Home Forums All Things Romance It's a new AAR! What do you think?

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    • Dabney Grinnan
      Keymaster
      Post count: 128

      Welcome to All About Romance,

      AAR was created in 1997 and since then has offered unbiased book reviews, author interviews, industry commentary and much more to romance readers.

      We are a team of readers and writers from all over the world who share one thing: a love of books, especially those focused on romance–and sex and love and intimacy–you get the gist! Our goal? To be the place romance readers come to read about and talk about romance novels.

      So whether you’re here for the reviews, the interviews, the message boards, the blogs, the steals and deals, or just to tell the world what you think, we’re glad you’re here. We hope to see a lot of you!

      Dabney Grinnan
      Publisher
      All About Romance

    • BJ Jansen
      Participant
      Post count: 4

      I think is wonderful – clean and crisp but friendly as well. I can’t wait to see comments directly under reviews and see the message boards start to fill up. Well done Dabney and team.

      • Mary Skelton
        Post count: 350

        I think the new site is much more user friendly. All of the tabs are relevant and being able to comment directly on the review page is a huge plus in my opinion. I cannot wait for the world at large to see the new AAR.

    • Maria Rose
      Post count: 350

      I love the new look! Easy to get around and very functional, while at the same time pleasing to the eye. All the hard work to get it set up will definitely pay off.

    • Sonia
      Post count: 350

      I like this new look but will take time to get used to it.
      Will the threads from the old forum be saved, would the old forum be available for read only? What abut the cover cafe archives?

    • Sarah
      Post count: 350

      Will there still be a forthcoming list on the new site? And if so, where is it??

      As for the new site, it looks really nice – crisp, clean, & modern. I do have a couple of comments & suggestions –

      first, I find the font, against the bright white, is a a little (to a lot, depending on how tired I am) hard to read unless I really increase the size of the page (thus increasing the size of the font). I love the font, which is gorgeous to look at, but it’s a bit light/thin for easy reading. If there’s a medium weight, it might be easier to read; if this is the medium weight, perhaps a demi bold would work. This is going to especially be a problem for anyone with even the slightest vision issues – I know my 89yo MiL could never read this as there’s much too little contrast between the letters & the background.

      second, on my first glance at the home page, I wasn’t sure where I was or what the site was because all I saw were the books (which look like the Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought section of Amazon) & the colored dots with grades in them. Those two sections are SO much more vividly colored that the rest of the home page that I didn’t even notice the rest of it at first. I was also quite confused as to what all the circles with grades in them were at first as there’s no header for them ( as in “Newest Reviews” or “Most Recent Reviews” or even “Recent Reviews” or whatever it is these are). Once I figured it out, it was ok but having things clear for a new user, or an very old one (like me) who sees the new site for the first time, can make a big difference as to whether someone stays & explores your site (yes, I used to design & review sites so sorry for going on about this! I guess I did it so long it’s become habit!!).

      And finally, the ‘if I had my d’ruthers’
      – I’d love to see the On the Blog section in the sidebar above the comments section. For me, personally, I’m much more interested in seeing what’s on the blog without having to click through than I am in the comments (though I’m likely the only one).
      – And I would love to see the Also New at AAR section back as part of the home page. I know the reviews are really important but I loved having a quick glimpse at what else was going on around the site!

      So, congratulations on both the new site & the new URL & I’m looking forward to exploring the site further!

    • Sarah
      Post count: 350

      Whoops – I just saw your link to the Beta Testing form in the other forum. Should I post the above there?

    • PatW
      Post count: 350

      Is there a way to move from a Topic thread back to list of other Topics on the message board without using the back button on my browser? I found that a very handy feature on the old message board setup

    • Sandlynn
      Post count: 350

      I’m not sure how one registers to post to this board. I’m just going to write a message and see what happens….

    • tigz
      Post count: 350

      Welll since you asked…

      Regarding the new layout of the site, the font color/weight is horrible. It needs to be darker.

      The forum has lost functionality in comparison to the old forum since you can’t view users’ profiles or send PMs, keep track of unread posts through a single link, and can’t quote messages. If I’m somehow overlooking where these functions are and they are present, apologies. I’d be glad for someone to correct me.

    • Blackjack1
      Post count: 350

      I agree the font is too light.

      I have been having trouble copying and pasting text into the comment box in that the system is not permitting. Also, it would be helpful to be able to edit text. Not sure if that is possible though.

    • Eliza
      Post count: 350

      I’m reposting here what I posted on the older board:

      Maggie AAR wrote:
      First, my apologies for the confusion and kerfluffle. As a staff member I registered but right now users don’t have to register. Sorry.

      1. Go to the boards, which are located under the header Connections
      2. Choose the Msg. Board you want to post under. We essentially have the same ones as before.
      3. To post to an existing topic you enter your name email(called Mail on the site) and the message. Then hit submit. You should be good to go!
      3. To post a new topic you enter your name email(called Mail on the site) Topic Title and the message. Then hit submit. You should be good to go!

      They really are very similar to these boards, so you shouldn’t have any problem.

      Thank you for the info. I have a couple more questions if you don’t mind.

      1. What is the “login” feature at the bottom of the home page for then?

      2. There is checkbox there that says “keep me signed in” and although I keep trying to eliminate the check mark in the box, it always reverts to staying logged in. Is that a bug or am I doing something wrong? Also what is that Log In feature for if we do what you just described?

      3. On the message board threads, once you enter your name and website it remains there without anyway to delete it that I can see, which I take as still being logged on. Is there a way to log out from the message boards that continue to have your name and email?

      Some different questions:

      1. Will there be a PM option?
      2. Will there be an edit function for when one (1) realizes a mistake that needs to be fixed, or (2) the ability to ETA to add additional information to an existing post without having to repeat parts of the topic in a another new post?
      3. When one writes a post, there are icons at the top to use. I obviously know b, i, and ul, but could you tell us what the other are for. I apologize if it is obvious to everyone else, but thank you for your help.
      4. One last likely dumb question–sorry–Is the reply bottom on each post a replacement from hitting “quote” on this board?

      I apologize if I’m missing the obvious but sincerely do appreciate your help.

      ETA: I just fixed two typos I made when I first posted this. Mark it up to my having been an editor. Smile

      ETA2: On this news site, I tried a reply but it didn’t indent. Is that correct?
      :
      ETA3: I agree that the white background and font chosen is tough on the eyes.

      ETA4: I also find it hard to distinguish between a comma and a period since both are so small.

      • Kayne
        Post count: 350

        Eliza, Did you figure out how to get back in to edit a post after it’s been posted? Thanks.

    • library addict
      Post count: 350

      ETA2: On this news site, I tried a reply but it didn’t indent. Is that correct?

      While direct replies can be nice, I’m glad the comments aren’t threaded. New posts always at the bottom are so much easier to keep track of.

      ETA3: I agree that the white background and font chosen is tough on the eyes.

      ETA4: I also find it hard to distinguish between a comma and a period since both are so small

      I’ll second or third both of these.

    • Eliza
      Post count: 350

      Thank you, maggie, for your answers, The links you gave me looked like HMTL,
      something I’m unfamiliar with, so I hope you don’t mind if I try out bold, italic, underline and quote–
      those I’m most likely to use here.:

      Boldface
      Italic

        Underline

      Quote

    • Eliza
      Post count: 350

      Okay, UL is something else, How about <U> for underline?

    • Eliza
      Post count: 350

      <U> underline </U>

    • Eliza
      Post count: 350

      No, I didn’t figure how to edit here,, Kayne. The part of my post that I did edit was at the old site.

    • chris booklover
      Post count: 350

      I also believe that the font used on this new site is too light, especially against such a light background.

    • Sonya Heaney
      Post count: 350

      I do like the new look very much, but… Well, I feel a little like I wasted my time posting on the old message boards in the last few days… Was there any warning that I missed? After RT Magazine just emailed me *after* sending out their last ever issue, telling me – “whoops, sorry, not making our magazine anymore even though we took your subscription money” – I feel a little… :( in general about the romance community at the moment

      I do think nobody new is going to realise there’re message boards here unless you actually have something saying *Message Boards* on the front page. The romance genre needs places for discussion, seeing as they all seem to be disappearing nowadays, and I think you’d find more new users if you made it more obvious.

    • Clutterconqueror
      Post count: 350

      Also having trouble reading the font. Everything else looks lovely.

    • JulieR
      Post count: 350

      I also agree with other posters about the font on the stark white background.

      And I think someone else already mentioned it, but I really miss the “View posts since your last visit” option. Without it, keeping up with message board posts is going to be much more difficult. Ideally, I’d view the boards every day and then the date/time of the last post shown for each topic would be helpful. But sometimes it’s several days between visits, and I can’t remember how many. Was it three? Or five? Without knowing that (which the old site used to tell me) I can’t tell what posts I’ve already seen.

    • library addict
      Post count: 350

      Will you be able to move the TV show threads to the new forum or will they need to be restarted?

    • HBO
      Post count: 350

      I understand the site is still in Beta-testing, and that a new version will roll out this fall (according to an AAR tweet that appeared on the home page) but my first suggestion is that AAR have ONE page for suggestions/comments on the new site, instead of having multiple “what do you think of our new site” pages–it’s hard to keep track of/remember the many pro/con suggestions that are meant to help improve the site. Also, in the last few days I have found the new site is slow uploading, and switching pages, too, is slow, and this time I can say “it’s not me/my computer,” lol.

      While the new AAR site appears fresh and modern, I find the homepage “too” busy, cluttered. What I am interested in (book reviews) is lost amongst the double-sided side bars, which I have noticed change daily–yesterday, for example the “steals & deals” were on the right side of the page; today it’s on the left. I’d rather see more about books (though I do like that they are labelled/categorised) and about “what’s on the blog” than about who’s commenting on what or seeing the Twitter feed. And the formatting of the “New Reviews” page appears, at least to me, almost like it’s in 3-d.

      I do like the banner colour, but the vast amount of “white space” against the light font is hard on the eyes. Navigation of the site has become less user-friendly, especially in the forum section, which is now called Connections on the front page. If I were new to the site, I wouldn’t know what that meant. A drop-down box listing the different forums may simplify this, instead of having to go back and forth between page forums. And I know you cannot accommodate every issue, but for those of us who have memory problems, a banner at the top of a forum page that says what forum one is in, would be helpful, like the old site.
      I’d like see “time and date” reflect on individual posts/discussion topics within a particular forum, rather than how it shows right now.

      Also, considering that a person can now post a comment on anything featured on the home page, does that mean that “let’s talk” forum will eventually become obsolete with V2? Or less used, might be a better way to phrase it.

      I have yet to try the “quotes” button function, though I did hit the “reply” button to a poster and my comment showed up as an in individual post. I am not the most tech-savvy person, so I’ll second the suggestion for a F & Q page on tech-stuff that the new site is still ironing out. And I’ll second those, who are far more knowledgeable than I when it comes to web-design, etc., that offered ways to improve the site in terms of functionality.

    • Sandlynn
      Post count: 350

      Just in case this gets lost in the “Reading Challenge” thread, I tried to submit a review I just wrote for the challenge and I got this message:

      Forbidden
      You don’t have permission to access /forums/topic/sweet-16-reading-challenge/ on this server.

      Why might this be happening? Is there a problem with cutting and pasting from Word or from somewhere else, because I pre-write my posts somewhere else so I can correct mistakes before I submit my comments to the board. And/or is there a problem with length? Do we need to chop up posts if they get “too lengthy?” I’m just trying to figure out why it won’t post once I hit submit.

    • Sandlynn
      Post count: 350

      Answered my own question. (I’d put this in the message above, but I don’t think we have the ability to edit our messages.)

    • Eliza
      Post count: 350

      I’m obviously denser than usual tonight, Sandlynn. What did you figure out?

    • Blackjack
      Post count: 350

      Sandlynn…”Forbidden
      You don’t have permission to access /forums/topic/sweet-16-reading-challenge/ on this server.

      Why might this be happening? Is there a problem with cutting and pasting from Word or from somewhere else, because I pre-write my posts somewhere else so I can correct mistakes before I submit my comments to the board. And/or is there a problem with length? Do we need to chop up posts if they get “too lengthy?” I’m just trying to figure out why it won’t post once I hit submit.”

      That’s the same message I get when I try to post book reviews. I tried again today and had the same message.

    • Sandlynn
      Post count: 350

      I think it’s length. If you go to the challenge thread, you can see what I posted. If you respond, don’t be lengthy. ;-)

    • HBO
      Post count: 350

      Sandlynn said:

      Is there a problem with cutting and pasting from Word or from somewhere else,

      When I tried to cut & paste my critique of AAR’s new website into AAR’s formal “submit” page, I encounter a 404 error or a timed out response or some such. I even tried cutting the length, too, but to no avail.

      As for the BIG move last week, the new site, as far as I can tell, is still very much in beta-testing, with V2 coming this fall (according to AAR tweets)

      And while I commenting, I am now doing so from my iPad, and if the powers-that-be are reading this, I cannot expand or reduce the size of the forum pages–something I’ve never encountered with any other website.

    • Eliza
      Post count: 350

      And while I commenting, I am now doing so from my iPad, and if the powers-that-be are reading this, I cannot expand or reduce the size of the forum pages–something I’ve never encountered with any other website.

      Great point, HBO. The reverse is true too. The box size stays the same even if there is just one line of text in it. It may look nice and uniform but I find it cumbersome, what with more paging up and down,

      I’d also like to see the CONNECTION box be a dropdown like the old board so there’s no so many keystrokes to maneuver between the boards. Obviously I’m one more for fewer keystrokes and ease of maneuvering which ends with faster results.

    • Karat
      Post count: 350

      I understand the site is still in Beta-testing, and that a new version will roll out this fall (according to an AAR tweet that appeared on the home page) but my first suggestion is that AAR have ONE page for suggestions/comments on the new site, instead of having multiple “what do you think of our new site” pages–it’s hard to keep track of/remember the many pro/con suggestions that are meant to help improve the site.

      I second this suggestion.

    • Karat
      Post count: 350

      I think it’s length. If you go to the challenge thread, you can see what I posted. If you respond, don’t be lengthy. 😉

      Sandlynn, I think that it might be the length, but it might also be a problem with copy and pasting from another document. When I was copying the challenges from the old website to this board, I got the same message you received (“Forbidden. You don’t have permission to access /forums/topic/sweet-16-reading-challenge/ on this server.”).
      I thought it was the length, so I decided to separate the original post in multiple separate entries. Then I realized that while some of the separate entries were still quite long (e.g., “The Basketball Edition”), I had no problems posting them, while one particular entry, “Age 16” (which was actually shorter than some of the posts I had just submitted), kept getting the same error message. And I was trying to copy it from a Word document to here. So I tried a couple of other things until one of my attempts worked: I copied the entire text from the old website to Excel as unformatted text, and then copied it back to here, and it worked… I have no idea why this particular “solution” worked, or why none of the other longer posts generated an error message. I just think the issue is not (or not just) a matter of length.

    • library addict
      Post count: 350

      I had a lot of trouble at first with length. Also, when the board first opened, I got that “forbidden” message a number of times when I tried to add italics or bold (this has since been fixed).

      I’ve been able to post my last two reviews for the reading challenge with no issues and I also write them in Word and then copy & paste (doesn’t seem to prevent me from making typos though – lol). So I don’t think it’s a copy & paste or cut & paste issue.

    • Blackjack
      Post count: 350

      I was able to copy and paste my Nalini Singh Rock Hard review today but I had to break it up into smaller segments, and so it looks like a length issue. Copying and pasting worked fine, but the long length wouldn’t post in one comment box.

    • Eliza
      Post count: 350

      I noticed the updating of new posts is not synchronized between the home page and the individual topics. Yo get around this I was re’loading the whole site, but that didn’t work, so I’m hitting refresh most of the time and that does work. Just thought I’d mention it.

    • Blackjack
      Post count: 350

      Eliza…

      “I noticed the updating of new posts is not synchronized between the home page and the individual topics. Yo get around this I was re’loading the whole site, but that didn’t work, so I’m hitting refresh most of the time and that does work. Just thought I’d mention it.”

      Thanks for that tip! It does work, though hopefully this is a problem that can be fixed by tech people soon.

    • Mark
      Post count: 350

      The behavior of the boards just got a little worse today (I’m using the Opera browser).
      I’m now having to force each page to update by hitting enter in the address bar after getting to the page. The page before might have listed x posts of y age, but when I click the link the page shows x – v posts of z age, the contents on a previous visit. It wasn’t doing this yesterday. I tried the browser reload command on one page, but that forced more activity than simply hitting enter in the address bar.

    • Eliza
      Post count: 350

      This is about the third time I’ve seen thiis bug. On the main message board it says that Sandlynn made a post 10 minutes ago, yet when you open the particular site–this one Popourri– there are no threads where Sandlynn is the last poster. IOW the main boards and the indiivudal board are out of sync–even with mutiple refreshes of the pages at both sites,

    • Eliza
      Post count: 350

      To followu up immediately on my previous post here, after that post was submitted, the Potpourri thread said 1 minute ago, and when i clicked on Potpourri box again, Sandlynn’s comment came up this time–after mine on a different thread andsaid 1 hour 10 ten minutes ago.. Very weird bug.

    • gracec
      Post count: 350

      I noticed an improvement in website loading time using IE, so thank you!

      I also love the Steals and Deals section, complete with pictures, reviews, and links. I totally blame this section for a marked increase in my Kindle books spending :)

    • Eliza
      Post count: 350

      Sometimes when I post a link I get a pic instead of the link. Since more links print correctly than not, and since I post links the same way each time, I assume it’s a bug.

    • Blackjack
      Post count: 350

      I’ve noticed in the past two days that the site needs refreshing to indicate that new posts are available, and the timing is off on the clock for when people actually submit posts.

    • Ta
      Post count: 350

      Test, because it hasn’t worked any time I’ve tried :(

      • Ta
        Post count: 350

        Darn it!

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