Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Another bl**dy poll

You will no doubt have noticed that I experimented with a new blog format last week.  This attracted one positive comment and quite a lot of grumbles from readers who felt it took too long to load up.  Despite having a pretty fast fibre optic broadband connection, I too was frustrated at the time it was failing to fire up - sometimes needing reloading several times in order to access comments. 
While the new format seemed to drive up pageviews, comment numbers were noticeably down - suggesting that many were finding things a bit tedious.
I have therefore decided - for the moment at least - to return to the 'old' template and I invite your thoughts on how best to proceed.  To this end I have (in a desperate effort to justify the lame post title) posted a new poll by means of which you may make your views known.


In a breathtakingly clever play on words, here is yet another Pole. 
Jan III (or John Sobieski) in fact. 
The chap who duffed up the Turks at Vienna.

29 comments:

Phil Broeders said...

Hi Tim

As you know I use Flipcard and I find it works fine for me. I think once its loaded up once, the next visit is much faster (or so it appears). Its about personal preferences although I know that Flipcard has made a big difference to visitor numbers (as its easier to find other posts you might be interested in). The Classic format is great for the current post but provides difficulty for finding other stuff on the blog.

The issue about comments is also interesting. I read lots of different blogs but only comment if I feel I'm adding something to the mix. A compliment on a good paint job or recognition of effort that has gone into the post for example. But often I just read and then move on.

Comments will differ in numbers based on the topic of the post and what it contains - so I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet!

Tim Gow said...

Phil Broeders
I found that Flipcard was, if anything getting slower - especially on iPad.

Giano said...

Hi! I may have the answer about the fewer comments on the "new" style blog: some people couldn't comment at all - and I'm one of them. I guess it's due to some update to the browser or java or something else I missed, but I couldn't figure out which one, jet. So at the moment I'm unable to comment on those blogs which have the new features.
I hope this helps things a bit, so someone can figure out where the problem is.

Ross Mac rmacfa@gmail.com said...

I found the new format a pain on a mobile device. Don;t remember the flip card. The real big problem for me was that my tiny, distracted brain would react to the presentation of a bunch of little screens by flipping the page down to find the post, then would remember and sweep back up to find the latest one but usually not have scrolled back far enough and thus was opening random old posts.

In other words the problem was really on my side of the keyboard. Slow adaption to change.

Fascinating about increase in page views as people would have to visit the blog to even know. Perhaps it was people clicking on old posts. Intentionally or not. I've occasionally thought that I'd like to know how many unique visitors as well as how many pages looked at.

Don M said...

I didn't care for the new techy
format either, once you enlarge
your photos and then hit the back arrow it carries you all the way out to the front page....pain in the posterior!

Peter Douglas said...

Tim

See I can comment on this style. Does this constitute more "old stuff?

Cheers
PD

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

I wanted to vote "I don't read this rubbish, I just like internet polls" for the sole reason it made me laugh, but in the end I voted "I don't care", as that was closest to my experience.... I read all my blogs through Google Reader so only visit the actual blog if I want to leave a comment.... which means most of the time I don't notice if people have changed template unless they specifically comment they have.... I would say that Phil Broeders flipcard blog is a bit of a PITA to leave comments on (sometimes it shows them first time and sometimes it doesn't) but other than that I'm remarkably happy with the standard'ish blogger templates...

Phil Broeders said...

I agree with Steve's point about leaving a comment - I've noticed that they are sometimes there and sometimes not. The side bar in Flipcard is also a pain as it sits right over the scroll bar and so its hard to scroll to the end (although if you click on the page then use the arrow buttons to go up and down this does the job).

Mike Whitaker said...

I have a suspicion that something about the way FlipCard is put together artificially inflates page views, as the one day I had it running a year or so ago jumped from an average of 40 or so to over 200.

Sean said...

I switched to flipcard after reading Phil's exposition on it. I think it more accurately tracks page views because one can't just scroll down and read article after article on one view. You can make people clike by doing the page break (read more) trick to fix that. You can also see more old posts at once. I found Tim's site a little slow so I wonder, by comparison if it has to do with the number of posts to load. It could also be the background image. Phil's site has nothing extraneous while mine and Tim's have back ground images. Sorry for the long comment, I feel another bloggery post coming on. And yes, option four in the poll is tempting but I won't pick it.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

I've always wondered if reading blogs through Google Reader means I don't get counted as a page view....

Wg Cdr Luddite said...

Hooray ! Normal service is resumed for us old fogies !

Why would you want tech-savvy under-30s on this blog anyway ?

Pete. said...

Hated the flipcard format but was too polite to say, though I have now registered my diapproval by voting. When it opened up it was easy to read post sure but to comment I had to reload the page a few times before the comments box appeared and ditto for all your useful links down the side, I found that rather annoying.

Cheers,

Pete.

Brigadier Dundas said...

I gave up reading once I realized the change was "real" and not some Blogger malfunction.
Flip card looked nice once loaded but the aggravation to get there........
Thanks for changing back.

Paul said...

Hi Tim, I have found no problems with the flipcard type format other than some slow loading when my broadband wireless is down on range, then it can be a little slow.

I am a bit like Phil when it comes time for the comments, so I would would not worry too much about the amount.

Like Sean, I like the fact that viewers can't visit 10 posts in one hit, and I think this increases comments on my blog as the comments can be actually seen on the individual post rather than just 12 comments typed in the bottom.

Just as a experiment I will try the mosaic format for a bit to see if it makes any difference, I trust you will get back to me with feedback.

Don't let it keep you awake at night at any rate.

Paul

Paul said...

Actually I cannot see more than two comments on mosaic and its a bit twitchy, so I am going back.

Tim Gow said...

Giano
Thanks for the feedback. I had trouble accessing the comments even on my own blog when I tried the flip card layout.

Tim Gow said...

Ross Mac
Flip card was the 'new' format. I had similar problems using it.

Tim Gow said...

Don M
I'd noticed that issue with the photos too. Thanks.

Tim Gow said...

Peter Douglas
Forward to the past!

Tim Gow said...

Steve the Wargamer
Posting comments in Flipcard was a bit hit and miss. Mostly miss....

Tim Gow said...

Mike Whitaker
My page views leapt from around 300 to 2000 per day while I used Flipcard! I think it counts all the posts visible on te page as separate hits.

Tim Gow said...

Sean
I had wondered about the download speed being related to the number of posts (and photos?). On mine the background image wasn't loading a lot of the time.

Tim Gow said...

Wg Cdr Luddite
You mean you're not a 25 year old software designer? Ah well, there goes another illusion....

Tim Gow said...

Pete
Politeness has no place here! I too found I was having to reload the blog (sometimes several times) to access all the features.

Tim Gow said...

Brigadier Dundas
Quite so. I think Flipcard will be nice when it works reliably, but until then we'll stick with what we know.

Tim Gow said...

Paul
This was all your fault in the first place! As I mentioned in our email exchange on the subject, I find Flipcard very tedious on iPad, and quite ropey on my (fairly new) PC with a wired fibre optic broadband connection.

Archduke Piccolo said...

Flip card is quite good for trawling through a blog's 'back numbers'. But whenever you look at the pictures, and back again, the thing reloads against and doesn't always decant you back to that part of the page.

I have considered doing the Magazine format, but each time I've quickly reverted to the classic format.

Tim Gow said...

Archduke Piccolo
I had a look at some of the other formats too, but none seemed suitable for my blog.