Please provide feedback on recent changes to dotTech

Hello dotTechies,

I’ve recently made a few changes to dotTech and would greatly appreciate any and all feedback you all have.

Content Changes

A few months ago I decided to make a major change in what dotTech covers. Instead of just doing reviews and tips and tricks, dotTech started posting interesting tidbits on the happenings of the tech world. While some dotTechies were resistant to changes, eventually many people can to enjoy the new articles. However, last week I realized dotTech’s core value is providing reviews and recommendation on software and apps. Combine that with the fact that there is only so much interesting tech news that happens in a day, I decided to try to find a balance between news and reviews. As such, as some of you may have noticed over the past few days, dotTech is now going to be posting three reviews on Windows, Android, iPhone, iPad, Mac OS X, and Chrome/Firefox/Internet Explorer/Opera apps and programs each day.

With these reviews we have decided to not write extremely long articles that no one reads (yes, I know some people read the title and skip to the download link) and not write extremely short articles that are nothing more than infomercials. Rather, we want to find the perfect balance between too much information and too little information; our goal is to provide you with all the necessary knowledge (major pros and major cons) of an app/software so you can make an informed decision without having to spend an hour reading each article. Please do let us know how we are doing by posting a comment below.

Now just because we spending more time reviewing software does not mean we will completely ignore tech news. While we will try to no longer writer those annoyingly useless “XXX has released XXX” type articles, we will still continue to write tech news. The only difference is we will now try to focus on only the most interesting news of the day rather than post whatever we read, like some blogs do. Feel free to share your thoughts on how we are handling tech news in the comments below, too.

Other Changes

I spend most of the day Friday making back-end changes to dotTech, which is actually why you saw me post no news articles on Friday — I was busy polishing the beloved machine that holds this awesome blog. (Yes, I will never shy away from praising dotTech.) One of the major changes I made was simply the URL for dotTech posts. Now URLs will no longer say the category that which the article belongs to, rather only showing its unique identified and the name of the article. Why did I do this? For two reasons.

Firstly, saying the category name was redundant seeing as the title is already there, and the category actually caused confusion among some readers when an article would be categorized in more than one category yet the URL only showed one category. Secondly, and more importantly, many users have been asking me to put the operating system tag (e.g. [Android]) at the beginning of article titles as opposed to the end. Until now I resisted this request for SEO purposes but with the removal of category name from URLs, I have absolute no issue with placing the tags in the beginning and dotTech will do so from now on.

The change in URL comes with one drawback — there might be broken links. So, please, if you ever come across a broken link do report it to me. You can always e-mail me or simply post a comment below.

Aside from changing of URL, I made upgrades and optimizations to dotTech’s server which should — hopefully — make dotTech load faster for everyone. Let me know if this isn’t the case.

Conclusion

I have nothing to say here. It is your turn to talk.

-Mr. Boss

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70 comments

  1. Shi

    Have found that being able to choose what articles I want sent to email working well for me. After opening page I want to read I find that I can quickly browse the recent posts on the side to check if I missed something else i was interested in. A thumbnail pic of the photo of the day would be helpful in deciding whether to read the article. I enjoy this feature is amazing the things you find. Shorter articles are good but sometimes I think longer ones necessary in your tips and tricks as not everyone understands what to do. Dont need 3 new apps or programs a day 1 would suffice. Like that Android is covered as well as windows.
    Thank you for a wonderfully informative useful site.

  2. Flowers ForA

    @Ashraf:

    From: Flowers ForA:

    Further to my last post Re. search engine:

    There does seem to be a substantial difference between searches using the searchbox and those using the magnifying glass icon on the black top ribbon – the latter of which seems only to appear once one is signed in.
    – search box: entering e.g. “unsubscribe” or “feedback” (without the quotes) in the said the search box gives no results at all – only the normal right collumn (showing Subscribe, Recent postes, etc.) appears
    – icon: using the icon however gives lots of results for the same search terms (but I should further compare results on relevance, time of publishing,…)

    So search results seem to depend on wether one is signed in or not.
    But then again, signing in is important only/mainly for those who want to participate in the forums (adding content, threads,…) while “shared” content (i.e. not part of the forums) constitutes a large part of the total site content. So I can’t quite figure out why (e.g.) “feedback” gives no results from the (default) search box while it doesn’t seem to be exclusively forum-linked… I hope I’m not getting anyone confused at this stage :-)

    Of course I will do some further experimenting and comparison of results in the days to come and report back as promised.

    In the meantime, would anyone here with more (or similar) experience care to share thoughts or tips on this?

    Many thanks & have a nice day,
    Patrick.

  3. DonFG

    I like the format changes. If this will be the new style it should be broken out into categories. Might be a little extra work but some of us are not fans of one category or another.

    1. Windows
    2. Android
    3. Apple

    Or they could be a multi-choice.

    PS: This is for the email or RSS feeds

  4. Eric

    @Jazz:
    I agree about the comment digests in emails. That is what I was talking about in my second to last paragraph near the top of the first page. I reckon over half of my email comes from these comments and it can be overwhelming and they are not particularly easy to read either. Like I said before, I would like an option to get one email of comments per day across all my subscriptions. I don’t think this is an option in the one email per day stuff.

  5. Flowers ForA

    @Ashraf:
    from Flowers ForA:
    Many thanks for your kind reply.
    Re. the search enine… e.g. while searching how to unsub from the mail-per-article I entered “unsubscribe” (among others) in the top right searchbox (not the search option on the extreme right on the black top ribbon, i.e. the magnifying glass icon) but didn’t find anything on the subject. This is just one example…
    I’m planning a more systematic “tryout” of the search engine before commenting any further on this and report back to you on a later date via seperate mail – lots of other work keeps piling up and I really should deal with that first :(

    BTW, is there a functional difference between the searchbox and the search icon? I guess not… That should be one of the first things to tryout ;-)

    Thanks again & keep well!
    Patrick.

  6. meldasue

    I read dottech via RSS, and that works quite well for me – I can scroll through the new articles quickly, ignoring the articles marked for OS or gadgets I don’t use, and since the feed only gives me a preview, it’s quick to load even when I miss a day or two.

  7. John

    Hi Ashraf & Team,

    Must admit I’m not one for change (the pain of change and all that stuff), but hey you obviously do it for a reason, so yeah I can live with that, and it does not take too much time to adapt. You just have to learn to look for things in different places from time to time.

    My only ask would be if you could also include a thumbnail of the amazing photo of the day so as I know whether I want to open the web page or not.

    Other than that, there is nothing more I could wish for. Keep up the great work, we would all be very lost without you!

    Cheers,
    John

  8. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @janusz: Glad you like the new change.Thank you for the feedback, kind words, and being a loyal reader!
    @Jyo: As I mentioned in an earlier comment, we have moved to the new format for SEO purposes. Sorry :-(
    @clockmendergb: Thank you! I would love for dotTechies to participate by sending in their free apps. Any takers?
    @Barbwyr: There is a way. Please see http://dottech.org/e-mail-notifications-one-email-per-day/.
    @albert otojunk: You are welcome — thanks for the feedback! There is already a way to unsub from what you aren’t interested in. Look at the link at the bottom of each e-mail you get.
    @sl0j0n: Thank you for the feedback! I agree with your suggestions. Unfortunately, Feedburner does not allow me to modify the digest e-mails to put more spacing between bullets :-(
    @Jazz: Thanks for the feedback! To be honest, looking for a way to e-mail comment digests is actually pretty low on my priorities list (so much on my plate) but I will definitely keep it in mind.
    As for the iPhone article you quote: you would be surprised how many people are interested in knowing Apple lied ;-)

  9. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @DougvT: You are welcome! Thank you for trusting us for your tech needs.
    @Flowers ForA: To go from one-email-per-article to one-email-per-day, simply do what you just did — sub to one-email-per-day then unsub to one-email-per-article. The unsub link is found at the end of every e-mail you received in the past.
    I’m look into integrating into profiles but I’m not sure if that is possible. I’m no coder.
    What do you mean by search engine? Is it bad? I use Google Custom Engine for dotTech so it should be the best there is at the moment.
    Thanks for all your feedback! I’ll definitely consider it all.
    @Jim-1: That Twitter/Facebook/Google+ box you refer to should *not* be in articles — it belongs in the blue area. What browser are you using? This is a bug that I need to look into to. Please provide more details.
    Thank you for the compliment!
    @Mark: Thank you for the feedback and being a loyal reader! I understand how you feel. I agree we haven’t done a long, in-depth comparison in a while. Let’s see if we can pull one or two on a regular basis for ya’.
    @Doug (UK): Thank you for the kind words and feedback! I’ll take it into consideration.
    @Horrabin: You are welcome! Yes, unsubing is done from the emails. I wish I had the budget of the likes of ZDNET to make the subscription process a but more user friendly. :-(
    @Dru: Thank you for the feedback! Like others, I will take it into consideration.
    @Stephen` Cohen: Unsub to ‘Miscellaneous’ if you don’t want the jokes, comics, photos, etc. Sorry about that.
    @Franklin: What do you mean? Please elaborate.
    @Stephen` Cohen: While there is no way to opt out of Win8 articles without opting out of Windows altogether, you can opt out of mobile categories such as Android, iOS, etc.
    @Mr.Dave: You are welcome! Thank you for the feedback. As for tags, we already use those although not as intensely as you suggest.
    @Trev: Miss the reviews? Over half of our current content are reviews. o_O Sorry for the overload. :-(
    @Prema: That should be fixed now. Thank you for the kind words!
    @etim: You are welcome — thanks for the kind words!
    @Bull: Thank you for making dotTech your homepage! I’ve actually purposefully moved away from freebies. I made the decision that I did not want to be a “freebies” blog — I want to be a “tech” blog. Too many freebies we getting us known as a freebies blog and people only came here for freebies. Freebies blogs aren’t very valuable — any kid with a laptop can fire up a website and do that. Tech blogs, however, are valuable especially if they offer something others don’t. I hope dotTech does that for everyone.
    Sorry :-(
    @BuddahBoy: Thank you for sharing us and thank you for the kind words! As I find interesting comics I’ll be sure to post. If you have good sources, be sure to let me know.
    @Suze: Thank you for being a loyal reader!
    @Dan: Thank you for the feedback and kind words!
    @fishingjoe: Cool :-)
    @jayesstee: Hehe… thanks for the kind words :-)
    @a simple happy man: You are welcome! Thank you for the feedback and kind words — much appreciated.
    @Frank D: You are welcome! Glad we could be of service.
    @John Amrein: As I told some people above, there is a way to do everything you ask except unsub from Windows 8. Sorry :-(
    @Kerry: You are welcome — thanks for the kind words!

  10. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Madhamish: Thank you!
    @Roger Nicholls: Thank you!
    @riezo haibane: I’m sorry you feel like we are posting too much. I have no plans on curtailing back on content — only eliminating low quality content. Feel free to only read what interests you, not everything!
    I’m sorry but I cannot enable reply by e-mail simply because if I sent everything out by e-mail, people wouldn’t visit here and without visits dotTech would slowly die.
    @otieatkins: You are welcome! And, yes, there is definitely a team: myself, Locutus, Brett, Kathryn, and Brendan. I couldn’t pump out roughly 20 articles a day on my own.
    @Sin Chu: You are welcome!
    I’m a bit confused as to what you are suggesting. Move what to where? And what do you mean the main section seems to never change?
    @Digish: I’m sorry you feel like you are being spammed! Please see http://dottech.org/e-mail-notifications-one-email-per-day/.
    @sgrams: Thank you for being a loyal reader! I’m glad you enjoy our content.
    @AFPhys: I understand that the old way of putting software into one article is more conducive for some readers. Unfortunately that old way isn’t very SEO friendly so it was hurting dotTech. I’m sorry but this new way is here to stay. :-(
    Thank you for coming here since you discovered us!
    @Eric: You are welcome! Thank you for the great feedback.
    I’ll look into what you are suggesting but cannot make any promises. In regards to one e-mail a day, however, I think you may be interested in http://dottech.org/e-mail-notifications-one-email-per-day/.
    @John: Please see http://dottech.org/e-mail-notifications-one-email-per-day/ if you are getting too many e-mails.
    @incenseman: Thank you! I appreciate you being a loyal follower from way back in the GOTD days. :-)
    What has happened to that website anyway? I quit going there a while back…
    @ebta: What form of e-mail subscription are you on? If on one-email-per-article, you already have the ability to select what topics to be e-mailed about. For RSS feeds if you only want a few categories it can be done easily: instead of subbing to the main feed, you can sub to individual category feeds. For example, http://dottech.org/category/windows/feed will get you the Windows feed, http://dottech.org/category/android/feed will get you the Android feed, etc.
    @Carleton: Thank you! As for registration, you don’t *have* to register if you don’t want to. There are many readers that browse dotTech without registering. You can even post comments without registering. The only thing you need to register for is to use the forums.
    @fajohn2: Cool :-)
    @fajohn2: In-app purchases is the way for the future of apps. We try to make references in app reviews when there are Pro versions of apps or the app has in-app purchases. If we ever forget (we are human, after all) simply post a comment to remind us. Thank you!
    @Kathryn: Glad you like it. I cannot promise you more on BB simply because BB is a dying breed as of this moment. As a hobbyist blog, I simply cannot invest in what may not be around soon.
    As for dates on Amazing Photo of the Day — I don’t take the photos myself so I have no way of knowing when they are taken. :-(
    @Mags: Yeah, information overload is a concern. I realize that with more articles people will only read what really interests them. However, generally speaking, traffic tends to go up with more articles so, yeah…
    Thanks for the feedback, kind words, and being a loyal reader!
    @garlicook: Thank you — and you are welcome!
    @Dazed & Confused: I’m confused as to what you are suggesting. You want the homepage to be less blog-style and more magazine-style? Please do elaborate, I want to hear your thoughts.
    @Leslie: Thanks! And thanks for helping everyone out with the tips on subing.
    @Bob Levy: Thank you for the feedback. I’ll take that into consideration, although no promises.
    @kelltic: Sorry, that pics thing was a bug — rookie mistake on my end. It has been mixed.
    What do you mean headers are large — do you mean post titles?
    @Bushidojoe: Yeah, I agree. I can’t do anything about that though. Only way to make it “less busy” is to stop posting articles o_O.
    @mukhi: Thank you for the feedback! I have the bar as it is based on the available article types. Until we get more content, it will unfortunately have to stay like that.
    Also, I used to have iOS but I realized no one searches for iOS — they look for iPhone or iPad.

  11. Jazz

    From perusing the above, it seems you and your colleagues are working so hard that you are outdistancing us! I’m referring to remarks about too many emails, too many articles.

    Depending on how many follow-ups you subscribe to, it is sometimes a bit much to get a separate email for each and every comment, especially on subjects that ellicit a flood of comments. Perhaps you should look into combining and very briefly summarising a number of new comments on popular subjects that one wishes to be notified of, instead of sending 5 separate emails to report each comment separately. I don’t know if this would be possible to implement, but it does seem more practical.

    As for the articles, who will decide which ones to disqualify? We have different interests and you can ignore what is not relevant for you. The subject line of email notifications about new articles are generally clear and self explanatory, so, really, it should not be a problem to decide which ones to delete without firing up your browser.

    As for news articles, I agree that it should be very carefully weighed. I believe few people care whether Apple may or may not have lied about the iPhone 5 being 0.1 mm thinner than other phones, and similar trivialities.

    In closing, as long as the site stays as user friendly and sensibly managed as it is, I shall rely on your common sense and abide by what comes this way.

  12. sl0j0n

    Hello, Ashraf.
    In general, its all good!
    I just changed my subscription,
    to the single email per day mode.
    MUCH easier than contending with,
    say, 20+ emails, every day.
    Now I’m getting the single email,
    and I do have a request.
    I did public speaking for years,
    and one thing I learned,
    was to format my notes in a way that made it easier to rapidly scan.
    For instance, the single email has a bulleted list.
    To make it easier to scan,
    try to increase the line spacing,
    to keep the bolded Times New Roman from ‘growing together’.
    A 30-50% increase usually works for that.
    I don’t know if your software can handle it or not, but in Word or an open-source variant its simple to increase the letter/character spacing.
    A .5 increase will aid rapid character recognition.
    Also, I found that a serif-less font,
    like Verdana Ref, or similar,
    makes it easier and faster to scan.
    BTW, I was checking out a recent giveawayoftheday,
    and I saw where some of their regulars were asking about you.
    Apparently, you are missed over there.
    Keep up the good work!

    Have a GREAT day, neighbor!

  13. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    Thank you to everyone that has posted here and provided feedback. Rest assured I have read all the comments here and will shortly be addressing all concerns or explaining why I cannot or will not do as you ask.

  14. albert otojunk

    Hi, Mr. Boss!

    Here’s my feelings / suggestions:

    About “Software of the Day” — I like it, but it doesn’t have to have three items and it doesn’t have to be every day.

    About technical / company news, etc. – I don’t like it. CNet, ZiffDavis, TechRepublic, and almost every other website I visit on a regular basis cover such things on a daily basis. There is too much duplication now. So unless you find something that it really, really interesting, important, or unique . . . . . :>)

    About tagging the subject lines in your emails – as in “[Windows] Increase drive speed by . . .”: I really, really like it. But we should be able to subscribe to only the subjects in which we are interested. For me, it’s windows tips, tricks, utilities, security, reviews, etc. – not iStuff [ thanks, Bob Levy :>) ] – , Android, comics, cell phones, pictures, etc.

    About articles – Length is always just about right – but you might think about the first paragraph being a “Take Away” that summarizes the article and its conclusion.

    About emails – I prefer individual topic emails [ especially if I could subscribe to only the ones pertaining to my interests ] over one email with multiple links.

    About the new website look – I like it!

    Let me close by saying that every thing you do you do really, really well and thank you for all that you do.

  15. clockmendergb

    I am still wading through the backlog of stuff coming every day.
    I like the idea of compartmentalizing the articles to specific operating systems.
    But I also like some general articles on whats new and in the pipe line.

    I did like app of the day but i can imagine getting three good ones per day took a lot of searching
    So i am open to that being changed to a periodical post on readers recommendations.
    Maybe once a month ask for peoples latest great apps.
    This way the apps will have been tried out in the wild so as to speak.

    That said
    Its a great forum Ashraf and I have adapted to all the previous adaptions quite easily.
    I will continue to com to your site
    Great job.

  16. Jyo

    I prefer the old Windows/Android Software of the Day, where each article included 3 pieces of software. Now that each software gets its own post, there is too much scrolling and it’s harder to browse for stuff I want to read.

    Plus it saves time to just click on one link, as opposed to three, where more time is wasted loading…

  17. janusz

    Being a long time reader/supporter of the dotTech, I truly enjoyed and appreciated Ashraf’s [and Associates] contributions to the blog.
    However, recent changes/expansion introduced to dotTech produced an overwhelming amount of available information and made very difficult to deal with it in a timely fashion. A sheer volume of provided material did not allow average/busy person to efficiently/expeditiously select/read or download topics of the reader’s current interest.
    I wholeheartedly agree with the suggestion posted here a few days ago, by one of the readers, to clearly identify each dotTech e-mail by its category – by inserting a single, appropriate word in the subject column in front of the e-mail’s description, e.g. Android, iPad, iPhone, Mac OS X, Photos, Win 8, Win 7, Vista, Win XP, Security, CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, PC Sys, HDD, Music, Audio, Movie, Video, Players, Converters, Art, Browsers, Comics, Games, Miscel etc. Please include some or all categories in the opt-out options.
    Thank you for taking this suggestion for consideration and most importantly for implementing it almost instantaneously for the benefit of all us.
    From now on, it will be much easier to navigate through a huge amount of available information and select the most needed or interesting topics effortlessly.
    Keep up the good/excellent work Guys!!!!!!!!
    Faithful and now 100% satisfied reader.

  18. Kerry

    I swear your a mind reader, lol. Being on dial up I was wishing you would put the software titles in the emails and poof there they are. No more waiting 5 to 8 mins for dottech site to load to see whats there. Love the knowledge you share, its a Godsend. Thank you and God Bless your work and family!!

  19. John Amrein

    Hello,

    I agree that too much article for 1 day, maybe you can add option that we can select topic (categories) for feed or email subscription..

    Also, include in your opt-out choices the ability to opt out of posts that only cover smart phones, pads, and Windows 8 topics.

    To much stuff in one email. It’s like the kitchen sink.

    Thanks for listening……John A.

  20. a simple happy man

    Dear Ashraf

    You asked so here is my answer!

    Pretty much everything on your site now, and in the past, began with an idea that came from a certain person who had a lot of interest in one subject or another and who combined them all to produce a (in the beginning) relatively obscure site that is now one of the top tech sites in the world.!

    And I like to think that over the years that guy and I have become online friends.

    But as with all friendships each of us has our own particular brand of genius. Yours of course is you know tech inside out and if there is something you don’t know you’ll research it until you do. And me? Well I’m a survival instructor and that literally is my field, my backwoods, my desert , my mountains and my jungle out there. If I make a mistake and listen to my customers advice about which way to go someone could die, because quite literally they put their lives in my hands and they all trust me to take care of them in the best way I know how and to show them what ‘I’ feel inside will be of interest to them by taking them to places that I have been and found to b of interest to myself. I tell them what is available at certain times of the year and they make an informed selection and away we go.
    I know that not everyone likes All the same stuff Stuff as me or each other so some people don’t choose a certain trip and that is their choice. I guess what I am saying is that I learned a long, long time ago you truly can not please everyone so I run my living outdoors with other people my way and if people don’t like it they don’t comeback but those that do more than make up for those losses.

    So my answer to you is I stumbled upon dotTech by accident several years ago and for whatever reason this old enough to retire veteran liked the honesty and the straightforward shoot from the hip Take no prisoners its my blog not yours attitude I read in every line this guy wrote!

    Now I do not come everyday to your Blog but when I do I don’t come to listen to wingers and whiners telling you what to do(which thank goodness there are none to speak of)! I come to listen to that good old buddy of mine called Ashraf who at times has me virtually peeing my pants with laughter over some of his sharp remarks that could not have come from anyone but him, except maybe from his handpicked team of coworkers who all have an equally as feisty and quick witted sense of humour as he does.

    So to be truthfully blunt If you do it your way and actually continue to run this site as a perfect extension of the quickwitted, quirky and truly likeable character and individual you really are I for one will pretty much keep calling round to feast on and bathe in the glorious friendship I have found on the pages of dotTech.

    But if you change things to get in line with the wants and wishes of your customers then I would pretty much say you’re doomed and so is dotTech!

    The vast majority of your visitors only come back because they like YOU! Sure they also like the tech stuff too but the clincher is that they come back to spend time with their good mate and pal Ashraf and the kindred spirits that make up his team (Locutus and Kathryn to name but 2) and all the others.

    Sure listen to what your visitors have to say but always, always let our friend Ashraf (Mr Boss) make the decisions to change something or keep things the same because that is what he, Ashraf, wants done! Otherwise you are going to be running around like a sociopath trying to do the things and be the person that best suits the wants and desires that you believe everyone of your Visitors has! And you know as well as I do once you start doing that….. Well that spells end of story for Ashraf’s dotTech……. Not ‘our’ dotTech but ASHRAF’s dotTech!

    Thanks a million for all the help and all the fun and laughter but mostly just for being that weird guy I count as my friend Ashraf just being himself and running his site the way Ashraf wants it run!

  21. jayesstee

    I have the same reactions to each and every change:

    #1 Oh no it’s changed!

    #2 This is interesting/good!

    #3 Actually this is very good!

    #4 Don’t change a thing I like it!

    At the next change, goto #1

    I do like Bob Levy’s suggestion about separate topic emails (see comment #22).

    Anyway, just keep doing a great job Ashraf.

  22. Dan

    I think any comments I wanted to express have been covered already in the many posts above..so I’ll just sum it up by saying I think the new format and changes are for the better.

    I like the look of the new layout and the tag at the start of the mailings is a good idea and a helpful one, too!

    Keep up the outstanding work!

  23. Suze

    @Leslie: Count me in for another “Thanks!” I hadn’t read to the end of the many daily emails, until one of today’s, and changed my preferences.

    Ashraf (and your staff): keep up the great work! I’ve been a ‘follower’ of yours since the GotD days :)

  24. BuddahBoy

    Love all the changes, enjoy getting the emails and have been sharing most of the articles on Pinterest on a daily basis for a couple of months now and I can tell you that there has been alot of interest so I hope that not only gets good info out there but exposure to DotTech which has served me well for a couple of years now.

    Thank you Ashraf, you are an inspiration
    Ron

  25. Bull

    I really enjoy reading your news articles, it helps keep me a bit updated in my small world of technology.

    Honestly, I rarely, if at all, read the review articles, its not because i dislike them, i just am not interested in that particlualr software/app/platform, etc. Still, i am sure others enjoy reading them. Only reviews i read are usually the comparison of a software over others.

    What i do miss are the freebies that were posted, and again the comparison artciles of softwares.

    With that said, Dottech.org has been my home page for over a year now. Keep doing what it is youre doing, it seems to work.

  26. etim

    I was getting quite irritated with the flood of emails till I switched to the 1 email a day.
    I was then driving myself nuts trying to figure out how to trim the 1 email to eliminate what wasn’t interesting–then you told me that I couldn’t–whew! Thanks!
    Now you’ve moved the OS designation to the beginning of each topic–this is the next best thing to being able to trim, I suppose–thanks.
    So far so good–keep up the good work, but take some time to chill, you deserve it!

  27. Prema

    I also have the image issue on my Chrome/Firefox… Some images just wont render. For example the picture photo of the day picture wouldn’t render, and just some thumbnails at the end of the article won’t render…

    But i love dottech and how it’s grown. I also like how it expanded itself from just GAOTD reviews and other software reviews to encompass a large variety of topics. It makes Dottech that much better and exciting. To be honest, yes it is a lot of articles each day, but i usually select the ones that appeal to me the most, but it’s always nice to have some extras just in case.

  28. Mr.Dave

    Been a happy customer of DotTech for several years now. I feel all the changes in the last months have kept a good balance. There’s far more than I would ever read, but I can still find the articles that are interesting to me… and there are more of those than before. You’re making it easier all the time for me to skip anything related to iOS and other platforms I don’t care about. If there are too many articles in a day I can prioritize, skim, come back later. As long as the quality is there (and it is!) I’ll keep coming back.

    Specifics:

    The black bar is great. I usually just click on Windows and then I can see everything as far back as I want to look. Great for when I miss a day or two.

    Article lengths are just right. They’re enough to raise or lower my interest in a program or issue. I can easily learn more other places (I discovered there are other sites on the web besides DotTech, and these tools called “search engines”. Amazing what’s out there ;-)

    It might help navigation to add tags. There could be many tags per article, from a list of maybe 30 to 50. There could be a selection list pop-up, or we could type them directly into the search box. Tags like vista, security, free, news, updates, photo, file manager, password, convert, game, OCR, web development, editor, etc., would be pretty helpful.

    A “more” button below Recent Posts, Recent Comments, Recent Forum Posts would be nice, maybe go back as for as a week.

    Appearance is not a big driver for me, but I’ve grown to really like the new look. I have a wide monitor and your site only uses about half the available space, but even there I think you’ve made a wise choice using only what’s needed. Not busy, no very wide lines to read. Simple. I like it.

    You have a great, supportive community here. Many interests and levels of skill, and we all seem to play well together. I think that’s the best indicator you’re doing the right things with this site.

    And once more, thank you for the hard work, care and thinking you and your helpers pour into this site!

  29. Dru

    I read thru a number of comments at the top, and my viewpoint is similar to so many others. I love dotTech and love the direction. I prefer s/w reviews over tech news. Although I must say, I have prefered your approach/angle to the news much more than most others. I do agree with one commenter, it’s a lot of reviews, more than I have time to read which is a bummer. But I suppose it’s there if I want to search for something specific.

    All the best!!

  30. Horrabin

    I clicked the mail button to subscribe to the one-a-day but don’t see anything about unsubscribing to the multiple ones. Is this to be done from the emails themselves? What would be handy is one place for email maintenance, like what they do with PC World and ZD Net newsletters. Just a simple page with a description of each newsletter/category and a checkbox to subscribe/unsubscribe to each one. If there’s one here I cannot find it.
    Otherwise, I’ve liked each upgrade to the site as they have come along. My only complaint was long load times on occasion, especially yesterday, but I see now why that was. It’s breezing along now!
    The archives for different OS’s are great. Having acquired a Thrive a few months ago, I’ve been going through the apps of the day for Android from the early posts and finding a few gems I didn’t know about since I wasn’t paying attention to Android back then. Wonderful!
    Thanks for all your hard work, Ashraf and crew! Much appreciated! I look here at Dot-Tech first for real nuggets before reading the newsletters from all the others (I also don’t care about the latest Apple wallet-grabber or what color the latest laptop is that much).

  31. Doug (UK)

    @Leslie:

    Many thanks ‘Leslie’.
    I too missed the original advice, but now thanks to you I have adjusted my preferences and look forward to a more appropriate flow of emails.
    To Ashraf and all the crew – you do a great job, long may you carry on.
    I too feel, like ‘Mags’ above, that the daily quantity could perhaps be safely reduced, but otherwise the changes have been fine with me.
    Thanks.

  32. Mark

    Dear Ashraf,

    First off, please don’t regard what I’m about to say as criticism. Unlike many people on the internet, I don’t think that if someone absolutely has to offer me a free service, the least they can do is offering it to me exactly the way I want it. (Yes, I’m being sarcastic.)
    Whatever you do is fine with me; if I don’t like it, I can always leave it. But you asked if people might prefer things being done differently, so here it goes.
    I discovered your blog a long time ago through your excellent reviews of programs offered on GotD. I certainly miss those (though given what they’ve been offering recently there, not having a review of something that looks pretty useless anyway is not much of a loss), and I also haven’t seen one of those in-depth comparisons of computer safety tools you used to do in a while, if I remember correctly. To me, they were both unrivalled in their quality, as far as “private”, non commercial sources go.
    The new mini-“reviews” of free tools are potentially useful in principle, though I’m only interested in those for Windows (not including W8), and what I’ve seen there so far could hardly ever have been called a review. They usually sound as if most if not all of the text was copied from the program authors’ material. Still potentially useful, as I said, as one can always discover a tool one would have use for and didn’t know existed, but I wouldn’t really call them reviews.
    I’m not at all interested what the next cellphone from Apple is likely to look like or other things like that, but then I’m just an old fart.
    Here’s how I use the blog, in case that might be useful: I get the RSS feed, and will go straight to an article if anything looks interesting in the feed. I never browse.
    All the best!

  33. Jim-1

    You guys are doing great work here. Keep it up!! :-)

    The new site looks great. I have only one small quibble. On the left side of the page is a very unwelcome “Tweet email” block that blocks an approximately 1.5″ high by 1″ wide rectangular space from view. That block stays on the left side and in the middle of the page whenever I scroll, and it blocks the portion of the page I want to read. My screen resolution has almost two inches of blank (blue) space on either side of the text area. It would be very helpful if you could move that obnoxious and in-your-face “Tweet email” block to the blank space on either side, or just delete it altogether. Thanks!

    Edit: After I clicked to submit this comment, the “Tweet email” block obligingly relocated to the blank left side where it no longer causes any aggravation. Is there a way to tell it where to go without submitting a comment?

  34. Flowers ForA

    I got pretty confused these last days about the changes brought to e-mail notifications. My years-old subscription defaulted to one-mail-per-article – which I didn’t object to, thinking this was just part of a reorganization process and that sooner or later things would revert back to more or less the same situation as before. However I kept being flooded with mails at a rate that I couldn’t cope with… I also followed notifications of the changes at hand. (BTW, I would never mark any site that I’ve used for so many years without any problems as spamming me. There are other ways to report possible malicious activity when you’re in doubt, no?)]
    So today I subscribed to one-mail-per-day… and tried to unsubscribe from one-mail-per-article.
    Now I feel like a complete moron because I haven’t found the way to this. I may have overlooked something or misread or misinterpreted posts dealing with the changes.
    So I used “contact us” to request to be removed from the “old” mailinglist one-mail-per-article. I’ll see what my mailbox says tomorrow morning but I have no doubt everything will be taken care of :-)

    Still a few questions:
    1. I hope that my approach was the right thing to do. Is there a shorter way?
    2. Would it be possible to integrate mailnotification changes into “my profile”?.. Which, IMHO, would be a logical place to put them in the first place ?

    Somewhat off topic…
    3. Provide a “Help”-tab?…
    4. The search engine… I’m really sorry, but this may use some further development. [This actually is the only thing I've always found "below standard". But I admit it's no easy job integrating a good search engine into a large existing DB...]

    Many thanks for a great site, though, and I do appreciate your experimenting with layout and architecture. It does take some courage.. A lot of sites lose visitors because they don’t evolve or evolve too fast….

    Keep up the ideas & good work,
    Patrick.

  35. DougvT

    I consider dottech as one of my major, enjoyable sources of tech info. Yes, the amount of info may be overwhelming, but such is the nature of our tech society. Filter out what you want. Thank you Ashraf.

  36. mukhi

    @ASHRAF and the team

    congratulations! you did A LOT, thanks for providing valuable info throughout the year.
    however, update is a never-ending process. i would like to see more organization like…
    # the blackbar at the top should be more consistent. i find they are very random when it comes to different OS. you may do this…

    * windows free software (or freeware; place anything other than security software)
    * windows paid software
    * windows security software (free and paid may be placed in different rows; i find keeping separate rows for best free AV and 12 best free security suites is kinda redundant)
    * windows free games
    * windows paid games

    the same can be done for other OSs. and, who says other OSs do not need a security software, specially, the mobile OSs? LOL. i was reading an article that said hacking a mobile OS remotely could be as easy as reading online how to do it. security app can reduce the chances.

    # IMO, it’s better to say iOS than to say iphone and ipad.

  37. kelltic

    You cover a lot and it’s obvious you care about your site and your visitors. Nobody will be interested in everything. I only care about Windows apps, others care only about Android. Yes, I also like some of the tech news. You can’t please everybody and I don’t think anyone expects you to.

    Your decision to cut down the length of articles really doesn’t matter. If I’m interested in something I read the whole thing. If not, I skim or skip.

    I admit I don’t like change. But, knowing that, I just give myself a little time to adjust. Keep in mind that I’m using a desktop. Here is what is currently problematic (for me): The headers are very large, so I have to scroll and scroll, or zoom out, to see the day’s offerings. My browser is Opera. Today, pics are not rendering correctly. Well, most aren’t rendering at all. I had to scroll down to the articles dated 09/14 to see pics. Apparently you’ve made a change. :)

    Having said all that, I will add: Keep up the good work. I will see you again tomorrow, as I do every morning.

  38. Bob Levy

    Dottech is a wealth of information that I read everyday, However, I am not liking the “new articles on dotTech” email.
    I make the assumption that Windows, iStuff, Android and general are the audience. I suspect Android and iStuff are seperate.
    Personally, i would prefer multiple daily emails with the subject
    new articles on dotTech – windows
    new articles on dotTech – Android
    new articles on dotTech – iStuff
    new articles on dotTech – General
    This would make it much more efficient for me to pick which email I wish to read.
    (iStuff is my name for anything Apple)

  39. Leslie

    @Ashraf:

    The recent changes are excellent. I love the fact that you have standarized the subject lines/category for each post.

    @everyone else
    For those who complain about receiving too many emails per day, this is what I have done. PLEASE READ ……….

    In each and every post since the 13th March this year there has been a link telling you how to get a single email per day containing all the new posts in the previous 24 hours. I missed it too so don’t be hard on yourself.

    Anyway, I have now subscribed to dottech using that method.

    BUT to avoid missing out on any freebies that dottech might publish which could end before you get that single email – rather than unsubscribe from my daily emails (as suggested by Ashraf), I have used the fantastic customization page to allow me to receive a single email per Freebie.

    I have been setup this way for the last 2 days, so far it it looking very good indeed.

  40. incenseman

    @Carleton:

    LoL I share your frustration at registering at so many sites….Some I don’t mind and want to register (such as here) others really piss me off….such as having to reg before you can buy from a site or reg before you can find shipping charges…..I often leave those sites and go another. I have several email addys I use just to cut down the spam from sites that demand a reg…

  41. Dazed & Confused

    My honest opinion is that it is way too difficult to quickly scan with the new format and with the added content, things get overlooked. Adding categories or a summary box for each category with the articles listed in chronological order would help a lot.

    So, do I like the new look? Sadly, no.

  42. Mags

    I have a morning ritual whereby I have my morning coffee and check a few sites, Dottech being one of them. I’ve seen this site go through a number of changes, and see it as growing pains.

    Not only that but through this site also seen how Ashraf has grown up and matured.

    As a regular here I like the fact that you truly appreciate your readers and that you take the time to ask for their input. That is one of the reasons why I consider this site a community, rather than just an info site.

    As for my opinion to the latest changes:

    My only main concern is what I consider information overload. This being that there is far too much new info every day, and it continues to increase.

    My suggestion is to cut back in some areas. Such as, rather than providing 3 free apps per OS/Phone etc. every day, cut back to just one a day.

    As for the info articles, some interest me, others don’t. And I’m sure it is the same with others. Why not have a poll to see what kind of articles your readers prefer to see most. Or maybe a survey to see what kind of articles readers would like to see.

    Just my thoughts.

  43. Kathryn

    I like the OS at the beginning, easier to go to just the articles you are looking for. Also, would appreciate more on Blackberry. I am a lover/user of BB and like to keep up with what is going on.
    The only other suggestion is to put a date on when the Amazing Photo of the Day was taken.

  44. fajohn2

    Hi Ashraf,

    Could you add a reference to whether the program contains in app purchases. I try to avoid most apps with these. Seems MANY are going this direction. Thanks.

    As always… visit your terrific site every day…

    john

  45. Carleton

    Ashraf!

    I love the new design! Visually appealing, easy navigation, and above all better (more concise) articles. The only thing I will forever despise is yet another website one must register and log into.

    Why can’t one visit and drop in (so to speak) without the hassle of yet another registration?

    Keep up the great work!

  46. incenseman

    I came here thru Giveaway Of The Day a long time ago…..I have enjoyed the super (truthful) reviews and you have become my go to site for all programs and now tech information. What you provide is priceless for me and you have done nothing but improve and evolve.

    Some folks like to nit pick about the slightest changes to any thing that changes. I still know people using Windows 3 or ME because they hate change of any sort. One may never please them with any change no matter how slight it is.

    Please keep on doing what you do so well and evolve where it takes you. After all it is YOUR talent to be several steps ahead of the cutting edge and it is YOUR talent to be able to report to the rest of us not only what you have found, but how well it hits the mark!
    Your information and reviews are SPOT ON! Follow your vision!

  47. Eric

    Oh no, Ashraf! Does this mean we are not going to see any more articles like “Casio releases pictures of latest calculator”, “Timex unveils latest stop watch”, and “Google CFO prefers oatmeal to cereal for breakfast.” Those articles are the only reason I started reading Dottech in the first place.LOL
    On a more serious note you are doing a great job with the site but I do have a few suggestions.
    Since Locutus still refers to those articles as Windows Software of the day, why not post links to the individual articles in the old WSOTD section that is collecting dust? That would make it much easier to find them in the future or if we miss a day or two.
    I like the sidebar with recent posts but the bottom of the page only has 5 recent comments. I wish there was a link to a page with more comments like 50 or all in the previous 24 hours. I have lost some of these in the past to the browser refreshing or whatever and never could remember enough to search for it.
    Add email subscription options to bottom of article, like email every comment, email once a day, email once every x days. Also an option to get all of our subscriptions to multiple articles included in one email a day and make these emails easier to read.
    Thanks for your great website and the continuous improvements you make to it.

  48. AFPhys

    I am relatively new to the site (8 months or so I guess) to put my remark in perspective.

    I preferred the old method of grouping all the software review articles each day – so there was one article with three software recommendations instead of three separate articles for “android”, “windows”, etc.

  49. sgrams

    I’ve been coming here for a couple of years now, I enjoyed the way it was and I enjoy the way it is now, I believe the basics are the same which is what I appreciate.

    I don’t have an android device or Windows 8 yet but I do appreciate the news on them, they are in my future and your articles on them help me to learn about them.

    I find it easy to breeze through your website articles clicking on those that interest me. I also like the column on the right side of the page to visit recent posts.

  50. Sin Chu

    As a regular daily visitor here I appreciate all that you do. Since you are asking for feedback here are my comments (IMHO).
    What I have noticed is the constant changes lately. First you placed items for windows or android on the right column then you changed and placed under the headings above then back to the right columns.
    The main section seems that it rarely changes so perhaps move the items on the right column to the main section so every day it looks updated. Also as I have no use for ios items place android/ios/windows etc in their own section.
    Again Ashraf we enjoy this site, many thanks.

  51. riezo haibane

    Well, for me
    1. To much article 1 day. Really to much for me. Maybe 1 article for 1 category? I’am not always staring my monitor I mean
    2. Can u make reply from email feature? Of course u must write article on that email. Sometimes people mobile and not really want open browser while mobile. Such as blacberry user like me

    Well, this is just my opinion.

    Riezo Haibane