Re: NO NO NO!
Thanks for the tips! Some responses/reasons why we do things our way:
Changing looks (ala news.mo) doesn't help readership. News.MO is a small fraction of the traffic of www.mo
. Thus, the opinions here are different from the majority of MO readers (getting their opinions is much harder), probably much more progressive and more 'Net-savvy. The majority of MO readers read us for the multi-bike shootout and First-Ride features, want to download and watch some videos, 85% of them don't post/read here, and get upset when we change things from their familiar MO (which hasn't changed looks since 1995. Pathetic, eh?).
That said, a major redesign of www.mo
is underway with cutting-edge features and customization. Part of the problem is that serving 1000+ concurrent (news.mo is roughly 14% of our traffic, and sees a peak of about 250 active readers, so we can expect close to 3000 total between www.mo
and news.mo, that's a lot!), dynamically-generated/custom look pages requires big iron, and fast, parrellized databases with dynamic load direction. We can't afford to drop six figures on vendor-supplied computers. Hackfu
and I just finished installing three big servers and two load-directors, with one more server to be completed. (Installing RAID arrays, replicating SQL databases, writing routing rules and SQL-based web pages isn't what I envisioned when I started MO in early '94! Can you say "yawn?")
The Vietnam story was cool, but the amount of re-writing, editing and arranging for quality photography and scanning/laying out a features a day from readers would require two more staffers here. It is incredibly time consuming, and I, as Editor-in-Chief, don't even have time to edit our own staff-generated features or those from our regular, quality stringers (who're pretty self-sufficient).
We're working hard on more product reviews. This is sorely needed. We've known we sucked in this area for a long time.
We already have a huge classifieds section.
We dumped the TechBBS in 1996 because of the massive volumes of questions. We couldn't keep up with it, nor could the people we contracted to do it. This would be a full-time job here.
Similarly, finding e-mail addresses for MO is purposely hard, I, for one, already get a couple thousand a day, it's impossible to keep up with. The idea here was that people could interact with one and other for support, but that doesn't seem acceptable, so I've added a link to our e-mail form in the "Main Menu" to your left. The problem is, we can't respond to most of them, which stinks.
I also added a direct link for registered users to change their password.