General discussion

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  • #2192647

    TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges


    by Jay Garmon ·

    Despite what some of our more critical members may think, TechRepublic is well aware that certain aspects of our Web site don’t exactly conform to the highest ideals of the optimal user experience (to say the least). Well, we’re out to change that.

    Here’s the deal: We need you to take your best shot at TechRepublic.

    I’m looking for a laundry list of every broken feature, every counter-intuitive design, every single institutional annoyance that has driven you crazy since you’ve been a member at TechRepublic. Problems unsubscribing? Difficulty finding the FAQ? Trouble reading small fonts? Let me know. Once we’ve documented all of TR’s frayed edges, I’m making it my personal mission to get these problems repaired, or removed and improved in future TR redesigns.

    So, ladies and gentlemen, start your criticisms!

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3253128


      by jaqui ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      You must be a masochist.
      asking for a detailed listing of what’s wrong with TR.

      • #3253055

        Put it this way…

        by Jay Garmon ·

        In reply to uh-oh

        …certain higher powers have finally admitted there’s a problem, so I need to strike while the iron is hot.

    • #3253123

      2 things that we have been on about since before i was born

      by stargazerr ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      😀 … ok ok.. since a few months ago …

      1. I still get the “Page cannot be found” page sometimes.

      2. The Ignore Button please…. :p


      P.S … 3. Could you please set up some way so that the submit button acknowledges if it is clicked twice when posting to a discussion??

      • #3254490

        You just can’t behave

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to 2 things that we have been on about since before i was born

        even in here! 😀

      • #3254193

        better yet

        by absolutely ·

        In reply to 2 things that we have been on about since before i was born

        Instead of

        “P.S … 3. Could you please set up some way so that the submit button acknowledges if it is clicked twice when posting to a discussion??”

        what if they make the submit button work the first time, then vanish?

        • #3254171

          Good Idea

          by stargazerr ·

          In reply to better yet

          Anything to stop those double posts ….

          People edit their second post and that ends up starting a new discussion alltogether.


        • #3080819

          block emails on per member basis

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Good Idea

          My ISP can do it.

          My firewall software can do it.

          Can my source of IT expertise do it?

        • #3080818

          speaking of double posts

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Good Idea

          I meant to put the one above as a response to the original question, so I’m going to re-post at the bottom!


    • #3253105

      okay, here goes

      by jaqui ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      1) Either have the post listings for the Discussions highlight in a contrasting colour, along with scrolling the listing to be where the post you are reading is. OR display the entire discussion in one listing, rather than in a per post view.

      2) With most, if not all, of us using at least 1024 by 768 screen resolution, kill the 800pixel width limit, make it work with the 1024 pixel width most commonly used by the members.
      [ heck, I use 1280 by 1024, so 2/3 of my screen is blank with the current layout. ]

      3) keep the site navigation on screen at all times. [ a css div with postition fixed across the top would do the trick nicely.

      4) reduce the number of advertisements per page.
      horizontal ad at the top, vertical add on the right bottom, just above that, sponsored content [ advertisement ] and the HOT Spot floating on the right is formatted to be filtered out of view as an advertisement. one advertisement per page is far less offensive than the 4 currently displayed.

      5) design the pages to reduce scrolling. with a lot of content we have to scroll for a minute the get down to the bottom of the page, this means that the
      All Downloads | Help | Content Services | How to Advertise | RSS Feeds xml
      Downloads | Discussions | Technical Q & A | White Papers | Newsletters | Books & CDs | TechProGuild
      Topic Centers
      Security | Networking & Communications | CIO & IT Management | Desktops, Laptops & OS | Data Management | Servers | Career Development | Software/Web Development | Storage | Enterprise Applications | Featured Services | Webcast | Business White Papers

      stuff is extremely inconvienient to access.

      6) increase the maximum depth of posts in discussions, this 4 deep thing is rediculous.

      7) force correct closing of TQ&A questions after 30 days even if they have no answers.

      • #3254294

        not the sponsors

        by rob mekel ·

        In reply to okay, here goes

        Do agree with Jaqui.
        But guess that the sponsoring is more of a problem as they do allow TR to be a free-membership.

        Although the discussion depth is more then 4 (it’s 7 actually) think that it is nice if it goes deeper. This together with a fixed navigation will do make discussions less time consuming.


      • #3080741


        by apotheon ·

        In reply to okay, here goes

        I’d rather they didn’t make it display horribly at resolutions below 1024×768, since I’m viewing the site right now on 800×600.

        • #3080707

          re: resolution

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to resolution

          which is why using percentages of available space rather than fixed sizes works best. it scales for each viewer.

          though, using the w3c accessability recommendation is a good idea.

      • #3089076


        by g… ·

        In reply to okay, here goes

        That would be great to enforce question closure. It’s annoying to search answers that you’re not sure it has actuaaly been answered right.

    • #3254605

      Grrrrrrrr …. One more really really important thing

      by stargazerr ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      We should not be able to see the TR Insiders discussions in Posts from My Contacts ….

      Another easier alternative is … Let me in 😉


    • #3254535

      one more

      by jaqui ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      a preview option for postings, so we can FIX layout errors before having the post put into a discussion or TQ&A answer.

      I had to edit a post in Mark’s Blog about code [ code challenge entry ] 6 times and the layout is still screwed, cause for some reason the blog script will not stop interpreting the table data in the code, which is in < pre > < / pre > tags.

      • #3252004

        Preview. Yes please !

        by jardinier ·

        In reply to one more

        At various other discussions at which I post, the preview screen facility is available — and saves a lot of mucking about editing later.

        Additionally — although I am not suggesting that it is necessary here — some have options of fonts, font sizes, font colours etc. so that one’s post can not only be a work of art, but MUCH EASIER to skim through and read the key comments.

    • #3254519

      You asked for it, make yourself comfortable!

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      [b]Loading pages.[/b]
      the loading of pages and errors has again been getting out of hand. I will have a few hours at a time where I can’t load ANY TR pages. The partial loads are starting again and others are going slow again.

      [b]Search engine[/b]
      the search engine USED to work nicely! Now it can’t even be used to find something done the day before. This is the SINGLE MOST broken feature on the site. There is an option to search by member, but you can’t FIND ANYTHING by the member. Horrible.

      [b]Contact info[/b]
      obsure on how to contact the powers that be at TR.

      [b]page ads loading causes shift[/b]
      If you go to click on the “next” option before the page has finished loading, MANY TIMES it will shift over to the left causing you to select the “sponsored content” which spawns a new window AND changed the current window. It this done to boost sponsor hits?

      [b]gray space on screen[/b]
      Running my system at a STANDARD setting of 1024×768 gives me about 3/4 of an inch border on both the left and the right side of the screen. Think about how much more of a long post could be viewed without scrolling down with that extra 1 1/2 inches. This would change the viewable area from about 8 inches to 9 1/2. Repeat after me, “Dynamic”.

      [b]More Emoicons[/b]
      I have been NEEDING an Angel emoicon to show my innocence for quite some time now! 😀 Go back to GG’s discussion as there were MANY recommended there.

      [b]USING Emoicons[/b]
      Why can’t I use emoicons in my blog?

      [b]Blog subscription[/b]
      Subscribe to people to see when they make a NEW blog, or have activity in their existing blogs. Linking to a specific blog is NOT my interest. I want to be up-to-date when apotheon and Garvin got an itch to post.

      [b]Viewer stats[/b]
      It would be cool to see the hit statistics of your own blogs and the discussions you have started up.
      I understand NOT posting that on the page because if the numbers are low then people will SEE that someplace isn’t used much and wonder what is wrong with it. But if you are the person who STARTED a discussion, you should have access to how many unique members have viewed it AND total number of hits. Same with Blogs. If you SEE people are reading what your posting, you would be MORE likely to post more? If NO ONE replies to your blog, you don’t know if it was EVER looked at.

      [b]Member rankings.[/b]
      This should NOT be a list of who linked to the most external blogs. It also should not be a list of who threw up (DE intended) the most posts regardless of if they are worthless or not. Heck, I shouldn’t even be in the top ten on the weeks I don’t go near the Q&A. I would LIKE to see this as a way to discover people that stay in other categories but are still active. Going by type of discussion doesn’t help as I want more than just posting a lot of discussions. sorry, but yes, I want it all! 😀

      [b]Technical Question And Answer[/b]
      1) Do not allow more than TWO open questions at a time. A new one can not be asked until one of the previous questions has been completely rated and closed.
      2) Allow a better way to ask follow-up questions of an answer to a specific poster without having to rate them. They might be real close, yet you have to reject them to reply to them?
      3) Conclusion. At the time of closing, add a section for the poster to write briefly what the correct solution was.
      4) Reminder notices sent to members with open TQ&A’s every few days to remind them that it is open and to check on the progress of the question. If the member closes his account or never comes back, close the Question automatically after two weeks of the last time the poster had been on it.
      5)When in the discussions there is the link to “Start Thread”. Add one, so you have one that says “Start Discussion” and one that says “Ask a Technical Question”. This would help direct people to the TQ&A for their questions without them KNOWING they have to go somewhere else to get to that section.
      6)After submitting a post in a TQ&A, it shows “recently closed questions”. I would much rather see “NEW questions” or something along the line of that. NOT most active, as those are NOT the ones that need people being directed to them. Maybe even a special section for overlooked Questions? If people miss it being asked, they will never try to answer it. Maybe even a TR bonus if no one posts on it in the first three days, TR will double the pointless points? 😀

      [b]Tech Republic Store[/b]
      As a working professional, I would LOVE to have a black polo with the TR logo embroidered on it. Pockets are also nice to have available.
      A choice of TR coffee mugs would be cool.
      Sorry, I don’t CARE of people outside the US can’t get them! They could always have a US based member purchase them, and then THEY could ship it to the over-seas members. That, or just get the licenses to do the international trade. Maybe even get yourself a TAX discount! ;\

      [b]Put the server on EST!!!!![/b]
      Oh, I was SOOOOOO robbed by Jaqui on that end of year posting! X-(

      [b]Information in profiles[/b]
      Why isn’t there a COUNTY field?
      Why isn’t there an optional “Gender” field?
      Why isn’t there a place in our account to upload and store an avitar, instead of linking to an external site?

      [b]Blog page[/b]
      When I select the public blog page, a longer list of ALL the blogs would be nice.

      [b]Member blog page[/b]
      There is the monthly archive. There should be an indicator to the right of it indicating how many blogs are in that archive. Example (3)
      Also, the ability to look at a complete list of all blogs by a member, instead of having to go in one month at a time.
      Title, date of first post, last post, how many comments.

      [b]Work Space?[/b]
      When will we be able to view other peoples work space?

      [b]subscrived discussions[/b]
      Check boxes that I can go down the list and select as many or few as I want, and tell it to unsubscribe them. Right now I just “open new tab” on the “remove” tab.

      [b]Page redraws[/b]
      If using FRAMES for this web page, why does EVERYTHING need to be reloaded completely, just because I go from one post to the next? Just redraw the frame!

      [b]Dunce cap[/b]
      That would be so funny!

      [b]that is it for now.[/b]
      These are all things that would turn a good site into a GREAT site. Right now, the biggest thing TR has going for it, is the membership. The great membership compensates for many shortcomings.

      Is that what you had in mind? B-)

      Did you even read it all? Should I have broken this down into a few posts? Will there be feedback on this? Will there be a consolidated “wish list”? Will you just wish you never opened this can of worms? ;\

      • #3254499

        Forgot one

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to You asked for it, make yourself comfortable!

        As I have posted before under the site ideas/feedback section, I HATE the ads at the bottem.

        The FIRST thing I do when I go in a long discussion is hit the “END” kep and then the “Page up” key to get to the end of the discussion.

        how rude!

      • #3254487

        Another one!

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to You asked for it, make yourself comfortable!

        After you reach the max level in a discussion, it is really silly to have to scroll up to the previous level and reply to something so far away.

        Reached max level? Just throw the next reply to the end at that level. Put the button back in, instead of the “reached max level” note.

        Also, the max level really should be at least one more level deep.

      • #3254689

        We could also use

        by old guy ·

        In reply to You asked for it, make yourself comfortable!

        spell check. Please, Please, Please.

        (Actually, I’m just giving you a hard time JD-all in fun.:) )

        • #3091383

          me three!

          by gadgetgirl ·

          In reply to We could also use

          made that point in my post, too…..

          need one especially for jd and Oz!!



        • #3091267

          oy vey

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to me three!

          I don’t know how anyone can think JD is in the same class as Oz. Oz needs a spellcheck more than just about anyone — at least anyone that has something worthwhile to say from time to time.

      • #3101109

        Excellent, thanks, but did you mean COUNTRY, not COUNTY …

        by jim-mn ·

        In reply to You asked for it, make yourself comfortable!

        … to be added to our Profiles?


      • #3090219

        yes do

        by ontheropes ·

        In reply to You asked for it, make yourself comfortable!

        what jdclyde said though I’m not too sure about the dunce cap thing.

        You did read his entire post, right?

    • #3254498


      by cactus pete ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      Forgive me for duplicates, if any. I’m sure that can only strengthen your case…

      1. Allow more space for topic titles, or force them to comply to a specific length. This way the writing won’t overlap the background so we can’t read it.

      2. Defaults on a serverside cookie. I want to be able to have certain defaults on my settings no matter where I log in. I should be able to customize EVERYTHING – colors, screen size, discussion topics, etc.

      3. Close and rank questions.

      4. TR points… Why again? At least let us play poker with them. I promise not to bully the table (too much).

      5. Bring back what we liked about the old TR – summaries, recent questions lists, etc.

      6. Set navigation buttons so I always have them in my screen.

      7. I don’t have access to TRI… Guess I didn’t give much feedback for a while there…

      8. Make the screens less “busy”

      9. When I post to a discussion , bring me back to the last viewed posting.

      10. Allow for a point spread in Q&A. Where someone may not have given me 100% of the answer, perhaps they gave me 80%, and someone else tipped me off to what was missing… A 1 to 5 scale may suffice…

      11. Spellcheck (regional) Some of us need this more than others.

      12. Client side cookies – I should be able to optimize my home PC view for its settings (perhaps that display is shared with my kids, so I keep a lower resolution) but at work, I like a high res screen. This will mean you have to put more thought into the layout (multiple versions) but I’m sure you could reward the hgih res users with more ads… (blasphemy!)

      13. I want to ignore some users. Every post they make, every thread they start… Make this a collapsed entry with a flag that I ignored it. I may choose to expand that thread after all, but mostly I don’t care. I should have the choice.

      14. Why do we use the keywords? Let me get a summary of my favorite keywords so I don’t miss those topics, and let them rank higher in my list of recent posts (or where ever) than others without my favorite keywords.

      15. Contests. There used to be some mugs, other gear given out… That drove a lot of participation, as I recall. Maybe you don’t give out real items all the time, but some of the funky TRpoints might please some people…

      I’ll post more later as I think of them.

      But let me say this: The positive changes have not gone unnoticed. Thanks to you all for your obvious hard work and care for this medium.

      (for example, I like being able to edit the post for typos!)

      • #3254493


        by cactus pete ·

        In reply to OK…

        And why do we allow even TR workers to post more than 5 times a minute?!?!

        • #3254488

          Peer Product Review

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to UGH

          Don’t let users spam the discussion list!

          Also, perhaps we should be able to select more than one topic for a post…

        • #3254483

          Cross-over topics

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Peer Product Review

          like [b]Security[/b] on [b]Windows?[/b] (yes, I laugh as I type that….)

          Multiple keys to classify the discussions AND questions is a GREAT idea! But ESPECIALLY for the Questions as some members will look just by the topic.

          Good idea.

        • #3254443


          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Cross-over topics

          tagging to the questions, with the common tags on them being in their own tag cloud.

        • #3254168


          by rob mekel ·

          In reply to add

          or how many are before me, that


    • #3254350

      pest control

      by absolutely ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      Make it easier to submit complaints about trolls, seagulls, and other subhuman posters.

      Those do make a usability issue: I still see the titles of their posts in my discussion subscription emails, even though I don’t read their posts.

    • #3254192

      Better indicator of which item in thread is being viewed

      by bschaettle ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      In the discussion navigation map, I find it difficult to spot which discussion item I’m currently reading. In your existing design the item being displayed is shown in gray text. How about highlighting it with a background color, or placing a red arrow next to it?

      Also, could you add links to the displayed message so we could easily follow a thread instead of having to scroll down into the navigation map to find the responses?

      Showing the number of page views associated with each discussion on the forum front pages might be cool, too. DevX does this.


      • #3254107

        BACK/NEXT button at the top of the posting

        by jbartlett ·

        In reply to Better indicator of which item in thread is being viewed

        I’d like to see another “back/next” near the title bar on postings. Most postings are short enough to fit on one screen, but I still have scroll down to hit next to get to the next posting.

        As previoulsy posted by other – widen the page to use a 1024×768 screen – If I wanted to look at something gray and boring I’d look out the window…

    • #3254043

      Expandable Threads instead of windows

      by tink! ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

    • #3253994

      Don’t let the edges become so sharp that we have to pay.

      by nz_justice ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      Don’t become a pay/subscription site, that would suck, you already have this . I understand you have to have advertising to avoid becoming a pay/subscription site maybe you could do something like this:

      so adds don’t consume so much space. Charge more for your add space under the menu bar, because adds there are really annoying.

      Navigation on your site is not easy and unless you check the send me spam mail box option “Notify me via e-mail when new posts are added to this thread/question is rated” you can’t easily navigate to questions that you have answered in T Q&A. To find out who rated your answer.

      Maybe If you had an on-site notification/navigation system, that way people don’t get spammed but they can keep track of what is going on. Maybe like giving the user the ability to sort T Q&A by answers that they have given, or a sort that lets the user view all users questions rated, etc.. The same with Discussions and stuff.

      When clicking on a link that goes to nowhere In the techrepublic and getting a page saying “sorry the page you clicked on can not be found contact us” It is like when a network administrator gets the message “there are problems with your network contact your network administrator”. the only way it appears to be able to “contact us” Is in the site feedback and forum. Where is an email address?

      The work space is great, but you can’t save T Q&A to it.

      More smileys would be great (one for pain).

      ooh. You guys have a restricted area. How do you get into one of those?

      The ability to upload your own picture for your avatar would be cool, Then have the ability to upload pic’s for users at this site

      Please for the love of god, and everything that is good and holly, don’t think that any of the suggestions posted in this discussion are improvements, if anything you could just end up making TR worse.

      Don’t become the Microsoft site.

      You can’t make every one happy and you have to appeal to new users, else you won’t get that many hits and getting hits is what it’s all about. more people visit your site more people see your adds more you can charge for add space cause your site gets lots of hits (unless you go for the $1 a pixel advertising).

      Actually, at the end of the day, ignoring the crap navigation, your site is pretty darn good. Good Job 😉

    • #3080859

      Just one critique

      by roy penfold ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      JD has covered most of the topice (damn you – you’re good), however could we not get this site hosted on a server that can cope with the load?

      TR is a good site, and I for one rely on the content posted therein, however timeouts and error messages lead me elsewhere….

      • #3080728


        by jfpsf ·

        In reply to Just one critique

        We are steadily rolling out new hardware. Just last week, we moved to a new database server.

    • #3080836

      Discussion Views

      by rapace ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      I would like to choose Flat or Threaded views of discussions.

    • #3080829


      by apotheon ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      I’m not going to read this whole thread right now, so I don’t know if I’m repeating something already mentioned — but if I am, just take it as agreement with the previous statement.

      TR needs a way to “subscribe” to blog posts similar to what it does for discussion center threads. I have no idea how many times people have responded to something I said as a comment in someone else’s blog without me noticing.

    • #3080816

      allow block list or allow list or both for peer messages

      by absolutely ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      My ISP can do it.

      My firewall software can do it.

      Can TechRepublic, recommended to me as an authoritative source of IT expertise, do it?

    • #3252446

      I’ll second an awful lot of that!

      by gadgetgirl ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      uspekkly sum peeps wot needz da spoolcheekers!

      Seriously, you’d have problems with a regional one – just one that worked would surely do. I’m sure we in the UK would put up with stupid crappy US spelling, if it meant we could make sense of Oz’s posts!! (soz, Oz!)

      Definitely a good idea to have somewhere we could stash pics, tech drawings, etc. If there’s any possibility, though, I think you should split it into areas e.g. work/non-work, or tech/fun – you get my drift.

      And yes, definitely, [b]more emoticons[/b]

      I musta tuned into this one – there’s a whole discussion for you to read on that….

      oh, and Jay – I have a special request for an emoticon, if you want to peer mail me………:p

      Ok, back to thinking…….

      Thanks for the opportunity to give you some input, though – appreciate it.


    • #3253630

      My recommendations

      by bfilmfan ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      Sit down, it’s a HUGE list and most likely has been discussed before.

      No more than ONE technical question open at a time. Some folks have 5 or 10 questions open at once.

      Questions auto-close in 7 days. There is no acceptable reason for a question to be open for months.

      If a question is answered by a peer(s) and the questioner does not rate the answer(s), the points are doubled and awarded. The questioner is also not permitted to ask a new technical question for 14 days. This would stop a great deal of the homework and non-raters.

      More choices for discussion thread topics or subtopic choices. Some discussions are so specialized or broad they don’t fit readily into a single one.

      Create a point award for best technical question of the week and award 10,000 points to the questioner and each responder. That would encourage more activity in the Tech Q&A.

      Have the points be worth something. TR shirt, TR Mug, lunch with Smorty, Ganme geeking with Jay, something…

      Better discussion thread navigation. It is extremely difficult to navigate the discussion threads. I’ve seen several suggestions in this thread.

      Discussion time limits. I’ve seen some very old discussions pop back up in hot discussions as someoen found an old thread, posted a couple of comments and it popped back up.

      Technical FAQ’s for common problems. I’ve seen the same questions asked over and over and over again in the Tech Q&A sections. Some new and interesting questions might improve peer participation.

      • #3253494

        I mostly agree

        by cactus pete ·

        In reply to My recommendations

        I like the 14 day wait period, but some 2nd amendment proponents might disagree (it’s jokebait, so don’t kill me ;). But I’d be willing to shorten the days, even experiment with a few different settings…

        But limiting to 1 open question at a time seems a little harsh. I work on more than one project at any given time, so I can see a legit reason to ask 2 or 3…

        Maybe I’m just not as hard-lined as you…

        I also remember the issue with auto-close after X days. It is legitimate that, if no one has offered a good answer to the question, it remain open as long as necessary. But perhaps we can force the asker to pay attention to it – say if there has been no activity from the asker within 2 weeks of the last answer, it goes ‘offline’. Two weeks after that it autocloses (if there’s no activity). Even be more gentle, let the asker reissue the question for up to 6 months! Just so long as they provide additional feedback at that time, or whatever.

        Obviously, times may be discussed and determined later.

        YES! DO archive the old stuff. Make them read only after XX days of non-activity, and move them to secondary storage. Better for you, better for us… (Great idea, B)

      • #3252888


        by cuteelf ·

        In reply to My recommendations

        Move the HOT Discussion link menu to the LEFT SIDE. It’s annoying on the right…my eyes read and they grab the blue link color and drift offa the sentence that Bfilm was talking about and i forgot his rambling.

        Change layout and colorscheme. This gray is neutral, yes, it goes with everything, but for god’s sakes, it looks like London sky on a Normal Day!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happier colors, we need some way to influence our farkedup moods somehow.

        Layout change to menu left, body text middle, NO ADS on sides, (head or foot only).

        Thicken the lines defining body/sides, will help readers STOP at points.

        Change typesize a little, have a bar/setting for personal size choice?

        Up the bw into and from the server, timeouts happen a lot. Where are you located, anyways?

        STOP making people download an article. If we want to keep it, we can open it, right click and save a copy. DL takes time to open, bw to send, and gets clusterfuk’d on my desktop.

        Start a WIKI page with vendor contacts, links for job sites, FAQS on a software, archive articles by time/subject/writer/cross reference.


        I do like this place and always feel welcome. Thank you guys for keeping this alive.


    • #3253540

      How about a sister site.

      by nz_justice ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      The TechDemocratic.

      • #3253492


        by cactus pete ·

        In reply to How about a sister site.

        That would be TechDemocracy.


      • #3090583

        I would say Not

        by aaron a baker ·

        In reply to How about a sister site.

        There is only one Tech Republic.
        It’s a dared good one populated by many fine people. A “Sister site” would only create confusion and degrade the worth of the Original Site.
        My preference would be that we continue in our efforts to improve ourselves {We certainly have the talent} rather than create an offshoot that wouldn’t be able to come close.
        There is Only One “Tech Republic”,
        That’s good enough for me.
        After all, look around you, does it get any better than this? 🙂

        • #3101768

          There are benefits

          by nz_justice ·

          In reply to I would say Not

          Competition improves quality, and a sister site would also provide employment for some more people. TR could but together a case for a sister site to CNET and as long as the all the TR guys aren’t running it, it can provide healthy in house competition. There are many more benefits to expansion. And It can also be used as a back up site, but as I understand they already have a brother site, can’t remember what it’s called, and It would not hurt the parent site CNET, to have more children sites.


    • #3253452

      re: smilies (the other side)

      by apotheon ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      I keep seeing requests for “more smilies”. I loathe the little bastards. How about a user setting that allows me to turn smilies off so I never see the graphical little buggers?

    • #3091463

      one i’m missing

      by rob mekel ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      Navigation to own postings, not just the threads/discussions, AND the replay’s to them.


      • #3091460

        and that’s not…..

        by gadgetgirl ·

        In reply to one i’m missing

        the only thing you’re missing!!!!! 😀

        – sorry, Rob, but you left yourself wide open for that one!!



        • #3091457

          sniffer sniff

          by rob mekel ·

          In reply to and that’s not…..

          Will I ever learn. 🙂 Got me there, although!

          Yeb, there are more things like, 100.000.000 in ? or $ or my own plane. 🙂

          And of course those damn discussions behind closed bars. ]:)

          grumble, grumble, when will they let me in, sniff, sniffer


        • #3091262


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to sniffer sniff

          There is no Fight Club.

          There’s no such thing as Vampires.

          These are not the droids you are looking for.

          What weapons of mass destruction? We’ve never had weapons of mass destruction.

          Nothing to see here. Move along. We are only a hedge.

    • #3091245

      Reply To: TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      by ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      Having to wait for the moving ad on top to play before the post is visable is my biggest pet peeve. The fancy ones can take a couple of seconds, and if the post is short, I spend more time waiting than reading contend.

      I suggest that having a number of posts on one page would be a lot better. I also agree that the grey areas on the side are a waste of space and that the page size should not be static, but more like Outlook’s email.

      Basicly I like it.

    • #3091234

      Echoing other suggestions, plus a couple others

      by wordworker ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      >>9. When I post to a discussion, bring me back to the last viewed posting.
      This is frustrating to me, too. You have to go [Back] to get back in the thread, then scroll down to where you were, and you waste time scrolling up and down until you see the changed color or recognize the text.

      15. Contests. There used to be some mugs, other gear given out… That drove a lot of participation, as I recall…. Have the points be worth something. TR shirt, TR Mug, lunch with Smorty, Ganme geeking with Jay, something…<<<<< <<< This is a probably a reference to the weekly "Pop Quiz" contest I ran back in '99-'00. We put in a hat the names of the people who submitted the correct answer to the quiz, selected one name at random, and sent them a free TechRepublic t-shirt. I believe Bob Artner (RIP) used to award mugs to people who responded to his column / blog In the past, I admit I openly and aggressively called TR (as a whole) stupid for not having an online store, and Smorty rightfully called me out on it. In this thread, may I respectfully and sincerely suggest you set up a TR store! A certain Vice President of Marketing hired by TR in '99-'00 told everyone that his previous employer (another online IT portal) booked 20% of revenues from sales of 'logo stuff' from mousepads to t-shirts to polo shirts to denim jackets to coffee mugs, pens, etc. 20%!! He wanted to set up a store then, but the pushback was it would be too costly to develop, not enough profit to make it worthwhile, etc. The then-President assigned the task of researching it to his secretary -- who couldn't even get a caterer to show up with breakfast on time -- and the project never saw the light of day. You put up a store, figure out a cost-effective way to take payments and deliver the goods, and you're bringing in some revenues, you're creating goodwill and viral marketing among the members who buy and wear the stuff, others have suggested, you could periodically give away some of the items as rewards to your members, based on how much they contribute to the site in various ways. Show me the downside to putting up a store -- I don't see any. It's easier now than in '99 to collect money, easier to make and distribute the goods, and there's high demand. Someone needs to step up to the plate within TR and make it happen. It would be a good thing.

      • #3252257

        it’s actually easy

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to Echoing other suggestions, plus a couple others

        with photos of the products available.
        and about half an hour.
        any number of storefront scripts could be up and running, most of which are open source and free.

        the costs incurred..the ssl cert.
        fees for setting up merchant accounts through your bank for online sales.
        works out to about 100 to the bank plus the cost of the cert.

        • #3252205

          or . . .

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to it’s actually easy

          If you’re really lazy and want to cut up-front costs, you could set up a storefront using a Paypal merchant account, in which case you just incur a per-transaction fee (three percent of gross) for credit card payments.

        • #3252182


          by jaqui ·

          In reply to or . . .

          the point being that it can be done with very little cost.

    • #3252334

      Make discussion page “find/searchable”

      by wordworker ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      I’m running IE 6.0. I open up the “is wardriving legal” discussion thread. With 500+ posts, I want to search for a name or word. [Ctrl]F summons the Find dialog, I type in a word that I can clearly see on the screen, and I get “finished searching the document.” What is up with that? Same thing happens with FireFox on my home machine. Yes, I start at the tippy-top of the page. No, I haven’t selected the match case or whole word only options.

    • #3252316


      by darrell.jones ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      The peeves I have with several newsletter sites are 1) broken links and 2) articles that make me sign up for a sales barrage before I can read them. I don’t even notice TechRepublic being one of the worst offenders. Beyond that, content rules IMHO, though I’m probably forgetting several bad interaction problems.

    • #3252290

      Hard time limit in Tech Q&A

      by absolutely ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      I think one month is enough time for a tech question that truly matters to the person asking. If they don’t [b]at least[/b] add follo-up replies, to indicate what further information their problem requires, (1) they should be booted, permanently, from TR (2) all the points they offered should be awarded to all responders, regardless of quality of their responses.

    • #3252218

      Topic Centers

      by acolec ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      I liked the previous version of techrepulic that put more emphasis on the topic centers (they were at the TOP of the page) rather than what seems to me to be secondary content now.

      I guess that navigation to me is TR’s biggest problem. I like the fact that TR has stayed computer centric and not tried to be a tech catch all site.

    • #3252184

      Sorry I’m late

      by charliespencer ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      But sometimes I actually have to do the work I’m paid for. I’m also posting before reading everyone else’s comments, so if I’m duplicating earlier remarks, I apologize.

      Topics on the “My Discussions” page used to be listed in order of most recent activity. A few months ago the sort order changed. Now the topics are sorted in sequence of most recently first commented on. Could this be changed back?

      Also, could there be a way to remove a topic from “My Discussions”? Obviously there’s a way to unsubscribe, but I’m looking for a way to drop topics I commented on but didn’t subscribe to.

      There are a couple of blogs I like to subscribe to but I don’t see a way to do that on a blogger’s page.

    • #3252144

      new one…

      by jaqui ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      I commented on an Article, yet the discussion isn’t showing in the My Discussions list at all.

      The article in question is Give developers secure-coding ammo

    • #3252114

      Unslected or diffrent default discussion Topic

      by nz_justice ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      Hi TG of TR,

      i start a new thread and if i’m not paying attention, that new thread ends up in Network Administration


      Is it possible not to have Network Administration
      as the default selected thread topic?

    • #3252007


      by tj.itsme ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      Having to click on each reply in order to read it. It might be ok for people with fast connections, but I’m on 128k and it is frustrating to say the least.

    • #3090759

      Missing Articals after short period of time

      by sundancer268 ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      I Read an artical, Thought it would interest my sister who works for the company in the artical. Sent link, she could not access it and told me so. I tried to reaccess it and it was GONE. This is a bummer. Missing Link: javascript:ol(‘;);

    • #3090586

      The Point Please?

      by aaron a baker ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      Ok Geek, with Respect;
      I’ve got to ask,as a member who actually loves and cares about Tech Republic and it’s members.
      Is this one of those things where we all get together and bash the H…..ll out of Tech Republic and that’s it, we vent? All we do is run them down.? If so, I’ll have no part of it.Thank you.
      Or is this something that you are actually concerned about and TR would actually consider making changes in order to accommodate and update their system.
      Frankly I can think of quite a few of them in the sign-up and log-in Depts. and other Depts etc.
      In short, I’m prepare to “Constructively Criticize” my TR for the betterment of us all, but I won’t waste a second running them {Us} down. The ball is now in your court.
      While we’re making with the suggestions, let’s not forget one very important thing, Yes there are a lot of people at the helm of all the different Depts and they do one heck of a job keeping it all together.
      The bottom however is, who is Tech Republic,? We Are !!.
      So let’s be gentle with ourselves, yes?.

      Warmest Regards to you all
      Aaron 😉

      • #3253004

        I’m writing up bug reports…

        by Jay Garmon ·

        In reply to The Point Please?

        …as we speak. I’ve got engineers planning infrastructure changes, Web designers working on a revised interface, and Beth writing a test plan to make sure our new systems are actually better than the olds ones. What you tell me directly influences the new spec.

        I won’t say we’ll fix everything (really, people, the ads aren’t going anywhere) but we want to fix as much as we can. If you’ve got log-in bugs to report, please do so. We simply can’t simulate all the various user scenarios that a system as variable as ours can create. Knowing what bugs you have found helps us pin them down and address them.

        • #3102503

          I’m with you

          by aaron a baker ·

          In reply to I’m writing up bug reports…

          I’m so glad to hear this as I was genuinely concerned. I’ll never bash TR or any of the members. As a matter of fact, I don’t bash anyone.
          Perhaps TR isn’t aware of it or hasn’t acknowledged it but the fact remains that however many imitators there are out there but none come close to TR for me.
          In terms of Versatility,Tech Chats, Blogs, Downloads and a Ton of Information and Downloads. Please keep them Pdfs 🙂
          I’ll even name a few, ZDNet,CNet and all the other “Nets” and the Plethora of Webpages that infest the net. I’m not running them down, I’m just saying that TR is my Favorite and yes I know the CNet and ZDNet are all related sites. That’s what make’s it so funny.
          So now I’m going back to the drawing board to get a few suggestions together and while I’m at it,
          allow me to Thank you Geek, for taking the time and effort to do this and above all getting us all together to makes us a better site.
          No easy task.
          However, with the aforementioned people at the helm, it can’t miss.
          Tip of my hat to you Sir.
          Warmest Regards

    • #3132505

      ^-^ a few little annoyances

      by pet ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      1. cookies expire too soon – do i really need to log in so often? this is my tech resource site, not my bank account.

      2. My Workspace should be renamed Our Workspace – I used it for the first time by adding 2 items into it, then when i went to look for my 2 items it was full of TR’s suggestions and a bunch of other crap that I didn’t add. Get out of MY workspace. If you put anything in there that I didn’t add, then I’m not going to use it.

      3. Increase discussion posts per page – I still can’t believe we can only have 1 discussion post per page! There are many successful discussion layouts, choose one. It’s bad enough having to reload every reply page on high-speed, imagine what dialup or sat users have to go thru.

      4. Downloads – I find it handy when articles are available as a download, because I can put it on my laptop and refer to it on the road. However, the standard should be that every article is available in full text, with an optional download. I hate it when I have to download something just to read it, when you could have simply put it up in full text to begin with.

      5. did I mention how crappy it is to have only 1 discussion post per page?

      6. not thrilled with the layout and navigation, too much gray space and long menu text. I shouldn’t have to scroll just to see some actual content.

      7. the tech questions thing… omg it needs a serious overhaul, I’ll just agree with everyone else’s comments on the subject so far.

      • #3101955

        my take

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to ^-^ a few little annoyances

        1. cookies
        I don’t have that problem. I’m not sure why you do.

        2. workspace
        I’m perfectly happy getting the recommendations. They aren’t actually part of the workspace: they’re separate from the things saved in the workspace, and are merely suggested as more additions to it based on the sort of thing you’ve added to it before.

        I definitely agree — any time I find something available as a download but not as an article, I’m about half as likely to read it (if even that likely). It’s nice to have downloads available, but annoying to have [b]only[/b] downloads available. If I had to pick only one, I’d choose online articles.

    • #3102463


      by cactus pete ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      OK, I’ve been a little more active lately, and I thought I should check out the questions section again. Things have changed (again) since the last time I looked.

      I looked at all the questions, this defaults to newest first. I resorted by points (presumably to see who had the most urgent issues) and of the top 25 questions, I think 2 were from 2006. Many were from more than a year ago.

      That alone suggests to me that these need to be cleaned up. I don’t even care if you award points, but archive them out or something…

      • #3272395

        Gave me an Idea

        by bfilmfan ·

        In reply to TQ&A

        Sounds like we need a special Worm of the Week for points offered and never awarded….

    • #3101664


      by nz_justice ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      How about more sort options, there are only the radio buttons at the bottom and the only other sort is the points coloum.

    • #3100826

      Who among you would buy a TR shirt or other “TR” branded item?

      by wordworker ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      Let’s put it to a vote. Would you plunk down a few bucks of your own money to (a) support TR and (b) be able to own a cool TR shirt, jacket, mouse pad, mug, pen & pencil set, or other cool thing?

      Speak up and convince the Luddites at TR who still resist what could be a very lucrative / profitable venture.

      • #3100775

        Yeah . . .

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Who among you would buy a TR shirt or other “TR” branded item?

        . . . if I didn’t already have enough cool TR swag to tide me over.

      • #3102196

        You are unbelievable!

        by smorty71 ·

        In reply to Who among you would buy a TR shirt or other “TR” branded item?

        Any time there is a request for feedback, regardless of whether it is applicable, you bring up shirts and coffee mugs (as if we’ve forgotten about *your* idea).

        This thread is not about what business opportunities that you think we’re missing. It is about how can we improve what is already here. If you have feedback about *that*, then we’d love to hear it.

        BTW, how many mugs can I put you down for? I’ll sell them to you for $8 each.

        • #3102194

          I’ll buy that fool a mug, if…

          by Shawn Morton ·

          In reply to You are unbelievable!

          he stops all the jibba jabba!

          BTW, stay in school kids, listen to your parents and stay away from drugs.

        • #3102164


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to You are unbelievable!

          I’d probably sell him mine for $7.50 plus shipping and handling.

          Watch me start a bidding war.

        • #3102138


          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to ahem

          You do have two I am sure, one for apotheon, one for Maxwell Edison.

          You must have two mailing addresses….


        • #3272304


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Well

          I do have two mailing addresses, but they’re both in the same name.

        • #3102122

          You are such a cynic!

          by wordworker ·

          In reply to You are unbelievable!

          Thanks Smorty. I’m trying to make a constructive suggestion and all you have to respond with is the same old nasty attitude. What is sad is that your perception that it was “my” idea is YOUR excuse for not taking advantage of a great business opportunity. In my opinion, adding an online store would “improve what is already here.”

        • #3272410

          You’ve made that suggestion already

          by smorty71 ·

          In reply to You are such a cynic!

          I’m sorry if you think I have a nasty attitude. It only seems to come out when you hijack someone else’s thread just to make the same suggestion that you’ve made elsewhere over and over (and over) again. We’ve heard it. It has been noted. It’s on the record. I’m sorry if that comes off as a nasty attitude, but I’m not sure how else to get through to you.

          We simply don’t feel there is sufficient interest for us to build an online store at this point.

          And let’s face it, you never make the suggestion without namecalling or taking a shot at those of us at TR who don’t agree with you. So I’m not sure what kind of response you were hoping for.

        • #3272397

          Nasty Smorty Cups?

          by bfilmfan ·

          In reply to You’ve made that suggestion already

          What a great idea for the lady peers!

          You put something cold in the cup and the picture of Smorty on the side changes color to reveal him in his boxers.


          I can wait to hear what Jessie and CuteElf say when they get theirs!


      • #3272302


        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Who among you would buy a TR shirt or other “TR” branded item?

        Somehow, I overlooked that the first time I read this. I wonder where you get “luddites” for the fine people at TR.

        • #3273274


          by bfilmfan ·

          In reply to Luddites?

          He really meant “lude-ites?”


        • #3273272

          or is that

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Perhaps?


        • #3272971


          by bfilmfan ·

          In reply to or is that

          I will stand by the quantum principle that both states may be correct, but you can only know one or the other.

      • #3090138

        Yes I would…in a second

        by aaron a baker ·

        In reply to Who among you would buy a TR shirt or other “TR” branded item?

        I could care less about T-Shirts, Coffee mugs and all the junk paraphernalia that one can come up with.
        As far as I’m concerned, I already get quite a lot form Tech Republic.
        I would certainly have no problem with a small annual membership fee.
        Not like elitist one that we have now that allows within certain areas only, but a small fee that get’s you in everywhere.
        I can’t tell you how many Pdfs I’ve downloaded and how much I’ve learned here over the years not to mention the friends I’ve made.
        All this makes TR a very good place to call home.
        For this reason and many more , I certainly would have “No Problem” slapping down a few bucks to back Tech Republic.
        After all, We are all, Tech Republic, aren’t we?
        Warmest Regards

    • #3272283

      other discussion oddities

      by pet ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      Two other things I just thought of to add to my previous list.

      The first is, most forum software does not make use of reply titles. I find that odd, and not that useful myself.

      The second, when I click Reply, the post disappears and I can’t quote or re-read anything. Most discussion/forum software keeps the previous posts below the reply box so you can make an intelligent and accurate reply without having to remember what folks said.

      cheers 🙂

      • #3273261

        Erm …

        by stargazerr ·

        In reply to other discussion oddities

        I might have missed something but you say

        [i] when I click Reply, the post disappears and I can’t quote or re-read anything.[/i]

        I am pretty sure that we can see the post we are replying to, while replying. Are you sure this is not happening because the thread has reached maximum depth??


        • #3273256

          it is

          by rob mekel ·

          In reply to Erm …

          at least with me. 🙁
          With maximum depth reached it is a problem not seeing the post you want to answer to. But if you reply to the post one depth less and open this in an other box it is easy to check on the post you wanna reply to. 🙂

          Not totally nice but do-able 🙂


        • #3273253

          Yeah But

          by stargazerr ·

          In reply to it is

          If we dont have a maximum depth, replies would run off the page …

          But Pet seems to be saying that he cannot see the Post he is replying to … at all.


        • #3273250

          for sure

          by rob mekel ·

          In reply to Yeah But

          it would be nice if there wasn’t a maximum depth. Guess the maximum depth is in cause of, or the replies running off the page (as you suggested) or the discussions going on for ever and ever in the just 1 and only thread there would be. :D:D :^O
          Then we needed a search-engine within the discussion to see what’sup. 😀 :^O :^O
          ( 🙁 actually if it was the case)

          But Pet’s “problem” looks strange to me, but it’s true when reaching the max. reply depth as you did say. What else is there to do besides opening the reply in a new box?


    • #3273252

      Here’s another one TG

      by stargazerr ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      Not a frayed edge … But a feature it would be nice to have.

      A calendar where we can keep track of important “Gang Member” dates like birthdays and anniversaries.


    • #3273106

      Content Issues, Not Style Issues

      by wayne m. ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      My biggest gripe with TechRepublic is not with the details of how anything is technically implemented, but with the deterioriation of quality of information.

      I am seeing fewer and fewer researched and well-thought out articles and more and more “Dear Abby” -esque postings. Perhaps the business model precludes having much custom written, but value can be added to third-party whitepapers and the like through organization. A well written summary of similar whitepaper themes would provided value.

      I do not think the technical presentation of the material is the problem. The technical aspect may not work perfectly (it rarely does), but it is only a supporting feature of the content to be provided.

    • #3086488

      A late addition

      by amberhaze ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      Actually most of my points have probably already been covered, but just in case…

      1) Have the system penalize or somehow otherwise report the number of open / unrated Q&A’s a user has. (I don’t care if my answer is rejected, But I like to know what finally worked to solve a problem so I can learn… as I am sure many others would)
      2) On a person’s profile, make the calculation for participation “score” visible
      3) Related to the above, perhaps just publish the raw score rather than “position in top 100” and then still have your section that lists the top 100 by score.

      and to add a 4th…

      4) When there are important site type discussions such as these, put a link somewhere more obvious… I was looking for just something like this, didn’t stumble on it, so started a whole other discussion, which thanks to neverbusted@… I was refered back to here…

      5) actually kind of related to #4, perhaps an “Administrative forum” for discussion of administrative issues / gripes / suggestions / and offers of help. This kind of goes to what a few others mentioned about better indication of who the powers that be are and how to contact them. (Although I am learning that if you stick around long enough, you kind of start to figure some of that out 😉

      Anyways, these are just some of my ramblings, hope I didn’t put anyone to sleep.

    • #3266653

      Determining gender of peers

      by jardinier ·

      In reply to TechRepublic’s Frayed Edges

      In Miscellaneous discussions it is quite often desirable to know the gender of the person you are addressing.

      For two years I thought Jaqui was a girl (why can’t you call yourself Jaques?”)

      So I would like an option in the personal profile to indicate M or F. (or “other” I suppose to cover all possible variations.)

      • #3266646


        by g… ·

        In reply to Determining gender of peers

        Why would you want this? Flirting? Not in here please…

        • #3266642

          No, not flirting.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to gender?

          It’s just annoying to have to refer to people as “he/she/it” all the friggin’ time.

Viewing 40 reply threads