Weeping Dawson Leery is very sympathetic to those of you who’ve run into what feels like an ENDLESS array of dumb tech problems since our relaunch. He is also sympathetic to the tech people who’ve been scrambling to get all the post-redesign bugs ironed out, and to us for having to reassure everyone a) that we did not do this because we want Fug Nation to hate us, b) that it was in fact not our intention to make a site that doesn’t show photos, and c) that people hopefully will not run OUT of patience and stop coming here. Weeping Dawson cares about us all. He just wants everyone to get along and be happy, and also possibly for Pacey fall off the end of the earth so that Joey Potter is free and clear. We cannot help him on that front, but maybe we can with the first thing.
Because a lot of this information has been scattered across various comment sections, we thought we’d share where we are with the redesign issues that have cropped up. Our contact email is [email protected], should you need to reach out to us; you can also ping us on Twitter (@fuggirls), though we will likely say, “Please e-mail us!” because that way we can get more detailed info from you.
If you have a redirect ad/an ad that’s acting like malware, please consider sending as much information as you can, including:
- a screen grab of the offending ad; push PrtScn on a PC, and command-shift-3 on a Mac for your whole screen, or command-shift-4 to let you decide which part gets copied
- the URL it points to, or tries to take you to, or DOES take you to, if possible;
- where you are geographically (many ads are geotargeted)
- which browser and version you’re running. Not sure? Click here and let the Internet tell you.
- what you were doing on the site, and where you were browsing, when it happened. Were you on a slideshow? Did you click on a link from the homepage? Did it happen ON the homepage, and if so, did you come via Twitter, Facebook, a bookmark, Google, or directly typing it into the URL bar?
If, as happened today, slideshows aren’t showing up: This was a new one. It’s been fixed, we’re told, but tech recommends a hard refresh of the browser window. On Windows use CTRL+F5, On an Apple, use Apple + R or Command + R, and on Linux use F5. If that doesn’t work, give the ol’ cache a clearing and all that, and see if it helps. If absolutely nothing works, email us.
Comment registration not working. They are working on this right now, actually. All your registered user names ARE in the system waiting for you — if you tried again and it told you the name was taken, then it is… by YOU — and it’s just the confirmation emails that either got lost in spam filters or in the ether. The good news is, you don’t have to register to comment; all registering gets you is the use of an avatar, and POSSIBLY also the voting buttons, although I poked around in the settings today and I thought it said that was available for everyone. (If it’s not, I’ll circle back to this.) But it looks like we’ll have an answer for this soon and everyone can avatar the hell out of it.
Ability to enlarge photos on non-slideshow entries: On the list! Since it’s an add, not a fix, it will take a bit longer. I think repairs are being done before changes. It’s also tied into this other issue where we can’t write text above a photo on non-slideshow entries — or rather, we can, but then the post shows up on the homepage without art. It’s being handled, basically.
The prev post/next post buttons: Fixed and present on desktop, and in the correct spots; hopefully en route on mobile. If they’re appearing and disappearing for you, it probably is a cache thing and will be resolved soon.
The font is huge: Partly fixed! The comments, you’ll notice, are now in a smaller size. We’ve brought up shrinking the entry font as well; it’s on the list.
Jump straight to comments: DONE. Naturally, about an hour after it went live on the desktop homepage, it stopped working properly and is pointing everyone to whatever our newest entry is, which… is not the functionality we had in mind. The help ticket has been filed. It worked this morning.
But: On the homepage, there is now a cute little talk bubble under the headline that tells you how many comments an entry has, and — SOON, so soon — it will take you STRAIGHT there if you want to dive right in and talk. (It’s basically a lot like the one we had on the old site, so WELCOME BACK, old friend.) Within the post itself, you can click on that same little talk bubble OR the one at the foot of each post — on the right side — and it will leap you there. On mobile, there is a super spiffy ‘jump to comments’ feature that does the same, and it’s working swimmingly.
Those slideshow captions! They cover the photos! This has been a hot-button issue, although it seems to have calmed down a tad. Bear with me as I go through it, though, in case you still want to know. I promise nothing we did on this redesign was cynical or hasty or in pursuit of the almighty dollar (dude, if ONLY getting more almighty dollars was this simple….). Rather, for reasons pertaining to the template we have to work with, we were given only a couple choices for slideshows:
- One was putting the entire caption below the photo, which forces you to scroll downward and takes the photo off the page entirely; if you wanted to look at it while reading, the page would be jumping all the time as you scrolled up and down and back and forth. In testing, we didn’t like it.
- The second was putting the caption to the right of the photo, but in a very small frame — only big enough to show three lines at a time — and with a vertical bar, so you’d have to click click click to read it until you got to the bottom. Imagine reading one of our The Crown recaps that way. Your finger would be dead on slide four. It’s an approach I’ve railed against when I’ve run into it other places; it’s really annoying.
- Some have asked us why captions can’t go in the white space to the left and right of the photo. The answer is that those aren’t usable frames. They’re the real estate gleaned from centering a photo that doesn’t take up the entire page width (see here, how the photo stretches all the way across, leaving no room).
That leaves us with this option, which — to be honest — we personally like. However, if you hate scrolling, you can make the caption appear instantly by clicking the “i” button to the right. I find myself looking at a picture, clicking “i” to make the caption appear — it will still cover the photo, but while you’re actively reading, that seems okay? — and then clicking to take it off again and get one more look before moving to the next slide. Or, sometimes I’ll zap the caption away mid-read to check something and then bring it back to continue. The net effect: Sometimes the photo is temporarily covered by a caption, but that caption is also more legible, and the whole SITE isn’t moving around on you while requiring you to scroll up and down and all around. I truly think it’ll grow on you. I certainly hope you stick around long enough to see.
Photos aren’t appearing/are blocked/are only halfway loaded in slideshows. This should be fixed. It was conflicting with ad blockers for a while, specifically Google Chrome’s, but appears to be working now. If it is not:
- Try turning off the ad blocker and/or making sure both the homepage AND the post pages are whitelisted (Chrome is tricky about this)
- Clear the cache
- Make sure you’re using the most recent, up-to-date version of the browser
- Quit the browser entirely and reopen
If that doesn’t work, definitely email us. Important note: We are not, nor were we ever, “forcing” you to turn off your ad blocker. It has been implied that we created that bug for this reason, and nothing could be further from the truth. We have no interest in a website that only conditionally works, and nor do our tech people. We don’t know why this bug happened, because it didn’t come up in testing before we launched; it was not intentional, and all conflicts should have been resolved, should you still choose to use an ad blocker.
The fact that we’ve asked people to consider whitelisting us is a separate issue. I promise we’re as bored of yapping about that as you are of reading it, but because this came up again in the comments a few times recently, we’ll go one more round: Imagine if you got a coupon for a free McFlurry, but when you used it, the McDonald’s employee who made it had money deducted from his or her salary. That’s a bit like what ad blockers do for us. When an ad is blocked, those are lost impressions and we don’t get paid for them; the more times that happens, the less we make in a month to cover high operational costs and still leave us each something of a salary for this full-time job. The rise of ad blockers, then, complicates the bottom line for a lot of independent and smaller sites. It is not any one person’s fault. It’s just a troubling trend, and we seek only to inform and then leave you to make your own decisions.
The Internet is a unique beast, in that people don’t cut websites the same advertising slack they would a magazine (which you pay to read AND flip past ads) or TV (you pay to subscribe and sit through ads, or FF through them on DVRs and deal with product placement and those weird promotional bugs they run during shows). Alas, it is nigh on impossible for most sites — especially independent ones — to give people what they want (free content) the way they want it (no ads), because the economics of any other way do not bear fruit. I promise we’re not blind to the annoyance of malware and redirect ads. I’ve been on both sides of this issue: I’ve gotten malware warnings and misleading funky redirects elsewhere, and I’ve freaked out because my site is giving malware warnings and misleading funky redirects, and it makes me afraid no one will come here anymore. (We’re lucky that the few times those have snuck into the ad pool, our tech people have stamped them out rapidly.) But because I have a VERY personal sympathy with the economics of websites, I take the risk and do not use ad blockers. At the same time, I know that won’t be everyone’s choice, and I understand that too. It’s no one’s decision but yours, but a lot of times people don’t actually know that’s the effect of an ad blocker, so it can’t hurt to inform and then back away and let you live your lives. I don’t intend to lecture; just to answer the questions we’ve been asked. I will always defend our right to ask the favor, but also your right not to give it. And hopefully that’s the last time this even comes up, because: zzz.
Please do hang in there with us while we continue figuring out which bells and whistles work and which don’t. The good news is, when we changed the site in 2010, everyone HATED that — and there were all kinds of annoying tech issues — but now people kind of miss it. If you don’t care for our new look, ideally, in a few weeks this too shall pass and you might even forget you ever disliked it. It’s kind of like when a Hollywood actor/actress gets a new eye job: It’ll settle in eventually and feel like home.
If we didn’t convey it enough: Ad blockers or not, we appreciate EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU more than we could possibly express.
HUGS and thank you.