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FQDN change to
Authored by: jsnell on Aug 20, '10 10:08:58AM

Honestly, the top motivator in shortening the name was that is a lot of characters to type.

Yes, the more iOS and app hints that get posted here, the more mis-fit the name is. (That's true of Macworld too, by the way!)

Life is change. But those of you who point to MacFixIt and Cnet, what I'd say is this: First, we've owned this site for more than five years. In that time the big change was that we stuck a new header on the top of the site. When Rob left of his own accord, we decided to bring someone on from the community to manage it, rather than bringing in an outsider.

I'm not happy about the volume of hints on the site right now, but as Rob himself will tell you, in between OS revisions the queue can get pretty dry. If we filled that gap with more tips about Mac apps and maybe even iOS stuff, we'd solve the volume problem but other people would complain that we were diluting Hints with stuff that's outside the core.

But that's all beside the point. This change was made largely because, as someone upthread pointed out, people in the ad-buying business (especially at large ad agencies) are not interested in doing even basic math and rolling up multiple domains. We can rail about how stupid that is—and believe me, I have—but in the end, what it means is that selling + is not as effective to the people who have the money as selling containing the sum total of both sites.

If you would like to see this as a sign of the apocalypse, and me as some kind of corporate tool who has come in here to lie to your face, I guess that's your right. :-) I think Macworld's heart is in the right place when it comes to Hints. And has been for more than half its existence, if my math is right!

The best way to make Hints safe and secure for years to come is to make sure it's appreciably contributing to its company's bottom line. The more valuable Hints is, the more people will listen to me when I make a case to invest in it, whether that's upgrading the servers, or hiring people to edit and produce hints, or improving categorizations, or any other thing beyond keeping the lights on.

As for having another survey, yes, we will probably do more. I'm hoping that as a result of this change and the increased perceived value it gives Hints in my offices here, I can start lobbying for new features and other nice stuff -- and at that point we will want to know what all of you want and where you want the site to go. Which is why our first survey got us to understand who you all actually are. Thanks for that, by the way.


Jason Snell, Editor, Macworld

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FQDN change to
Authored by: crarko on Aug 20, '10 11:04:59AM
Thanks for that, Jason. And to all those who provided thoughtful comments, thanks as well. I'll probably unstick this thread on Monday.

The timing of the change came as a bit of a surprise to me, too. But since I want the site to continue to provide a useful service, and understand something needs to pay for that, I can cope. I'm confident you all can too.

I'd also like to pass on a personal favorite hint of mine, for everyone's future consideration when posting comments, on this and the other Hints published here. Yeah, I do take notice.

Craig A.

P.S. If I thought this was going to turn out like CNet/MacFixIt, I'd have never taken the position. I have friends who were screwed over in that debacle.

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Thank You for Reasonable Explanations
Authored by: petersconsult on Aug 21, '10 07:11:06AM

I'd also like to join the few users here who accept what Jason and Craig said at face value; and i'll take this opportunity to thank them for really communicating with us on this.
What happened to MacFixIt when Cnet took over was a sham; i had no particular vested interest (except my subscription), but i was really bummed to have lost a daily ritual out all the same (in fact, i'm still bummed out!).
I think it's understandable for us to have the knee-jerk reaction of thinking that these are the first signs of the same thing happening.
But I also understand the reasons and, when it comes down to it, as long as my bookmark called MacOSXHints bears some resemblance to this site's name (and that it takes me to it!), i think you should do what you think is right.
One thing though: isn't there a thing called ghost redirect or something like that so that you can have urlA redirect to urlB but while retaining the name urlA in the browser?
You can still count on this avid reader (and sometimes poster) to keep coming around with the same regularity!
Thank you,

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FQDN change to
Authored by: Anonymous on Aug 20, '10 12:41:54PM

You refer to Mac OS X Hints as just plain "Hints". That the new name, is it?

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FQDN change to
Authored by: hamarkus on Aug 20, '10 04:34:22PM

Jason, now tell me which of these four things you mention:
- upgrading the servers, or
- hiring people to edit or
- to produce hints, or
- improving categorizations
has contributed the most to macosxhints succes/status?
None of the above, it's all about the goodwill the people actually coming up with the hints perceive as receiving. Yes, some selection and some editing is necessary but the better the submitters are motivated, the better the submitted hints will be, the more in tune with what is needed to keep/make this a great site. I could not care less about categorisation and I certainly don't want full-time stuff 'producing' hints. Hiring more staff to edit hints certainly won't do anything to increase the submission rate.

Upgrading the servers and the software is certainly a reason that in the end justifies any means (but then we might just move all of macosxhints onto something like sourceforge if all we needed would be free server space).

Edited on Aug 20, '10 04:39:03PM by hamarkus

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