All those flashy new features may help grab users initially, but what'll keep 'em coming back is content, content, content. I know Brent loves to hack on this stuff, but don't let him waste time fixing what ain't broke. Make him ride and write. MO's current ancient interface works just fine, thanks. Just like we tell the bike makers, skip the Bold New Graphics (Bold New Gee-Whiz features) and give us more substance.
P.S. So when will we see the promised power-cruiser comparison?
Hmmm, hadn't thought of that, but easy to do, so we will. That _is_ the reason we're switching to a DB-backed publishing system, after all. Easier to (at least apper to be) all things to all people.
However, you're underestimating how showboaty young (male) racers are, some have already volunteered to be shot in their skivies. For free. Freaks, the lot of them (but not because they like to walk around in speedos).
Page refresh? Hmm... I don't see that happening, and there's nothing in the headers setting a timeout/expiration. Maybe you're going through a proxy that's time-based caching it? Or, maybe something's wacked here... what configuration are you using for OS/browser? I wonder if it's only happening under certain platforms.
True, to a point, but there are significant areas where we're lacking, and I think (in the motorcycle community, at least) we're the online site with a sizable enough motorcycling user base to pull it off: Things such as user groups where people of like interest and/or nearby geographical locations can hang out. We used to do this with our old BBSes and majordomo mailing lists, but the ability to control, rather to exactly identify and punt jerks, just wasn't there. As the volume of use got huge, so did the slight percentage of dodoheads that were making life aggravating for everyone else. At that time, it required a lot of work by us individually, now, however, it's more acceptable to have a task manager to deal with it, usually that's the person that set up the group/forum/calendar/ride and so on, and people can see the dis-association between MO per se and the task manager. Legally, they're mostly separate now, too, or at least much moreso than before -- Prodigy's mid-1990s loss of a couple million over a post in a user-moderated forum had a lot to do with us pulling forums/groups, but the legal atmosphere has changed.
We want people to be able to build their home pages around the bikes they own so we can auto-rank them (by hits, and by user ratings) in features when we review the new model of what they have. People seem to dig our features, but this is something that is asked for a lot, and we haven't delivered. A centralized source for professional reviews coupled with owners' experience is the idea.
In short, the one-to-many publishing of features will continue, but we need to meld into the overall MO real-world, real people that can interact and meet on a one-to-one basis.
Funny thing is, when we last spoke to (big media monitoring firm), we were the "stickiest" automotive site on the 'Net, but we're still not happy with it.
More infrastructure allowing a more individualized and interactive experience, plus more content, is good. I'd certainly like to see some kind of forum capability that could be targeted toward riding styles; as well as geographic regions. Maybe some ability to catalog user information about great roads, products, technical advice, etc. Filtering would be icing on the cake.
Of course, I'd also like to see some in-depth reviews of, and more comparo's of all the great standards and sport-tourers that are out and are coming out soon.
But, how long does it take to walk 1800 miles, anyway?
Could be. I've had it happen at home when I had DSL as well as now that I have superslow dial-up. Also happens at work on a T1.
In all cases, OS is Win98SE, browser is IE 5.0 (not 5.5).
It's not that big a deal, but if you're reading a message down the page, it takes a while to come back and you have to find the message again. At first I thought it was a real-time update for the messages (somebody posts and it automatically brings me up to date), but that's not true.
Well, I have to say that I like your site the way it looks. I'm with the guys who say ditch the flashy graphics ideas. I prefer MO over the other sites, because it's simpler, easier to navigate, and has good content. To be honest, more than half of the time, I'm more interested in what my fellow motorcyclists have to say, than I am in the articles you guys write. I love reading Gabe, AbeFroman, Starvingstudent, and other great posters (didn't mean to leave all the other great minds out, but these guys comment a lot and have good stuff to say). I think it's amazing how off topic the replies can get, and how much more entertaining they are than some articles (i.e. indians new vp of whatever zzzZZZ Uberboring, but the responses to the NHTSA article, great - to cite a couple of current articles). Anyway, I stay at MO and donated because I like the pics, the content, and reading and responding to the longtime readers and true thinking motorcyclist afficionados out there. Keep the rubber down guys, keep MO clean-not clutterd, and keep writing good stuff I can read when I'm not riding!
1) I like the ability to respond to articles, but I much prefer to read about new products/bikes. How about beefing up the content? When reviewing motorcycles, why wait until you have the final test/article done? As an online resource, you have the opportunity to do so much more. How about side articles on some of the rides you take on the motorcycles you are testing? You wouldn't even have to wait for the final review to do so...
2) I may be one of the few, but I really like the touring the world stuff.
3) If you do try to tailor content to the user, make sure it works. Small example -- several times I have attempted to set my preference to viewing messages "nested." Most of the time they show up in a threaded format. My preference says nest, the site always welcomes me and thanks me for my donation, then gives me threaded messages. A small issue to be sure, but a request to make sure the detail things work.
Pacific Crest Trail goes right by there between Lake Arrowhead and the little Mojave town of Hesperia.
There's one of my favorite things in nature.
By a river in a deep canyon is a large rock. Hot water fills four pools that look as though they must have been carved out of that rock, but they occured naturally. Soaking in these pools is a high experience.
If you didn't, you just have to go back. The crest trail runs by the flood control dam at Hesperia and up the Deep Creek, which becomes the Mojave River. The hot spring is only 6 miles upstream from the dam.
In hippy heydays there'd be hundreds of people there on weekends with drug supermarkets all over. Then for decades there were fugitives from justice. Now it's just delightful folks like ourselves.
I think what hurts this site the most, is it is not timely in the reporting. I frequently see articles of interest appear here several days after they have appeared elsewhere online. I was told "we like to investigate the facts before printing". Well then why don't you make a section called "Rumour Mill" and post the stuff that you guys "hear" about the industry. This would enable you to print it rapidly, and to indemify yourselves, since it is after all a "rumour"..
Eric, I'm guessing it's not really an error, just an oversight: If you click on a link to a news item from anywhere else (like inside a story, from the www.mo news-updated in the homepage), the preferences cookie isn't read. I've been meaning to fix that, as it annoys me to no end.
If you're having problems clicking on news.mo links off the cover and not getting nested (or other preferences) views, let me know...
I soaked in deek creek hotsprings after a 33 mile day through the desert-like wash/burnout leading up to it, it was awesome! That's where I met the Smokin' Eagles and Dirty Girls, two groups that I'd hike with on-and-off for the next 1300 miles...
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