Jan 14

Popular Reader Question

FT147 comments • 3,087 views

Hello –

As I ramp up the posting frequency on Popular again (hopefully an ongoing trend, though I’ve said THAT before) I realise I have very little idea about a potentially quite important thing.

If you’re a regular (or semi-regular) reader of the blog, how do you find out about new posts? Twitter? Tumblr? Facebook? An RSS feed? Just popping by now and then? Telepathy? Stalking me? I want to make Popular updates easier to find (and encourage new readers in, of course) but to do that I’d like to know about more about how you find them in the first place…

Any responses would be very helpful! Thankyou!


  1. 1
    Izzy on 8 Jan 2014 #

    Just by popping by every now and then. Somehow it seems to coincide with new posts rather well.

  2. 2
    ciaran on 8 Jan 2014 #

    Always check the website first myself.

    Would love something like an email update for future posts though.

  3. 3
    Brendan F on 8 Jan 2014 #

    I come here each time I get on the computer (usually every day) as a routine. I’m usually on facebook most of the day so updates there are useful for instantly seeing updates. I got bored with twitter after a few weeks and rarely go there nowadays.

  4. 4
    Gabriel Roth on 8 Jan 2014 #

    I subscribe to the RSS feed like any civilized person.

  5. 5
    Alan Connor on 8 Jan 2014 #

    RSS. The original and still the best.

  6. 6
    flahr on 8 Jan 2014 #

    I mainly use RSS, though I also follow you on Twitter.

  7. 7
    lonepilgrim on 8 Jan 2014 #

    Tumblr and general checking in

    I used to rely on RSS via Google Reader but since that went down the pan I’ve not found a replacement

  8. 8
    Cumbrian on 8 Jan 2014 #

    I am a website visitor – and like Brendan will usually pop in once a day from my bookmark to see what is going on (more frequently when the conversations are flying). Never used an RSS feed for anything (don’t even know what one is or how it is used) and am not on Tumbler nor Twitter.

  9. 9
    Chelovek na lune on 8 Jan 2014 #

    RSS via feedly (inferior to Google Reader, it must be said.) Tho in fact it is the RSS feed of the *comments* at Popular that more commonly alerts me to a new post (probably because I subscribe to several hundred feeds, and by definition there is more posts generated on the comments feed than on the main Popular one.)

    Great to see the renewed pace of posts btw!

  10. 10
    Z on 8 Jan 2014 #

    I follow quite a number of blogs and websites, so have to use a feed reader to keep track of them. Since the demise of Google Reader, I use Feedly. If a site doesn’t offer an RSS feed or email notification, I might bookmark it but the chances of me dropping in are slim.

  11. 11
    col on 8 Jan 2014 #

    Mainly Tumblr, sometimes just by popping in

  12. 12
    Kat but logged out innit on 8 Jan 2014 #

    Twitter (yours and the FT feed)!

  13. 13
    Andrew Farrell on 8 Jan 2014 #

    RSS via Feedbin for me – costs $20 a year, quite a bargain.

  14. 14
    Abigail Brady on 8 Jan 2014 #

    tumblr, if I don’t see them on twitter first.

  15. 15
    poohugh on 8 Jan 2014 #

    Thom tells me on gchat OR Twitter

  16. 16
    Erithian on 8 Jan 2014 #

    Usually on my daily visits to the site, but I’ve recently started following you (and Marcello) on Twitter so occasionally find out about new Popular or TPL posts there.

  17. 17
    anto on 8 Jan 2014 #

    I generally check in once or twice a week or on consecutive days if there appears to be an ongoing thread.

  18. 18
    pink champale on 8 Jan 2014 #

    I just pop in, the more that’s happening, the more often.

  19. 19
    Mark M on 8 Jan 2014 #

    I check the site at least a couple of times a day if stuff is happening, but I’ve also found out about new posts via Twitter.

  20. 20
    Steve Turnbull on 8 Jan 2014 #

    Like any sane person I use RSS :-) It means it comes to me instead of me having to seek it out.

  21. 21
    Alan not logged in on 8 Jan 2014 #

    [impressed with the resilience of RSS in the post-reader era and glad the comments feed was worth advertising]

  22. 22
    tonya on 8 Jan 2014 #

    Twitter usually, but sometimes I check the site.

    (can’t believe you aren’t also asking us for our ages so you can make a chart. 48.)

  23. 23
    Alan not logged in on 8 Jan 2014 #

    and your NRS social grades please ;-)

  24. 24
    hardtogethits on 8 Jan 2014 #

    By popping back again and again

  25. 25
    23 Daves on 8 Jan 2014 #

    “Freaky Trigger” is linked from my blog’s feed, and I usually check for updates on the blog list there.

  26. 26
    Andrew Farrell on 8 Jan 2014 #

    I think if you’re using Google Reader, then you are probably past the low bar of enough savvy to Google a replacement:) You’d have to have ridden out some choppy waters while various contenders went tits-up, but once you’ve sworn on to RSS, there’s no way back:)

    Mind you, my previous solution was just syndicating all tasty-looking RSS feeds into Livejournal:)

  27. 27
    Billy Smart on 8 Jan 2014 #

    By looking in – last year in hope, this year so far in expectation.

  28. 28
    James on 8 Jan 2014 #

    RSS in Feedly for me. I should probably do something clever with IFTTT.com so that every time a new post appears, it texts me or prints it on my toast or something. But until then, Feedly is ace.

  29. 29
    sonnypike on 8 Jan 2014 #

    Check in via a bookmark most days, am occasionally alerted to new entries via Tom’s or FT’s Twitter. Then immediately, excitedly, alert poohugh via GChat.

  30. 30
    Rory on 8 Jan 2014 #

    Old-skool daily checking of bookmark, yo – in desktop and mobile flava. Otherwise I’d miss the new comments…

  31. 31
    Bazarov on 8 Jan 2014 #

    I find new posts (like this) via the RSS feed. I also get informed (typically afterwards) through your Twitter account.

  32. 32
    thefatgit on 8 Jan 2014 #

    I’m one of those who checks FT on an almost daily basis. Twitter and Tumblr have been useful as well.

  33. 33
    James BC on 8 Jan 2014 #

    Checking the site quite often, or sometimes someone I follow tweets a link.

  34. 34
    tm on 9 Jan 2014 #

    Just checking the site. Very old fashioned…

  35. 35
    wwolfe on 9 Jan 2014 #

    I’m among those who check in.

  36. 36
    Speedwell54 on 9 Jan 2014 #

    I usually have a look at the site every few days, but daily at the moment with this sudden burst of activity. Depends on frequency of posts or if there is interesting chat going on.

  37. 37
    Kinitawowi on 9 Jan 2014 #

    Flybying the website, frequency depending on current posting trends. Very occasionally a Facebook update gets there first.

  38. 38
    Vic Cowling on 9 Jan 2014 #

    I do it via RSS feed

  39. 39
    Billy Hicks on 9 Jan 2014 #

    freakytrigger.co.uk/popular . Simple and quick.

  40. 40
    weej on 9 Jan 2014 #

    RSS feed too – on theoldreader.com (if anyone’s complaining about Google Reader having gone then they should move there, it’s essentially the same thing, only you can share stuff like in the good old days)

    BTW, the name of the FT feed is currently “Cheap Viagra, Viagra Sale – Online Drug Store, Cheap Prices” – not sure if this is a joke or some spyware has got in somewhere.

  41. 41
    Mysterious and logged-out on 9 Jan 2014 #

    Reports of arguments.

  42. 42
    Becca on 9 Jan 2014 #


  43. 43
    swanstep on 9 Jan 2014 #

    I split the difference between RSS and just checking the web-site daily by checking the RSS feed’s (fast-loading) web-page daily:

  44. 44
    Mark G on 9 Jan 2014 #

    Popping by, and “Latest Comments in Popular” over on the right

  45. 45
    Alan not logged in on 9 Jan 2014 #

    @9 re spammy name of FT feed – i’ve done a quick check for hackery and it looks ok now. we definitely had a subverted spam hack between 8 and 12 months ago that I think we’re free of now, so that could be cached in your reader

  46. 46
    Andrew Farrell on 9 Jan 2014 #

    Hah, I’d always assumed that was a joke!

  47. 47
    jg on 9 Jan 2014 #

    rss and twitter.

  48. 48
    enitharmon on 9 Jan 2014 #

    I have an rss feed using akregator so it goes straight to my mail client. One for posts and one for comments.

    Never used Google Reader, well I tried it and didn’t like it. I like my notifications like I like my mail, delivered to my desktop as and when without having to go looking for it.

  49. 49
    Tom Lawrence on 9 Jan 2014 #

    RSS feed of both the site directly and of your Tumblr account (although I follow the Tumblr for interest in what you have to say in general, not to see when there’s new Popular).

    Since Google Reader got executed there’s been lots of talk that RSS feeds are a dying medium, but I’ll be sticking to them (via feedly, for the moment) until I’m absolutely forced to stop or a technology comes out that actually does their job better. Their job being to get hold of /every/ update from a particular source.

  50. 50
    James on 9 Jan 2014 #

    I just pop by every day to check. It’s a nice treat when there’s something new.

  51. 51
    Simon on 9 Jan 2014 #

    RSS mainly; sometimes Twitter.

  52. 52
    Will on 9 Jan 2014 #

    By, er, checking in on the website every so often.

  53. 53
    Tom on 9 Jan 2014 #

    This is all really useful, thankyou.

    My broad conclusions:

    1) Thank goodness for RSS despite Google’s attempt to murder it.
    2) A good posting rate is a good idea (duh)
    3) Opt-in email notifications would be a good thing to implement but probably not transform the way people interact with the site.

  54. 54
    Alberto on 9 Jan 2014 #

    RSS via feedly.

  55. 55
    lockedintheattic on 9 Jan 2014 #

    RSS, via inoreader, which is quite like Google Reader & the Old Reader. Sometimes seeing it on Twitter reaches me first, and sometimes see it on FB from a mate.

  56. 56
    Tom on 9 Jan 2014 #

    Of course I’ve made the schoolboy research error of not publicising this post at all, which means that the RSS crew (who get it anyway) will be over-represented…

  57. 57
    Jorge Manuel Lopes on 9 Jan 2014 #

    Feedly, mostly.

  58. 58
    Alan on 9 Jan 2014 #

    I’m liking the look of oldreader – when i was casting around for free googlereader replacements everything i found was a bit rubbish. i persisted with netvibes for about a month, but have been RSS-less since. the sum damage of which is probably reading fewer io9 articles – not necessarily a bad thing

  59. 59
    Chelovek na lune on 9 Jan 2014 #

    Not sure about oldreader: I prefer its visual appearance to that of feedly (and the search facilities are certainly better than those offered on the free version of feedly), but when I was trialling it a few months ago it did seem to be unavailable for technical reasons rather more frequently than one might like.

  60. 60
    Weej on 9 Jan 2014 #

    Oldreader had some initial problems due to sheer weight of traffic after Google Reader closed, but it’s been stable for the last few months.

  61. 61
    Melson on 9 Jan 2014 #

    RSS via self-hosted Tiny Tiny RSS.

  62. 62
    Tim on 9 Jan 2014 #

    RSS (via Feedly)

  63. 63
    Andrew Hickey on 9 Jan 2014 #

    I have the RSS feed for FT in theoldreader (although my copy is sans spammy headlines), but only look at it every so often (I have a LOT of feeds) so often discover posts from your Twitter or Tumblr first.

  64. 64
    romney on 9 Jan 2014 #

    RSS in Netvibes.

  65. 65
    Bec on 9 Jan 2014 #

    Feedly for myself (longtime reader, infrequent commenter)!

  66. 66
    anatol_merklich on 9 Jan 2014 #

    RSS in theoldreader.

  67. 67
    James BC on 9 Jan 2014 #

    OK now I’ve signed up to Feedly and I’ve got it in RSS. Much better.

  68. 68
    Gareth on 9 Jan 2014 #

    Another Tiny Tiny RSS user.

  69. 69
    MikeMCSG on 9 Jan 2014 #

    New posts come up at the bottom of Blogger Dashboard as you’re on my Reading list.

  70. 70
    Tim on 9 Jan 2014 #

    I use Feedly to look at the RSS but then end up looking at the site anyway to see what your the scores are on the Popular posts, and also follow the comments threads (I could never make much sense of the comments RSS feed, I could never remember who was on about what and where).

  71. 71
    Tom on 9 Jan 2014 #

    Does the RSS give the posts but not the scores? What a stroke of marketing genius. I wish I’d thought of that.

  72. 72
    Jimmy the Swede on 9 Jan 2014 #

    I don’t do Twitter or Facebook etc. I just come onto the Popular site most days I am at work. People who know me well know that I’m far happier with a book in my hands rather than in front of a computer or staring at a telephone. “Yeah Yeah Yeah” is inching its way to the top of my reading pile. I was delighted and proud to have been given a namecheck in that.

    Tom – TOTP ’79 is up and running, is it not? It was at the end of that decade that Waldo disappeared from the Number One threads. The Swede will be staying as long as Mucky Sue does. Oh, yes!

  73. 73
    Lazarus on 9 Jan 2014 #

    We have only an hour more to wait Jimmy. The lovely ONJ will be on as well as the Legs – so, sadly, will be serial Prestatyn escapees Brotherhood of Man.

  74. 74
    DietMondrian on 9 Jan 2014 #

    I pop by the site regularly, though I’m sometimes alerted to a new post by a Tweet.

  75. 75
    Rich on 9 Jan 2014 #

    Lurker here. As someone who started visiting Popular in the last year or two, I am gleefully enjoying the recent turnover of posts! I’m following you on Twitter and have now saved the RSS feed.

  76. 76
    Auntie Beryl yet unlogged on 10 Jan 2014 #

    Upon the Twitter, for me. I never got round to setting up another RSS after Google nixed Reader.

  77. 77
    jeff w on 10 Jan 2014 #

    Just popping by now and then

  78. 78
    Jonathan Westwood on 10 Jan 2014 #


  79. 79
    Patrick Mexico on 11 Jan 2014 #

    Your Twitter, mostly – but I visit this site daily, I do enjoy looking through the older posts. My real-time memory only stretches back to hearing Fairground Attraction – Perfect (you all just loved that one!) in my mum’s car in Aberystwyth, so it’s a great history lesson.

  80. 80
    Query on 11 Jan 2014 #

    I check the site fairly regularly, though often I catch an update via Facebook.

  81. 81
    Harris on 11 Jan 2014 #

    Just recently learned of your website. Being compulsive, beginning at the beginning and working my up to now. Pop in regularly.

  82. 82
    Paulito on 11 Jan 2014 #

    See #80 above.

  83. 83
    DanH on 12 Jan 2014 #

    I look on the Tweetybox.

  84. 84
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 13 Jan 2014 #

    Are updates routinely broadcast on Facebook? I only saw Wannabe there because Alfred Soto at Humanazing the Vacuum linked and commented. When they do pop up I am happy to share to my scattered readership there — it might remind some of the ilx crew that this was a thing they approved of, once upon a time long ago. The R&B wars of 2001 will soon need to be refought :D

  85. 85
    Tom on 13 Jan 2014 #

    There is a Facebook page which I forget to update about half the time! (eg you have just reminded me to go and bring news of Ver Somethings) I think because I’m so rarely on FB myself I feel worse about self promoting there – it feels there’s less signal in between the spam. But if you subscribe to the page it should show up and you can boost those!

  86. 86
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 13 Jan 2014 #

    is it a page for Popular or your page (which I follow)?

    [UPDATE] ignore: found it

  87. 87
    enitharmon on 13 Jan 2014 #

    Tom @85 You can set your FB account to echo your Twitter posts. That way you don’t have to go near it!

  88. 88
    Paul I on 13 Jan 2014 #

    I check FT fairly often but your updates tend to disappear in my RSS feed as I’m subscribed to so many other things. I would appreciate an opt-in email notification for Popular, as it’s pretty much the only blog I try not to miss a *single* update for.

    Either way thanks for all the writin Tom

  89. 89
    Russ L on 14 Jan 2014 #

    I am yet another RSS-ist.

    If this is a place for suggestions, then a Popular-only RSS feed without the rest of FT could be a thing that some folks might appreciate.

  90. 90
    Tom on 14 Jan 2014 #

    #89 it exists, I thought – there’s a little RSS sign by the word “Popular” in the blurbs box top right.

  91. 91
    enitharmon on 14 Jan 2014 #

    @90 It does indeed exist but it’s rather hard to find it.

  92. 92
    Alan on 14 Jan 2014 #

    (There’s RSS for popular comments too!)

  93. 93
    mintness on 14 Jan 2014 #

    Primarily via Tom’s Twitter, especially when times are quieter. When things are like they have been recently, I check the site manually a few times a day to keep on top of the comments threads.

  94. 94
    crag on 14 Jan 2014 #

    Randomly dropping in, mostly. Keep up the good work!

  95. 95
    koganbot on 15 Jan 2014 #

    Either I go to Freaky Trigger directly or I check my lj friends list, which includes a feed from Freaky Trigger.

  96. 96
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 15 Jan 2014 #

    I have started sharing the posts on FB — I’ve done the last two now — and a fight has ALREADY STARTED in the comments :D

  97. 97
    Andrew Farrell on 15 Jan 2014 #

    By posting that somewhere with a half-decent comment system, you are depriving us of that fight! Maintain Twitter / Tumblr purity!

  98. 98
    Andrew Farrell on 15 Jan 2014 #

    (It is an awesome fight though)

  99. 99
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 15 Jan 2014 #

    In future I will try and decant combatants in this direction mid-affray.

  100. 100
    Bill S. on 15 Jan 2014 #

    Feedly here, too.

  101. 101
    Nanaya on 16 Jan 2014 #

    Randomly checking or Twitter (as you can tell from this late comment). More Twitter plugging would make me read them more efficiently, I’m sure.

  102. 102
    Tom on 19 Jan 2014 #


    – BTW I agree it’s important to see which thread is which on the front page comments area.

  103. 103
    Steve Mannion on 19 Jan 2014 #

    Redesign questions/bug reports here! Thanks.

    #102 Fair dos we’ll restore that – probably underneath the commenter name.

  104. 104
    admin on 19 Jan 2014 #

    i’ve put it above :-( and gonna call it a night for now. we’ll be tinkering more as we go

  105. 105
    lonepilgrim on 19 Jan 2014 #

    not connected to the redesign as such – but how do I get a picture as part of my profile (and posts) as some people seem able to do?

    edited to add: I now see that you’ve answered that here: http://freakytrigger.co.uk/populist/#comment-1283293

  106. 106
    Doctor Casino on 20 Jan 2014 #

    I like the general “look” of the redesign – friendly, poppy, all of that. In the spirit of friendly feedback, my one gripe is that (IMHO) it does a disservice to comments. You can’t pull up the “page 1, page 2” links without scrolling to the bottom, which means that if a thread is currently deep into its conversation, you’re doomed to start in the middle. I really miss the “all comments” link for the same reason.

    Also wonder about the handling of commenters’ names…maybe it’s the font, maybe the color, maybe the position, but they sort of camouflage themselves into the top leader of the post – my eye, at least, has a tendency to skip right past them, making it feel like the posts aren’t “by” anybody in particular. That seems kind of unfortunate for such a conversation/community-driven experience as Popular for example. But it may just be me!

  107. 107
    Tom on 20 Jan 2014 #

    I think I agree about the commenter names – harder to make out.

    Another small quibble – the font in the comment box is enormous – it makes writing a longer comment seem weird (and indeed makes it harder in terms of seeing what you’ve already written etc.)

    In general I love the regeneration of course!

  108. 108
    Cumbrian on 20 Jan 2014 #

    It would be great if there was an “All Comments” button underneath Tom’s entry (apologies if someone has already mentioned this). In general, I find it easier to follow the conversation if I dump all the comments onto one page and read from there, which I don’t think we can do currently.

    Otherwise, all looks good. Great job on the rebrand.

  109. 109
    Steve Mannion on 20 Jan 2014 #

    ‘All comments’ link somehow got lost in the transition I think – will be restored ASAP (I prefer this to going page to page also).

  110. 110
    Alan on 20 Jan 2014 #

    I’ve put in pagination above and below the comments, and in the one above I’ve added a patch ‘All’ link. it’s a bit of a hack, but just a small one that might be easy to improve.

    it was lost in cutting out our own code for the WP default comment pagination. I preferred ours, because it wouldn’t “orphan” the last page with fewer than 10 comments (if you get me). but i’m all about reducing the code base if I can and doing things the default way if it means a little sacrifice here and there.

  111. 111
    Alan on 20 Jan 2014 #

    re the gra/vatars – we could show those only for logged in users, and then take away the cryptic and easy-to-miss ‘dagger’ icon currently used to show “not logged in”

  112. 112
    Izzy on 20 Jan 2014 #

    Pleased to see ‘All Comments’ back. But I don’t like how the 26th, 51st, 76th, etc comment bring up a new page immediately – there used to be a lag. If I click on a new comment in the sidebar from a thread I’ve been following, and it’s no.76, I have to load two pages to see whether I’ve missed anything else.

  113. 113
    Steve Mannion on 20 Jan 2014 #

    Popular posts in particular get enough comments to the extent where I’d suggest increasing from 25 to 50 comments per page.

  114. 114
    Alan on 20 Jan 2014 #

    IZZY – that’s what I meant about our original code not leaving orphans – i’ll have a look to see if there’s a simple way to do that with the WP system.

  115. 115
    Doctor Casino on 20 Jan 2014 #

    “I’ve put in pagination above and below the comments, and in the one above I’ve added a patch ‘All’ link. ”

    Woohoo! Thanks, Alan!

  116. 116
    Tom on 20 Jan 2014 #

    Have Our Brave Boys broken the new header already?

  117. 117
    admin on 20 Jan 2014 #

    I’ve taken the liberty of adding some spaces in the title of the post and we’re gonna truncate it too.

    MEANWHILE, I think I’ve cracked the orphan comments problem – now it folds in the last 2 pages if the last page would have fewer than 10 comments. If anyone spots numbering issues with the comments, give me a shout.

  118. 118
    Doctor Casino on 21 Jan 2014 #

    Something very wonky happening in the Recent Comments down the right – – – seems like the title of each post is ‘joined’ as a hyperlink with the text of the comment above, if that makes any sense.

    Meanwhile… am I right that we can no longer tell when the blogs themselves were posted?

  119. 119
    admin on 21 Jan 2014 #

    the post DATE is in the red circle at the top left of each post (or the first post of the day). the appearance of recent comments is being fiddled with

  120. 120
    Andrew Farrell on 21 Jan 2014 #

    Have we lost the video links on Popular entries?

  121. 121
    admin on 21 Jan 2014 #

    not exactly. Tom stopped adding links. but here for instance is Frankie ‘Relax’ with a video link. http://freakytrigger.co.uk/ft/2009/07/frankie-goes-to-hollywood-relax/

    I think we used to make it pop open a box, now it seems to open a new browser and ‘full screen’ it.

  122. 122
    Tom on 21 Jan 2014 #

    Yeah, sorry – I know people would like videos but they’ve never been a regular feature on the blog. Partly that’s because I mostly don’t watch the video before I write the entry. Honestly, I find videos a chore to sit through, unless they’re very good – a quasi-rockist critical position which is going to become increasingly unsustainable as we get into the 00s, and probably before. So I should probably put the video at the bottom of the entry, after the mark.

  123. 123
    Cumbrian on 21 Jan 2014 #

    Cheers for the all comments button. Most useful.

    Next question: I am currently desperate to give R&J their earned mark but can’t seem to get the vote to “take” – i.e. I voted earlier today but on returning to read further comments I noticed that my mark was still a ? in the little circle. I tried voting again and then navigating away and back to the page and the mark still resets.

    A minor thing in the grand scheme of things, obviously. Still, short of going round Cowell and R&J’s houses and performing a Roy Keane v Alf Inge Haaland challenge on them, I’m going to struggle to give them their due.

  124. 124
    Alan on 21 Jan 2014 #

    Yes I see that still. Damn thought I’d licked that one last night

  125. 125
    admin on 21 Jan 2014 #

    try now – there was a silly mistake in the code. (aren’t they all?)

  126. 126
    Doctor Casino on 21 Jan 2014 #

    I’m not seeing the option to vote – where is that again? Do you have to be logged in to know about it?

  127. 127
    Alan on 21 Jan 2014 #

    yes, voting is for loggers-in only – it keeps the votes against your ID

    (our general polls system is more open but also to casual abuse)

  128. 128
    Cumbrian on 21 Jan 2014 #

    Excellent. Thanks very much – certainly seems to work for me.

  129. 129
    enitharmon on 21 Jan 2014 #

    Tom @122 I rather agree with you, I can’t be arsed to watch the videos either and isn’t the point of our subject matter that it’s about aural experience specifically? But there’s that curious word “rockist” again – can you explain to this bear of very little brain why it applies to videos? I thought it meant “favouring performers who show evidence of a modicum of talent”?

  130. 130
    Tom on 21 Jan 2014 #

    #129 I was using it hesitantly – I don’t think it means much either – but…. in general the school of criticism I agree with/relate to most is the one that says OK, anything is fair game for discussion – the video, the image, the marketing, the fans, the historical resonances… if you can sell it as interesting and relevant, it’s in, even if the music is the centre. Whereas there’s another school which says not only is the music the centre, the music is also the limit.

    So I was just saying that even though Popular is a music-centric blog, I identify with the “it all matters if you can make it matter” critics more. But maybe boredom with videos sits a bit uneasily with that, especially now a video channel (YouTube) is the default source of engagement with music for a huge chunk of the audience.

  131. 131
    swanstep on 22 Jan 2014 #

    That video-links have to be maintained is an argument against them (I kind of assumed that that’s why Tom stopped including them). I also think it works well for those who think the video (or anything else really) is important to add links in comments. Comments are inherently more ephemeral than lead essays and in particular nobody has a reasonable expectation that non-editable comments will have links that are maintained/updated.

  132. 132
    punctum on 23 Jan 2014 #

    Why bother commenting then?

  133. 133
    Doctor Casino on 23 Jan 2014 #

    “yes, voting is for loggers-in only – it keeps the votes against your ID”

    Aha! I’m never logged in and my privacy settings trend against it anyway re: saved logins. I wonder if it could be at least ghosted or something so you know it’s there? Not to junk up the site with a million little “Log in to post!” doohickeys, as I hate those in general.

    re: the date being in the red dot… d’oh! Well, I certainly shouldn’t have missed THAT!

    “Something very wonky happening in the Recent Comments down the right – – – seems like the title of each post is ‘joined’ as a hyperlink with the text of the comment above, if that makes any sense.”

    Finally realized that what’s actually going on is that the post title is at the bottom of the comment, not the top. Which makes a certain amount of sense but still seems backwards to me, or maybe it’s just how the entries are visually ‘grouping’ for me.

  134. 134
    Steve Mannion on 23 Jan 2014 #

    #133 If you did miss the date that’s interesting and a decent argument for putting it alongside the author name, category and views though and that is a more logical place for it imo. I just wanted a colourful element at the top of each post. Will think on it more…

    Agree that a subtle visual hint to logged-out readers/newcomers that they can mark the songs out of 10 too might be handy too.

  135. 135
    Steve Mannion on 23 Jan 2014 #

    Re latest comments for me the post title is the least important of the three bits of data (1. comment extract, 2. author, 3. location) hence that re-structure (and also why I didn’t initially include it at all!). There may have been some odd psychological thing here where I might not always click the comment if the post it’s on is one I’m less interested in generally.

    It’s all useful feedback though and suggests to me that we should do more to highlight and get people to Comments beyond just a crowded box on the right hand side of the homepage. It deserves more space so I’m keen to try out some new ideas to that end next.

  136. 136
    wichitalineman on 23 Jan 2014 #

    My two cents, Steve. I think the location is quite significant. I’m now tending not to notice the comment because it seems a little unmoored with the song title/artist above it.

  137. 137
    David Sim on 23 Jan 2014 #

    I tend to pop in now and then, or sometimes come here via Twitter.

  138. 138
    Erithian on 24 Jan 2014 #

    I agree with Wichita #136. I like the new look of the site, but the title of the thread should be at the top in the comments list. It wasn’t broke so no need to fix it – makes it easier to see at a glance where the debate is raging and what’s being revived.

  139. 139
    Ed on 24 Jan 2014 #

    @122 etc – Noel Gallagher’s views on videos – his own, specifically – are pure gold: http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2014/jan/22/noel-gallager-hates-oasis-videos

  140. 140
    Tom on 24 Jan 2014 #

    I’m certainly not going to better that “All Around The World” review.

  141. 141
    Cumbrian on 24 Jan 2014 #

    Awesome remark by Noel right at the beginning of AATW – you should probably go and mow the lawn now, because this lasts ages – or something similar.

  142. 142
    Mark G on 24 Jan 2014 #

    As per Wichita and Erithian, I’d like it : Title, Comment, Commenter.

    Apart from that, it’s nice yeah!

  143. 143
    lmm on 26 Jan 2014 #

    I’ll be signing up for RSS via Feedly as soon as I catch up.

  144. 144
    dollymix on 28 Jan 2014 #

    An RSS feed that I read at about a 20-day delay, hence this comment.

  145. 145
    Izzy on 13 May 2014 #

    Has something happened to how the site works on mobiles (I’m on iphone)?

    I used to get the regular desktop site, with latest comments up the right-hand side; but in the last couple of days it defaults to a horrible mobile version that takes forever to load, has the title bar as a huge header which has to be scrolled down, has only a separate link for latest comments (again with the huge header), and worst-of-all I can’t see any way to change back to desktop view.

    It’s quite inhibiting and is really putting me off visiting – I don’t want long waits and multiple clicks to find out whether there’s anything I want to read.

  146. 146

    ditto izzy’s point — last time (i.e. when the mobile version debuted) there was a toggle that took you back to a micro-tiny version of the normal desktop site, but i haven’t found the same toggle this time :(

  147. 147
    Steve Mannion on 13 May 2014 #

    Any increase in load time may be down to the recent caching issues with the homepage we’ve had (see also trouble with logging in being recognised) rather than the mobile design.

    There was an issue affecting mobile view before which I hadn’t had time to investigate. Alan rectified this recently resulting in the responsive layout you now see behaving as intended on smartphones.

    What we’ve not had time to do is create a better FT homepage which can get people to posts and comments more efficiently as this would also benefit mobile users more than relying on the desktop layout. I recognise the header is not mobile-friendly as it is (other than to first time visitors perhaps).

    Sorry for any inconvenience. I’ll rework the header for mobile so it takes up much less height (and/or can be hidden) and provide a jump link to latest comments plus a few other tweaks to ease the transition ASAP. In the meantime we can revert to how it was until those fixes are in place too.

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