The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 56 - 8/27/2001
What Would You Like to See at The Voice?
By most measurements, TWV is a very successful site. YET, it is always in a constant state of change. This week we ask "What if YOU Ran the Witches' Voice - What would you change? In fact, feel free to post ANY suggestions that you may have related to this web site, its look, feel, design, content or tone... We have literally hundreds of ideas but would love to hear yours. Why? Because TWV has been built on your suggestions since day one... It's time to ask again! Kindly, keep your suggestions constructive.
| Reponses: There are 65 responses posted to this question.
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| If I Ran The Witch's Voice I Probably Would Not Get A... ||Aug 28th. at 12:40:27 pm EDT|
|Amber McLemore (Chicago, Illinois US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
If I ran the Witch's Voice I probably would not get a quarter of the work done that you do. Hat's off to the best pagan site on the world wide web and my thanks and appreciation for all the hard work you do. I visit Wren's nest almost everyday for the pagan news updates. I like reading Wren&Fritz's rants. I also use&appreciate the links to pagans, pagan groups and merchants so I would like to see more of the same keep up the good work. You guys are awesome! I really enjoy and appreciate this website.
P.S. I've read several of the pages of useful information on this site also, the earlier part of my email referred to what I use regularly, also I like the Little Witch stories.
| Witchvox Is Invaluable To Me. The Content Is Outstanding. The Interactivity With... ||Aug 28th. at 1:43:46 pm EDT|
|Bill Wheaton (Decatur, Georgia US) ||Age: 43 - Email |
WitchVox is invaluable to me. The content is outstanding. The interactivity with the community, well... there is a reason that WitchVox is number one.
The ease of use and formatting is fine, but since I always have an opinion, here goes. I hope that most of them are constructive.
Some of this is ranting, so take it with a grain of salt. None of it is personal, we all have our own style. Just some things to think about...
Studies have shown (whatever that means) that sans-serif is easier to read on screen, and serif is easier to read on paper I agree, and a lot of my customers do to. I like tahoma, arial, helvitica, geneva and comic sans. I seldom print web pages, so its not a problem, I don't know other peoples' proclivities. Some people print practically everything.
waste of paper
A light background with dark type is easier to read than the other way around. I see that some others concur. I enjoy Wren's Nest, and that is a big reason I visit it ten times more often than the rest of the site. If having Wren's Nest with white backgrounds, and WitchVox with black backgrounds is some sort of male/female polarity thing, then maybe there are other ways. I don't think so though, because some of the pages are light blue as well. I used to think that though, always looking for hidden meaning.
I like the navigation in the cell to the left, it is convenient. For consistancy though, links should either all be underlined or not without the mix, and act the same way. I find I have to move my mouse over each part of the navigator to see if it is really a link.
I know you're proud of the page count, but is it really nessessary? Are people that interested in how many times the page has been accessed, and does that really indicate how long the stayed there or where they went afterwards or how they got there? There are a lot of very cool statistical tools available that will graphically show things, in 3d even. Perhaps a separate page for those who are genuinely interested? I saw a lot of people with page counters in the 90's, but I don't see it much anymore except on personal sites where its one of those easy thinga-ma-bob CGI addins that template sites like Tripod.com lets you add in because its easy and cheap for them to give it to you. I have found its usually meaningless and takes up otherwise usefull space. I've been to sites with 835 hits, that had excellent information, and to some with a million hits with crap that hasn't been updated in three years. And does anyone really understand the changing meaning of "hits" vs. "pagecount" vs. "impressions"? DoubleClick even counts how long people spend on a page, where their mouse pointer moves and for how long it sits in one spot. Who, but some high powered marketting firm can use that? (I think they are decieving themselves anyway) Basic stats are fine though, but again, do _we_ need them?
"I'm just sayin'"
I very much appreciate your decision to shun "Flash" and other auto-loaded multimedia.
I will not have a flash plugin loaded on my system, nor half the multimedia players. They screw with my system big time. I always answer "no" when asked if I want to load a plugin for some lame, cutesy song that some web page owner thinks is cool. Well, its not cool to me. I don't even have a working sound card (thanks to some stupid plugin). Besides, if I want to listen to music, I have this really neat little $125 stereo I bought at a yard sale for $10 so I can listen to "Thistle and Shamrock" on Sunday mornings without the static I used to have on my combination Cassette/8-Track/Record Player/Radio. (Yes, I take recycling seriously. The used truck I bought last April will last me well into the next decade, hehe.)
I love the cover photo, and visit often to see the new one. It links to the same place as the description links do in the "This Weeks Features" though. Could you make "This Weeks Features" several links, list them in bigger font, and on multiple columns so I can see them easier? The "onhover" attribute makes a big portion of the screen flash when I mouse over it, and the underline attribute on such a large area also makes it hard to read. Its mildly annoying.
I work at home mostly, but when in a cubical where my screen can be seen by others, I have to resize it so that the large font "Witch" "Pagan" and other provocative words as well as pentagrams, can be quickly scrolled out of view. I'm not asking for removal, just reduction in screen space, or something. Yes, "I'm pagan and proud!", but I'd like to remain employed too.
The flag for the State of Georgia has changed. We finally got rid of the stars-n-bars. Does 3dflags.com know that? The flags are kind of neato.
Some things to think about, costly or not. Some are short term easy hits, others are long term (years ahead). Still others are pipe dreams...
I actually like having _some_ links open a new window. It allows me compare side by side without having to load and reload the same window. I just "Alt-Tab" and the original is still there. I often have 20, 25, or more windows open at a time at the end of the day, and some stay open for days on end barring a thunderstorm. I know that some people don't like that, though I don't know why. Frames are a pain, but not external windows. You could offer a choice defaulted to the way it currently is, and have a checkbox with something like "use a cookie to display links in a separate window". People that hate cookies that much usually turn them off in the browser.
Style sheets. New browsers accept them now, and 3rd generation browsers are becoming less dominant. They can decrease the amount of HTML and make pages load 50% faster in many cases, especially with database search result presentation.
Persistant information / user portal. Huge amounts of people visit sites all the time that do it. If people are rightfully worried about a cookie that is tagged to the "www.witchvox.com" domain, then make it so that the default is no cookies. Session cookies expire and are deleted when the browser is closed, and contain an id to a simple record that doesn't even have to contain anything more than "do you want to open new windows with links? (yes/no)", "do you want extra large print? (yes/no)", "do you want the sight friendly ADA setup? (yes/no)". No names need be kept. The only worry then would be someone at an office running SMS which could concievably access their cookies to see if they were presently viewing the witchvox site. Its something to consider.
XML. I can't stress this enough. XML will allow the presentation of same information formatted for people with disabilities (which will be a requirement someday) or for those that want all the bells and whistles or for WML for handhelds etc. which will dominate the web in the next five years. XML would open new doors for WOTW, as well as research into old news articles and extremely flexible presentation and on-the-fly sorting of search results for research into the resources you have to offer.
Consider migrating to Linux, Apache, Mod_Perl and MySql. All are free, platform independant, and open source. Take advantage of the world of people just itching to help. It used to be that the number one occupation of Pagans was IT. This may still be true.
Consider consolidating the two domians into one through redirection or whatever. You're using ".com" and ".net" as they were originally intended, but for the vast majority, the nuance is lost these days. It can present problems if you ever decide to go with JSPs, XML, Applets, Cookies, or anything that is signed. Its minor though.
I'm sure that there is other stuff
I'm sure that you have thought and dreamed about a lot of this too.
I'm also sure that if I don't get some code written today, my ass is going to be hung out to dry...
| First Of All, There Wouldn't Be Any Changes, Just Some Additions. This... ||Aug 28th. at 4:37:12 pm EDT|
|Stephanie B (Decatur, Illinois US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
First of all, there wouldn't be any changes, just some additions. This was one of the best sites I fell into :) I am a solitary in Central Illinois and it is awfully lonely out here (especially as a solitary). The world can be a very scary place when youre doing it on your own. I use TWV constantly to keep tabs on whats going on, listen to the rants, raves and songs. It feels like home here and it gives me info on things going around in my state so I can go and feel connected with other witches/pagans. I know there is an essay section but how about an article section that features practioners from around the country? To have an article listed on the "main page" as I call it. I know myself I would love to be able to write some of the great articles like Peg, Wren, and the rest of the staff at TWV. I want to hear from other solitaries as well as groups and what problems they face, I want to find out whats going on in my area and find out how things are in other communities. You guys do a wonderful job here. The site rocks! Like I said i visit it a LOT. Its kinda routine, eat breakfast, check my email, hit the site, etc. Almost second nature. Keep up the great work.
| The Only Thing I Would Prob Change Is The Level Of Interactivity... ||Aug 28th. at 7:20:16 pm EDT|
|P.I Andreas VargaSon (Gwydi'Nah'Og in Southern Norrland(Northland), Sweden) ||Age: 17 - Email |
The only thing I would prob change is the level of interactivity, and just focus a little less on American stuff ;) N more on like things that happen in EU(The European Union) or at least Northern Europe :) seince that's were I live :). There are not many European Pagan sites that offer the same level of things as TWV, and there prob won't be either seince we're on like a whole different other mental level(not as flashy as you guys*smile*), besides, there are much other things to work on IRL for pagans(the grownups) before one can get any peace, for instance, the rebuilding of Temples and stuff like that. But for the teen-side of N-Europe(or whatever) need pagan-stimuli when we're surf'n the net or while talking to friends. Don't know if it's due to the fact that noone from EU ever sends anything to use or that twv is American(at least the Xians over there seem a bit hateful(not at twv!)) :) :)
yup!, thats what i think if anyone cares... now I'm of to eat a VeggieBurger!
/Mist of Avalon Coven/P.I Andreas VargaSon(icq:30731544, Lunarstorm.Se:CyberWitch)
| I Have Found Consistently That Twv Is One Of The Most Informative... ||Aug 28th. at 7:55:53 pm EDT|
|Rhea Foxfyre (St. Johns) ||Age: 16 - Email |
...I have found consistently that TWV is one of the most informative, open, and to be honest, classy sites on the internet today. The content is accurate, there is no restriction of free speech, and all topics are of interest to a broad range of people. The pages are easy to navigate, and aside from the font size occasionally being a bit small, I can't think of anything in the formatting I'd change. It would be nice to see some kind of feature that helped draw the pagan community together; however I acknowledge that the very independence of this site and those who frequent it is what makes it so unique and special. Bravissima!
| What Would I Change? Good Question....i Have A Simple Answer Nothing... ||Aug 28th. at 10:18:38 pm EDT|
|Shadowulfe (Oak Park, Illinois US) ||Age: 24 - Email |
What would i change? Good Question....I have a simple answer Nothing At All! In my opinion Witchvox.com is the most informative Pagan/Wiccan Site On the web and on that note i have only one thing to say...Congatulations on a job well done!
| I Would Add A Message Board Or Two As Well As Possibly... ||Aug 29th. at 12:12:55 am EDT|
|Mike Bartlett (Calgary, Alberta CA) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I would add a message board or two as well as possibly even a chat room. This would make the Vox more of a community than a newspaper type site that you check for updates every once in a while.
| No More Black Pages With White Or Colored Text! It Kills My... ||Aug 29th. at 12:30:19 am EDT|
|Willow Polson (Groveland, California US) ||Age: 35 - Email |
No more black pages with white or colored text! It kills my eyes! That's the #1 thing I would change. And maybe easier navigation? I know it's a very complex site, but often I have trouble finding things because the navigation is sometimes at the bottom, sometimes on the left border, sometimes in teeny type, sometimes called something different than what it is, etc... Thanks!
| Absolutely Nothing !!!! The Witches Voice And Their Entire Staff Are Better At... ||Aug 29th. at 9:18:23 am EDT|
|barbara vassar (palmetto, Florida US) ||Age: 53 - Email |
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING !!!! The Witches Voice and their entire staff are better at what they do than anything else I can find on the web. The news updates are great and completely unbiased, in my opinion, which is more than you can say for you local newspaper, (which I seldom read anyway). I also enjoy knowing that there are others out there that share my values and beliefs without reguard to what they might be. Thanks Witches Voice for all the services you provide. Airfawn
| I Would Make The Site Easier To Navigate. I Love This Place... ||Aug 29th. at 9:54:48 am EDT|
|Blackbird (Richmond, Kentucky US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I would make the site easier to navigate. I love this place as it is but I often get lost due to the navigation.
| I Would Drop The Black Background. I Used To Use It Alot... ||Aug 29th. at 7:55:55 pm EDT|
|Lori Dake (Chicago, Illinois US) ||Age: 27 - Email |
I would drop the black background. I used to use it alot myself, so I'm not saying it don't look cool, but if every page were either white or beige/tan (better on the eyes) using dark ariel fonts, it would make *every* page a printer-friendly page :)
I would also add a community section where people can join in if they wanted to, but not make a login mandatory (you can read stuff, but you have to log in to comment). That way people could comment on Wren's Nest articles, send out community messages, etc. Also, where people post their ads: perhaps a hyperlink to a thumbnail picture - but have an on/off button for people who dont want to wait for pics to download. You wouldn't have to hog up space: just have people use a hyperlink to the image. Then it's their dime, not yours ;)
Another thing that you may want to consider is making the navigation just a little bit easier. I know I'm quite guilty of it too, but you just have so much good stuff, that it takes a few minutes to find everything!
Finally, I just wanted to say that I think you've done a helluva job here. While some people think it's a little too fluffy at times, I think it kinda has to be. I've found out for myself that pleasing everyone is impossible, so it's best to go with the majority, while maintaining a serious side... on the side :)
| Greetings Fritz And Wren,if I Had My Druthers Absolutely Nothing Would... ||Aug 29th. at 10:54:45 pm EDT|
|Scatha (Oregon, Wisconsin US) ||Age: 47 - Email |
Greetings Fritz and Wren, If I had my druthers absolutely nothing would be changed!I surf in here at least once a day and I've yet to be disappointed with anything.You both do a superb job in keeping up an excellent site!Bright Blessings, Scatha.P.S.I am proud to be one of the sponsors for my state:)
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