than you. Stop whining, Stop complaining. You can be replaced.'

And frankly, we can and will. There are a lot of good things about the new design that I like, and a lot of really good content coming in from both new writers and the not so new. And there are a lot of things I don't like, almost all of which have been documented in this particular forum or discussion or whatever it's called.

While I still come here often, and I continue posting something at least once a week because I enjoy bashing the keys to my computer, the close connection that I once had to ND has been extinguished. Thankfully, there are others with the energy and enthusiasm to keep the lights on, and I will be sitting on the sidelines rooting (no pun intended) for them. While there is no place quite like the old No Depression, I've also come to discover that this ain't the only game in town. At the moment I think it's still one of the best; but there are new roots music websites sprouting up, and exisiting ones that are working hard to fill a void that's become fairly obvious. Competition makes everyone better. 

Now on to other topics....I've always liked the early Bowie catalog, up to and including the Ziggy thing. So there 2.0. 

Aural waterboarding to me, Ed. 

Have to agree with Ed about maintaining a close connection to ND, you need to burn a lot more calories trying to stay with the ebb and flow than on the old site.  So many compartments (Album Reviews, Live Reviews, Interviews, New Releases, Articles, Podcasts, Photos, Videos, Community), so many silos to drop into menu by menu.  Feels like we went from Apple to Microsoft.   In retrospect I think I do prefer the simple Blog and Forum division, and the fact that the blogs were in whatever order they were posted and you had an eclectic mix to scroll through.  I preferred the old drop down sort to the Most Recent/Most Popular sub menus, it decluttered the Forum screen.  Maybe I'm in the minority, dunno.  It does seem that the emphasis remains more on reading than participating, but once again, the magic was always in the mix of both;  the lively art of conversation. I don't think I'm overstating it when i say that email notifications go to the core of this site and the fact that they are still not working 100% is a big barrier for a lot of people, be they site veterans or new folks.  Would anyone disagree with me on that?  I know the new team wanted this functioning and they did say it wasn't an easy thing to program, so I am assuming they are still working to get this feature figured out.

As for the age issue, I've read that the mobile site in particular, but also the desktop version were retooled with a younger demographic in mind to drive more traffic to gain more ad revenue to keep the site viable.  I'm not sure why the new mobile and desktop versions are more likely to attract a younger audience (I'd be curious to hear an explanation of that) but I would say the demographics for roots music trend older  and I doubt any visuals are going to attract younger folks, generally speaking, to music their tastes haven't expanded to quite yet.  

I still think the new team is listening and taking this discussion to heart, and I still think the site is good and moving in the right direction, but the lack of discussion is concerning.  Steviedal, Jack Williams, Chris Sweeney, where are you guys?

 

 

Hey I joke, and I'm also serious. I worked for years doing web work, beginning in design in the 90s (remember when you designed in 800 x 600, pics just had to be optimized (I still do that), etc.?), coming from the editorial world. Moved on to become the webmaster at the NBC affiliate in Buffalo, and then content manager for the country's oldest and one of the largest cancer institutes. I was seriously into CSS design and web accessibility. As content manager, a job that had a lot to do with usability, we redesigned/migrated a 3,000+ page website, actually the second week I was on the job, as my supervisor scheduled her vacation for then;). I was left to deal with I.T. (as usual) from a content and usability viewpoint. Needless to say it was a nightmare; I knew enough about their side of things to quickly drive them crazy, as they cared very little or nothing about the users point of view (I existed in the "Public Relations" department, so obviously I.T. trumped). Nothing new there going back several positions before that. Now I'm out of that line of work as I can't stand what has happened to websites, not just this one but so many I see today. I'm here "complaining" as I care about No Depression and want this site to work. Ed, I'd urge you not to go away, imo you're one of the best remaining here. What would ND be without you, Hal, Paul, all the great ones. Who cares about nuts and bolts, just do what you've always done, so will I and I'll keep complaining until some of this gets right. The difference here is I'm not dealing with corporate brush wars, and if I am I don't care about it here. We'll keep on it, you guys just keep working around the "glitches" and do what you do best. You're all that is keeping the legacy of Grant and Peter and Kyla alive. I'll keep my occasional contributions coming, and keep working on the White Hats. They mean well. And remember, fried clams is the password.

 

This forum topic is becoming tiresome when is is used as a vehicle to complain about change, as opposed to offering constructive ideas for improvement.  I'm 67, and I hate change as much as the next old guy, but there comes a time to get over it.  I disliked the first ND website because is wasn't the print mag, but I donated to it because of loyalty and the need for info about the music I love.   I didn't like this new website because it wasn't the old one, but I'll keep coming to it because of loyalty and the need for info about music I love.  And surprise surprise, I'm actually starting to like it!

Jeff...if you think it's tiresome to read these comments, you can imagine how weary we all get writing them. But there is a topic here, it's not simply a despoitory for complaints. At the top of the page it asks 'how can we make this site better". A lot of people consider that a serious question, and have invested a lot of effort in answering it. 

But I can see your point. And agree. We've answered how we think it can be better, and the time has come to move on. 

When Kyla sold this site I made a comment wishing the owners well and advising that they 'don't fuck it up'.

And they haven't.

Yet. 

In many areas they have really built and improved the reader experience. I keep saying it over and over how much I like many of the changes, but somehow that message doesn't seem to come through. 

If you have read through all the suggestions for even more improvement...I think you'll find that many people are/were looking for something better. I'm pretty confident that some of the people who run the site are paying attention, and there will be an evolutuion over time that will satisfy the needs of many. 

Anyway, I agree with Jeff. As Frank Zappa said, 'Shut up and play your guitar'.

As many of you don't know I've been working on a photographic monograph covering Donovan's seminal years (1964-2014).  I've collected over 1700 photos and plan to upload them sequentially over the next several days. My self-published book deal fell though when my editor (I) lost interest and I apologize in advance if this tidal wave buries any content that anyone/everyone would/should find more interesting. The photograph of Donovan teaching Delbert McClinton the harmonica while John Lennon watches will blow your mind.

So hopefully it is obvious this is not really going to happen (no way am I giving away so much valuable content for free) but it does make the point about the photographs clogging the pipes as individual posts.  Maybe I should post my next interview* question by question as individual posts? So once again, hopefully it is obvious this is not really going to  happen....

*Is the cat still in the freezer?

Hal I couldn't be more interested in such a book on Donovan. I can't believe how underrated he is, and this collection of photos sounds remarkable. Surely there's a publisher of those archaic things called books that would still be interested? A coffee table book I'm thinking. I wish I had my own imprint I'd take this on for sure. Also, they should be full res, not crappy web res. Wish I could get involved in such a project, best of luck. If you do decide on web there may be a more suitable vehicles than this (obviously) that may at least allow for clicking through to a higher res and otherwise create an appropriate presentation.

Hal; I hought you were joking, but (picture editor) C Elliott appears to have done that very thing last night (18 photos I think; but the point is the same!) 

    Some of the'problems' need sorting quicker than others, and this is KEY to getting people to read articles/reviews

I thought I was joking too but based on the huge number of replies (two!) I'm reconsidering not not shelving the project!

But too be clear, and serious, I'm not opposed to the photographs. I enjoy many of them but I think the way they are displayed under recent posts may scare away written contributors that are not featured bloggers. I'm lucky to be one of the chosen few and my posts are often featured.  I wonder how many posts are quicky bumped from the list of "recent posts" and vanish never to be seen again?  I'd be discouraged from participating if I posted an album review or interview and then it was bumped off the list immediately by a dozen photos from my perpetually in preparation Donovan monograph (Donograph!).  Why not  break those submissions  into new categories and add "recent videos" and "recent photographs"? 

And I won't mention it again ND team.  Promise.

Right much needed fix.

On the pics, I'd still think a coffee table book. It would sell.

I just took the time to explore the dropdown menus and I guess nobody ever does or someone would have mentioned that under album reviews  >  popular you see Bill's new releases and under interviews > popular you see......Bill's new releases.

 

 

 

This site can be made better by removing this fucking thread! 

If people have a shitload of techno mumbo jumbo (that the bulk of us couldnt give a rats ass about or comprehend) then send it via email to the good people who are both trying to improve the site and who understand it. 

I am growing MORE than weary of seeing this topic head up the most recent posts list.... please GET THE FUCK RID OF IT !

Many thanks, 

WEB   

In re -reading my post, I decided that I should add something constructive as well, so here goes:

Add a quick link button to the main page where people can send their cyber babble and, as you make improvemnets to the site, post a bulletin stating whats been done and how members can use said corrections/improvements.

Great idea (last paragraph) and a great place to put it. Kudos for the team having a thread like this for input; many would not do this.

Minor point: this f*&^ing thread shows up in recent comments not recent posts. I do wonder why you keep reading it. Kind of like picking a scab?

Touche' Hal ... whats next, we  discuss baud rates? man I'd love to party with you! 

 

 

WEB 

You mean band rates? But yeah, I'd like to know how much it costs to book a band but I'm trying to stay on topic.

Hey Hal,

Stick to photography, you have a talent for THAT.

Witticisms clearly aren't your forte'.

 

WEB    

I think personal attacks like this one have no place on this site. (And besides, I enjoy Hal's witticisms).

As Ken Kesey used to say: FIght fiercely, coppers, but fight fair. 

 

The link button you mention is actually at the top of this  discussion topic on every page but I'll paste it here again for you: help@nodepression.com.  There is also another handy button at the bottom of every page and it's labeled CONTACT.

Stacy and I monitor those emails pretty much 24/7/365 (and one of us actully lives with the main Dev guy) so if you have a suggestion or complaint about something technical, please start there.

We love hearing about fried clams and early-bird specials but it makes us too hungry to get any work done so please use the email :-).

I think I speak for everyone at ND that this thread does show up  way more often than is useful in "Recent Comments" (and I cringe knowing that this comment will just bump it up again.) We have talked about, and agreed in principle, to retire it in favor of more useful methods of two-way communication; the idea of us posting enhancements, per your suggestion, is something we intend to do.

There are so blinkin' many things on our list - including some really hot ones - and so few of us, that I can't say when this will happen. But it will. Your patience is truly appreciated.

This topic in its present form may in fact have outlived its usefulness.  I commented some time ago that sometimes almost all the "new comments" are from here, not especially useful for the majority of people who really aren't into this kind of discussion.  Distracts from the music.

But it IS nice to have a place where these kinds of discussions can be centralized and visible for those interested.  Using the e-mail route (or otherwise contacting ND directly) makes the comments and discussion invisible.  I'd suggest you keep the topic alive, provide some sort of easy link to it, but don't let it populate the "recent comments" list. It could be in the Community list, linked at the top of the page, perhaps called something like "Discuss the site".  You could still let people follow it, with notifications of new posts, if they wanted.

Just when I think things are improving on this sight I become frustrated by another challenge. There was an article featured yesterday about Neil Young and his new book and new ecology song that I commented on. Since I stil hardly ever get a notification of someone commenting on a post I commented on I went searching for the post and damned if I could find it under any category or typing Neil Young into the search spot. It was a featured post yesterday so why is it difficult to find today (other than I must be some kind of idiot)?

Seems like this is the article you were looking for: http://nodepression.com/article/neil-young-stands

I wanted to see how hard it was to find, and it was hard. I did a Search on "Neil Young", then clicked "See all results". Then I scoured the page for a recent article (it was published on 9/25). We could make this easier by letting people sort the search results by date.

If you knew that it was an Article, it would be easier - you could go to the Recent Articles page, and there it is, about halfway down the page.

The search function on the old platform totally sucked, and one of my hopes was that the new site handled search better.  It does, but not by much.  Being able to sort by date (and maybe other variables, like author and subject, so if for instance you search on a subject and get a lot of results you can sort by author) would be a good start.  But really what I want is to be able to sort using boolean logic -- so I could find a page using a string like this:  "neil young" AND ecology OR environment.  Not friendly for technophobes, but no one would be forced to use it.

Thanks Dale for finding the Neil Young Article for me.  Part of my problem is not remembering if the posting was an Article, a Review, a Discussion or whatever. I guess I'll have to keep track of that to help me find something in the future.

Well, I've been patiently trying but navigating the new version of community discussion section is a little more challenging because of the way it is organized. .  On the old site what I liked to do when I went to the first page of this section was to see prominently displayed the most recent comments of various threads, regardless of whether the discussion started two days ago or two years ago.  I could then work backward in time by scrolling through the pages.  Now when I open the community discussion page it seems to be organized by the date the discussion started.  Maybe it would be helpful to label the comments section in the bottom right section of the page as "Recent Comments" because this area looks like of continuation of the section above that has photos, reviews, videos, etc. 

A related issue occurs when I scroll down the list of "recent posts"looking for items of interest and find a discussion item on page 3 for example.  Let's say I open the discussion, read it, and then want to go back to where I was on page 3 to continue scrolling down searching for items of interest.  The system throws me back to page 1 and I have to start over (wishing I had made a note to myself that I was on page 3 when I found the item so I could go to the bottom of the first page and press page 3).

I agree with other folks that we do not receive notification that someone else has commented on an article or discussion item that we know we commented on.

There are some things the new site does well including organizing videos, concert reviews, album reviews, articles, etc.  However, the community forum is not as user friendly as the old site. 

I have been working with the new search engine with much success though the old site search engine worked well also.

I hate to beat on a dead horse but I still almost never get an email alert when someone comments on a discussion I've commented on. I'm in despair about this ever improving. I guess I'll just try to appreciate what this sight now offers such as articles and postings about music I'm interested in and just try to foregt about what I liked best about the old site. I also really miss a lot of people who used to comment on this site very often who have apparantly lost interest.

Dennis, I'm curious to know if it's only Discussions where you are not receiving notifications. Are you receiving email notifications for posts (articles etc) that you may have commented on?

This reply should generate a notification.  This is only a test.

There was an issue with subscribing to discussion notifications.  Now (with the fix), any time you comment, it will subscribe you to a discussion (just like it was on other posts) and you will receive notifications when anyone comments.  

This comment should subscribe Shelley and send a notification to Registered User.

Shelley is subscribed to this discussion with her previous comment.

This comment is the one that will actually send her a notification.

This should be fixed for everyone now. Keep in mind that you will need to create a new comment to get notifications for existing discussions.  Anyone who creates a post or a discussion topic will automatically be subscribed to the new content.

I am getting e-mails if someone comments on a review (incredibly rare I'm sad to say) - and it looks like very few Reviews (live and albums) are being commented on these days; yet the longform articles seem incredibly popular.

I know I haven't been getting notifications about Discussions I have contributed too (like this one) but have for some Articles/Interviews. (I got a notification when commenting on Hal's Tonio K. Interview) I hadn't gone to this Discussion since my last comment so didn't know it had possibly been fixed. We'll see if I get a notification this time for adding to this discussion.

You should get one actually, I just did. The Discussions notifications had been broken but I do believe that they are fixed. Please let me know if not...

Shelley, I don't think I've received a single email notification to this discussion. Without spot checking every comment I've left against email, I'd say notifications aren't 100% quite yet. 

Jack (or anyone who thinks they might not be getting notifications) can you go to your "My Page" (via the gear icon)> Following and see if this Discussion topic is listed there?  

If you know you have commnented on this thread and don't see it there (and haven't physically unfollowed it), please send me a screenshot to help@nodepression.com.  

Thanks!

I did as instructed and this discussion is listed as something I'm following.  It gives the option to "un-follow" or "stop email".  I'm not sure what the distinction is between "un-follow" and "stop email" is, one would think un-follow would stop emails?  Anyway, at 0903 today I received the following email notification:

 Hey Jack 2.0 -  The Forum topic "How Can We Make This Site Better? " received a new comment from Easy Ed.  Click http://nodepression.com/discussion/how-can-we-make-site-better#comment-44141 to read the comment.    You can manage notifications in your "My Page" by clicking http://nodepression.com/user/30215/follows    Thanks for participating, ND Community Managers

 

I followed the link above, it took me to the first page of the discussion.  Not sure if Ed left a comment today or if this is a delayed notification to a prior comment.  Only way of knowing would be to scan each page of comments looking for Ed's picture and the date of that comment. Notifications remain sporadic, but keep at it! 

Hi Jack - So we did fix the link going to the right place but it seems that your email (in particular) is still a bit delayed and the link you received did not contain the proper structure. This is a tiny but confusing but I'll demonstrate here.  The message I got for your commet was:

Hey Shelley Champine - 

The Forum topic "How Can We Make This Site Better? " received a new comment from Jack 2.0. Click http://nodepression.com/comment/44177#comment-44177 to read the comment. 

By restructuring these links (making it http://nodepression.com/comment/44177#comment-44177 rather than http://nodepression.com/discussion/how-can-we-make-site-better#comment-44177) we have solved the problem, but since your email is delayed (not sure why, mine is not), your notification was from before the change. 

Also there is no distinction is between "un-follow" and "stop email" right now but soon, you will have the ability to still folow something but not recieved email (you will have other ways of staying on top of it).

Yes, we're getting there! Hopefully you will get notified about this quickly and it will take you to the correct place. :-)

I agree...the quick link to the last post is missing

Greetings all. Please don't kill this thread. It's good to see and read about how the group is experiencing the site and the various suggestions people make. Makes it feel like the community is still around too. The help link is great and both Shelley and Stacy respond very quickly. I use it frequently for a number of issues, usually that reflect a singulair question or problem. But for overall site design and tech issues, you can't beat this. Kudos for coming up with it, although I can understand why some might dislike having it aired in public.

Couple of things this week:

-Might just be me, but has anyone else noticed that when leaving a comment or posting something in the text box, when you hit the enter/return key it takes the cursor back to the top, rather than down to the next paragraph? Annoying the heck out of me.

-The old web version used to seem to always recognize me when I connected, without the need to log in. Now I find myself having to log in every time I come onto the site....which limits my interest in leaving comments. Is there a way around this or is it just the way the new platform was built?

-On the mobile version, when reading the comments of this particular thread for example, it's impossible to go from the next to the last page to the last page. I can go backwards, but not forward.

-I have my own theory about the lack of comments on many of the articles and such. When the site switched over to the new platform, you had to re-register. I've asked a few times how many people have done this, and I can understand that the managment doesn't feel compelled to answer. And that's ther perogative, I get it. But I'd guess that we've lost many regulars who just didn't (or haven't yet) taken the time to do this. What may have been a daily habit to come on and engage might have been disrupted, and with life speeding by quickly, re-registering here drops off the top ten list of things to do. The other thing is, and I've always heard this from people I know who read my stuff and then send me an email about it...it would be great from a reader and writers perspective to be able to leave a comment without the need to register. 

-Shelley...please tell me how to embed an image from my computer to a post as mentioned above. When I click on the camera icon it says this: 

We support the following providers:

There may be a delay while your media loads.

Ed, I use Google Chome and my log-in is fine and dandy - so for once I'm quite happy :) 

      I have a new issue though; but it may be my laptop - When I try to Tweet an article/review the box opens up blank (just started this week). Any idead technobots?

Safari user here. Maybe there is a preference feature I need to check. 

This actually works fine on Explorer but not Chrome - strange goings on.

Alan, about the Twitter thing:  Anytime you get several sites trying interact with eachother  through a browser, you may not always get the results you desire (or sometimes you do).

I find with twitter (on several sites that I manage), that it's more consistent to open up Twitter in a completely new tab and paste in the URL and then add (or paste in) the comment, rather than trying use a tweet button directly from whatever site I'm on. It could very well work just fine but I always like to control all the factors right from twitter -  fewer middlemen.  So when you say "the box opens up blank ", it means something is getting in the way and causing it not to connect properly (it didn't pull the title & URL). It could be the original site, could be twitter, or it could be the browser not carrying out the instructions. I've just learned that it's best to limit the variables when possible. 

Just so you know, I just tested what you are saying and it did work just fine: I went to an article on ND, hit the tweet button at the bottom and it pulled in ome teaser text (title) and the URL. In my case (Chrome browser on a Mac) it looked normal and the box wasn't blank. Had I hit the button to send, it would have worked just fine.

Another really simple thing to do when things are not operating as expected: Open and close your browser tab (or if all else fails, restart your machine). Nine out of ten times when a site starts doing something unexpected, this solves the problem for me. 

thanks - I'm lazy so hitting the Tweet button on my reviews works fine for me, rather than the lugubrious cut and paste which can take up to 10 seconds to do :) hahaha

Ed, so when you open up that box, you will need to have an image url ready that you are planning to use. In this case I'm planning to use https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/186313140/cap_shirt_art_400x400.jpg

I open up the box , paste it in, and also choose right align. 

The image will display both in the unfinished comment and also when I save it.  Does this answer your question?

Hi Shelley. My mistake. I knew how that worked but misread a previous comment about how to do it. Got confused. A too often state. 

Regarding my other comments or issues, I'll assume that maybe they'll also be looked at or addressed,

 

Yes of course they will. However, it's difficult to weed through this entire thread to capture all the requests (plus some of the issues have already been addressed/fixed).  It has been a good discussion topic but we need to streamline this process.

In the best interest figuring out which things are the most pressing to you, please send a list of your biggest issues (in order of importance to you) to help@nodepression.com and we'll double check them against all the development items we are working on. If you send them on a weekday, I will personally make sure the info gets to the developers. 

It would also help if you noted on the list item whether it is:
1) Broken -  something is truly not functioning as expected
2) Enhancement - something that is not technicaly broken but you would like to be handled in a different way

For things that you mark broken, it woud be helpful for you to tell us:
- desktop or mobile
- what browser/version you are using plus operating system (iOS/Windows & version)
- if this problem happened once or several times and anything else about it so we can try to recreate it when were are testing for the problem.

Also keep in mind that just becuse something seems different than it did on Ning, does not necessarily mean it's broken. In some cases, for practicality and in the interst of having a more modern looking and acting website, we've chosen to do things differently. If you feel strongly that you want it done some other way (whether or not it it has been done that way in the past), please mark it as an enhancement. 

Ed, having a concise, prioritized list of requests from you or anyone else who cares to send one would help immensely and would expedite getting issues handled.

I'm having (and have had) issues adding a photo to a blog post. I go through the routine but when I cut and paste the url I get an error that says "try another url"?  Closed browser, logged off, logged on, tried different browser. No luck.

Hi Hal - I just replied to your email and I have figured out what's going on. I'll reply here so everyone knows.

Not the correct link to paste in:

http://www.nodepression.com/photo/crickets-and-their-buddies

(The link above is the URL to the post where you can see the photo. )

Below the photo is listed the correct link to use:

http://test-nodep.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/main_image/photo/cricketsandbuddies-cd-front-large.jpg

Thanks for your help and your usual dose of patience! Got it.

 

Please add some way to help me find podcasts matching my musical taste.  Thanks.

We are working on our tag system and this should be a big help with that.

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

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