Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: The Short and Long of It

340 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 14 Newer→ Last

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Lance's complaints seem a bit trivial - and so is mine! I don't like it that in Public Address System you can't see who the author of the original post was; I guess if I was smart I'd be able to memorise that Russell Brown writes 'Hard News', Kieth Ng writes 'On Point' etc, but I have serious short and long term memory problems so that's not going to fly.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Lance's complaints seem a bit trivial - and so is mine! I don't like it that in Public Address System you can't see who the author of the original post was

    That's actually a very good complaint -- especially in the case of Speaker guest posts. It just turned out that it was easier to change that in the course of the overall forums upgrade. So, fix coming soon ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Grace Dalley,

    I love reading PA posts, they are thoughtful, interesting, and highly varied. I like that each post can meander through several topics and be of any length, depending on how much the blogger has to say on that particular day. I like how outbound links take me to all sorts of places on the web.
    I love how good the dicussions are. I love how smart and passionate everyone seems about issues.
    I have one tiny complaint, and that is: the text-size widget doesn't go big enough for me. It needs a few more notches.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2008 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Pah! I love you. As you were.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    I'm also a bit disturbed at the notion of a 'wordpress camp' - I set the Dim-Post up on wordpress because it seemed like a good content management system, I didn't realise I was joining a cult . . .

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Re twitter - never joined, but I've always preferred the concept of Tumblr. Still a "stream o thought" thing that can be followed by friends, but goes beyond short text only and includes sharing video, images, quotes and links that you find and like.

    www.tumblr.com

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    it seems to me his criticism of publicaddress is based on a fundamental flaw, namely that the exercise of functionality of weblogs, messageboards etc must be as passive as possible. To me, this a basic misunderstanding of human social psychology on the internet. I've always thought the way you attract people to a website is by encouraging the "slot machine" variant of addiction behaviour, where you encourage people to refresh, move back, try again, seeking - and getting - frequent instant rewards.

    Treat your audience like you would lab rats pressing a lever and you can't go wrong IMHO.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Although admittedly, tried to start my own tumblr and then kinda forgot about it

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Calder,

    If you use Firefox as a browser (and why anyone would use IE is beyond me), you increase or decrease text size on web pages (and emails and docs and everything) by holding down control (or apple on a mac) and rolling your scroll wheel. Try it once and you will wonder how you lived without it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Lance's complaints seem a bit trivial - and so is mine!

    Well, I thought the thread was, shall we say, stimulating and provocative in the best senses of the word -- with the proviso that I don't speak geek.

    But one thing that slightly gnawed on my last nerve was the bitching about PA's more discursive essay-style posts. If that's not your bag, fair enough. One of John Updike's rule of criticism is this: Don't criticise an author for not achieving what he wasn't trying to do in the first place. Also, just because he didn't handle the material the way you would, doesn't make the work invalid.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Roger Lacey,

    I have one tiny complaint, and that is: the text-size widget doesn't go big enough for me. It needs a few more notches.

    Try pressing Command and + or ++ or +++. Oh that's right, you need a Mac first.

    Whatakataka Bay Surf Club… • Since Apr 2008 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    Try pressing Command and + or ++ or +++. Oh that's right, you need a Mac first.

    Or Ctrl and + if your are using Firefox.

    I think there is a market for lengthy topics. The difference between a newspaper and a magazine.I have never had a problem when the comments split in various streams. A braided river is still a river.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 187 posts Report Reply

  • David Ritchie,

    Try pressing Command and + or ++ or +++. Oh that's right, you need a Mac first.

    Or not -- CTRL+, CTRL- and CTRL-0 work in IE and Firefox on Windows for myself.

    Having a whinge about font sizes on the web (nowadays) is like complaining about the loudness of the wireless. There's a knob, and it goes both ways, and you fiddle it until you're happy.

    Since Nov 2006 • 166 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Try pressing Command and + or ++ or +++. Oh that's right, you need a Mac first.

    Or the Ctrl key and the mouse wheel...

    They've thought of everything those Microsoft people ;-)

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Karen White,

    The conversation ebbs & flows on PAS are some of the best things about visiting. (as well as the initial posts). I mostly lurk - pop back every now & then during the day to check up on the comments. Wonderful - breaks up the dreary work day.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I suspect various people use PA/S in different ways.

    I use an RSS feeder, and that picks up new PA posts, but I don't read them in my feeder. I visit the site frequently and look for new posts and newly updated threads.

    I never go to the classic page, I do all my PA browsing from /system/. I can barely remember what the main post looks like.

    A feature I'd love to have (which wordpress would provide) is 'new posts since your last visit' highlighted. Then when I revisit the site I can just click the highlighted links to update myself on what people have said, instead of trying to remember when I last checked.

    Also PAS logs me out frequently and I have to log back in, no idea why.

    Also this structure on the system main page:

    Hard News: The Short and Long of It
    Discussion from blog post Read Topic

    Doesn't make sense to me. The title links to the forum, read topic links to the forum, and 'last post' (off to the right) also reads to the forum. I have to look to the column on the left for the original blog post, and if the blogger has posted several blogs and I'm catching up, I have to dig through them by using the arrows.

    "Read Topic", by my logic, should lead back to the original blog (like the link at the top once you get into the actual comments). Or the title could lead to the blog and 'read topic' could be renamed to make it more obvious that it leads to the discussion forum.

    And the edit button, obviously. Though I'd like the system to report that a post has been edited (like wordpress does), so people can't go all "NZ Herald" on us.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    Having user profile pages with links to individual comments (a la, say, Metafilter) would be awesome as well. I don't know how technically feasible that is.

    But one thing that slightly gnawed on my last nerve was the bitching about PA's more discursive essay-style posts.

    Yeah. That irritated me as well. The miscellaneous and discursive nature of PA one of the things I like most about the site. Perhaps it's that I've essentially grown up with Hard News (I started listening as a high school kid in '91 or '92), but there's a sense of continuity and history implied in the format -- a smooth line of transition from radio broadcast to email bulletin to community blog. Perhaps you have to know that history to truly 'get' the site; I don't know. That would be a shame.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Some things I'd like to be improved:

    - When I get the daily PA email, all the authors have a little tagline, eg "Hadyn Green yells. A lot." But these don't seem to show up online anywhere - a pity, cos some Mr Slacks are quite funny.

    - In PA System, I'd like it to remember where I was up to with reading comments, so I can find click straight through to the newest page of comments.

    - Threaded discussions. Please. Let me add a comment in the discussion, rather than adding it to the bottom of the list.

    - What about more options to add links to user info, instead of just one URL and one email address (who uses email anymore?). I'd like to add my Twitter name.

    - Another through - integrating PA and PAS seems like the right direction to take, but maybe the slight barrier of the current front page of PA is actually good for shaping the community of PAS.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    And on Twitter and teens, I've heard one really good theory for why Twitter doesn't appeal to teens.

    Twitter suits people who are sitting in front of a computer all day and/or have mobile internet on their cellphones. Teens don't have this. They're at school/uni during the day, and most can't afford mobile internet. So Twitter basically doesn't fit in with their lifestyle, so they use other online social media that does.

    All the teenagers I've seen on Twitter seem to post things like "wot is twitter i dont get it" and never come back. Which was approximately my experience with Bebo.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Haven't you just got yourself into the classic buy COTS vs build argument with computer systems.

    You've invested so much intellectual capital and $$ into building your bespoke CMS and it fits like a glove to your requirements that it becomes difficult to make the leap to a COTS solution ?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    I've essentially grown up with Hard News (I started listening as a high school kid in '91 or '92), but there's a sense of continuity and history implied in the format -- a smooth line of transition from radio broadcast to email bulletin to community blog.

    I find myself looking back in surprise at the way you can habituate. Until you mentioned it, Caleb, I'd forgotten missing Hard News in the hiatus between radio and online. And the novelty of the change in style from radio script to blog.

    Also - the idea of continuity for people who began as listeners at High School is cheering, in the context of the Guardian story.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I'm hoping to have a redesign that better integrates PA "classic" and System in place by the end of the year. And that much-desired edit button will be introduced as part of a revamp of the forums functionality within the month.

    Surely you'll be having a thread where the actual users, ie us, can suggest improvements. That's how it works these days, right?

    I have about 5 little things I'd like to see fixed.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Surely you'll be having a thread where the actual users, ie us, can suggest improvements.

    Or is that this thread?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Surely you'll be having a thread where the actual users, ie us, can suggest improvements. That's how it works these days, right?

    I have about 5 little things I'd like to see fixed.

    Consider this that thread. But I can't promise to do everything ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • wasabicube,

    The Twitter-bashing in the mainstream media is more than a little perverse especially when, as you point out, the criticisms often come from pundits who've never used the service.

    I've been a Twitterer since November 2006 and in thrall of the tweets since around August of that year and, in my opinion, there has been too much emphasis placed on Twitter being a micro-blogging "site"; too many comparisons with Facebook (sorry Russell), MySpace and the like, and too much attention on the competition for the largest number of followers.

    Most people I know use Twitter via the API, rather than the web site, using desktop or phone-top applications such as Tweetie or Twitterrific. They use it to take a real-time pulse of the lives of people in their geographically dispersed network of friends and acquaintances. The also follow people they don't necessarily know but whose opinions and perspectives they feel will enrich their lives.

    Whether it be water-cooler chat, public service announcements, news, argument, discussion, pithy repartee, customer research or a fantastic source of crowd-sourced wisdom, the bottom line is that Twitter is, foremost, a fantastic medium for communication.

    Whangaparaoa • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 14 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.