TTAG’s approaching its third birthday. As a firm believer in the evolve or die ethos, I’m looking to mark the occasion by updating TTAG’s design and tweaking our content. On the design front, I remain a Darwinian minimalist; we’ll be refining, rejigging and removing things rather than adding stuff or engaging in radical reinvention. The category links on the right and the most recent comments widget, for example, are on death row. As far as content is concerned, we’ll keep on doing that voodoo that we do so well. And adding entertainment. Specifically, a video box that won’t move down the page. An embedded YouTube channel if you will with less serious content that changes on a regular basis. What say you? What would you, our Armed Intelligentsia, like us to change, improve or delete? No holds barred. Meanwhile and in any case, thank you all for your continued patronage and support.

53 Responses to TTAG: What Next?

  1. Honestly, I wish you wouldn’t embed videos so much. I mostly visit on my phone and the page works really screwy when you try to comment on a page with a video.

    • I dislike videos simply because I don’t have time to sit there and stare at them. I can read a few paragraphs much more quickly than any video will ever present the same content…

      More video translates directly into fewer page views, from me, at least.

  2. As long as you keep tweeting the postings I’m good. I always know to stop scrolling when I see your avatar on my twitter iPhone app.

  3. I do like the “side scrolling” for menus on the FB app. Not sure if there are IP issues with that, but to be able to call up the menu by a sideswipe on an iPhone would be a value add, IMHO.

  4. The gun review section needs major clean up. Besides that odd window within the page, having an “old list” and another list is confusing.

    • I’m working on it. The application is actually running off different servers than TTAG, and getting the code to run on the same servers as the WordPress site is giving me a headache.

      Rest assured, I’m working on it.

      How’s the functionality, though? Are you finding whatever you’re looking for?

      • I’m not Rob, but I wanted to say what he said. I do like the “Advanced Search” function you guys added, but the interface of it all feels a bit wonky. The basic list format (Old List) should be first with the “Advanced Search” being the tab.

        • The gun review section should show which the new reviews. I have read most of the handgun reviews, don’t want to review the whole list for the new ones.

  5. Try not to over do it.Remember, content is king. Flashy razzle dazzle is just that without good content. I’m from the minimalist camp myself. Drudge and Instapundit are two staples of the internet, and they have not changed a whole lot over the years. What they do have, is stuff worth reading.

  6. I think the site design is nearly perfect, and wouldn’t change a thing.

    I like the YT embeds, I can download them and view at my leisure. Plus, everything is easy to find and reference.

    Another note: some sites that “upgrade” use color schemes that are unreadable. Purple type on a magenta background?…really?

    The only problem that I have is when I select “reply”, it shows up as a new post. It’s a small, but confusing quirk that lessens continuity.

    I vote “no change”.

  7. I like the quick links to the gun reviews & gear reviews… though I can understand why other categories might be on the chopping block.

    • I agree. Please keep the categories links. They make it much easier to find a particular gear review or a particular DGUotD or MAIG member under indictment. Yes, there’s a search function, but it’s always been more “search” and less “function” when I’ve used it.

    • Yes!!! It seems like 95% of what i see here is politics or at least politically motivated. More info, less opinion. Also I dont need to read a new post every time an anitgunner says something stupid or hypocritical. Antis are dumb, we get it.

  8. Add “like” and “dislike” buttons to the comments. After a certain amount of “dislikes” give an automatic delete to douchebag comments.

    • I’ll second that.

      The other thing that’s missing is indication of new comments since the last time you clicked on an article.

  9. The politics. Please. I understand that 2A issues are intertwined with politics – that’s fine. I’m not asking for you not to cover that side of it anymore. But the reason I like TTAG so much is that (for the most part) I can come here without seeing all the political rhetoric. And quite frankly the anti-left sentiment that pops up here at times is the main reason that I can’t recommend this site to people I know. Even the ones that like guns.

    Just because I, and other people like me, didn’t single-issue vote on this doesn’t mean that we don’t like guns and aren’t pro-2A – it just means that our other views differ. And sometimes it doesn’t seem like TTAG’s writers recognize or accept that.

    • Agreed — and I’ve noticed that the writing by the editorial contributors ranges from neutral and fair, to partisan bomb-throwing so blatant that it might earn a [FLAME DELETED] if posted as a comment by a non-editor.

    • I’ll agree with this as well. In TTAG’s defense, this site isn’t nearly as “combative” as some of the others I visit and that’s one of the reasons I enjoy it so much. I’m not one to tell another how to run his website, but I’d be happy with less politics here. I’m also in the minimalist camp and think the site looks good as it is. It’s easy to navigate without a lot of confusing menus, etc. Keep up the good work, gentlemen.

  10. A box on the right that lists the top 5 most popular (read or commented) articles. Sometimes very popular articles get pushed off the front page with other (less interesting) stuff.

    • I second this one. A top-5 or top-10 list for most read and and one for most commented articles. (Maybe the most-commented list could be time-limited so that articles older than a week or so drop off in favor of new ones.)

  11. I enjoy the TTAG very much as it is. If I had to make some suggestions, I would say some gear reviews. While it is a gun site, many other items are also used by the same demographic. Knives, gear bags, reloading equipment etc. I enjoyed the flashlight review recently. That’s it for me. I also think the politics posts are important. Sure some don’tlike them and cry, but so do babies when they have to take medicine.

    Oh maybe some boobs now and then 🙂

  12. Format-wise, keep it minimalist like it has been. I read almost exclusively from my iphone and the mobile blog format is perfect for me. No complicated add ons or ads or banners to slow it down. I just want to read the articles, watch the vids, and occasionally comment.

  13. Stop linking to models. Its a cheap tactic and reduces the validity of the content of your site. Not to mention it makes the author of the article seem incompetent of creative writing because it’s the same plug every time. Plus, every single visitor has google and can find all the bikini wearing pictures they want.

  14. I’m fine with the format of the website. Simple is good.

    Most of the issues kind of get resolved as you go it seems. I’m fine with the drama and controversy, it adds color.

    Not that it’s any of my business or that the editors are doing any of these things but since you asked, I’d say just remember to be sensitive to the fact that gun culture 3.0 reads this site so bashing liberals with a broad stroke is not so hot. Sure, bash individual nutbags for what they actually say and do relative to gun rights, that’s fine/fun/highly amusing. There was a spat of anti-cop around here a while ago. I have serious prejudices against cops myself, but again, broad strokes are not so fair so maybe curb that if it gets too wild. There was a racist spat a while back, that kind of sucked but went away and/or got squashed thankfully. I do like respectful and honest discussions on racial related topics though, it is very interesting. Sexy and sexism are different things, I’d say yes to the occasional hot models, no to actual misogyny. etc etc.

    -D

  15. how about a “new comments added” doohickey over on the right side with all the other gadgets. Soemetimes comments are added days, even weeks after an original article, and without going back to reread those old posts, you don’t see them.

  16. I’d like to see you find a writer that’s really into AR’s. I find myself searching other sites to see the latest AR accessories: slings, grips, rails, handguards, stocks, triggers, deals, etc., etc. It’s just a thought. What’s the latest competition for a Magpul B.A.D. lever? How about the new front sight mount made by Kley Zion sold by Botach Tactical?

  17. Stop the censorship.

    I mean, if you’re going to allow MikeB’s statist elitist moronic postings, there’s nothing else really more offensive that one could say to a thinking person.

    • Amen!!! The only thing I would like to see added is a boom stick button!!
      Whenever some one like Mikeyb posts something really stupid you just click the boom stick button and the comment explodes and goes away(at least temporarily)!!!
      Otherwise is just fine!!!

  18. Bash idiots and gun control extremists — not liberals. Many of the societal groups OFWGs blindly label as liberals, mistaking them for gun-grabbers, represent the growth market for shooting sports. If you want a Democratic Party that supports 2A rights, stop driving away the generation that can and will make that happen.

    To those same ends, bashing President Obama’s administration for things he hasn’t actually done is incredibly off-putting. If he calls for AWB 2.0, or something like it, by all means give him the full measure. Ditto for the UN treaty conspiracy theories.

    • To those same ends, bashing President Obama’s administration for things he hasn’t actually done is incredibly off-putting.

      So talking about the stuff he did in the Senate and the Illinois statehouse is okay?

      Make no mistake, Obama has a long and very unambiguous record on the issue.

      • Because I’ve been a close observer of Presidential and Supreme Court behavior for my entire voting life, I submit that the people in those particular offices merit different treatment than typical politicians or appointees.

        Presidents are not only more limited in power than most people realize, they are burdened with the knowledge that they’re entrusted with leading the whole country, not just the percentage that voted for them. This means that they need to prioritize carefully, and not expend time & energy on issues that will be a distraction. This frequently means that they underwhelm or disappoint their own party just as often as they offend their detractors.

        To put it a different way: what a President or SCOTUS Justice does in office is frequently quite different from what their track record might suggest. Therefore, and in my opinion only, Presidents and Justices should be judged on their actions while in office, and not on theoretical predictions of what they might do based on their track record.

        For me, what matters is that in the last 4 years, President Obama has done nothing to curtail my gun rights and in fact has signed laws expanding them. If he starts calling for AWB 2.0, well, you’ll find me on the ramparts with everyone else doing my level best to shut that down.

  19. More gun reviews please. And i agree that you need to be more welcome to non-OFWG. As someone who doesn’t belong to the above demographic it would be nice to feel less alien…

  20. One last suggestion: think about locking off comment threads more than, say, 90 days old. Or alternatively, if someone starts to post a comment on a thread >90 days old then remind them of that before they hit the submit button.

    I’ve accidentally posted to long-dormant discussion threads when browsing the archives, and I certainly would have appreciated a reminder. This came to mind because I’ve seen 3 people posting to old discussions just this morning by checking the “recent posts” widget. That you guys want to kill.

  21. While references and links to images of beautiful women are interesting to male readers, I am concerned they might alienate some female readers. I recommend omitting them.

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