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Weekly Question

Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

Views: [32,767]
Responses: [2,666]

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53. What is 'Will' or 'Willpower'? - [19]

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21. What is/was your New Year's resolution? - [19]

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7. The Ethics of Magick and Spellwork - [43]

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 5,867,705  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 65

Lurker/Post Ratio: 504 to 1

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. Reverse Sort 


Witchvox Is Invaluable To Me. The Content Is Outstanding. The Interactivity With... Aug 28th. at 1:43:46 pm UTC

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...

Primary things:
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.

Secondary things:
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.

I find, that cookies, used sparingly and responsibly are not objectionable. With javascript, you wouldn't even need a cookie, though there wouldn't be any persistance.

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.

Javascript. Used in conjuntion with stylesheets. Also, large .js files can be put into a jar file. They will be cached after the first use, and pages will load all the faster because the .jar file is not reloaded again.

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...
Later
-Bill Wheaton


If I Ran The Witch's Voice I Probably Would Not Get A... Aug 28th. at 12:40:27 pm UTC

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.
Amber
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.


Merry Met... I Would Have A Way To Log In At The... Aug 28th. at 12:25:46 pm UTC

Winter Thea Bare (Astoria, Oregon US) Age: 48 - Email


Merry Met...

I would have a way to log in at the HOME PAGE and I have no idea as to how to have a email here but would love one . . .


I Am Unsure If Tvw Needs To Do This, Or If Needs... Aug 28th. at 11:16:50 am UTC

Storm Bear Williams (Winston-Salem, North Carolina US) Age: 38 - Email


I am unsure if TVW needs to do this, or if needs to be a separate thing. TWV is a reporting/news site but does not serve to build a community, the community goes to TWV as a resource and absorbs it, they do not become PART of TWV. But again, these may need to be two different things. I would love to see a Pagan site like SlashDot.org or my site NauseaManifesto.com. These are sites run by either PHP-Nuke or Slashcode which are open source web community software applications. This allows the community an easier way to post news and comment dirrectly on that news and have others comment to their comments. When Bill Stewart was acting President of CAW, I encouraged him to use this software to start an online version of GreenEggForum. It would have filled the gap that I feel is present in the community and would have gone a long way to help save Green Egg. Anyway, see what you think.
http://www.slashdot.org
http://www.nauseamanifesto.com
http://www.slashcode.org
http://www.phpnuke.org
http://www.nukeindex.com/ (a Nuke Site Directory - gobs of examples)


I Have To Agree W/ Captain Ike Of Freaky Planet On This... Aug 28th. at 10:57:06 am UTC

Ciarrai (Somewhere in Somerset County, New Jersey US) Age: 34 - Email


I have to agree w/ Captain Ike of Freaky Planet on this one: The Witches' Voice is home. I wouldn't change a thing about the site.

However, I am curious about how the Witches' Voice Staff started on their Pagan paths, and where they went to learn...

I know I can ALWAYS find whatever I need to know on this site. I have never had a bad experience with anyone that I have networked with nor any of the merchants that I have found on TWV.


I'm Continually Impressed With The Effort And Commitment Put Into This Site... Aug 28th. at 6:35:28 am UTC

Lisa (Edinburgh, Scotland UK) Age: 28


I'm continually impressed with the effort and commitment put into this site. It's the source I recommend to new people most often.

I think it would be good to promote the essays and sections more clearly. There is a lot of incredibly useful information on this site, but because it's so huge, it can be difficult to find. For instance, I only found the excellent pieces on Witch Wars when Fritz mentioned them in passing on the home page.

The black on white format of recent designs I find easier on the eye than the black background. It's also easier to read surreptitiously, as I am sure some readers have to.

I'd like to see more on other paths apart from Wicca, and more non US sources of information.

I'm personally not that interested in seeing other people's pussycats, cute as they may be. I'd rather the webspace was used for more articles, personally.

This is not to say that I think the website needs major changes - it is an excellent resources. But hopefully the constructive criticism given this week will prove useful.

Here's to many more years of Witchvox!


Blessings All! One Addition Could Be Added For Those Who Like Me... Aug 28th. at 4:08:12 am UTC

Wayne Andrews (Siler City, North Carolina US) Age: 50 - Email


Blessings All!

One addition could be added for those who like me, love to sing with the free tunes.

For example "Blade Of The Sidhe" is my favorite next to Starwood.
While listening to the CD, I figured out the cords used: G, C, D, A7, and B7
cords so far.
Perhaps others do the same thing. Play their musical instrument, and sing with the song playing. You feel like you are part of the group.
You also feel like you are there at Starwood, sharing the energy with everyone!

What am I saying?
Tabliture form is a bit lenghtly and takes a lot of work.
Just mention the cords used in the song. People can use books and other materials (cord computer for guitar) to learn the cords.

Note: (Fritz, you are correct! 3/4 time signature is not hard for me.
synchronizing the voice *and* music is really hard. It took me two days!
In "Show Us What We Are Meant To Be" part was really hard. Haven't figured that one out yet (the cords). Tremendous energy in those songs)!

How you would put it in the sidebar on the right, I don't know yet?

Just a thought to enjoy the music even more.

Brothers and Sisters, if you do this at circles, Pagan Picnics, ect.,
please give the origional authors the credit for the songs!

Can't really think of other additions to add right off the top of my head.
TWV is really structured very well. Very nice work indeed!

Blessed Be Well
Wayne D. Andrews, aka "Flying Eagle"


The Only Thing I Would Change Is More Information To Be Allowed... Aug 28th. at 1:51:44 am UTC

Di (Adelaide, South Australia AU) Age: 19 - Email


The only thing I would change is more information to be allowed on this internet, and which is less wiccan orientated.
But otherwise, it is excellant.


I Really Enjoy The Photos Of Other Pagans And Groups And News... Aug 28th. at 12:45:10 am UTC

evergreen (Baltimore, Maryland US) Age: 60


I really enjoy the photos of other pagans and groups and news features;
the only thing I would like to see maybe added is a corner for "special
intentions" for say illness or family troubles;- whatever people would like
to have the community at large include in their circles.


I Would Not Change Anything It Seems Realy Good How It Is... Aug 28th. at 12:33:27 am UTC

cecilia (sacromento, California US) Age: 14 - Email


i would not change anything it seems realy good how it is.
c.l.b


Well Change Is Good, Ususally, Unless It's Only For The Sake Of... Aug 27th. at 10:29:20 pm UTC

Captain Ike (Lakeland, Florida US) Age: 33 - Email


Well Change is good, ususally, unless it's only for the sake of change.
I think Witchvox is the best and most famous pagan website in the world.
If I were to make any changes, I would try to broaden the scope to include information and education about Non-Wiccan types of Paganism. I would try to be as diverse as possible. But hey that's me. I'm a "tolerance education" type of guy. :) I love Witchvox, I think it's the bright star on the internet. No matter what websites we operate or patronize, I think millions of us think of Witchvox as home. As I told Fritz once, a gallery of Witchvox users would be great but a time consuming project. It would be great to see all the shiny happy pagan face though :)

http://www.freakyplanet.net


I Have Learned So Much From This Site! The Only Thing I... Aug 27th. at 9:12:57 pm UTC

Aurora (Gresham, Oregon US) Age: 25


I have learned so much from this site! The only thing I would change is to put a top of page or next link (or both) on the bottom of pages - especially the essays. I would like to spend more time reading than scrolling to the top to click on the link to the next one. Thank you for all of your hard work!


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