Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Most Recent FO Features

LockettTyl15.jpg

» Futures: Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett

The Wildcats receiver isn't the best athlete you'll ever see, but Matt Waldman says he could be an effective pro with small improvements in his technique.

12 Sep 2008

Welcome to FO 3.0

It’s new! Improved! It slices! It dices! Gets stains out like magic! Also, provides the most innovative statistics and intelligent analysis of any football website out there. Some assembly required.

So, how do you like these apples? Football Outsiders has moved into some swanky new digs on the good side of town, and we welcome you to come on in, look around, and check out how we’ve improved things in FO3.0 to allow you a fuller, richer FO user experience.

Of course, there are changes – some minor, some major – and we’ll outline them for you here:

New Design

Bigger! Bolder! Greener! Tasty Tabs! Delicious Dropdowns!
Note to IE6 users: you may not be able to experience the new FO3.0 design to its fullest. Some things may not line up exactly…some things may look a bit funky. We did the best we could to accommodate, but in the end, please realize that you’re using a seven-year-old browser that does not behave like modern browsers should. Please upgrade to IE7 or, better yet, try Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or any of the other better alternatives.

New Architecture

The largest improvement we made is hopefully something you’ll never notice. We’ve completely changed the foundation of the site, moving to a much more powerful, stable, and scalable architecture. Bye-bye WordPress. This has allowed us to add lots of new features to the site now, and will allow us to keep adding cool things in the future. A HUGE thank-you to Eli Holman of Distance Software for making this happen.

User Registration

We are encouraging every reader to register on the site. Registering will give you a permanent username and your user profile will be your Comment profile, your Store profile, and your Premium Access profile (yes, folks, Single Login!). Anonymous users can still comment, but registered users will be able to purchase items from the store, purchase Premium Access, rate comments (see below), and customize their comment view. Please register. And please don’t take someone else’s username (“raiderjoe” is being held in quarantine).

We are importing user information from the FO Store so that your previous purchases will still be viewable. We are also automatically registering all Store customers as FO Users. Unfortunately, passwords could not be imported, so you'll just need to click the "Forgot Password?" link at the top of the page (in the black bar). Fill in the email address you used for the Store, and then submit. You will receive an email with a one-time password-reset link. Log in with that password, and then you can change it. You will also be able to change your username.

Commenting

One of the complaints we heard about the site is that it’s hard to keep track of long comment threads. Comment #123 responds to comment #60, so you have to scroll back through 63 comments to get to the original one. Soooo, we’ve implemented threaded commenting. This means no more comment numbers for new articles. Old ones will still be flat with comment numbers, so you can still go back and read comments from the days of yore when raiderjoe was Li’l raiderjoey and Atlanta Falcons fans trolled endlessly.

The other big deal about comments is Comment Rating. Registered Users will be able to rate comments, and those ratings accumulate into what is commonly referred to as “karma.” Here’s a good explanation:

Karma is a comment rating and community participation system to try to keep the comments as high-quality as possible. When your comments are rated by others, those ratings are combined into a weighted average -- newer comments count more than older ones -- called your "Karma". This, roughly, represents the rating you could expect your next comment to receive based on your past comments. Users who have a karma greater than a certain minimum and who have posted a sufficient number of comments are considered "trusted" users, and have the added capability to rate comments below the normal minimum rating. If enough of a user's comments are rated below 1, that user becomes "untrusted", which means that respected members of the community have repeatedly indicated that the user's input is offensive, content-free, or merely intended to annoy others. Said comments no longer appear for anonymous and regular users. Only trusted users can view them.

This is, of course, part of a larger effort to keep our discussions full of intelligent talk, and to separate Football Outsiders from the FINZ RULE!!! mentality of many mainstream sites. Speaking of discussion…

Integrated Open Discussion Boards

A while back, we put Open Discussions on a separate forum to help alleviate the load on the server. This was nice, and it has worked, thanks to the stewardship of Bill Barnwell, but it was never intended as a permanent solution. With the new site architecture, we are re-integrating the Open Discussions back into the regular flow of the site. You’ll find Open Discussions under the Discussion navigation pulldown tab at the top, as well as in the green-bordered buttons on the right side of the page, under the Extra Points box.

Mailing List

If you were on the FO email list, you will be receiving (or have already received) an email from us asking you to register for the site to continue to receive our email notifications. The old list will continue to work for the rest of this month, so please pardon the duplicates, but we ask that you register. Note: registration does not automatically add you to the email distribution list; you need to manually opt in to receive emails.

Note on the Store

For the next few days, the Store will be in flux while we finish importing everything. If you have any difficulty with anything store-related, please use the contact form and select Webmaster from the pulldown. We’ll get you taken care of.

We want to hear from you

Just about everything we’ve done in this major upgrade has been in response to reader requests, so please keep them coming. If anything doesn’t work as expected, or if you feel something can be improved, please use the contact form and select Webmaster from the pulldown. Please don't send email to Aaron or any of the other writers. They're too busy...well...writing.

Posted by: Benjy Rose on 12 Sep 2008

107 comments, Last at 01 Oct 2008, 5:51pm by Arren

Comments

1
by Diane (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 3:23pm

Nicceeeeeee!

77
by ugarte (not verified) :: Mon, 09/15/2008 - 12:32am

So, how does threaded commenting work?

2
by Tom D (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 3:39pm

So much change. I think I like it so far.

3
by Tom Gower :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 4:34pm

Comment test.

4
by Gerry (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 4:48pm

I like the look very much.

The constant recurring "Unable to open database connection. If you still need to install Drupal..." errors, not so much.

5
by Gerry (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 4:52pm

I also do not like that it does not seem to remember user details from comment to comment.

Or that it just quadruple posted my comment.

Kinks!

6
by superbears (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 4:54pm

I love the new look, if only it was faster

7
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 5:30pm

I registered and followed the link from email so my account is now active, and anytime I go to a page I get "You are not authorized to view this content" or something similar where the article would be. I had to logout to get to see a page and post a comment again. Anyone else with new accounts having this issue when logged in?

8
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 5:37pm

Anybody know where the Losers League standings are now? You'd think they could be found on the "Losers League" page, but now that's just a collection of old articles about Losers League.

9
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 6:50pm

When logged in I got the "not authorized", so this is posted as anon:

The site may be more scalable, but in absolute terms, it's slow as a dog right now. I'm assuming that's just an initial thing, but you might want to check the number of db hits you're generating per page.

Usability Comments

With the old design, I could just visit the main page and I could instantly see (by the color of the links) if there was anything new. No more. Now there are 10 (TEN!) tabs to check for "feature" content, 3 for "off-site / minor content" (and why are the Extra Points news bullets called "THE FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS WEBLOG" now, in addition to "Extra Points"??).

That's the major thing and, to be honest, I think it will result in me visiting the site once or twice a week instead of a handful of times a day. (No, I've never heard of rss).

Design Comments

Space: There's too much of it. Sure, a little space can give a certain "lightness" to a page, but this is extreme. Examples include pretty much all the vertical gaps. Between RSS Feed+PremiumContent etc and the main menu. Between the "header" and the page. Between the top of the page and the actual content. Between the blue "Recent Features" block + Extra Points thingie and the next set of content (Football Outsiders Features).

Then there ar the many design paradigms that have been brutally violated by the new design:

Menus (menus, menus everywhere)

Ideally, there should be only a single menu. Tabs are just a different kind of menu, so that gives:

1) The login bar.
2) The RSS Feed + Premium Content/Online Store/First Time Here? box.
3) The main menu... I think. (Statistics etc)
4) Top right tab menu (3 items)
5) Features tab menu (10 items, which is also more than the recommended max number of items in a menu, although it's helped somewhat by splitting into NFL and College).

I can't think of a site with 6 menus. Seriously. That's just insane. It's cluttered and completely impossible for me to wrap my head around. OK, so maybe I'm just stupid, but still... 6 freakin' menus?!

Redundancy

This exacerbates the other issues as well as being a problem unto itself. Lots of content is available in many different places. This is confusing and takes up space. Examples include:

1) The blue box (Recent Features, I guess) has massive overlap with the top content below it: Football Outsiders Features (the one with the 10(!) tabs). This overlap is even more extreme because the "FO Features" tab-hell doesn't list more than a single feature article in each category. However, the blue box does contain things that cannot be found in "FO Features" (despite being LABELLED "Recent Features"), like this intro to FO 3.0 (Ramblings).

Again, in the old site, you could check the main page and with one look see if there was anything new. The redesign has taken that best feature of the old site and killed it "Itchy and Scratchy" style.

2) Take a look at this page. Seriously. The header (in the green, above the "page") has a nice FO logo with the "Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis" credo. What's the first thing the reader is greated by inside the page itself? A new, different (but massive) FO logo, complete with "Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis". Why?

3) Then there's the "Most Recent Articles" below that, which covers all the stuff above, but in the old (better, IMHO) form.

4) Discussion buttons - shortcuts to most-recent NFL and NCAA discussion threads. This isn't necessarily bad as a shortcut to "hot" content, but it's completely different than everything else for no apparent reason. Which brings me to...

It SEEMS LIKE the tab-hell is actually like a set of "buttons" that bring you to the latest Feature of that kind (e.g. DVOA Ratings). Why not ditch the tab-hell and add the button to the already existing ones

5) Why does it say "THE FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS WEBLOG" when Extra Points is selected? And "FOOOTBALL OUTSIDERS ON ESPN" when "FO on ESPN" is selected. Etc. This is pretty much the definition of redundant and I doubt there would be ANY value lost if these extra "titles" were killed.

Bottom Line

I don't mean to get all negative, but feedback will usually focus on what's WORSE than before. And, as anyone who's ever worked in any kind of customer service or product development (with client contact) will tell you, negative changes are 10x worse than positive changes from the users PERCEPTION.

A lot of the problems are easily fixable and don't impact the overall design. The space issues, the extra headings, all that stuff. One major issue is the tab-hell and the number of menus. The tab-hell could be "solved" by converting it to the buttons it acts like anyway (like the Discuss "shortcuts to the most recent one"). Even if you made them as large as the existing Discuss buttons (totally unnecessary, IMHO) you could array them across the page in two rows and still save space, improve design, ease overview and reduce clicks needed to access content. Smaller buttons would work even better. You could even go with a "Most Recent..." master button/drop down thingie, although that might not be intuitive enough.

That leaves the menus... the many, many menus. That really needs to be addressed, IMHO, but there aren't going to be any easy solutions. Perhaps an FO 3.5 next offseason.

Bugs

- In Firefox 3 + Opera 9.5 (OS: Ubuntu Linux), resizing the comment field doesn't "let go" (onMouseUp or whatever isn't caught or similar). The result is you are forced to reload the page and lose any comment you had written (unless you "submit" it as is).

- After the initial (prompted) change of password, you are required to login again.

- With a registered user, I got a "You are not authorized to access this page." when trying to view e.g. the Welcome to FO3.0 Ramblings page.

- There's a huge extra gap in Opera 9.5 (Ubuntu) between the second FO logo header (the blue one inside the page) and the top of the content. Maybe 100px or something. Might be a problem with a banner ad?

- The font for the Rambling article itself is extremely ugly in Opera 9.5 (Ubuntu). Probably a (local) font issue of some kind, but I haven't seen a similar problem on other sites.

Sincerely,

fyo (my registered nick)

10
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 6:50pm

When logged in I got the "not authorized", so this is posted as anon:

The site may be more scalable, but in absolute terms, it's slow as a dog right now. I'm assuming that's just an initial thing, but you might want to check the number of db hits you're generating per page.

Usability Comments

With the old design, I could just visit the main page and I could instantly see (by the color of the links) if there was anything new. No more. Now there are 10 (TEN!) tabs to check for "feature" content, 3 for "off-site / minor content" (and why are the Extra Points news bullets called "THE FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS WEBLOG" now, in addition to "Extra Points"??).

That's the major thing and, to be honest, I think it will result in me visiting the site once or twice a week instead of a handful of times a day. (No, I've never heard of rss).

Design Comments

Space: There's too much of it. Sure, a little space can give a certain "lightness" to a page, but this is extreme. Examples include pretty much all the vertical gaps. Between RSS Feed+PremiumContent etc and the main menu. Between the "header" and the page. Between the top of the page and the actual content. Between the blue "Recent Features" block + Extra Points thingie and the next set of content (Football Outsiders Features).

Then there ar the many design paradigms that have been brutally violated by the new design:

Menus (menus, menus everywhere)

Ideally, there should be only a single menu. Tabs are just a different kind of menu, so that gives:

1) The login bar.
2) The RSS Feed + Premium Content/Online Store/First Time Here? box.
3) The main menu... I think. (Statistics etc)
4) Top right tab menu (3 items)
5) Features tab menu (10 items, which is also more than the recommended max number of items in a menu, although it's helped somewhat by splitting into NFL and College).

I can't think of a site with 6 menus. Seriously. That's just insane. It's cluttered and completely impossible for me to wrap my head around. OK, so maybe I'm just stupid, but still... 6 freakin' menus?!

Redundancy

This exacerbates the other issues as well as being a problem unto itself. Lots of content is available in many different places. This is confusing and takes up space. Examples include:

1) The blue box (Recent Features, I guess) has massive overlap with the top content below it: Football Outsiders Features (the one with the 10(!) tabs). This overlap is even more extreme because the "FO Features" tab-hell doesn't list more than a single feature article in each category. However, the blue box does contain things that cannot be found in "FO Features" (despite being LABELLED "Recent Features"), like this intro to FO 3.0 (Ramblings).

Again, in the old site, you could check the main page and with one look see if there was anything new. The redesign has taken that best feature of the old site and killed it "Itchy and Scratchy" style.

2) Take a look at this page. Seriously. The header (in the green, above the "page") has a nice FO logo with the "Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis" credo. What's the first thing the reader is greated by inside the page itself? A new, different (but massive) FO logo, complete with "Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis". Why?

3) Then there's the "Most Recent Articles" below that, which covers all the stuff above, but in the old (better, IMHO) form.

4) Discussion buttons - shortcuts to most-recent NFL and NCAA discussion threads. This isn't necessarily bad as a shortcut to "hot" content, but it's completely different than everything else for no apparent reason. Which brings me to...

It SEEMS LIKE the tab-hell is actually like a set of "buttons" that bring you to the latest Feature of that kind (e.g. DVOA Ratings). Why not ditch the tab-hell and add the button to the already existing ones

5) Why does it say "THE FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS WEBLOG" when Extra Points is selected? And "FOOOTBALL OUTSIDERS ON ESPN" when "FO on ESPN" is selected. Etc. This is pretty much the definition of redundant and I doubt there would be ANY value lost if these extra "titles" were killed.

Bottom Line

I don't mean to get all negative, but feedback will usually focus on what's WORSE than before. And, as anyone who's ever worked in any kind of customer service or product development (with client contact) will tell you, negative changes are 10x worse than positive changes from the users PERCEPTION.

A lot of the problems are easily fixable and don't impact the overall design. The space issues, the extra headings, all that stuff. One major issue is the tab-hell and the number of menus. The tab-hell could be "solved" by converting it to the buttons it acts like anyway (like the Discuss "shortcuts to the most recent one"). Even if you made them as large as the existing Discuss buttons (totally unnecessary, IMHO) you could array them across the page in two rows and still save space, improve design, ease overview and reduce clicks needed to access content. Smaller buttons would work even better. You could even go with a "Most Recent..." master button/drop down thingie, although that might not be intuitive enough.

That leaves the menus... the many, many menus. That really needs to be addressed, IMHO, but there aren't going to be any easy solutions. Perhaps an FO 3.5 next offseason.

Bugs

- In Firefox 3 + Opera 9.5 (OS: Ubuntu Linux), resizing the comment field doesn't "let go" (onMouseUp or whatever isn't caught or similar). The result is you are forced to reload the page and lose any comment you had written (unless you "submit" it as is).

- After the initial (prompted) change of password, you are required to login again.

- With a registered user, I got a "You are not authorized to access this page." when trying to view e.g. the Welcome to FO3.0 Ramblings page.

- There's a huge extra gap in Opera 9.5 (Ubuntu) between the second FO logo header (the blue one inside the page) and the top of the content. Maybe 100px or something. Might be a problem with a banner ad?

- The font for the Rambling article itself is extremely ugly in Opera 9.5 (Ubuntu). Probably a (local) font issue of some kind, but I haven't seen a similar problem on other sites.

Sincerely,

fyo (my registered nick)

38
by Kulko :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 5:54am

Thanks for putting it all so nicely together.

Also for me the blue box on the main page looks out of place. It doesn't fit with the overall design and pushes the content out of view.

I have activated my old shop account and got a new password, but now I get a "you are not authorized" message whenever I try to open a discussion forum.

11
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 6:54pm

And it double-posted. Nice. I clicked "Post Comment" and nothing happened, no "cursor change" no loading. Nada. So I figured I missed the button (didn't notice a button press action) or maybe my mouse didn't "fire" (it's a wireless and the connectio is iffy at the moment). You can add "double-posting" to the bug list ;). At least include a token in the generated page so that you can tell if the same FORM is submitted twice (and force a check if it is).

12
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 7:35pm

Same problem when I logged in

13
by Gerry (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 7:36pm

It seems that either traffic has died down or you have resolved the MySql connections issues.

I have to say-- whoever designed the new layout really should get a few beers tonight. I have seen many site redesigns, and they mostly are just rearranging things to be different without being better. The new site look is significantly better. Much more professional looking, much more appealing, much crisper.

You *have* to get it so that it puts your name and email in a cookie so that you don't have to fill that back in every single comment, though.

14
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 8:02pm

A few more minor comments:

The list of allowed HTML tags is incorrect. Italics using <i> works fine, as does bold and underline. There also seems to have been a change while I've been writing these comments. At one point there were two formatting settings "full" and "filtered". That set of radio buttons is no longer available.

There are a lot of small inconsistencies... Take the menus, for example. They all "work" differently, each with a distinct look and feel, like "blocks" slapped together and not a single site. The number of different fonts and font sizes is quite large. The way links and lists of links "work" (look, feel and function) is inconsistent: Some links change backgrounds (hover) for the extent of the link, some for the whole line... some links change color and underline... links in articles (such as this rambling) have a dotted underline... and the two "company credit links" at the very bottom of the page don't have any hover effect.

This is neatly demonstrated by the two (vertical) lists of links on the front page: Extra Points versus Recent Features. One uses &raquo;, the other "normal" bullets. One uses color change and underline on hover, the other block background color change (and "inverted" foreground).

The "site map" permanently shown at the bottom has white text links which change to yellow with underline on hover. The login bar also has white text links (but different background) that change to yellow with an underline, but it's a different yellow. The "Recent Features" links, on the other hand, are light blue (on yet a different background) and turn white with an underline on hover.

The color scheme is somewhat odd. A switch to a "modern" scheme appears to have been made, yet the green colors persist. This contrasts (unpleasantly) with the blue and yellows used extensively.

As I continue to try out the new design, I seriously think you should consider scrapping the extra "title header inside the content page". They all say Football Outsiders in a logo-style with a motto of some kind. The FO logo part is a repeat of the logo itself, located just above (but in a completely different style) and the essence of the title is then repeated in the main title / heading that most pages have right below that (OK, there's a banner in between).

Another inconsistency is the use of bold, colors, font sizes and types in different articles. This page (article/rambling), for example, uses h1 for the "Welcome to FO 3.0" title, h4 for the lead text (It's new! Improved! It slices....) and h3 for the section headings. If I click the "First Time Here" menu item/button-ish thing, the h3's are all-caps (if you want that, apply it in your css so it's consistent across all articles). Russell uses h2 instead of h3 in his article "SDA: This Week's Game of the Century". There are more, but those were some of the more consistently inconsistent ;) (I wonder if the comment software does smileys)

Sincerely,

fyo (registered nick)

15
by cd6 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 8:11pm

Wow, I popped on here and thought I typed in the wrong URL or something.
Very sharp new digs.
When does catholic match girl come back??

16
by cd6 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 8:27pm

I'm popping FO's reply to comment cherry.

Was it good for you FO? It was good for me.

/turns on tv, smokes cigarette

27
by cd6 :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 10:37pm

Last test, this time to see if I can post whilst logged in.

I hope raiderjoe is able to actually figure out there's a new site and how to register and log in, because otherwise I'll miss him.

17
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 8:38pm

FINZ RULE!!

18
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 8:57pm

Add another one to the list. I also get a "Not authorized" when I sign in and try to view anything.

19
by kleph :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 9:10pm

bring back creepy catholic match girl!

20
by FourteenDays :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 9:21pm

Overall, I like the new design. Quite snazzy and a lot better organized than the old design.

But one thing I really, really would like to see; the visited link colors (especially in the Extra Points/FO on ESPN/Other FO section) should be different from the unvisited links. I like to read everything, and who wants to try to remember what they've read when their browser should be able to do it for them?

21
by Athelas :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 9:34pm

The drop-downs at the top of the page drop down behind the banner ad so, for instance, I can't choose The Week in Quotes because it is below the ad.
Did I describe that clearly??

22
by JasonK :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 9:36pm

Looks nice. Seems a bit sluggish right now, but I'm sure you'll get that straightened out. It'll take some getting used to, but if FO3.0 can avoid the weekly Lunchtime Monday Wordpress Error, it'll be well worth it.

23
by Lance (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 9:39pm

Who are you, and what have you done with Football Outsiders?

24
by shake n bake :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 10:10pm

it works while logged in. YAY!!!!

Edit:Oh my god, you can edit. I can go back and fix that / instead of a period, I just did.

26
by TomC :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 10:24pm

Testing reply & verification.

25
by Lou :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 10:12pm

overall i like the redesign. which is kind of unusual for me, usually i really hate a sites redesign at first, and then totally forget about it a week or two later.

my only issues seem to have been mentioned. i like being able to recognize new articles without having to click through tabs. if a new article is up it should be immediately recognizable upon opening the page. Also i like knowing if i've clicked on an article before.

I don't think i like the nested comments thing. it just means you have to read through all the comments to see if anyone has posted something new, whereas before you just had to look at the end.

i'm not sure how i feel about the comment rating thing, i'll take a wait and see approach.

ooo you can actually preview comments now. that rocks.

28
by Anonymoussaneiac (not verified) :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 10:51pm

Looks like I'm going to be without FO comment boards from now on. I've got IE 6, and since its a company laptop, I won't be able to change that fact. As you say, things don't line up. I can read the first reader comment just fine, but every subsequent comment moves one character to the left, until the leftmost characters start getting cut off around comment 5. By comment 15, I'm missing entire words. All I have of the "add comment" section is "and will not be shown publicly." and the far right portion of each box. I was able to mass highlight, copy, and paste it into word to see what each box is actually for. Is there any hope for me here?

29
by andrew :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 11:33pm

I think the site looks fantastic.

The registration seems a tad slow right now, assume its due to more load than normal while everyone registers.

30
by D :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 11:43pm

Just want to see if this works.

32
by D :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 11:45pm

Success!

31
by Marcumzilla :: Fri, 09/12/2008 - 11:44pm

The look's nice. I'm mostly a fan of nested comments, though I didn't think of Lou's point about seeing new comments.

Here's my question - since the discussion forums are gone, is there a spot for fantasy discussion? I like both real and fantasy discussion, but I think they're best if they're separated. It'd be nice to know where to look for start/sit, and not to have start/sit questions littering other places.

90
by AnonForNow (not verified) :: Wed, 09/17/2008 - 2:00am

I am another one who is worried that finding the NEW COMMENTS added since a comment board was last viewed is going to be difficult/impossible. Will registered users be able to get a new comments view, or ask for new comments since the last visit be highlighted?

33
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 12:08am

Congrats! The site looks awesome.

However:

"One of the complaints we heard about the site is that it’s hard to keep track of long comment threads. Comment #123 responds to comment #60, so you have to scroll back through 63 comments to get to the original one."

This was not a problem. The problem was that once a single comment was removed, all the other references were broken, and that this happened frequently.

"The other big deal about comments is Comment Rating. Registered Users will be able to rate comments, and those ratings accumulate into what is commonly referred to as “karma.”"

Uh oh.

45
by Dales :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 9:58am

I don't think the 'uh oh' will play out here, due to the rules about avoiding politics, etc.

34
by Josh :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 12:38am

Looks good, folks, and it seems to be running more quickly (slow there for a bit).

35
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 1:43am

Pro: Site looks much better! (No longer looks like a cousin of profootball-reference)

Con: I HATE HATE HATE nested comments, or maybe I don't really understand how to navigate them. I'm open to suggestions on how to do so, so please chime in. With flat comments, it's super easy to check back in a few hours and see what's been added to the discussion. My experience with nested comments is that I can't really tell quickly whether new comments have been added b/c they are nested all over the place. Am I missing something?

36
by Benjy Rose :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 1:47am

Hi folks...thanks so much for all your feedback, both positive and, um, constructive. Be assured we're reading this thread and any emails you send. In fact, we've already implemented a few of the suggestions here (visited links on XP/ESPN/Papers box are now colored differently). We'll continue to tweak and tune the site -- apologies for the slowness this afternoon -- so please continue to comment on it, critique it, and shower praise upon it.

To the folks who are having registration issues, please accept our apologies. Please use the contact form to send a message to Webmaster, and we'll take care of you (be sure to include your email address).

I haven't finished going through all of the comments here in detail, so I'm not going to respond to them all, but....
Athelas: what browser/OS are you using where you're experiencing the dropdown-behind-the-banner thing?

Keep 'em coming! And thanks for bearing with us during the transition.

63
by FourteenDays :: Sun, 09/14/2008 - 12:35am

"In fact, we've already implemented a few of the suggestions here (visited links on XP/ESPN/Papers box are now colored differently)."

Hooray! Thanks!

37
by yogi (not verified) :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 4:39am

Very nice.

At least aesthetically this design and color scheme is much easier on the eyes than the previous one so kudos for whoever did this.

I agree that there are too many tabs. When I visit the site I want to see in one glance what pieces are new as opposed to those I have read already. I shouldn't have to click all over the place for something so basic.

As to nested comments -I'll live with that although I'm not a fan. They seem to make things messier.

Karma is a bitch...no, really I like it. That said - Peyton really is better than Brady!

OK, now I'm off to register. We'll see how that works out.

39
by Levente from Hungary :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 6:35am

Great, congratulation, guys!

So far everything works fine on my machine (pretty standart Firefox 3).

40
by Purds (not verified) :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 7:50am

Nice new look. My favorite aspect is that it appears you've gone upscale with the advertisers as well as the look of the site. So, not more hiding the computer when my young daughters want to see what I am reading for so long. I'd much rather see ATT and Sprint ads than the dancing girls.

41
by Fan in Exile :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 8:39am

A great another chance to be rated it's just like high school. Now I'm going to have to check back every 20seconds to see if people like me.

What happens if I become untrusted?

Is that where all the losers hang out?

Am I going to have to take up hackey sack just to become cool???

Is that even cool anymore????

Was it ever cool?????

I can't take the pressure!!!!!!!!

Why hasn't anyone rated me???

Do I have to post this before I get rated????????

I'm going back to bed I hope you're HAPPY????????????

107
by Arren (not verified) :: Wed, 10/01/2008 - 5:51pm

Fan in Exile, you've managed to make me feel coolly composed and self-confident by comparison - no mean feat!

Don't forget your meds.

42
by Lance :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 9:26am

OK, now I'm officially logged in.

I like the look of the site. But why use "em" and "strong" for italics and bold?

48
by fyo :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 11:24am

You don't need to use em and strong. You can use i and b, as usual. As I said in my (rather long) list, the list of tags allowed is incorrect (or it WAS, anyway).

44
by Dales :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 9:55am

I cannot seem to access any of the Open Discussions (I get the 'not authorized' thingy, plus week 2 is gone. Are all of the old threads from the forums going to be gone?

I hope not, for if so, we will have lost Harris' jelly exposition, and that would be a tragedy.

ETA-- Two requests.
1) Unlike some of the others, I like nested comments. I do, however, see the utility of time-ordered. Perhaps they can be toggled with a user setting for which is the default for a particular user? I think this can be done in Drupal.
2) Having an edit button on comments without it somehow indicating that a comment was edited can end up causing problems. How about somehow marking an edited comment so people know it was edited?

43
by Lou :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 9:51am

after thinking about i'm against nested comments. Its way simpler to look at the end of the post then to search through the whole damn thing for anything interesting. There also needs to be some mechanism for knowing the last comment you read. Benji's post was the last thing i read here last night, and it took me way to long to find that post and start reading again. (yeah i know i could've done a cntrl f search for it, but i shouldn't have to.) Fark.com has a red line under the last comment you read so you can just look for that and start reading. Either that or bring back the comment numbers, i can usually roughly remember how many comments there were last time i read a thread, being able to scroll down and immediately know which ones are new would be very helpful.

99
by Karma Coma :: Wed, 09/17/2008 - 10:57pm

I'm going to side with Lou on this one. I've always liked having not only all the comments numbered, but also on the same page, not broken off into other pages of 10 or 20 each like most sites. I consider it to be like shooting a film in deep focus, which credits the viewer with enough intelligence to follow multiple lines of action simultaneously, or in FO's case offering the reader 100+ comments without needing to shepherd him from topic to topic.

I think we'll probably continue to see a trend that's already started on most threads, that many will disregard the nesting option and just reply outright to the article or E.P. whether or not their comment pertains to an existing nest.

100
by Karma Coma :: Wed, 09/17/2008 - 10:58pm

I'm going to side with Lou on this one. I've always liked having not only all the comments numbered, but also on the same page, not broken off into other pages of 10 or 20 each like most sites. I consider it to be like shooting a film in deep focus, which credits the viewer with enough intelligence to follow multiple lines of action simultaneously, or in FO's case offering the reader 100+ comments without needing to shepherd him from topic to topic.

I think we'll probably continue to see a trend that's already started on most threads, that many will disregard the nesting option and just reply outright to the article or E.P. whether or not their comments pertain to an existing nest.

46
by b roo (not verified) :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 10:03am

It's kinda hard to navigate with my mobile device.

47
by MCS :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 10:31am

Once I got past the "Unauthorized User" error, I've found that I enjoy the improved appearance of the site.

More to come as I get around more.

-MCS-
Here since the old, old version in 2003.

49
by cd6 :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 12:03pm

Here's my suggestions:

I've seen other nested sites that can put a big fat "NEW" on comments that are new. And if you can sneak it in say right justified within the comments individual title bar, then it may be easy to scroll down and look for the NEWs to know if there are any new comments.

I'd second what b roo said... its going to be impossible to read FO on a blackberry now, which is a shame for those of us (me) who get sent on company travel to India where they don't care about the NFL.

Lastly, I'd agree with previous comments about losing the blue 1" title bar. I don't understand what purpose it's supposed to serve, it just seems out of place. Everything else is in the green color scheme.

edit to add: being able to edit the standard comments is AWESOME.
Also, being able to post without having to admit being a doofus is also AWESOME.

50
by jimm (not verified) :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 12:19pm

Wow - you guys look all growed up now.

51
by Paydro :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 12:36pm

I think that overall the changes are fine; I can find the most recent articles easily, as well as checking particular features that I'm interested in. The top-left frame is maybe a little disorienting, because I expected to find those articles in the "most recent articles" section, but otherwise I can find what I want easily enough.

As for nested comments, it's obviously the easiest way to have a continuing conversation, but not the easiest way for someone to repeatedly check back to see how the conversation is going. Unless of course there's some means to mark "unread" comments, but that might be hard to do?

Overall the design change is much more pleasing to the eye, if nothing else... it just appears professional now.

52
by billsfan :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 12:37pm

Sneaky... my old FO RSS feed died, and I didn't see this until I came to the website. Looks slick. Is there a mobile version in the works?

53
by Marcumzilla :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 12:55pm

One more thing... I just saw a Fantasy Discussion was added, but I get a "Not Authorized" error.

54
by B :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 12:59pm

I like the new design, and I had no problem registering, but I just wish I could use my gmail account for the email address. Fortunately I still have a comcast account, but I rarely check it anymore. Still, I love the new site, and so far no problems viewing it....except for the open discussions seem to be not working. Hopefully they'll be up by game time.

57
by fyo :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 3:02pm

Any particular reason you can't? I'm just wondering, because the email address I used was a gmail address. It worked, I got the verification email etc.

74
by Richie :: Sun, 09/14/2008 - 6:24pm

I thought I couldn't use my Gmail address either. Turns out I couldn't because that address was already used because that was the address I used for the old FO Store, and the old FO Store addresses were automatically converted to FO 3.0 usernames.

Try using the "Forgot password" option with your Gmail address.

55
by Red Hedgehog (not verified) :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 1:17pm

So is the linking of previous store accounts to new FO 3.0 sites not working yet? Because, uh, I don't want to sign up for a new account and lose the fact that I've bought Kubiak or anything.

56
by ArchnerdUW :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 2:46pm

I think I like the shiny new site...so far it all works.

58
by Jerry :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 4:20pm

Benji,

If you're going to have comments span multiple pages, can you at least have the previous/next navigation buttons go to the top of the comments on the appropriate page? Thanks.

59
by Yaxley :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 7:40pm

D'oh. I wish I'd noticed this note before I spent that time worrying about why I couldn't log in. Things seem to be good now, so here's to seeing if I count as "verified" yet.

I'll be looking forward to seeing how the new (er... old?) Open Discussion format works as opposed to the forum system.

EDIT: And we can edit our posts now? That is a most welcome feature!

75
by Richie :: Sun, 09/14/2008 - 6:26pm

EDIT: And we can edit our posts now? That is a most welcome feature!

I think it is a bad feature if it enables raiderjoe to come back and make spelling corrections "the morning after".

60
by Justin Zeth :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 9:43pm

The comment rating system... I don't like it and think it's a mistake to have one, based on my experience at other sites. My reasoning is as follows...

1. People are very frequently going to get into a habit of rating comments higher that they agree with, and lower that they disagree with. Thus the highest rated commenters will be the ones who post the most popular or mainstream opinions, rather than the ones who post the highest-content or best-presented comments.

2. People are going to decide they just plan don't like Commenter X, and start rating every comment he posts at 1.

3. Comment-rating systems like this backfire. They're intended to enhance the quality of comments by drawing attention to high-quality comments, but they inevitably end up having the OPPOSITE effect: They draw attention to the commenters, rather than the comments.

4. Similarly... I'm dumbfounded that you're allowing us to see what rating each individual rater gave to a particular comment. That is just openly begging to turn FO comment threads into a spider's web of personal bickering and politicking.

In summary, it simply introduces--not because you wanted it to, but because this is how it almost always turns out--a popularity-contest element to FO comment threads that is going to detract from, rather than enhance, their overall usefulness.

62
by Lou :: Sun, 09/14/2008 - 12:28am

I completely agree. I'm just not a big fan of judging other people, mostly for fear of being judged myself:) But the fact is i just don't want to take time to judge other comments. If someone makes an argument worth responding to i do, and if someone makes a worthless comment i take a second to read it and then move on with my life. I suppose the comment ratings were implemented mostly to eliminate the irate foxsports type commentor, but frankly even when a bunch of them show up, its not all that difficult to ignore them.

also this is just me attempting a nested comment.

68
by old :: Sun, 09/14/2008 - 6:50am

Justin Zeth,

That was a very well reasoned and logical comment!

61
by Paydro :: Sat, 09/13/2008 - 10:26pm

Okay, my enjoyment of the new system is curtailed, because I can't join any of the discussion forums. As others apparently have, I get an "access denied" message when I try. What's that about?

64
by justanothersteve (not verified) :: Sun, 09/14/2008 - 2:25am

Looks good at home. Now, will it work ok on my ancient government-issued POS computer?

98
by armchair journe... :: Wed, 09/17/2008 - 9:54pm

Not if your stuck with IE6.

Try running firefox portable off a thumb drive.

_______________________________
armchair journeyman quarterback

65
by Snowglare :: Sun, 09/14/2008 - 2:59am

I miss the forums :(. Now I'll never see how my week 2 FF advice worked out.

Don't know what the open discussions are like since I can't access them. If they're the same as the other comment lists, they'll forever be inferior to a proper forum where individual topics can begin and end, posts are easily quoted, and losing your place in any discussion is an infrequent occurrence requiring technical difficulties or short term memory loss.

I don't know how anyone keeps up with the article comments. If discussion peters out, that's it. You have to manually check each article and scroll down to see if anything's new. At some point, everyone assumes there'll be no new comments, so if any pop up it's irrelevant. If you assume too quick, the only way to find out the discussion isn't over is to dig up the article. So you either have a bunch of different pages bookmarked, or you miss out on discussion. Unless there's some trick I don't know...?

I thought the ability to rate comments was neat at first, but after hearing from others I must agree it's a bad idea. Even otherwise spiffy people can fall into the trap of over/underrating comments for illogical reasons.

76
by Richie :: Sun, 09/14/2008 - 6:34pm

If discussion peters out, that's it. You have to manually check each article and scroll down to see if anything's new. At some point, everyone assumes there'll be no new comments, so if any pop up it's irrelevant. If you assume too quick, the only way to find out the discussion isn't over is to dig up the article.

I agree. A couple years ago for awhile this site would list the five threads with new comments on it. That was nice for allowing old conversations to keep going. (Just because a topic isn't one of the 5 newest topics doesn't mean it doesn't deserve being discussed any more.)

I think they had to get rid of that feature because it was too much of a drag on resources. If there was any way to bring that feature back I would love to see it.

66
by nibiyabi :: Sun, 09/14/2008 - 4:42am

Are you guys serious? We can no longer create our own threads?! You just killed one of my favorite forums. The fantasy football discussion section is now just going to be one monster thread and completely unreadable. Garbage. There goes one of my favorite sites. I'll just be downloading KUBIAK and reading articles once in awhile, I guess.

67
by Jon :: Sun, 09/14/2008 - 6:08am

Are all the old forum threads gone for good?

69
by old :: Sun, 09/14/2008 - 6:57am

A kink I just experienced after replying to Justin Zeth's comment, after hitting the post comment button my browser was directed back to the first page of the article. When impassioned football fans start arguing it will be difficult to post a comment, go back to the front page of the article, scroll down, then hit the next button to get back to where you were before commenting. Hrmm, perhaps this could be a feature. Come for the irrational Brady vs. Manning thread, stay for the stats!

70
by Justin Zeth :: Sun, 09/14/2008 - 9:51am

Yeah... I'm not crazy about having to navigate through pages to read comments--anytime I get the choice I like to have one giant page--but it's just the way things have to be on the internet these days. Forcing users to click through multiple pages to read stuff boosts the site's stats, which boosts revenues... as a user I hate it, but I can't blame anyone for doing it.

Also, there's no divider between comments, no line separating them or alternating background colors to differentiate them. That's a very big step down from the cruder but simpler former system. I must sound like a whiner, but that, at least, is a pretty easily fixable problem, no?

71
by Dales :: Sun, 09/14/2008 - 2:02pm

Guys, especially on the open discussion threads, you need to have it refresh to the newest comments, not the first comments. This is important not just for usability purposes, but also to minimize the hits to the database. If one comments on the open threads, and it goes back to the first page of comments, then they have to wait for it to load and hit the "last>>" button in order to get to the current posts. Not good.

72
by Lance :: Sun, 09/14/2008 - 4:53pm

I'm happy you all have the new edit feature, so I can edit out a comment meant for the Open Game Discussion....

73
by Richie :: Sun, 09/14/2008 - 6:18pm

Is it just me or do the pages load slowly?

I assigned an icon to my name, but it doesn't show up next to my comments. Where DOES it show up?

I'm pretty happy that I don't have to type the anti-spam words for every post any more.

78
by Snowglare :: Mon, 09/15/2008 - 3:03am

Good question. My avatar shows up on my profile page (or as FO calls it, "my account"), but that seems to be it for now. I'm not sure I want avatars with this kind of comment system, where simplicity seems more appropriate, but their presence has me curious.

Also, one solution to the problem of being taken back to the top of the article after commenting is to back up twice and refresh. That should take you where you left off, at the latest comment, and update the page to include yours. Less than ideal, but somewhat better.

79
by DangerGnat :: Mon, 09/15/2008 - 3:52pm

Love the new site. Signup was flawless for me. But, the new RSS feed shows up in my NewsGator as [Feed 3539624] with no icon. Hopefully that's just a temporary glitch.

80
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Mon, 09/15/2008 - 7:06pm

Are often redundant and take up too much space.

82
by Moridin :: Mon, 09/15/2008 - 9:16pm

Totally agree.

81
by Moridin :: Mon, 09/15/2008 - 8:57pm

I like most of the new site. Good job to the designers.

However, either the nested comment system needs to go, or the broken page system does. The system is without purpose. The slashdot system only works because its on one page (now with filters of course). That style might work on the straight articles (as discussions probably will happen and can become 'threads') but only if one whole page. The other style (no nesting comments) is all you can realistically use on a linear discussion like the open discussions (and this style can handle being broken up into pages, though I agree with others about being bounced back to at least where you comment is, if not just to the start of new root comments that you haven't seen).

Most certainly, the nested system itself needs to have a way of telling a user that a new comment has been posted as a child of one their comments, or maybe that a 'thread' that they are part of (either as the parent or one of the children) has a new message, which leads to being able to subscribe to the 'thread'.

83
by Temo :: Tue, 09/16/2008 - 1:27am

Notes from a guy who works for a big online news website:

1. What's the point of comment threading if you can't collapse/expand the threads?

2. Paginating the comments is a bad idea. Loading the page every time I want to see a different page? Even worse.

84
by Wanker79 :: Tue, 09/16/2008 - 11:54am

I generally love the new digs. Very aesthetically pleasing. But I'm going to have to echo a few of the other comments.

1) I don't have any experience with nested comment threads, but there absolutely has to be a way to recognize new posts. The simple "New" icon (assuming it's identifiable enough to be seen during a quick scroll through) in the title bar of the unread posts that cd6 mentioned would be most welcomed.

2) I guess being able to edit our posts is a positive, but I'll miss the unintentional hilarity. Atleast include some notification that a post has been edited.

3) I'm more than apprehensive about the karma system. Hopefully the quality of the people who frequent FO will help avoid my fears, but I don't have that much faith in the internets.

4) An option to include the comments in the "Printable Version" would be really great. Hopefully I'm not just missing something obvious, but at first blush I didn't notice this option. When I want to print a particular article, it's usually because I can't sit in front of my computer and read it. And when I read an article, I also want to read the comments.

5) Jumping back to the top of the first page after posting a comment is annoying. Also annoying is having to scroll past the original article on subsequent pages of the discussion thread. If you're going to paginate the discussions, could the original article only appear on the first page?

85
by zlionsfan :: Tue, 09/16/2008 - 1:32pm

One thing I'll miss about the open discussion forum is the ability to post images. In the Game Charting thread, there were a couple of examples that someone posted that were much easier to follow with pictures.

I'm not averse to comment rating systems. I'm just not sure how effective they'll be if anonymous comments are accepted. Then again, if I understand this system correctly, it'll be a while before we see anyone with negative karma ...

The user-related links in the left column seem to be difficult to notice ... but then you already have three of the links up at the top (My Files is the only one that seems to be missing).

I think B and I missed the same thing. I figured out the forgot-password thing to be able to set a password, so that was nice, but now I see Benjy put this on page 2: Unfortunately, passwords could not be imported, so you'll just need to click the "Forgot Password?" link at the top of the page (in the black bar). d'oh!

I actually like having the comments broken into separate pages. Our connection at work isn't that fast, so this will make it possible for me to read the weekly DVOA ratings.

Hurray for the suggestion that people leave IE 6 behind! I'm jealous. (Alas, IE 7 could go as well. I'm currently hashing out CSS issues at work that IE chooses not to resolve.)

I suppose I will have more comments on the new design after I've used it for a while ...

86
by Lance :: Tue, 09/16/2008 - 1:43pm

Am I mistaken, or did the "old" FO also have audibles for the Monday Night games? I seem to recall that, but can't find them on the new site. If so, that's disappointing. (But the real question is if we'll get them when NE plays on Monday...)

89
by Snowglare :: Tue, 09/16/2008 - 5:36pm

I could be wrong, but I seem to recall being disappointed last year that there weren't audibles for the Monday game(s). I guess the idea is that everyone watches MNF (except me), so there's little point in staffers sharing their observations.

87
by andrew :: Tue, 09/16/2008 - 2:10pm

stuff so far....

Discussion forums:

Fantasy Threads - before we could start threads to post questions about specific things, and check back on that thread to see the replies. Now... there is one giant thread for all fantasy, with stuff hidden within the nested comments. As far as the nested, I favor giving people an option to sort by nesting or by date, so you can get it both ways. But as far as the fantasy discussion, I very much hope we get back the ability to start threads so we can ask our questions. Worst case, at least give us a new thread each week, so we don't start by looking at questions relating to week 1 every time you start...

Open Game Discussions - I very much enjoy hanging out and posting in these during games. Aside from the lack of a separate monday thread (assume it was oversight and will get them later this year), the fact that after submitting you are returned to page one if very annoying. Plus, to go to the last page you have to scroll all the way down page one. At home with my free mousewheeling g9, is not too bad but when using my laptop touchpad its amazing at how quickly this becomes excruciating (and when combined with the relatively slow response times from the server of reloading page one, then reloading the last page). I humbly request that after a post you are returned to the last page (or if nested, the page you posted from). Barring that, please put the page navigation (including last) at the top of each page as well as on the bottom.

Ratings - honestly couldn't care less. But don't think they hurt or anything.

Avatars - I miss having the avatars from the phpbb board. nothing essential, but I liked them.

Football Prospectus and Game Charting threads - miss these, hope we have an area where we can post things relating to these.

other suggestions:

low bandwidth version of the main page that still links to all the features.

Catholic Match Girl - maybe some kind of memorial for the important role she played in FO history.

88
by dmb :: Tue, 09/16/2008 - 3:52pm

If enough of a user's comments are rated below 1, that user becomes "untrusted", which means that respected members of the community have repeatedly indicated that the user's input is offensive, content-free, or merely intended to annoy others. Said comments no longer appear for anonymous and regular users. Only trusted users can view them.

So if I understand this correctly, one of the "perks" of becoming a reliably insightful commenter is that you have to wade through the mindless comments that everyone else gets to skip? That seems like an odd system to me.

Other than that, I miss the old site, but I'm willing to admit that it's probably an irrational resistance to change, rather than any substantial gripe. Some of it might be that I'm be associating the changes to the website design with the changes to content (DYAR, different weekly features), and I've found the latter to be somewhat disappointing.

91
by AnonForNow (not verified) :: Wed, 09/17/2008 - 2:19am

I'm posting this at the bottom of the thread, since no one may notice my comment above in the nested system. I agree with a lot of the opinions on finding/reading new comments. Checking for new comments is going to be difficult/impossible with this nested comment thing unless new comments can be highlighted or otherwise tagged and easily found.

I like the above suggestions: tag new comments with a big NEW. Add a separator between comments chunks, and highlight in alternating colors different "conversations" (comments and their replies). Even use a special highlight color for a NEW comment to make new comments really easy to find.

The lack of comment numbers is good; it was always annoying to see references to deleted posts. But, I will miss finding new comments with this current setup, which is way worse. I'll take references to Post 60, when Post 60 is not really there anymore, any day.

92
by AnonForNow (not verified) :: Wed, 09/17/2008 - 2:23am

Oh, and after posting, like someone said before, you go back to the very first page, not the page you were on. This is quite annoying.

93
by bravehoptoad (not verified) :: Wed, 09/17/2008 - 11:54am

I can't see more than the first four or five comments before they slide so far to the left that they're unreadable. This is the only browser I'm authorized for at work.

94
by Arkaein :: Wed, 09/17/2008 - 2:50pm

My comments on the new discussion system:

I like the nesting in that it allows for users to maintain mini-converstations in one place without referencing posts by number. However it makes checking for updates tedious. Some improvements would be to allow alternative display options, including the current nested, flat (newest to oldest), and flat (oldest to newest).

It would be great to have some sort of notification when our own comments have received a reply. Some people like the option to receive an email, I like having a little icon that changes when we've received a reply. This icon would link to a user page that would contain links to all new comments that reply directly to our own comments, making it easy to maintain conversations without having to constantly recheck discussions we've posted to.

Finally, while I like rating systems, I'm not big on ranged ratings. Every rating given is either a zero or a five, and it's hard to distinguish poorly rated posts from unrated posts. A better system is to allow only upvotes or downvotes, and start each comment with a default score of one.

If any of these sound familiar to you, you've probably visited www.reddit.com, which has greatly refined web discussions since the original days of slashdot (though to be fair, slashdot also allows multiple comment ordering methods).

95
by gspontak :: Wed, 09/17/2008 - 6:08pm

My own thoughts:
1. Does the rating box need to be so large? It's taller than many short comments, which makes it harder to track nested comments when there are responses at multiple levels. (Not to mention just eating page space. I'd rather more comments per page.) Maybe my opinion is influenced by the fact that I don't anticipate using the ratings much...
2. I would also like to see a "new" notifier to highlight new comments within a nest. Overall, I'd say I prefer nesting over having to track back and see what a responder is talking about (ala the old site), but I fear conversations will get lost.
3. I'm not opposed to having the article included in every comment page, but can the comment navigation buttons at least jump to the start of comments on that page? (That is, when I click "next" I would prefer for the page to load so that the comments are at the top, rather than the page top.)
4. There's a lot of acreage used up at the top of pages. I liked it that this site was less-glitz more just-the-stats. I'm still getting used to some of the layout differences, but I'm hoping I'll come to appreciate the advantages.

Overall, thanks for listening to the users!

96
by Independent George :: Wed, 09/17/2008 - 6:48pm

When I click the 'Loser League' link, all I get are last year's articles, not the weekly results.

97
by armchair journe... :: Wed, 09/17/2008 - 9:50pm

Miss the official coloring of FO author comments. Can we highlight those somehow?

What's with the discrimination against stupid-long usernames? Pre-verified, it shows, now that I'm logged-in, the name's cut off. I'm going to have to start a support group with The McNabb Bowl Game Anomaly.

_______________________________
armchair journeyman quarterback

101
by bravehoptoad_1 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/18/2008 - 11:31am

Note to IE6 users: you may not be able to experience the new FO3.0 design to its fullest. Some things may not line up exactly…some things may look a bit funky.

Really, comments are unusable and unreadable in IE6.

We did the best we could to accommodate, but in the end, please realize that you’re using a seven-year-old browser that does not behave like modern browsers should. Please upgrade to IE7 or, better yet, try Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or any of the other better alternatives.

Please realize yourself that many of your readers are at work, in an environment where we have no control over what browsers are available to us. For me to upgrade to IE7 would involve fabricating a business reason and calling a meeting of IT personnel four time zones away.

Why not just get the page to work? HTML has been around a lot longer than IE6.

102
by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Thu, 09/18/2008 - 7:22pm

I've given this some time before commenting because change sometimes takes a little while to get used to, but I don't like the new look at all. Big thumbs down. Sorry. The content is still first rate.

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by Anonymous (not verified) :: Thu, 09/18/2008 - 9:41pm

I am still having trouble getting my password sent to me even though I have paid for Premium access and no one is responding to my emails. Is anyone else having this problem??

104
by Wanker79 :: Fri, 09/19/2008 - 8:59am

It's just a small gripe, but I hate the new HTML tags. What was wrong 'i' for italics, 'b' for bold and 'u' for underline??

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by Waverly :: Sat, 09/20/2008 - 9:52am

After a week, I find the nested comments are causing me to visit this site less often. The reason I come to this site is to read intelligent commentary, careful observation, and clever responses. Since it's too hard to find new comments that I haven't already read, I just can't be as enthusiastic about visiting often. It's easier to just wait until everyone has commented, and then read a whole topic and its replies at once. But then it loses it's sense of immediacy and interaction.

I think it's good to be able to reply to a particular comment. However, the default organization of the comments should be chronological. Instead of nesting the comments, there should just be a link to the comment to which it's a reply.

Even better would be having options for how to display the comments. Being able to order the comments by various attributes, not just by date and/or by reply, would be useful. It also would be nice to be able to control how many are seen at a time. That can also reduce the load on the server, since all of those behaviors can be done in the browser. But this is just a suggestion for future features. What's important now is getting rid of nested comments as the only presentation order.

I also agree with those who have said that rating comments generally isn't worth it. But I don't mind too much, if you don't mind the overhead on the server.

Finally, I very much agree that the basic site design is too frilly -- too many menus and redundancy. Mostly that doesn't matter too much, but I find that the list of recent topics on the home page is just too short to be able to see what I want.

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by fyo :: Mon, 09/22/2008 - 7:42pm

A few more bugs:

- Headlines that are links are now borxed in FF3 (Linux) and Opera9.5 (Linux). Haven't tested other browsers/OS's, other than IE6 on Win2K (where it is rendered as intended). One example is here: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/extra-points/important-premium-issues
This doesn't happen "normally" (for an h1 and a without css), so I'm guessing this is an issue with precedence with css properties. I.e. that you have a specifically defined "a" in the css, which is still applied in these headers. Probably the best way to diagnose the problem is to use the case of it below (next bug entry), which is almost certainly the same.

- The ">>See all extra points" link suffers from the same problem. The links in the list, which is COMPLETELY messed up by the way (check the HTML produced - you have a bunch of empty link tags, that's not the way to make a vertical list! and it screws up screen readers and anything semantic - why even use lists when you're not actually using them?)... OK, got sidetracked there, back on topic... the links in the (not-)list look fine, but the "See all extra points" link doesn't. They list links and the "see all" link are structured the same way, with the style applied to a div element (via the appropriate class). What SEEMS to be happening is that the extra "p" tags around the "see all" link (which is completely unnecessary and not used in similar situations in the rest of the layout) are overriding the style stemming from the div class. Since you added the "a" styles later (I think) to use the "visited" pseudo-class to make visited links appear differently, that explanation does makes a certain amount of sense. The css for the site is such a ridiculously huge mess, however, that I'm not going to try and make sense of it...

- The favicon is only present for the main page (at least none of the sub-pages I tried had one).