AfterDawn: Tech news

New AfterDawn.com newsletter -- feedback welcomed

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 14 Jun 2005 2:30 User comments (88)

New AfterDawn.com newsletter -- feedback welcomed Two weeks ago we launched a new version of our weekly newsletter (so, yes, this is not technically "news" :-), but as we haven't received very much feedback on the new layout yet I thought I might request them here.
So all of those who subscribe to our weekly newsletter -- we'd like to hear about your thoughts on the new layout, and improvement ideas if you have any.

One thing that we are aware of, is the fact that Google's otherwise excellent email service GMail doesn't show the newsletter correctly. This is not exactly because of our newsletter, but rather due the fact that Google, for whatever reason, doesn't support stylesheets or most modern type of HTML in their service.

For those of you, who don't currently subscribe to our newsletter, you can preview the last week's edition here. If you're interested of subscribing to our newsletter, you can do so by creating an AfterDawn.com user account and selecting the newsletter from your personal options (for those of you who already have an user account, you can change your newsletter settings via My Account shown, after you've logged in, at the top of the page).

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88 user comments

114.6.2005 4:51

First off, I would like to say there is not a better site to get information of this type out there. I visit here several times a day and theres always something I pick out to read. I personaly liked the old lay out of the newletter better, let me tell you why. When I checked out AfterDawn, I would pick and choose the subjects to read, the ones that caught my attention I would read. Then when I would receive the newletter in my Email, they were all printed there making it easer to skim though ones I never checked out before and I will have to say that there is a large number of them that also interested me. I guess what I trying to say - I liked the ability to skim though articles with the older version of the newletters. Thats my 3 cents worth ... Toot Toot, RCCola

214.6.2005 7:51
Ackbar6
Inactive

I agree. I liked the old format better. It was easier to see exactly what I had missed earlier when the news was posted on the site. It also was simple, and simple is always better. I like the news, nd I think that the old way of delivering was better.

314.6.2005 8:15

I like have the whole page gets "afterdawn'ed". (Taking on the colour scheme).

414.6.2005 8:48
framit
Inactive

I much prefered the layout of the old newsletter it was a lot easier to pick out the items of interest and read the article. Now with what appears to be an abreviated format I find that I just scroll through the page and usually delete it, to much hassle to click on items and wait for it to load the page. I for one would like you to return to the old style newsletter. Like most things nowadays new and improved is usually a step backwards. My opinion anyhow.

514.6.2005 10:07
SgtSpanky
Inactive

The old layout was better, plain and simple.

614.6.2005 10:18

The old style hands down! it gave some major info, if it was a story i liked i always looked up to see what everyone was saying about it and then post myself. Ps The news letter does show up correctly if you use Google, in Office Outlook (what i do)

714.6.2005 10:37

the old one was way better. it seemed to have more information readily available.

814.6.2005 14:24

I also think that the old layout was better. I hate having to wait for something I want to read load... again. The new way takes twice as long to read. I still love the newsletter though.

914.6.2005 14:50

Great newsletter, but I have to say I liked the old way better, too. But still, the best newsletter for this kind of news going. You do a great job!

1014.6.2005 15:14

The old layout was better. I could skim the articles and read the ones that interesed me in more depth. Now I find myself just deleting the newsletter from my inbox without taking the time to click on all the links.

1114.6.2005 15:26

Not much else to say, I'd always find myself reading through the old one even though I might've had something else to do, but with the new one it's pretty much just like the site, which we all visit regularly anyway.

1214.6.2005 15:35

love the new format, much more efficient to decide whether there is content I am interested in. Thanks! Chris

1314.6.2005 15:36

I must admit the old format was more appealing to me. I don't like the idea of having to click to see the entire article. The only time I will click, is when the article does interest me. Good example, getting here to write this response was the only clicking I have done since the NEW newsletter came out. The newsletter is almost a waste of my time.

1414.6.2005 15:48

I don't like it at all. The old site had more information on a subject without having to click on it.

1514.6.2005 16:22

I have to go with the old news letter,

1614.6.2005 16:40

Preferred the old format (think the new format is more a matter of 'change' rather than 'progress') but if it was a question of having the new format or nothing, then "Hail the New Format"!! :)

1714.6.2005 17:19

I preferred the old lay of the newsletter, too. For many of the already mentioned reasons. Plus, the new format seems to require more steps, e.g. clicks/links to get to less info than before.

1814.6.2005 17:32
bhapress
Inactive

Love getting the latest news in my mail box, without the bother of having to read the individual stories using a browser. Eudora doesn't show the new format well, either.

1914.6.2005 17:37

yep, I agree with most everyone else, the old format is much better then the new. New is not always better. I'm more inclined to brows most news items by arrowing down then by having to click open every item. to paraphrase a line form a 60's song "put the sack back on the rack and bring the sweater back" joe

2014.6.2005 17:43

I think the old newsletter was easer to read. I liked it much better.

2114.6.2005 17:49

I much preferred the old style. Simple and informative but above all a great read. The new style is a mess and is not nice to read. I do use gmail so it seems that is not helping.

2214.6.2005 18:01
bannor4
Inactive

Honestly, I preferred the older text based format. To me it was cleaner,simpler, and took less time to read, particularly as there was no need to load web pages. I find I now skip many items of moderate interest to me that I would have read in text format. I am on broadband so this dinosaur can live with the new order, but I see it as flash rather than substance and a definite minus for those on dial up. The being said, your newsletter and Slashdot are the two best sources of information on the net for me. In the old days I preferred you over Slashdot because Slashdot was web based. Ah well "progress".

2314.6.2005 18:24

I don't like it one bit. I am considering cancelling my subscription. It was so easy before to scroll down and pick out the interesting articles. I suppose it gets down to the fact that people generally do not like change and unfortunately I am one of them.

2414.6.2005 18:26

I have to agree with just about everyone else, the old site style was much better.

2514.6.2005 18:29
billmill1
Inactive

I like the old e-mail format--it just seemed easy to check everything of interest out compared to the new format. Thanks

2614.6.2005 18:31

I love this and look forward to it. Your site is amazing and I wouldn't care if you published this on toilet paper. There really isn't anything I needed to know I haven't been able to find here.

2714.6.2005 18:42

Old format was better

2814.6.2005 18:50
Richard11
Inactive

I preferred the old layout better. My reason is that I have a high-level physical disability & use Naturally Speaking Preferred 7 to operate my computer & with the old format it was simple matter of scrolling down the page, now it's a little bit more complicated to many extra options which isn't a bad thing. But for me if I don't say the right thing I get transported off to another area. I also must agree that this is The Best Website by far. Keep up the good work

2914.6.2005 18:59
baroke
Inactive

I much prefer the old style where all the news was in the email itself.

3014.6.2005 19:25

The new format looks very sharp. So, I half like it. As others have pointed out, a headline alone is almost guaranteed to have me skip the article. Provide the headline format with the article contents following, please.

3114.6.2005 19:43
Gamblore
Inactive

I'm a fan of moving forward, but not at the cost of my time. I loved the old news letter. All the stories together, no hassle. Now it's too time consuming to read all the stories, so I miss out.

3214.6.2005 20:18

I definitly liked the old version of the newsletter better, it made it much easier to read all of it and get an over all idea of what is happening. Also, I was more likely to read articles that I might not have read otherwise

3314.6.2005 20:33
HobbitCy
Inactive

i like the color of the new one but like someone said i usually read through the whole of the old newsletter now its more of a glimse maybe offer both versions?

3414.6.2005 21:00

I like having the headlines. That way I can skim quicker, read what I want, and come back later to read everything. The layout leaves a big lue area on the right on my screen. I don't like having to scroll just to read the headlines. I like the old way, too. I like the articles. I read every one. With the new way I can read a couple of articles, leave, come back and see the headlines in a small area and find where I left off easier.

3514.6.2005 21:04
wordup48
Inactive

I really must say the old way the newsletter was is much better for me. I like to just skim the articles and then really read the ones I want. Bring back the old!

3614.6.2005 21:05

Actually liked the old style better. If it's not broken don't fix it! Feedback should've been whether we'd like to see a new format in the newsletter. That's ok though. Afterdawn is still one of the best sources of good, up to date, meaningful, probably applies to me, tech news around. You guys are great!

3714.6.2005 21:07

This is all very nice but the old layout was a lot better. A lot of the times I delete the new newsletter before clicking on all the links. I couldn't wait to get the newsletter and now it just doesn't appeal to me.Please bring back the old one.

3814.6.2005 23:00
RickDavey
Inactive

Thank you for the newsletter. I find your information terrific and the new format is concise and more navigable. Keep the info coming! and thanks again.

3914.6.2005 23:04

'fraid I have to agree with nearly everyone else in so far as I prefer the old format.

4015.6.2005 0:16

The new format is RUBBISH. I enjoyed reading my e-mail and getting the story highlights without using the browser.

4115.6.2005 0:18
Alien13
Inactive

It looks good but with the old one you can read all the news in the letter and dont hav to go to the site.

4215.6.2005 0:28

Much preferred the old version - please change it back. ''If it ain't broke,don't fix it.''

4315.6.2005 0:55
andmerr
Inactive

simply : its awesome drD. Its more concise, lets me choose the options that i wish to peruse instead of having to scroll through the whole thing which would mean i'd have to skim all of it. I see from the comments that a few are dissatisfied but over all it is an improvement. later dudes andmerr

4415.6.2005 1:33
caius
Inactive

I've always looked forward to the newsletter, and pretty much read the whole thing thru now i'd have to click back and forth to go thru the stories.... so mostly I don't plaese give us back the old update

4515.6.2005 1:42
gggooo
Inactive

It looks like I am very much in the minority but I like the new format; it is concise and much cleaner in appearance. In any event I love the info provided even if it came on Flintstone Tablets. Great Site; keep up the good work. gggooo

4615.6.2005 2:08

My browser won't display the new style newsletter properly - so I guess I prefer the old one. Thanks for a very informative newsletter and please keep up the good work

4715.6.2005 2:08

As I use Gmail I have to admit I liked the old newsletters' style better. It was easier to read and navigate through the different news.

4815.6.2005 2:09

Thanks for everybody for your feedback. We sorta guessed that the change of the newsletter layout will spark a debate for/against the change, as our newsletter has stayed the same since year 2000. The main idea behind the revamp was to include more information about aD's recent changes to one newsletter -- the old version simply contained news, but didn't list software updates, hot forum threads, etc that might interest our userbase as well. Additionally, the new newsletter allows us to hand-pick the top two stories that we'd like to promote more than others (just like our website allows us to select news to appear as "sticky"). Previously the top news item was simply the latest one, no matter whether it was "extremely important" or "run-of-mill" news article. I do understand the willingness to get the full articles back to the newsletter, but I also feel that several of our users didn't participate to our news commentary because they simply read the story in email format and didn't read the news comments at all. IMO, the new layout forces users to also check the news comments that might often provide more insight to the topic on hand. But life is full of compromises, it might as well be that we'll figure out a way to fit at least one or two main stories in full to the future newsletter, while still keeping the software/guide/forum picks available in the newsletter. And as always, if you have any ideas that might be "cool" to add to the newsletter as well, let us know. Now, lets continue, I'm eager to hear even more comments, so don't get distracted, all feedback -- as always is the case with our site -- is extremely valuable to us. After all, we do this stuff based on user suggestions, feedback and ideas.

4915.6.2005 2:09
WKS
Inactive

I know how much work is involved in making this type of format change, but... I do prefer the other version: All info was there to skim skip or study, time taken to load each page of info that looks to be of interest to me, then to find out it wasn't what I thought and need to go back. Sorry, Great Work though!

5015.6.2005 2:20
andmerr
Inactive

Quote:
I preferred the old layout better. My reason is that I have a high-level physical disability & use Naturally Speaking Preferred 7 to operate my computer & with the old format it was simple matter of scrolling down the page, now it's a little bit more complicated to many extra options which isn't a bad thing. But for me if I don't say the right thing I get transported off to another area. I also must agree that this is The Best Website by far. Keep up the good work
i keep on forgetting that there are a few of the members that are slightly handicapped(apologies one and all).Is there not a way to be more flexible so that all of us can enjoy a bit of the old mixed in with the new , now that would be an awesome newsletter

5115.6.2005 2:34

Quote:
I preferred the old layout better. My reason is that I have a high-level physical disability & use Naturally Speaking Preferred 7 to operate my computer & with the old format it was simple matter of scrolling down the page, now it's a little bit more complicated to many extra options which isn't a bad thing. But for me if I don't say the right thing I get transported off to another area.
That is an aspect that we completely forgot when planning the new layout, my most sincere apologies. I'm fairly certain that in near future we'll include a plain text version alongside our HTML newsletter so that your email program can use the text version if needed. Text version, for various reason, however will obviously contain slightly less data than the HTML version ever will, but I'd imagine that including full copies of top two stories and headlines alongside the links to relevant articles for other news is the right answer here. Anyway, I'm quite keen on implementing more disability-friendly features on the site and I'm keen on knowing more about the various assisting web-reader applications that are widely used, just to try them out and maybe to make changes to the site itself accordingly so that the information would be available more easily for those tools as well.

5215.6.2005 2:55

i look forward to the letter. change is not always good, but it has a nice touch to it. though i do still prefer the oldway.

5315.6.2005 3:46

I dislike the new format intensely, bring back the old!

5415.6.2005 4:05

The new format is astheticly pleasing and easy to see whats in each issue. It really is a nice piece of work. My problem is that i dont like having to click a link and wait for my browser to load. Also skimming the articles is more fun because sometimes the title just isnt all that great, but the content was good. Previously i read most of the articles, now i read 2-3 tops. Its kind of a bummer. I think the best way to unite the old and the new is keep the newsletter exactly as it is, but on the bottom of the current newsletter put the full articles and their heading and allow what you currently click to read the article SCROLL to the selection of text, allowing you te read without browser interuption either by selecting or scanning the articles. Just my 2 cents. I really enjoy getting the articles reguardless and keep up the good job.

5515.6.2005 4:06

new one is useless and annoying, requires pop up windows etc. old one much much better!!!!!

5615.6.2005 5:02
backwoods
Inactive

Love it, as long as I get all the latest news, I don't care what the format looks like.

5715.6.2005 5:11

Like most of your readers, I preferred the old format because I could print it out to read offline. The new format seems more like just advertising new products by redistributing product release announcements. More News, printable format, less blowing of vendors horns. That would be my request.

5815.6.2005 5:34

I like the new concise layout that allows me to skip over articles I'm not interested in, but I have a better idea. Why not combine both methods, a summary (links) at the top followed by each article which would allow scrolling like the old method.

5915.6.2005 5:53
dancobb
Inactive

I think this way is best. Even though I liked having it all before me previously, I don't really have time to sift completely through the longer version, so I might miss something that is actually of interest to me from time to time. This way, I can weed out the "uninteresting" (to me) topics. It might be a good idea for you to keep tabs on how often each topic is accessed each time to give you a better idea of what type of topics are mainly of interest to your readers. Just a thought.

6015.6.2005 5:59

I don't care for the new format at all. I much preferred having everything in one place rather than having to jump back and forth in the browser. The new format (for whatever reason) doesn't seem to provide the same depth and quality of info that the previous did. Makes it more difficult to 'save' back issues, cause you might take articles to which the headlines point offline after a designated time. Please bring back the old format!!!

6115.6.2005 6:09

.There are some advantages to the new format, but on the whole, I prefer the old format. Sometimes I like to print out the entire newsletter (saving it for a while) and read all the articles later – during lunch or at bedtime. I mark the articles with links I’ll want to follow and go back to the original saved newsletter to do so. The new format makes this more difficult. I suggest an alternate, “printer friendly”, less decorative version (plane text or in RTF format, perhaps) that can be printed more easily. In any event, I like the newsletter and find it useful. Thanks

6215.6.2005 6:19
lynler
Inactive

I liked the old format better. I enjoyed having the news complete instead of having to use the browser. Either way, keep up the good work....

6315.6.2005 6:33

The idea mentioned to include an option for the old text version or the new HTML is a good compromise... as long as the text version option gives you the old text version and not a new version, just in text format. ;)

6415.6.2005 7:18
Tusk77
Inactive

The new format is OK but I don't care for the headlines only approach. I tend to read only a fraction of the stories to avoid the delay in loading the browser page. With the old style I pretty much read everything. Now I read only what really interests me. It saves time I guess. One positive is that the old approach might have 2 or 3 versions of the same story in various places - now it looks like they only show up once.

6515.6.2005 7:21
hunter2k3
Inactive

Hi and thx for al the nfo i get of Afterdawn it is Great but 1 thing i need to say is that preferred the old version so hope u change it back thx bey bey

6615.6.2005 8:07
keerizzby
Inactive

I like the new style for its' neatness-however, since I read nearly all of the articles, I prefer the old way that you formatted the newsletter. As others have suggested, prehaps a combination of the two styles may be workable. Thanks for the industry info tho. KBR

6715.6.2005 8:43

I think it's great! After a quick scan of the mail, there is usually something that interest me to bring me back to Afterdawn and remind me what a great resource you have here. thx

6815.6.2005 11:30
wvnative
Inactive

Liked the old format much better. Hate having to go to different pages to read it.

6915.6.2005 11:53

I used to look forward to the AfterDawn newsletter - short summaries of each topic and I could read them whether I was on-line or now. Now, all we get are the headings and you have to click the link to even see if it is an interesting topic. I much prefered the older format! Steve

7015.6.2005 11:54

Both formats have their strong points and most of the replies have acknowledged a preference for one or the other. The best suggestion may be to allow users to choose the full content format or the new headline / link format from their control panel. Even though I usually skimmed all the articles in the old format, I prefer the new format. I can see at a glance anything that I'm immediately interested in and then check out the articles of lesser interest as tim allows. No issue with load times; broadband rocks!

7115.6.2005 12:10
ibstud
Inactive

I'm so use to the old style, that when you changed over, I didn't know it was the newsletter, thereby missed reading a letter or two. But like most things I'm sure I can adapt and get to like the new just as well. After all it's what inside {the articles} that counts, not just the face plate. nuff said

7215.6.2005 14:06
toyman
Inactive

No. No. No. If its not broken, don't fix it! I have a dial-up connection and I find the new format too tedious. At least with the email version, I can browse through all of the text once it has arrived in my inbox. Toyman

7315.6.2005 19:43

I liked the old format better. It provided a sampling of each of the articles. The new format is almost the same, to me, as a reminder to simply go to your home page once a week. -Jay K.

7415.6.2005 22:54

Reading all the comments above I reakon the old format had 90% approval. Is it hard to bring it back or do two so we have a choice.

7516.6.2005 6:34
Comberman
Inactive

Like many other who posted responses I too know how much work has gone into this "facelift". Actually, I like the change . . .keep up the good work. I always look forward to getting the newsletter.

7616.6.2005 21:37

The old layout was faster and easier to skim through. The new layout allows for finding headlines/stories faster. That being said, I preferred the old version.

7717.6.2005 19:40

Newsletter is great! I look forward to it every week. The best site I have found for all my back up needs. Well organized and structured. The only upsetting feature of the site was the posting that DVD Decrypter was no more :( Thanks for all the hard work, keep up the spectacular job….

7820.6.2005 3:09
jthomas
Inactive

I do like the new style but would like to see a synopsis of all of the news items as per the old style email.

7920.6.2005 6:29

The new format is very graphically appealing. What I don't like is that I now have to be online to read it. The old one gave you at least a teaser paragraph per news headline. I find myself not reading it as much as I used to read. Don't have the time to click, logon, browse then read. Way to much work.

8020.6.2005 6:29

The new format is very graphically appealing. What I don't like is that I now have to be online to read it. The old one gave you at least a teaser paragraph per news headline. I find myself not reading it as much as I used to read. Don't have the time to click, logon, browse then read. Way to much work.

8127.6.2005 6:38

I have mixed feelings regarding the new look. I liked the old presentation better. With the old presentation I could scroll down the entire News Letter from my Outlook Express email account offline. Now I have to be online to read the newsletter. Clicking the headlines opens a new window and if i want to read the next headline I have to close the window that was open and then click the next headline. In addition with the old format, I could print it out and share the news with my friends. Please go back to the old format, "new" does not mean it is better. Best Regards, John

8227.6.2005 23:28

i agree lyner keep up the good job changes need to be seen as a positive sign for new development best wishes

8328.6.2005 5:46

I have pop up blockers installed on my computer, However when I close Afterdawn I see all the pop ups that were blocked. More windows to close now. Please bring back the old format.

845.7.2005 15:34

The new format looks good! It also makes you go in search of other topics rather than take them for granted. The laypout makes topics are easy to navigate to - keep up the great work!

857.7.2005 16:11

Mixed bag really. I really like the look of the new format but, I feel that if I only read the "headlines", that I will not be "ars ed" to read the actual article!!

8615.7.2005 4:37

I prefered the old format because I would make a text file of the email and bluetooth it to my Nokia 6600 and read it on the bus or the train or in bed... (I use ReadM for Series 60 - very good for reading text on the phone). I'll really miss the old full length email. It's also a shame because it was a really great newsletter, but I don't think I'll be able to do it justice anymore. For some reason I liked reading it when I was away from my PC. You could add a link to the new newsletter email for people to download the text version as an option. Ciao.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Jul 2005 @ 4:55

Jamil

8721.6.2006 4:52
Noel
Inactive

Much prefer the old format. With a slow dial up connection it takes ages to get to read even a few things. Like UncleBob I liked to save it to read later.

885.6.2007 4:09

Well, I never got a chance to SEE the new look! My newsletter stopped coming to my inbox AT ALL. I do have gmail...So, you're saying if I have gmail I can't have my AfterDawn newsletter??? That's just not fair, Imma cry now...wahahahhahhah!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I WANT BOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously tho, should I re-sign up for the newsletter?

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