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Mar 11, 2009
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laura.weislo said:
I understand everyone's pain with this transition - believe me, it's been hard on the Cyclingnews production editors, too.

You may not realize just how much we care about this job - for years we have engaged in a single-minded pursuit to post every UCI race result in the world plus all the big national events and (until recently) as many local results as we could find time to post.

We scoured the internet for every news story, traveled the world to cover races, exhausted our contacts to bring you exclusive stories, features and interviews and brought unique perspectives through diaries of riders - big and small.

I do not believe any one of those sites offers the breadth of content that Cyclingnews does. And right now, the same editors who have slaved over their computers to bring you the thousands and thousands of pages that made up the old site are still slaving away - just in a different platform.

(If you had a problem with the current staff, well, can't help you there!)

Sure, the navigation is different. Many think it is not better, but it is a monumental task to share the wide variety of content we post to you in a simple way.

The old site had everything right up front - but do you know how much you missed that might have been interesting to you because it was buried in a link like "Tour de Backwater - brief results"? Maybe your best friend won the Tour de Backwater, but you might not know it and never click that link.

There are a lot of advantages to the new system, and yes - those of you who pointed out that it was rolled out prematurely are right - it really wasn't quite ready and we're still finding new bugs and issues.

But can we get kudos please for finally joining the 21st century and incorporating RSS feeds? We've gotten at least 2 emails per day for the past year and a half asking for them and now you've got it.

Is it right for people on this forum to complain to the advertisers who help to pay our salaries just because you have issues with the new look? I remember once upon a time there was a rider for a team who made someone mad by acting like a jerk. Someone contacted the sponsor to complain and lo and behold, that team no longer exists.

I think, dear readers, that you forget the people who do the work to post the content on Cyclingnews are as passionate about the sport as you are. Just because we've been forced to modernize our clunky 1990's design to fit with today's internet isn't a reason to try to shut us down.

In my opinion, it's not even a reason to give up visiting the site. No English-language site out there gives you more race results, more news, more photos or more features in one place.

Please try to have patience as we all tackle this transition together. It might take some time to get to where we're all happy. Believe me, when Gerard Knapp redesigned the early 90s site to a late-90's site he got just as many complaints, but you all grew to love it.

When we finally get the system ironed out, we should finally have a database-driven results system which will allow you to click on a rider's name and see his/her palmares. And remember CN's old search tool? That thing was completely useless. The new system will (eventually) allow for a more robust search engine which will make it a lot easier to find archived content.

In short, yes - we all miss the old site. It was familiar and comfortable, like those oversized t-shirts and leggings I used to wear in the 90s. But it was frumpy and unsophisticated. Like it or not, that look was designed when the site had thousands of readers. Now we have millions and in order to reach a broader audience we have to grow up and into the corporate world and start wearing skirts and heels.

If you feel more comfortable sharing your passion with other sites, we wish you well. But the beauty of the internet is that there are all levels of sites and time enough to click on them all. We hope you'll find that Cyclingnews is as irresistible as ever...

Thanks.
Laura

Laura, I thank you and all of the other people at Cyclingnews for all of your hard work over the years.

I do miss the old site it was simple and easy to navigate. The new site is not. I understand the reasons for the redesign especially the back end for you guys. But the redesign could of combined the ease of use of the old site and make it look more modern along with the features that made it popular. The new design missed the mark big time. All that was done was porting over a design that Future already had and changed the content some that was it. A design that is very poor in the first place. Where is the originality? This alone shows Future Publishing has no real interest in what made the original so popular or keeping the core audience. They just wanted the domain name pure and simple. With the added content in the form of spoilers it proves this fact even more.

If we didn't contact the sites advertisers what other recourse do we readers have? The editors are sure as hell not listening to us. None of us want to lose a website that we have loved for so long. I haven't visited the new site since Tuesday and wont until the spoilers are removed or some other solution can be implemented, while I understand that the clicks in the forum help your numbers, but you know what pages people are visiting.

Your current leadership should concern you even more than they do your readers, as this website is your lively hoods. The path they are taking you down currently is not going to end well for this site. I sincerely hope that the current leadership are big enough people to admit when they have made a mistake and can correct those mistakes. Because if they can't a lot of people are going to be looking for new jobs in the bad economy, which is not something that I would like to see:(
 

laura.weislo

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titan_90 said:
If we didn't contact the sites advertisers what other recourse do we readers have? The editors are sure as hell not listening to us. None of us want to lose a website that we have loved for so long. I haven't visited the new site since Tuesday and wont until the spoilers are removed or some other solution can be implemented, while I understand that the clicks in the forum help your numbers, but you know what pages people are visiting.

Your current leadership should concern you even more than they do your readers, as this website is your lively hoods. The path they are taking you down currently is not going to end well for this site. I sincerely hope that the current leadership are big enough people to admit when they have made a mistake and can correct those mistakes. Because if they can't a lot of people are going to be looking for new jobs in the bad economy, which is not something that I would like to see:(

What recourse do you have? This forum! The developers are here and are logging complaints. They are formulating a plan which may allow users to select a spoiler-free profile.

Yes, the management team weren't in tune with the readership when this design was hatched. They were relying on data from a survey that was done last year - they attempted to find out what the readers wanted, but their methods may have been flawed.

Let me assure you that they are making every attempt to rectify the situation and that your cries have been heard. It breaks my heart to read the complaints and hate that have been spewed forth on this forum because I, like the rest of the editors, really do want to please our readers.

I've made many recommendations to the dev team which I think will make the site flow better, but please be patient because it all will take time to be implemented.

Unlike the old days when we editors could muck about in any code on the site, we simply do not have the ability to change things like this anymore.

Please, I beg you to be patient and know that we really do have your interests at heart and want to keep our loyal readers with us.

Thanks!
Laura
 
Mar 11, 2009
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laura.weislo said:
What recourse do you have? This forum! The developers are here and are logging complaints. They are formulating a plan which may allow users to select a spoiler-free profile.

Yes, the developers weren't in tune with the readership when this design was hatched. They were relying on data from a survey that was done last year - they attempted to find out what the readers wanted, but their methods may have been flawed.

Let me assure you that they are making every attempt to rectify the situation and that your cries have been heard. It breaks my heart to read the complaints and hate that have been spewed forth on this forum because I, like the rest of the editors, really do want to please our readers.

I've made many recommendations to the dev team which I think will make the site flow better, but please be patient because it all will take time to be implemented.

Unlike the old days when we editors could muck about in any code on the site, we simply do not have the ability to change things like this anymore.

Please, I beg you to be patient and know that we really do have your interests at heart and want to keep our loyal readers with us.

Thanks!
Laura


Thanks, for the fast and HONEST reply. It is refreshing to finally hear: "Yes, the developers weren't in tune with the readership when this design was hatched."

"They are formulating a plan which may allow users to select a spoiler-free profile." This is great news if we could choose a spoiler-free environment than this will make a lot of readers very, very happy!
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Thanks for this response Laura. I, like many of the readers was saddened with the initial decision about spoliers. I was happy to accept the other changes and a better search is something I have wanted for a long time
 
Mar 17, 2009
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cyclingfever.com is it for me from now on. The race coverage is excellent. Thanks so much for that link. It's got all the info old CN had for all races. Wow. Spread the word.
 
laura.weislo said:
Just because we've been forced to modernize our clunky 1990's design to fit with today's internet isn't a reason to try to shut us down.
Okay, I'm not contacting any of your sponsors, yet, but you've got to stop conflating the 1990's BACKEND clunky design with the frontend design and layout.

There was nothing 1990s or clunky about how the old website worked FOR THE USER.

What was 1990s and clunky about the old website was how information was stored.

That's a big difference, and until you guys understand AND APPRECIATE the difference, we don't have a chance to get back to what made cyclingnews.com so great -- simple, fast, clean -- before this change.


Remove all of the Flash and the unnecessary clutter on the front page:

* Remove the News section but leave the News Editions section and make it prominent again
* Remove the useless "Today on..." section which is just a duplicate of other stuff
* Remove the Photos section and the Forums section - you have links to those.
* Fix the bugs

and it will be great again.

But please stop citing the need to update the back end as an excuse for all the horrible and unnecessary clutter changes made on the front end.

Lose the Flash. Lose the clutter. It will be great.
 
Jun 23, 2009
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I agree with ninety5rpm. Even if you fix the new site so that everything works as intended, it will not be as functional or as good as the old design. Velonews is now easier to digest than this website. Saying that is a shame as CN always use to be more content heavy than VN while being presented in such a clear format.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Laura

laura.weislo said:
What recourse do you have? This forum! The developers are here and are logging complaints. They are formulating a plan which may allow users to select a spoiler-free profile.

Thanks!
Laura

I think I want to marry you Laura... Its ok though, I'm not mental or anything...
Getting rid of the spoilers would be the biggest thing you guys could do to! Seems to be be the biggest gripe anyone has about the new site.
You guys also need to look at mobile access...
 
laura.weislo said:
...They are formulating a plan which may allow users to select a spoiler-free profile...

Thanks!
Laura

You should go into politics with a statement like that.
Since Daniel has not responded to me, perhaps you can provide a real answer instead of leading us on.
Is Cyclingnews going to provide a spoiler free option?

Simple yes or no answer will suffice.
My advertiser email carpet bomb notification is ready if necessary.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Laura et al, the bottom line is that there was nothing wrong with the old layout... other than the fact that it was not making enough money for your parent company.

Of course you spent a lot of time, working hard on the development... but with all due respect, so what? I spent hours on papers in university that I did not get A's on. I never asked my professor afterward to give me an A because I worked hard.

I am also somewhat skeptical about the level of development that went into the "cyclingnews" website. I think it was designed by 'Future' as a omni-platform to fit everything.

The uniqueness of the site (and what was best for the fans) was completely disregarded.

It has so many flaws. Be patient is simply not good enough. The old site had DOZENS of features* that are now: gone; hidden; ridiculously hard to find; or *******ized for lack of a better word.

The tour starts in less than three weeks. I'm not going to wait.


*lack of spoilers, start-lists, accessibility to pictures, "next/click through" on pics, related story links, stage profiles, a complete UCI calender, past winners, to say nothing speed, ease of use, and an intuitive structure.......... these are just the ones I can remember right now.....
 
Jun 18, 2009
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don't be a bimbo

laura.weislo said:
...[the old site] was frumpy and unsophisticated. Like it or not...we have to grow up and into the corporate world and start wearing skirts and heels.
1. Point taken; agreed 100%.

2. If she's got it going on, she can wear sweats to the big dance and steal the show; the old site was frumpy but the content was hotand the UI worked great.

3. What you have now is like wearing your skirt on your head and your high heels on your buttocks; doesn't meet the needs of intended audience and interferes with appreciation of the great back end (content).

Oh, and drop the costume jewelery chosen to make you look like the boss's bimbo*. Get one of today's best designers to see your best qualities and design a clean, elegant, ensemble that brings out your best and gives the company a great public image.

*BikeRadar
 

laura.weislo

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frankrevi said:
1. Point taken; agreed 100%.

2. If she's got it going on, she can wear sweats to the big dance and steal the show; the old site was frumpy but the content was hotand the UI worked great.

3. What you have now is like wearing your skirt on your head and your high heels on your buttocks; doesn't meet the needs of intended audience and interferes with appreciation of the great back end (content).

Oh, and drop the costume jewelery chosen to make you look like the boss's bimbo*. Get one of today's best designers to see your best qualities and design a clean, elegant, ensemble that brings out your best and gives the company a great public image.

*BikeRadar

LOL - I've been feeling a bit like I'm walking around with my panties on my head with all everyone's been saying on these forums.

I need to actually retract my statements about Gerard's redesign of CN back in 2002. He corrected me to state that the response was largely positive and constructive, so I apologize for that. I also apologize to the dev team as they were building the site to spec.

I hope that a few simple changes will improve the user experience on the new design so that it more closely matches that of the original. Hopefully the elements of the wardrobe are classy enough - we just need to put them in the right place to complete the look. :)

In the meanwhile, please stay positive and give us constructive feedback. Feel free to PM me or post any recommendations you may have for navigation improvements and I'll see what I can do.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Two suggestions

Hi Laura here are two suggestions:

Assuming it has to stay, make the carousel only one headline tall (not 5). Eliminate its flash graphic if possible; otherwise, if it absolutely has to be taller than the one-headline box, move the graphic to the right hand column. This would gain valuable space for content right in the sweet spot of the page.

I know it's a hard problem (I have it on two sites I manage), but there has to be a solution for the middle column white space (see e.g., James's tech article). At most only a little of this column will ever get used, don't you think?

In any case you could never use enough of it to justify the wasted space currently happening in a news article. If it's just the Send this page to a friend, Share this page with others, and Print this page links (which by the way can only be rolled over from the bottom because of the dropdown above), those could surely find another place.

Assuming 3 columns is mandatory because of a template or coding constraint, it looks like you can adjust the width of it - for articles, adjust it to minimum width?

Also, thanks for your great attitude (and for taking my skirt-on-head post in the intended spirit).

Thanks.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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mike1692 said:
...found this today whilst looking for an alternative and I quite liked it......certainly more than new commercial bikeradar cyclingnews:(

Road Bike Action magazine......It has pretty good news section, tech and features http://www.rbaction.net/fly.aspx

Oh great, on that one the flash ads are sprayed throughout the content. Better to have them all on the far right where I can ignore or address them as a group and choose the ones to click.

I don't think it's any better than the new CN.
 
May 5, 2009
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manolo said:
...
from http://www.cyclingfans.com/:

Lance Armstrong was featured on the popular Vivement Dimanche program on France 2 television yesterday. Hosted by the highly respected Michel Drucker, the program includes guest commentary and questions from a number of celebrities including 5-time Tour champion Eddy Merckx, 2-time TDF champ Laurent Fignon, Eric Fottorino (writer and director of Le Monde), and French writer Christian Laborde (longtime Armstrong fan and author of the book "Champion" about Armstrong). Drucker recently travelled to Aspen, Colorado for the feature which includes highlights from Armstrong's career, accompanied by a variety of song clips from the Alan Parsons Project's Sirius (the music long used to introduce the Chicago Bulls players before home games) to John Denver's Rocky Mountain High. The program is a full hour long and you can watch it online here: http://www.cyclingfans.com/. (Armstrong mostly speaks in English, sometimes dubbed in French, sometimes with sub-titles.)...

Thought this might be interesting...
 

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