November 27th, 2006

Upcoming Changes
By James Castwell

Back when I was in my early twenties I read about a new Court House that had been built and there were no sidewalks put in. The idea was to let the folks who actually used the building establish where they should be by their use. Where the paths developed is where they then put in the sidewalks. Wonderful idea I thought, and have held onto it all this time. So I thought when I switched from the Java chat room to our new one I would do the same thing. Not put in the 'whistles and bells' but let everyone let us know what they would like.

BMW tried that too. If the idea was good enough for them it should be good enough for FAOL. Right? Wrong! The results came out about the same. The changes were great, but they had just sprung it on folks without any warning. Not a good idea after all. Seems like nobody wants any surprises, least ways not with things they are accustomed to. I made the same mistake with the new Chat-Room. Just turned it on ten minutes before my shift last Saturday evening. The majority of feed back was negative, snide, whining, whimpering, lamenting, and accusatory. Will I ever try that again? I sure hope not. We actually lost readers over it. Some just plain quit. In a huff. Even one of our hosts. We have now installed some of the 'goodies' to the new chat room while we still have a few users.

So what about upcoming changes. Far too many folks have over the years 'book-marked' certain parts of FAOL and will never read this. They have no intention of not only reading me, but never venture near the main page. They have their reasons; I have my opinions. Do they miss a lot? Sure, but they really do not care, for what ever reason. I am not sure where to try to place this information so they find it but I will try. And if they don't find it, here we go again.

When we started out ten years ago, the idea was to try to have the front/main page look a bit like a magazine cover. We were new and the graphics were terrible. We soon dumped the idea and went to about what you see now, for those of you who do see it. The two flags appeared the day we were attacked. The idea of a picture above the box of four teasers came along and we settled on 'position five' as we call it. This week it's the cartoon leading to the 'Lighterside' section. Less than a quarter of you went to it, only eighty percent had your sound on. Twenty percent just read the text. We are having a big meeting this Saturday. Things will change.

We will maintain some things. The mission statement stays. That is final. If it goes, so do I. No compromise. The look of the front page however will reflect today's modern style. We will do away with frames and go to CSS. Many reasons to do so. A new and far simpler navigation system is and has been in the drawing stages for several months and still is not done. It is going onto the 'front burner.' We anticipate these changes will take place during the next two months.

So, this is just fair warning. When some changes (improvements) show up, don't be too surprised. The chat-room is in the process but not yet done, the BB is not done yet, pod-casts are moving to the top of the list and more involvement by the users is on deck. The details for these are not complete and there is no way I can give answers to those who want further information.

Just hang on to your pants. You ain't seen nothing yet. ~ JC

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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