Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum New Red Dwarf Fanclub homepage layout…

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  • #2078
    mick
    Participant

    One poster on the fanclub’s forum wrote…

    “WOOO!!!!

    Looking flash that new front screen eh!
    Set out nice, though it did take me a moment ro realise where this forum page was!

    (wait for the comments)
    GOOD JOB PAUL!”

    Now am I just being a complete twat, or is the new fanclub site layout utter shit?

    Calling everything zone! It looks like an 11 year old’s fansite made with a default frontpage layout!

    I just… I don’t know if I’m being a complete unreasionable bastard, am I?

    I just think it looks awful :-/

    I’ve been a bit of a cunt to everyone over the xmas period, so please, if it is good then tell me to fuck off and shut up and I will do so.

    #118758
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    Here’s an email I sent about half an hour ago. I originally wanted to post it on BTLi, but posting it here is a nice compromise.

    —-

    Of course, a massive picture of Clare Grogan!

    Of course, a bright red eye-hurting background!

    Of course, Series I is now available on DVD! (Only five years out of
    date with that one)

    If you click around to different pages, they’re all themed on
    different DVD releases. For some reason. Anyway, very few of them
    actually have text and pictures that relate to one another. So on the
    “Convention Zone” page (because naming sections after “Zones” is so
    fashionable and cutting edge… it makes the place sound like an early
    90s Sega or Nintendo magazine), there’s a picture of the Series III
    DVD, with a caption informing us that Series VII is available. Team
    Zone – picture of Series IV, caption about Series VIII. Of course, he
    did well to at least get *one* picture on that page. “Picture coming
    soon” placeholders really give the place a professional vibe.

    And on the “Communication Zone” page…

    “There are hundreds of fan based web sites out there, some have
    forums, others have message boards and some even have chatrooms.
    Unfortunately we are unable to link to these sites for directly for
    copyright reasons”

    Yes, that’s how the internet works. It’s against copyright law to
    provide a link to a website. That’s definitely the reason that there’s
    no links to fansites on the site, not that Gannon can’t bring himself
    to link to G&T. Oh no.

    ALSO

    “BTL was phased out due to fan submissions dwindling, in advent of the
    Internet and instant access to Red Dwarf information.”

    Yes, that’s why it was phased out. It’s our fault, isn’t it? It’s all
    our fault, and not the fan club’s.

    #118759
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    Just noticed something else. There’s a banner ad for the calendar on the front page, which says “click for more information”. And when you click it, it takes you to… the same banner ad, as a gif file. Do people test websites before they launch them any more? Still, at least it’s not set out like a fucking ProBoard any more.

    #118760
    thomasaevans
    Participant

    Tbh… its hard to please everyone when It comes to website design.

    Yeah ok… the fan club website Is’nt very good. Points for effort ALWAYS in my opinion. But If you make a snazzy sexy flash site…thats bad aparently. You use Javascript…. thats bad. Use lots of sexy images… thats bad. But If It looks bland… thats bad. :S

    #118761
    penny
    Participant

    >?BTL was phased out due to fan submissions dwindling, in >advent of the Internet and instant access to Red Dwarf >information.?

    It is true that the information on the internet can limit the amount of new information that can be put in the magazine…so yes the fan submissions do dwindle because of this.

    >Yes, that?s why it was phased out. It?s our fault, isn?t it? >It?s all our fault, and not the fan club?s.

    The Fan Club are doing the best they can.
    You do realise it’s them who organise those DJs you go to…with dwindling submissions and such it does affect them being able to afford doing them.

    As for the web-linking thing…well, don’t understand fully the reason for that. But it does make sense that they wouldn’t what to advertise another fan site and therefore maybe losing their possible subscribers.

    #118768
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    I want to meet some fellow drawfers.

    #118773
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    I know that the fan club do their best (but if their best involves employing Paul Gannon, then it’s not quite as good as it should be, but anyway), it’s just the constant implication that it’s the fans’ fault whenever they do something wrong that really pisses me off. You’ve got to ask why people aren’t sending stuff in, and not just blame “the internet”, as if it’s the boogeyman. And if people don’t send stuff in off their own back, do something about it, don’t just kick your heels around and stare at the letter box.

    #118774
    thomasaevans
    Participant

    The only reason I left the fan club, was because I never recieved mags on time, plus they said I was getting 2 free issues for one reason and another. Never had them. And I left WELL BEFORE I ever had a computer and access to the internet.

    I do understand though, It’s alot of work to do.

    #118778
    Dave
    Participant

    I don’t think anybody ever received the magazines on time, but I only got three of my subscription before I was told it had run its course. I’m still waiting for that fourth issue.

    #118784
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    I’m sorry but the claim “they’re doing the best they can” is up there with “Oh, it’s for charity” in the great list of feeble excuses as to why something sucks.

    That website is awful and not going to prompt many newcomers (or disillusioned ex-members) to show much interest.

    #118783
    Tanya Jones
    Participant

    Well, exactly. It’s easy to feel sympathy for the fan club team when you meet them in person at conventions (which continues to be the one thing they do really, really well), but if you’re trying to get new members, you really need to impress people nowadays. I can’t think of a single reason for someone to pay their subs at the moment, and I consider myself one of the more understanding members. Directly blaming fans for the failure of BTL is both bad PR and actually pretty insulting, given the history behind the production of BTL in recent years.

    And Penny; please stop addressing people on here like they’re fucking stupid. You should have worked out that G&T posters are fairly bright by now.

    Basically, if you’re not capable of producing something halfway professional, or don’t have the time to do a good job, then don’t do it. No-one is holding a gun to any of the fan club teams’ heads, and they can leave at any time without anyone blaming them.

    #118787
    mick
    Participant

    I just cant believe that after spending most of last DJ listening to people, including more than a few actual fanclub team members say that the person responsible for this is useless at his job, he’s been let loose on it again!

    #118792
    penny
    Participant

    >And Penny; please stop addressing people on here like >they?re fucking stupid. You should have worked out
    >that G&T posters are fairly bright by now.

    Gosh! aren’t you lovely!

    I do mean to address people here as if they are fucking stupid…for fuck sake! Do you really think I’m a moron who doesn’t read what everyone posts on here!?

    All I try to do is help once in awhile and in no way am I attempting to be rude or/and condersending in anyway. I have been known to get things wrong and people have been helpful to point these out for me and I am thankful for that. (Really never knew cum could be spelt come too)

    I just wanted to point out that Fan club are trying their best, but I guess it is quite silly to blame it on the fans who subscribe to BTL (nearly spelt it BLT again…sort of making me hungry).

    >Basically, if you?re not capable of producing something >halfway professional, or don?t have the time to do a good >job, then don?t do it.

    I quite like reading my BTL mags…I guess it could use some change. You know if you have an idea for changing the mag maybe you should email James about that fan club post that’s free.

    >No-one is holding a gun to any of
    >the fan club teams? heads, and they can leave at any time >without anyone blaming them.

    Put down the gun hun!…just kidding. Anyway, if they did leave and there was no more fan club I think there would be much mumbling and outrage on this site for there not being one any more.

    We could mumble and crumble all we want, but at least we have an official fan club who are willing to try their best to bring out mag, do conventions and support our favourite programme…ok, they get things wrong, they have jobs that interfere and yes, sometimes the end result is not always great…but they are human just like the rest of us (we are human, right?)

    #118793
    penny
    Participant

    >That website is awful and not going to prompt many newcomers >(or disillusioned ex-members) to show much interest.

    I haven’t been on the website as I trust from the posts about it that it is quite bad. Therefore, I don’t really see the need to see how bad…for the moment at least.

    #118796
    Tanya Jones
    Participant

    Penny, you’ve clearly not read a lot of G&T. When we’ve talked about the fan club on here, we’ve tried to stick to constructive critism (although we’ve occasionally got frustrated), because the problems the fan club are having could actually be easily fixed if there was the skill and, indeed, the will.

    You like BTL? Good for you. A significant section of fans do not, and also recognise that the production values are just not good enough to attract people to the fan club nowadays. It’s somewhat unfortunate that the fan club have chosen to focus on the lack of fan contributions, especially when many people sent stuff in that was not published. And, yes, Penny, I HAVE contacted James on more than one occasion, and left feedback on BTLi. That’s you assuming I’m stupid again, isn’t it?

    The ‘mumbling and crumbling’ comes from a real desire to have a excellent fan club. I have no idea about the amount of effort coming from the fan club team as a whole, but the point is that it’s not meeting the standard expected from an official fan club when it comes to things outside DJ. James has admitted as much, to his credit. I wasn’t suggesting the whole fan club team should leave either; I was responding to the excuses that have sometimes been used by some team members to excuse late or substandard output. It’s a voluntary position, producing output which is paid for by the fans. Either you provide the service that is being paid for, or you don’t do it.

    Again, if you really knew the type of site G&T was, you’d already know this. Also, seeing as you actually haven’t seen the site that is being discussed, what’s the point of you even trying to contribute to the thread?

    #118799
    Phil
    Participant

    >I haven?t been on the website as I trust from the posts about it that it is quite bad.

    To be honest, the level of complaining here had me assuming it was far worse than it actually was. It’s more passive in its horribleness than active…but horrible it most definitely is. It’s the kind of site that, with good content and the correction of some truly embarrassing mistakes (Ian’s mention of the “click here for more information” debacle…and, for god’s sake, spell your fucking copyright notice correctly), would be passable.

    I’m by no means coming to the site’s defense. It’s a pile of ass crap. But I was certainly expecting something quite a ways worse.

    #118800
    Phil
    Participant

    I’m starting another comment because I think this should stand out.

    PAUL GANNON AND THE REST OF THE FAN CLUB TEAM PAY ATTENTION HERE PLEASE.

    I am who you are building this website for. Got that? Me. Because I am a fan of Red Dwarf–a huge fan–and I’ve never been a member of the fanclub. Why? Who knows. I’ve never chose to be, that’s all.

    I’m exactly the person you need to win over. I have enthusiasm for the series and disposable income. I am precisely the type of person who should stumble across your website and, for one reason or another, decide to write you a check. You need to impress me. Not the people who are already members, not the people you meet at DJ who know you personally and are allowing shoddy design to slide. That does you no good. You need to bring in fresh and enthusiastic people if you want their money and if you want them to contribute to your magazine. I’m a prolific writer; have I mentioned that? When I’m inspired, I write explorative essays about television programs and films. Your site inspires me to do nothing other than hit “back” on my browser.

    It’s not because the site is shit…it’s because the site is pointless and mediocre. That does not inspire me. That does not make me want to join. That does not even make me want to give it a second thought. You’ve failed, at that point. When somebody comes to you with a pre-installed desire to join up and you make them lose faith in your product, that is a failure on your part, and not theirs.

    Am I wrong to judge the quality of the fanclub based on the quality of the site? Well, maybe, but you can’t exactly fault me for it. Would you eat at a restaurant that had cockroaches climbing up the walls and dogs shitting in the entry way, even if you could be absolutely assured that the food-prep and dining areas were the cleanest in town? Of course not. Would you have confidence in dealing with an attorney who shows up to trials in his underpants? No. You wouldn’t.

    Appearance may well signify nothing about internal quality, but it sure does a hell of a job turning people away.

    #118809
    penny
    Participant

    >And, yes, Penny, I HAVE contacted James on more than one occasion, and left feedback on BTLi. That?s you assuming I?m stupid again, isn?t it?

    I never thought you were stupid, but I’m very close to now as I was saying maybe you should try to become part of the fan club and work within the team. I was talking about the position that is open in the team.

    >The ?mumbling and crumbling? comes from a real desire to have a excellent fan club. I have no idea about the amount of effort coming from the fan club team as a whole

    I thought so.

    >but the point is that it?s not meeting the standard expected from an official fan club when it comes to things outside DJ.

    With that I have to say I agree…though I like BTL there are quite a few changes that could be done, unfortunately it a matter of getting them done which can cause some problems. I hope the club do take note and then get their heads together on this matter.

    >I wasn?t suggesting the whole fan club team should leave either; I was responding to the excuses that have sometimes been used by some team members to excuse late or substandard output. It?s a voluntary position, producing output which is paid for by the fans. Either you provide the service that is being paid for, or you don?t do it.

    Ah! Well, it was easy to misread on that as it did seem to imply the whole team…sorry for the misunderstanding. *Only now do I feel a little stupid*…you can do you’re victory dance about that if you like.

    >Again, if you really knew the type of site G&T was, you?d already know this. Also, seeing as you actually haven?t seen the site that is being discussed, what?s the point of you even trying to contribute to the thread?

    G&T is a place that shows a different view point for Red Dwarf, related things as well as others which many here enjoy too. So therefore I am getting a different view point by trusting in the posts above…overall, the fan site is not the best.

    You know…just for you I’ll look at the site…….
    *10 mins later*
    …..Not as bad as I thought it would be and so I stick by my words.

    One question…what in my first post offended you anyway? …I had two people read it and they don’t see what is wrong with it.

    #118811
    Steve Harris
    Participant

    I think you have to be brutally honest here and admit that the future of the Fan Club looks very bleak indeed.
    Given that the DVD releases have been so successful, each in turn giving out instructions on how to join the Fan Club, the fact that subscriptions are dwindling is not good news.
    The poor turn out record of BTL and now it’s demise is bound to lose current members (what do they get for joining?), but I would have hoped that new members would have been attracted, thus bringing money in to finance the new mag. If numbers are still dwindling despite considerable action on the GNP front by way of advertising via a hugely successful DVD run, what’s the next step?

    I dont like the new look site and didn’t like it before much but let’s face it, my age group is hardly the one they should be aiming to attract anyway..

    I dont blame the ‘team’ for this at all and I certainly dont blame the fans, I just think it’s the way of things and I also strongly feel that the rot had set in long before James took over.
    I’m not going say to anything about Paul nor the new look, only time will tell if it attracts anyone in allthough the forum has been getting quiter and quiter for some time.
    We all know that DJ was under subsribed but those here are fully aware of the personal efforts put in by the chairman. There were also claims that poor advertising was to blame yet two oriental people and some Americans got to hear about it ok!
    Anyone who trawls the ‘webboard’ will notice that actual talk about Dwarf and related products is getting less and less despite the front page being stronger than ever. I havn’t read one major comment about ‘memorabilia’ this year depite it’s advertised Dwarf presence.

    Maybe the fact that there is so much news available on-line is a contributing factor, who knows….

    I just hope that the team can turn things around and we get a new mag and that the next proposed DJ is a success but it’s going to be an uphill struggle.
    The Fan club needs fans that are going to cough up dosh if it’s to continue, for that they need to keep the existing fans and/or attract new ones, I see little attraction at the moment.

    This is not to knock the efforts of most of the team, GNP’s continued release of excellent merchandise nor the fans themselves..

    #118813

    A question, which I admit might make me look a teensy bit stupid: Is the site fanclub members only, or can anyone pop round and see it? It’s just this thread has me curious now…

    #118815
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    Anyone can access the club site (it is, after all, supposed to be at least in part an advert to get people to join), but the forums are members only…

    #118816
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    Actually, here’s a serious question, as regards advertising the club – where on the site does it actually explain what your ?14 gets you? Surely that’s a pretty vital bit of information for prospective members?

    #118814

    Ah! Thank you, Seb.

    And, um. It looks to me like a little ho with a heaping side order of hum and a sprinkling of little, nagging problems on top. Except for the pictures in the bottom left corner of the page there–most of those were really badly edited (where’s the rest of Rimmer’s head in the “Merchandise Zone”? And why do they all have a sort of glow put around them, just around their jarringly jagged and pixelly edges? Honestly, it looks like MSPaint-level work). There are a few grammar and spelling mistakes too, and an awful lot of “coming soon” stuff, which doesn’t reflect well on an official fansite.

    I’d write up an article on it, but it looks like it’s getting pretty thoroughly dissected and examined right here.

    #118817
    mick
    Participant

    >where on the site does it actually explain what your ?14 gets you? Surely that?s a pretty vital bit of information for prospective members?

    It’s also something that legally people must be aware of before joining.

    #118823
    Tanya Jones
    Participant

    >You know if you have an idea for changing the mag maybe you should email James about that fan club post that?s free.

    Ok Penny, I only really got what you meant about applying for the fan club team post in the sentence above on the tenth or eleventh reading. Perhaps your manner of typing posts means that I don’t get the real meaning of everything you say. It’s worth saying that the fan club team didn’t used to be as open to new members as it appears to be now.

    >>The ?mumbling and crumbling? comes from a real desire to have a excellent fan club. I have no idea about the amount of effort coming from the fan club team as a whole

    >I thought so.

    I have no idea what you’re trying to insinuate in this comment. Seeing as neither of us can really know what the fan club team are doing, isn’t it just as false to claim that they’re trying their best? Bear in mind that there’s been a lot of goodwill given to the fan club team in the past, and it’s not really been rewarded.

    >One question?what in my first post offended you anyway? ?I had two people read it and they don?t see what is wrong with it.

    Are either of them regular visitors to G&T? Do they understand the context of the complaint? My original point was that you seemed to be making suggestions in a rather condesending manner, given that the extent of G&T members’ interaction with the fan club in the past can be easily seen if one reads through the site a little. And thank you for finally looking at the site under discussion; you can at least speak from a position of knowledge now. And you’re entitled to your opinion, naturally.

    Incidentally, the reason why I haven’t applied to join the fan club team is because I’m already a member of G&T, and I barely have enough time for that, never mind a team which produces content that people actually pay for. That, again, is a major point of mine; regardless of the effort put in, the result must be worth the money paid to the club. To charge money and then demand content as well is stretching goodwill to its limits, frankly. The fact that the fan club team don’t seem to recognise this is a pretty big problem for them.

    #118831
    mick
    Participant

    Quote from Paul Gannon posted on the fanclub forum:

    “Boo Hoo, Ian is annoyed.

    I wouldn’t link to a site that uses the word **** or some derivative on most pages anyway.”

    We are clearly dealing with an idiot of epic proportions.

    #118833
    Phil
    Participant

    >Boo Hoo, Ian is annoyed.

    Which shows just how much attention he’s paying to feedback from people OTHER than Ian.

    #118834
    Tanya Jones
    Participant

    Yeah, it isn’t encouraging to have someone in charge of the website who is constantly defensive and thinks that swearing is some sort of moral barometer.

    #118835
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    Or indeed someone who gives one reason for not linking to other fansites on the site itself, and then two completely different reasons in general conversation.

    As Ian said on BTLi, its not like we feel we have some divine right to be linked to (hell, I think we’re standing up alright on our own – was the TORDFC site mentioned in the Times last week? ;-) ) – but it’s unprofessional to make up a completely bollocks and vague reason about “copyright”, and then give a completely different reason when challenged. Just… don’t mention it on the site at all, if that’s what you want. Otherwise, you’re just drawing attention to the fact that you’re deliberately not linking, which strikes me as somewhat petty.

    #118836
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    Blaming the internet and the rise of regularly updated websites is like blaming television for a fall in the sales of radios. The average punter doesn’t care because they’re getting a better deal.

    The fact of the matter is that frequently delayed wafer-thin magazines every 4 months isn’t going to cut it. Clearly the people who care most about TORDFC are the people trying to charge ?14 a year for such a service…hence the sour grapes remark that a lack of contributions and the likes of G+T are to blame for the demise of BTL.

    #118837
    Phil
    Participant

    And, honestly, who cares if the fan club folds? If that’s really the state they’re in. If we’re getting more and better and more-regular content from G+T (to name just one, albeit enormous, source), AND we’re getting it for free, so what?

    The weight of Dwarf fandom has been redistributed…that’s all. Let the fan club fail. Big deal.

    I know, I know, somebody’s going to reply telling me how great DJ is. And…maybe it is. I don’t know…it’s never been possible for me to attend. But DJ is on haitus anyway and there’s no guarantee it’ll be back in 09. It’d be nice to think so…but no guarantee.

    Euthanize the thing. G+T does just fine. Maybe you guys can even publish a reader-submitted article from time to time.

    Oh…wait. You DO that already. To hell with the fan club.

    #118846

    >?Boo Hoo, Ian is annoyed.

    I wouldn?t link to a site that uses the word **** or some derivative on most pages anyway.?

    I’m not a member of the fanclub, and it’s precisely this sort of shit that really puts me off even considering it. This is like the rotten cherry on a sundae of fuck-youness from people who really, really can’t afford to alienate such a large section of Red Dwarf fandom (the portion that visits this site but who hasn’t joined up with TORDFC).

    I second Phil’s assertion: the fan club can adapt or, if this is an accurate picture of the attitude held by those in charge, it can die for all I care. I’m not sure even Dimension Jump is enough to wash the taste of this kind of contempt from my mouth.

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