We’ve seen a significant drop off in the commenting and usage of TheAmpHour.com. Not so much so that we’re worried about the site being broken, as much we are worried about offering a sub-par experience. So, if you have any feedback on any or all of the points below, please leave them in the comments.
- How does TheAmpHour.com load for you? Fast? Slow? Not at all? Have you seen it improving or worsening over time (specifically the past few weeks)?
- Do you use the Discuss Server? Do you regularly use the EEVblog forums?
- What do you think about the layout of the pages? Do you find the lab-bench look impedes or enhances your reading of the site?
- Is there anything else you’d like to see on the site that would make it more enjoyable for you?
- Are there any components of the show that you find lacking or could be improved?
That’s a lot of open ended questions. Please be civil, but honest, in your responses. We don’t expect to be able to change everything you don’t like, but we’ll look into all of them. Thanks in advance for your help!
I think that you guys are doing a great job. I don’t frequent the page to leave comments but I still love the show.
One thing I believe that will engage the audience is if you do the show live and add a chat room element. This does not have to be used as a question asking feature during the show, but more to involve the audience in the execution of the show and allow them to chat in real time with their peers about the topics at hand.
John Schuch @JohnS_AZ says
Amphour.com loads fast and fine, always has for me. The pages look good and there isn’t anything I’d suggest changing. I mostly come here when I want to find a link for something you mentioned in the show. Guess I usually only comment when you piss me off.
I’m on the EEVBlog forums pretty regularly. The Discuss server , well, can’t say I like it. I like the concept, just don’t like the look/feel of the page.
As for the show, can’t think of anything I’d add or change. (Jeeze, I sound like a fanboy). But seriously, love the show, never miss it, and recommend it often.
John Schuch @JohnS_AZ says
Oh … I -DO- despise the fact that this comment system won’t let me put lines between my paragraphs.
Carlos Cuevas says
I find the discussion server rather confusing, but I love the SMF EEVBlog forum 😛 mainly because I’ve been using SMF for years.
I mainly hear the podcast by coming here and hitting *play* while I do other random stuff, I would love a bigger timeline bar (or however it’s called) to precisely rewind when I want to pay attention to some topic in particular.
The nature of guests means they are inherently specialists and talking about a field which few listeners have much experience in, so it is difficult to add anything constructive other than “good show”. They can rather turn into a 90-minute lecture on a single subject. Interesting, but very difficult to comment without seeming to be a bit of a know-all (or an idiot) and the format of the comments area (no paragraphs or text formatting) and the discussion areas doesn’t really promote repeated interaction beyond a comment after listening to the show. I would love to see/hear an experimental “live” Amp hour.
Carmen Parisi says
I think I’d have to agree with you. Well put.
Ethan Perrin says
I’m a 14 year old engineer, listen to the show every time. The show is very entertaining. I find the discussion server somewhat confusing, but the main site loads fast and looks great. A live show as mentioned above would be cool, as well as maybe highlighting something from the forums or answering project questions you like? But as it is the show is great 🙂
Henrik Sandaker Palm says
I usually never go here. I subscribe to your podcast in iTunes, which in turn syncs to my iPod. If I go here it’s for the links in the show notes, but I usually just google them to hit the sites faster than looking through the notes. I don’t use eevblog forum, and not yet comfortable with the discuss thing.
Since I stopped commuting to work by train I stopped listening on a regular basis. I simply just forgot. Now I have saved up nearly 8+ episodes for me to enjoy on the plane to Australia in September, and I’m really looking forward to catching up!
2. Discuss: No. EEVBlog Forum: Sometimes.
3. Layout: Good enough. However, I found the episode links list very confusing when I first started visiting this site. Maybe add a sub-heading to the link lists of like “Links from Episode”.
4. More intuitive episode names. I like the unique names, but it’s difficult to remember, “have I listened to Gouging Green Gardyloo yet?”
5. Nope. Love the interviews. The more episodes, the better.
As for the names, I couldn’t remember them when they were normal :->
The number format we use here and on my blog is more useful for remembering and following episodes.
Website is fast, no problems there. I don’t use the discuss, find it a bit confusing and not that usefull, there are better solutions.
Forum sometimes, I mostly use beyondpod or mobile app for my fix of the Amp Hour podcast. I would love a EEVblog android app.
A live show would be great but there would be some problems with time zones I guess to keep everyone happy.
I like the interviews, very interesting people!
Thanks for a good show!
website is fine, but discuss server is crap, don’t like it at all. Much prefer eevblog forum.
The website is fine, but is hard to use on mobile (I always listen theamphour on mobile phone while driving, in my bed or so)
Thank you for this good content, hope you’ll continue until 1024th episode 🙂
I’m relatively new to the site (a couple of months), I found it via EEVblog. But I have not followed it much, I’m just turned-off too much by the titles.
I need titles to describe the contents of an episode, thats their main purpose. At AmpHour there seems to be a contest for a funny title, but the information gets lost in the process.
For example ‘Temperative Tegmen Temperature’ is somehow related to temperature, but to know more you have fire up the video. This does not work out for me.
I think you’re experiencing the same thing a lot of sites (particularly those with forums) are; These days people are more likely to pull information (RSS, podcasts, video, Twitter) than participate. I have witness several forums with high participation add an RSS feature only to watch participation dissipate. It’s a catch-22. RSS means people can read more posts, but there are fewer posts to read because no one is writing. My CAD0.02
I love the podcast but I have only ever used this site to check the show notes. I have also tried to use it as an index to previous episodes but without a search function it’s not very easy to find which episodes cover any particular topic.
One thing that might increase the number of visitors is if Dave were to add a link to it from the EEVBlog homepage!
Hi, I think the show is great, as I think I said before.
On the comments, one thing I just notice was that you have to actually click on a post in order to see the comments, and there are not even a hint on the main page that someone has made a comment at all at a specific post. Comments are simply put hidden at the front page, and since all text of the post is there, most people will never explicitly click on the post, that I think leads to less comments…
Solution? Maybe shortening the amount of “body text” shown of each article on the main page will create more views on the comment section that is then showed after users have clicked the article? Or just in some way or form show that it is even possible to comment at a post, at the main page.
Discuss Server, I think it is a good effort, but maybe the format could be looked over. Not sure if I have a better solution, but one direction could be to target/marked/design it more specifically at “link sharing”? Or some other kind of niche usage to differentiate it? Now I think people have a hard time to understand what it is used for. Even though it is not only meant as a link sharing page, it could bring comments and discussions with it by nature if there is a comment functionality.
In general, I just want to ask you to try and keep an open mind and don’t get to “open source loving”, or more specifically that you don’t get to “commercial/closed hating”. I’m not saying that you are that at the moment, just putting out a voice to make sure you stay open to both worlds as I think you have been from the start.
As a listener that have heard every episode from day one I have noticed somewhat of a “sliding trend” now in the end thought. In particular in the last episode (106) I reacted quite strongly on Daves comment basically saying if it is not open source / open hardware we should not discuss it… This was at 20:30-21:30. I know it might have been a little specific to that type of product in this case, but I just wanted to speak up a little for that. To be clear, I have nothing to do with that product, I have not even checked it out now, I don’t sell open nor closed products (still a student) but it was the general attitude that made me a little worried that Dave might be losing a little of one of (from my perspective) his strongest characteristic. That is, looking for the best tool for the job, not being pro/only open nor pro/only closed.
So yeah, long rant, but keep it real guys, great show in general. Don’t take the comments on Dave and the last episode too seriously, I know it might have been special circumstances. The fact remains thought that not being “in the system” in the same way as before might effect an engineers view of things without yourself noticing it… If everyone around you only talk about and praise projects from genre ABC then you might lose your perspective on genre DEF.
Ps. I use almost only use open source software, my point is just that it’s good to have an open mind. All closed software is not evil, and many times almost no one reads the code anyway, they just don’t want to pay for it… Open API and/or something similar I think should be a good requirement for any project/tool if it applies well. Ds.
1) How does TheAmpHour.com load for you?
Fast, no access problem appat for the known downtimes
2) Do you use the Discuss Server?
No, I find it confusing. I tried a few times and it lacks a clear interface, I feel like I’m missing some info to really make something out of it.
3) Do you regularly use the EEVblog forums?
No. I already follow a lot of forums and it’s very time consuming. I would love to, but I know that once I start, I can’t stop 🙂
4) What do you think about the layout of the pages?
It’s a bit flashy and 90’s-like to my taste, but that’s only my taste.
5) Is there anything else you’d like to see on the site that would make it more enjoyable for you?
A better comment engine (a little bit more BBCode/HTML wouldn’t hurt)
6) Are there any components of the show that you find lacking or could be improved?
I really like the show and the interaction between you two. The naming, really ? It was fun at the start, but now it’s just confusing and really hard to read (english is not my main language). It may be fun to find those names, but they really hinder my ability to find a specific episode (like when I want to listen again to “that show with that guest”). I don’t just read the titles anymore, they’re like a torture for my left brain. I love to have the show references on the site, please don’t touch that. A little detail : the mp3 metada are not very consistent, but that’s a minor inconvenience.
As I already read in those comments, I tend not to comment on show with guests, As I don’t feel worthy of it. Those shows are so interesting and on such a level (but still very entertaining), that I don’t feel my witty “great show” would add anything of value.
Eric Arers says
1) How does TheAmpHour.com load for you? Fast? Slow? Not at all?
OK, I have a slow ISP.
2) Have you seen it improving or worsening over time (specifically the past few weeks)?
I don’t check often enough to notice differences.
3) Do you use the Discuss Server?
Am I mad? That pile of confusing shit for kids with medical conditions? No thanks.
And while we are at it, this comment function here isn’t great either. It is the year 2012 and your still use rubbish were one can’t even insert an empty line to separate paragraphs.
4) Do you regularly use the EEVblog forums?
No, not enough time and to many clueless kids.
5) What do you think about the layout of the pages?
Ugly, but I don’t care much.
6) Do you find the lab-bench look impedes or enhances your reading of the site?
It looks unrealistic, filthy and especially the blue background is ugly, but I don’t care much.
7) Is there anything else you’d like to see on the site that would make it more enjoyable for you?
Drop the stupid episode titles, get the comment system fixed, get a modern layout.
8) Are there any components of the show that you find lacking or could be improved?
Most important, structure your podcasts better and present them more structured. They are like a one hour continous stream of words. Get a few hints from radio broadcasters who at least pause half a second when they switch topic. And that’s just the minimum.
Prepare yourself for your podcasts better. Especially do some research before. Even for topics you think you know, and of course for stuff you don’t know. Just making random claims when you are at the end of your knowledge or a “uhm” isn’t good enough. For example, whenever you talk about open source licenses (or cars) you get something wrong. Either spend a few hours to at least once read the licenses you are talking about, or shut up. You are not lawyers, so don’t give legal advice.
Stop interrupting guests when they start to talk about something interesting, especially if all you have to add is your own “me-too experience”. This applies more to Dave, who just can’t keep his pie hole shut. Again, get some hints from radio broadcasters or TV hosts how to interview people.
Recently the podcasts got rather boring. Just the same old, same old.
Chris Gammell says
Now with line breaks!
Chris Gammell says
Testing the html-y-ness of this all
Chris Gammell (@Chris_Gammell) says
Trying out the Twitter login. Pretty nifty.
Chris Gammell says
Facebook too. Dandy!
I love the show but have never really commented, I just come here for links and stuff. I wouldn’t miss a week – I actually hang out for each weeks new show! You guys do a great job and the guests are excellent. From a radio-show perspective I think the dynamics between you two are great – good cop/bad cop kind of thing. I think maybe you could explain a few concepts more when you are talking about them – don’t forget a lot of us out here are still in the early phase of our electronics lives! The discuss server is still too ugly for me to use. I like the concept though.
Keep up the great work both of you.
Hi chris, hi all.
1) Download speed? Cannot comment, I use iTunes. It is the best and maybe the only way to listen to the shows.
2) Discuss server, NO. EEVblog forums, rarely. I would love to but I do not have much time to follow.
3) Layout, ok. But the whole css of the page makes it uncomfortable to read. In my opinion it should be minimalistic and designed in a way that it is always clear what’s happening. For example: it is not clear when you are reading a post or a reply to a post.
The header is ok, I like it.
4) I find the way episodes are listed in the EEVblog site somehow better in the following sense: At the homepage each episode should have its title and an abstract (it may include some image as the photo of a guest, etc.) , and then a link to a page of the episode itself were all the links and comments are posted.
5) Guest are like the icing on the cake on the episodes. Don’t get me wrong, they are always great and I do not miss a single one. Keep it up.
I hope I am being helpfull. CH!
I agree with the majority here, site & show is good!
Maybe you should start doing the shows as a YouTube live show in addiction to the regular site. That way, you could make the show more user interactive and have live comments and what not 🙂
One of best electronics show in internet. Site loads fast. I never used discus server or forum but I think it is a good idea. And I don’t like the header image. It looks old.
Overall I think you guys are doing gr8.
I agree with everyone else who thinks that the show titles have become a bit of a chore; I’d much prefer descriptive titles like “The Amp Hour #54 with special guest Jack Ganssle” or “Episode #666 Broadcast live from The ISS”. Regarding the show itself, I think you’ve got a very listenable formula that works. I actually enjoy the unstructured nature of the show and the fact that you rarely make it all the way through the list of topics you plan to discuss – too much structure can strangle the life out of things and when you both start riffing on a subject it works just fine.You’ve had some great guests on the show too, keep that up.
I subscribe via iTunes although sometimes I’ll listen though my laptop at work or when I’m actually doing some soldering/tinkering. Do you know what % of your listeners are professional (i.e. qualified/employed) engineers versus amateur tinkerers/makers?
The discuss server is down a lot isn’t it? It works fine when it’s up(!) I read the EEVblog forum now and again when I’ve got the time.
Open source is the future. I don’t think Dave championing open source hardware and choosing to ignore some closed-source kit it is a bad thing – it’s the spirit of the age isn’t it?
How does TheAmpHour.com load for you? I listen to the Amphour at my computer whist Iwork (Iam at home) The path the show travels is torured,(VPN, firewalls, AU to US etc) but I never have problems with getting the show streamed
Do you use the Discuss Server? The disuss server sucks. I can’t work it out, and the one time I posted I got no response. prefer the EEVBplog style forum
What do you think about the layout of the pages? I like the site layout. It works for me
Is there anything else you’d like to see on the site that would make it more enjoyable for you? Apart from page three girls (Thats so un PC and so Brtish)
Are there any components of the show that you find lacking or could be improved? I listen to the show for two reasons 1) entertainment – Dave and Chris have a great rapport and the one hour just goes by so quickly. 2) new information – Chris’and Dave’s experience is vast. I have learnt many techniques and found new products through the Amphour.
Someone mentioned it earlier – I am a member of a number of forums, websites etc and I have noticed in the last 6 months or so that the activity on all of them has diminshed to only a few posts per day, when a year ago they were getting 10-20 posts per day. Are people just getting over the novelty of posting? Have all the questions that need to be asked been adressed?
Adam Ward says
The show is great and always has been, however your choice for the discussion server format is terrible (imo) – so I don’t use that and now since few people talk on the suggestions page of the amp hour main site any more I don’t go there either.
I agree with the point Mike made earlier that “The nature of guests means they are inherently specialists and talking about a field which few listeners have much experience in, so it is difficult to add anything constructive other than “good show”.”
I’ll try to post remarks on the per-show feedback comments form in future, I’ve been slacking lately.
This is a general comment about all forums. I lessened my posting on forums because I noticed people are not reading and replying and instead just write. You can tell when they repeat what you just said, on the same thread, as though they never read it. (I don’t mean that is my experience here).
It seems to take a core family of people, who know each other and reply to each other, to sustain a forum and that draws in participation.
I download from theamphour.com reliably, and I watch ChipTV on youtube. I enjoy it all without posting a comment. I don’t regularly participate on any electronics blob forums. I check in on societyofrobots.com forum sometimes.
How does TheAmpHour.com load for you?
Never had problem with speed.
Do you use the Discuss Server?
No, I don’t have time!
Do you regularly use the EEVblog forums?
Used to, but I have been pissed off by strong egos, like most of the time in forums. I don’t post any more there for this reason: too much rant, I like being positive!
What do you think about the layout of the pages?
Don’t change it! it looks perfect on my own bench!
Is there anything else you’d like to see on the site that would make it more enjoyable for you?
Please add a “suggestion box”: a place where people can send you suggestions for the next show. Use it or drop it, but this may lead you to explore new things.
Are there any components of the show that you find lacking or could be improved?
I love interviews: my favorites: Jeri’s and Øyvind Janbu, CTO of Energy Micro
Rarely come on the site, usually just for links after listening to the show in the car, I get the podcasts from itunes synced to the ipod. I don’t use the ‘discussion server’ it’s ugly and confusing, I prefer the section in the eevblog forum, keep everything in one place.
Otherwise a great show, good to have a laugh and different perspective after a long days work, keep up the good work!