I still don't understand the point of Interference.com - U2 Feedback

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Old 06-08-2008, 02:43 PM   #1
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I still don't understand the point of Interference.com

Ever since the front page was redesigned last year, I've been a little confused about the ultimate point of Interference. Other U2 fan-based sites have their U2 stuff right up front and update it regularly. @U2.com posts every bit of U2 news and rumors almost on a daily basis. Our front page, on the other hand, has U2-related stories squashed over in the corner (on the side that any left-to-right reading person would look at last, btw), and publishes a new U2 story almost every 2 months, despite the fact that news and rumors pop up in the forum daily. The headline for Interference says "U2 Fans, Pop Culture Webzine, & More." That phrasing would make me think that the main purpose of the site is to suit U2 fans, but that we've expanded to include some other things, as well. And I'd say that certainly fits the forum. But the main page makes it seem like we're primarily a web magazine written by people who randomly happen to be U2 fans. Looking at the main page as it's been designed in the last several months, I would never think that underneath there might be a forum of hundreds of rabid U2 fans. Moreover, I probably wouldn't even want to click on the "community" link, figuring that it's probably not a community that's really rooted in U2. And if I came across the page in a search for U2 news, I'd probably skip it over quickly to find a page that had a lot more U2 density.


I dunno.......Just some thoughts I've had ever since the front page redesign months ago.
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:54 PM   #2
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The point of Interference?????

Who needs up to date bits on the front page when we have the most kick-ass forums that break news faster than official sites!!

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Old 06-08-2008, 07:10 PM   #3
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The home page has morphed over the years primarily during downtime between U2 tours. We will be creating the type of U2 only home page on u2.interference.com which will be our primary U2 portal for Interference. I'll call this the U2 portal. We are putting together a team right now to help get this going and then will look here to the membership for people willing to volunteer to help write articles, blogs entries, etc about U2. When this is done the forums will no longer be on forums.interference.com but they will be on u2.interference.com along with the new portal with only U2 content. We will need to write our own Bios on the band members and all the other people associated with U2 and then connect these pages to discussions here on the forums using our new taggings system. So this is all a work in progress but I know it's going to be a hit when it's finished and get us back into the Top 10 on Google for the search "U2". Having U2 as the subdomain will help the search engines and the U2 portal will increase our relevancy and we will rank higher.

I consider this the roots of Interference but over time it will probably be called the U2 Channel. My goal is to have other channels which I have outlined here in brief before. We will start by creating logical extension channels spawned from philosophies of the band and other correlated topics. I hope the second channel will be an area that I call Social Responsibility which comes from Bono's plight to help bring awareness to issues like poverty, AIDs and Malaria but does not stop there. It's more about being a good member of a global community, helping locally and global on issues that impact our world. They include topics on charities and how to give locally and globally but also cover topics such as living a more sustainable lifestyle (being green, helping out, lowering your impact on the earth while increasing your impact on society).

After the Social Responsibility channel is in place (once again leveraging volunteers from our community to help foster this resource) we will look at a more general music section of the site. This is correlated to U2 through the fact we all like music and probably many of us like the same bands, etc. I know Bono and the boys love various other bands and it's just a common thing we have here.

Each section is going to have a portal, like u2.interference.com where articles, discussions, photos, etc from that section will be featured. Each section will also have a forum for topics on those areas. These other forums will be separate forums but tied to the same user database. I don't expect Sicy and our other Mods here to want to help manage these other forums but if they do, then great. If not, the only thing they will share is the member data (one login).

Please remember this is all still a work in progress. The primary focus will be to create the U2.interference.com portal and dial in this section of the site. When that is done we will move to the social responsibility section. When that is done we will see how things are going and what seem logical to do next. So please be patient with us as we work through these phases of the site.

Also, please take some time to read the new articles the content team has posted on the portal. I heard most everyone skips that section and comes strait to the forums. They have written some great stuff lately on lots of topics related to music and concerts. It's always nice to keep expanding our horizons with all the great music out there.

"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Utoo View Post
I probably wouldn't even want to click on the "community" link, figuring that it's probably not a community that's really rooted in U2.
I reckon that most people who find this forum have heard about it from someone/at another forum or find it through a search engine. I'm guessing if you search for a U2 forum this is one of the first results you get. I doubt the main page would put folk off clicking on the community link and they'll probably have a good jeff juke around and discover what a class U2 forum this is.

I do agree that the main page could be jazzed up a bit. The stories could definitely be updated more often and maybe there could be a bit more information on the forums there?
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Andy R View Post
The home page has morphed over the years primarily during downtime between U2 tours. We will be creating the type of U2 only home page on u2.interference.com which will be our primary U2 portal for Interference. I'll call this the U2 portal. We are putting together a team right now to help get this going and then will look here to the membership for people willing to volunteer to help write articles, blogs entries, etc about U2. When this is done the forums will no longer be on forums.interference.com but they will be on u2.interference.com along with the new portal with only U2 content. We will need to write our own Bios on the band members and all the other people associated with U2 and then connect these pages to discussions here on the forums using our new taggings system. So this is all a work in progress but I know it's going to be a hit when it's finished and get us back into the Top 10 on Google for the search "U2". Having U2 as the subdomain will help the search engines and the U2 portal will increase our relevancy and we will rank higher.

I consider this the roots of Interference but over time it will probably be called the U2 Channel. My goal is to have other channels which I have outlined here in brief before. We will start by creating logical extension channels spawned from philosophies of the band and other correlated topics. I hope the second channel will be an area that I call Social Responsibility which comes from Bono's plight to help bring awareness to issues like poverty, AIDs and Malaria but does not stop there. It's more about being a good member of a global community, helping locally and global on issues that impact our world. They include topics on charities and how to give locally and globally but also cover topics such as living a more sustainable lifestyle (being green, helping out, lowering your impact on the earth while increasing your impact on society).

After the Social Responsibility channel is in place (once again leveraging volunteers from our community to help foster this resource) we will look at a more general music section of the site. This is correlated to U2 through the fact we all like music and probably many of us like the same bands, etc. I know Bono and the boys love various other bands and it's just a common thing we have here.

Each section is going to have a portal, like u2.interference.com where articles, discussions, photos, etc from that section will be featured. Each section will also have a forum for topics on those areas. These other forums will be separate forums but tied to the same user database. I don't expect Sicy and our other Mods here to want to help manage these other forums but if they do, then great. If not, the only thing they will share is the member data (one login).

Please remember this is all still a work in progress. The primary focus will be to create the U2.interference.com portal and dial in this section of the site. When that is done we will move to the social responsibility section. When that is done we will see how things are going and what seem logical to do next. So please be patient with us as we work through these phases of the site.

Also, please take some time to read the new articles the content team has posted on the portal. I heard most everyone skips that section and comes strait to the forums. They have written some great stuff lately on lots of topics related to music and concerts. It's always nice to keep expanding our horizons with all the great music out there.

"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono
Thanks---I'm glad to see that there are plans to make it more U2-centric, and that all sounds great!
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Andy R View Post
After the Social Responsibility channel is in place (once again leveraging volunteers from our community to help foster this resource) we will look at a more general music section of the site. This is correlated to U2 through the fact we all like music and probably many of us like the same bands, etc. I know Bono and the boys love various other bands and it's just a common thing we have here.

Each section is going to have a portal, like u2.interference.com where articles, discussions, photos, etc from that section will be featured. Each section will also have a forum for topics on those areas. These other forums will be separate forums but tied to the same user database.

How much will the forums change, then? Will Bang and Clatter still exist or will it get "upgraded" to some other, separate forum?

And how much will the other forums change? And why will this all have to change?
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by martha View Post
How much will the forums change, then? Will Bang and Clatter still exist or will it get "upgraded" to some other, separate forum?

And how much will the other forums change?

After reading Andy's response, you touched upon the same things I was wondering. In this new scheme of portals, will places like IO, LS and otherwise be in separate forum areas? Or will this forum as it is, remain the same, and a similar setup be made in other forums for each portal? if that makes sense..

Cause while I think these new ideas and branching out and expanding are great , I like the holistic nature of the forum as it is now - not only talking about u2, but other stuff as well. To simply isolate it to more U2-centric parts would take away from this "portal"....and that would make me sad.

I suppose all the forums would still be interconnected...perhaps it's just the fear of change talking....
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:37 PM   #8
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I like the holistic nature of the forum as it is now - not only talking about u2, but other stuff as well. To simply isolate it to more U2-centric parts would take away from this "portal"....and that would make me sad.

Me, too. I value the communication we have with Interference the way it is now.

Change just for the sake of change is no good.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:23 AM   #9
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I agree with Utoo completely on the original post! The main page really needs to have U2 centric information highlighted and moved to the left. And the new album forum seems to have a lot more current news (amidst silly threads) than the main page. By the way, design wise I love the new main page and the use of colors is very pleasing! But it looks more like a general music site than a U2 site. That said, I really hope the forums stay the way they are and don't become too U2 heavy. We need an off topic Lemonade Stand, an other music forum B&C, a personal forum ZooCon, a movie forum etc.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by martha View Post
How much will the forums change, then? Will Bang and Clatter still exist or will it get "upgraded" to some other, separate forum?
I am not sure about this. I'd like to see some of the forums like this shared across some of the other sections forums. So probably Bang and Clatter will stay the same but maybe the title of the forum will change so it can fit into another section. Really a lot of this is way up in the air as these changes are a ways away. The first goal is to focus on u2.interference.com and then the social responsibility section. So any more general music section is a ways away.
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And how much will the other forums change? And why will this all have to change?
The other forums will probably be totally separate forums so other forums should not change much. The reasons for the change are to keep evolving and try to keep our site fresh. I look a lot at metrics of forums and this site has been slowly getting smaller and smaller. I know that when a new album is released and tour time comes things will pick up but U2's pattern has been to do these tours every 4 years. These other sections will help create some critical mass in areas to help the site grow during the down times. These other sections will also help me sell the site to potential advertisers by having diverse content and channels to show them when trying to land ad deals.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~BrightestStar~ View Post
After reading Andy's response, you touched upon the same things I was wondering. In this new scheme of portals, will places like IO, LS and otherwise be in separate forum areas? Or will this forum as it is, remain the same, and a similar setup be made in other forums for each portal? if that makes sense..
Yes, that is what I was saying. The reality is a lot is up in the air so I don't know exactly how things will be setup. I don't think we need an off topic section on all the different forums, it's logical that we just have the same one and share it. So some of the other forums might have sections of their own and some shared sections where it makes sense. Really any talks about details right now are moot as this is in the infancy stage of an idea right now. There are tons of steps that need to be taken care of before we even get close to rolling out another "sister" forum at one of these channels. So please don't get too stressed about this right now. I understand change is difficult to deal with and will keep it to a minimum.
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Cause while I think these new ideas and branching out and expanding are great , I like the holistic nature of the forum as it is now - not only talking about u2, but other stuff as well. To simply isolate it to more U2-centric parts would take away from this "portal"....and that would make me sad.
I agree! I think we can find ways to keep things how they are but also split things out and present them in different format in the other portals. This might be done through the tagging system instead of actual forums on those portal, etc. There is still a lot to define but I hear you loud and clear about keeping things tight here while trying to incorporate these other areas.
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I suppose all the forums would still be interconnected...perhaps it's just the fear of change talking....
I think you are correct here, fear of change and also hearing this without a well defined plan makes it even harder to understand. I wish I could give you a comprehensive plan right now with all the details so we could review that and tweak it but we are still really far away from these changes. As we get closer many of the concepts will be refined and more detailed plans will be available and we can review and tweak them then. So for now, please hang tight and understand that I know you all don't want to see any substantial changes in the way the forums work now. I am pretty sure we can figure out a solution where the current forum remains "as is"...
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:35 PM   #11
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These other sections will also help me sell the site to potential advertisers by having diverse content and channels to show them when trying to land ad deals.
You're going to take something that works well, something that we all love, and change it so you can sell it.

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I understand change is difficult to deal with and will keep it to a minimum.I agree! I think we can find ways to keep things how they are but also split things out and present them in different format in the other portals.
It works fine the way it is.

It's the analogy I was hoping not to use. A nice, functioning small town gets sold to a developer who tears down the old houses to build condos he can sell as resort homes.

This all really upsets me. I've been here for years and now it seems as if the site we love is going to be taken away.
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:53 PM   #12
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You're going to take something that works well, something that we all love, and change it so you can sell it.
it could be that or raising the price of premium memberships...personally, i prefer the former
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Old 06-10-2008, 03:22 PM   #13
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it could be that or raising the price of premium memberships...personally, i prefer the former

I prefer paying for it myself, rather than changing things to suit random advertisers.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:55 PM   #14
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Andy, I just want to thank you for taking the time to address all our concerns and your understanding about our hesitancy to change something we are so fond of.
You have been very open to us thus far and that makes me feel safe about any future changes. I understand that you were only outlining some vague future plans, and how the mechanics can then prove confusing - I was only highlighting that I (and others) shared some of Martha's concerns about just how such proposed changes would impact the dynamics of the forum. But your response has reassured me that you've taken such things well into account, and I look forward to hearing more about these future plans when the time comes.

Martha, I certainly haven't been here as long as you, but as you can probably tell, I share some of your concerns about the future of the site. And while change is scary, I think it can be done in such a way as to not ruin an already good thing...
and we're all here to make sure it goes down that way...


or else put a price on Andy's head.



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But seriously, screw up the crack and methinks there will be hell to pay. Martha will supply the pitchforks.
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:32 PM   #15
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You're going to take something that works well, something that we all love, and change it so you can sell it.
Well duh. Of course it's going to be sold/marketed. Do you really think premium memberships are enough to make running this place worthwhile?
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