Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

New-look ToffeeWeb

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Hi ToffeeWeb,

I just read a response from Michael to someone who'd submitted a mailbag item that said "things are not as easy to find anymore, and we've added more stuff".

I just wondered why you've made the changes to ToffeeWeb, is it simply for more advertising revenue?

As a web designer myself I'd have to concur that I preferred the old layout, there is simply just too much going on on the homepage now.

I'm sure we'll all get used to it, but just wondered what other people thought?

Anyone who saw the recent backlash against Facebook for the changes they made will know how up-tight people get about these things!

It's a bit like someone coming in and rearranging your furniture whilst you sleep...

Dan Kemp, Bristol     Posted 04/10/2011 at 21:45:19

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Pat Finegan
1   Posted 05/10/2011 at 06:43:59

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I'm not bothered by any of it. It's the same toffeeweb with the same people and that's what matters. If it is for more commercial revenue, good. I don't know if Michael and Lyndon make a living off this site or just make enough to keep the site up but they deserve to make a few quid for keeping the site going.

If I could make a recommendation, I'd like to see a "like" button of sorts (don't know what else to call it.) Often times I'll agree strongly with someone but have nothing to add except "spot on."
Andy Mack
2   Posted 05/10/2011 at 07:10:50

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I don't read much of it with the new design, it is too busy and too hard to find the articles I'm interested in. I'm glad I'm not the only one to think this, but didn't want to comment as I know how hard the folk behind the site work. Too much "stuff".
Stephen Kenny
3   Posted 05/10/2011 at 07:17:57

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To me the homepage seems a bit busy and it can be a bit time consuming to find things you have commented on previously. I doubt it will put anybody off, although one of the reasons I started using TW was the ease of use.

I think a separate 'Mailbag' type thing for news Items would be a good idea and would help ease confusion.
Steve Burgess
4   Posted 05/10/2011 at 07:21:40

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I think Michael commented a couple months ago about how TW compared favourably with the official site in terms of clarity and space. Thought it was a good point at the time. However both sites have changed in that time and I now find myself spending more time on the official site and less on TW.

Michael and Lyndon ? like others, I think you do a great job but the changes haven't improved things.
Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
5   Posted 05/10/2011 at 07:18:03

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Dan, rest assured the changes to the homepage layout have nothing to do with advertising revenue. You'll notice that none of the ad spots have really changed, just moved a little in some instances, and Pat is right that after we've paid hosting charges, it really is just a few quid that we make (which you could say goes towards our Internet subscriptions, etc).

The intent was to surface more of the news and comment articles on the homepage and give them a bit more prominence, reflecting the shift in emphasis towards column articles and reader-generated content that the site has experienced over the past few years.

I have to say that Michael's first reaction was "it looks a bit busy" but we decided to give it a whirl to see how things were received.

Having lived with it for a couple of weeks, I already have a few ideas how to make things a little clearer but this thread provides the perfect opportunity for people to weigh in with what they like and don't like. Be honest -- the site is here for you.
Tony Pickering
6   Posted 05/10/2011 at 07:27:56

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Tend to agree with Steve. Too much makes it more difficult to find things easily. Favourite site, but not as user friendly as it was.
Howard Don
7   Posted 05/10/2011 at 07:30:34

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Getting used to the new layout now, but it's definitlely doesn't have the clarity of the old one. "Too busy" sums it up.
Eric Myles
8   Posted 05/10/2011 at 07:58:01

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I am usually a Luddite at best, anal retentive at worse, when it comes to changing my favourite websites around but I liked the new layout the moment I saw it.

Unfortunately there are a few bugs in it, like the text sizes cannot be changed and the 'Recent News' links to the right of the internal pages (such as this page) do not work.

But I'm sure Lyndon is working his bollocks off as usual to get them sorted.

Keep up the good work.
Derek Thomas
9   Posted 05/10/2011 at 08:15:05

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'Don't like' 'Like ' buttons.

And also a big 'Thumbs down' to 'Thumbs Up' buttons as well.

No no no no.
Derek Thomas
10   Posted 05/10/2011 at 08:21:30

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And while I'm having a moan nor do I want to...

Follow you on facetube.

Like you on youbook.

Care jack shit how you are trending on Twatter.

I do however want to see 2 forwards Strac and Vellios get a run together sometime before Halloween ? how long does it take to get someone fit, ffs???
Nick Entwistle
11   Posted 05/10/2011 at 08:35:13

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It is busy for sure. I liked when posts and articles were on the right, news on the left and... well never quite worked out how the left and middle columns differed but it all made sense.

But like a new pair of jeans, it will become comfortable soon enough.

Still, think there should be an out of 10 morale button that those logged in can press once a day.
Dave Lynch
12   Posted 05/10/2011 at 09:30:43

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Text size is the only gripe I have. Old fogeys like me need large text, the old layout large text was perfect.

ps: BB is on Radio Merseyside tonight doing another one of his "woah is me" interviews.
Andy Duff
13   Posted 05/10/2011 at 10:01:27

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I would like to comment on the mobile version. It does not display the comments on news items and also does not allow you to comment on any article if using mobile view.

Other sites allow this think this would be a great addition for people who do most of reading on a mobile. My phone can view full size no problem but prefer mobile layout when using it.
Oliver Molloy
14   Posted 05/10/2011 at 10:29:51

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Anyone who puts the work that Lyndon & Michael obviously put into the site deserves to make a dollar or nine.

ToffeeWeb, as others have said offers Everton fans & others the opportunity to debate the pros & cons of all things Everton and more.

It is a great space...
Brian Denton
15   Posted 05/10/2011 at 10:56:47

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I'd like the Mailbag to 'bump' the most recently commented on topics to the top. As things stand now, if you're away from the site for a few days you know that it is pointless to comment on a mailbag subject of more than a few days old, as nobody will ever read it.
Andy McNabb
16   Posted 05/10/2011 at 11:27:20

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New or old layout - a huge thank you to Michael and Lyndon for giving us all the opportunity to use a site like this. I don't always agree with you lot but what would happen to my daily routine if ToffeeWeb suddenly disappeared!?
Jeremy Benson
17   Posted 05/10/2011 at 12:10:11

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I'm finding it too busy too - hard to find the wood for the tree's on the front page now.
David Chait
18   Posted 05/10/2011 at 13:25:55

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2 cents.. at first I didn't like the comments on the right given way more prominence than the mailbag contribution in small below the articles.... the mailbag and articles are the lifeblood of ToffeeWeb...

However, I like the idea from a perspective that it keeps interesting mails or articles on the front page due to the high level of comments as opposed to having to go find them after a few days.

So ok.. but for me I would like the mailbag given the same visibility as before.
Ben Howard
19   Posted 05/10/2011 at 13:33:17

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If you're on a Mac just try pressing (Apple) + and the font size on any page will increase as you want it.

I'm sure this works on a PC too. Maybe it's (Function) +, or (Control) + I'm sure someone can clarify this.

I thought for all you old gits this might be useful anyway for when you're ordering your incontinence pants, step-through baths or Stanner Stairlifts online. ;-)
Dave Lynch
20   Posted 05/10/2011 at 14:11:53

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Ben.
That's 'Stannah' chair lifts.
At least us old fogeys can spell lol.
Trevor Powell
21   Posted 05/10/2011 at 14:20:49

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Just to say that I place my trust in the Toffeewebbers [could this be an E4 series to rival the Inbetweeners?]. I can't state how much I appreciate their efforts which are reflected in a site that conveys the blessed life of being born into an Evertonian family! This is without doubt one of the best fans sites in the world.
Tony I'Anson
22   Posted 05/10/2011 at 15:13:03

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When using a iPhone and reading an article with lots of comments, it takes ages to do the scroll to the bottom. Can a link from the top of each page be put to the last comment to avoid having to do this? Ta.

Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
23   Posted 05/10/2011 at 18:24:22

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[The Mobile version] does not display the comments on news items and also does not allow you to comment on any article if using mobile view.

The news comments is something that still needs to be added, yes. It was an oversight from when we added the ability to post comments to news items a few weeks back.

The decision not to allow commenting on the mobile version was deliberate, though, as the fear was that people would be tempted to use too many abbreviations and lapse into text-speak because typing well-formed prose on small smartphone keyboards is inherently more challenging.

We may revisit that decision as well in the coming weeks once we've addressed concerns over the new homepage layout.

Regarding the text-resize utility, that mystifyingly broke with the changes made to the layout and I haven't had time to fix it yet. It's on the to-do list, though.

Trevor Mackie
24   Posted 05/10/2011 at 18:33:35

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Is it a massive job to put a "button" that takes you to a list of your own comments.

It would help check if "apologists" have been stroppy or "tired and emotional" when pulled up about the Moyes failings.
Guy Wilkinson
25   Posted 05/10/2011 at 19:43:17

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It's hard to find the mailbag.

I am grateful for all the work that goes into this great site.
Dennis Stevens
26   Posted 05/10/2011 at 19:46:55

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I think it's a bit busy as well. I Don't find it as easy as I'd like to find pieces that were there a day or two previously, although that wasn't much better previously either. I don't much care for the recent comments bit, but I agree with Trevor re "my recent comments" - it'd be an easy way to keep tabs on a piece you were already interested in enough to post on.
Kevin Hudson
27   Posted 05/10/2011 at 20:11:13

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"It's hard to find the mailbag."

Guy - you're IN the mailbag right now !
John Nugent
28   Posted 05/10/2011 at 20:00:38

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A 'Laugh out loud' button.

There's some funny comments on here Trevor#24.

Denis Richardson
29   Posted 05/10/2011 at 20:46:16

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Was a bit busy at first but have just about got used to ir. Don't really have any major comments to add.

Can we have a sort of cross hairs game where yu can choose the person to 'shoot' or apple pie.

Like the new poll though, interesting(or should that be depressing) that 40% agreed with not playing a striker against city...

Keep up the good work.
Andrew Gilbert
30   Posted 05/10/2011 at 20:42:20

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I hate it when you get used to a supermarket and then they move everything around so you don't know where anything is anymore. I hate it.

But I must admit I didn't really notice too many changes to the website!

The overall look of the site is more or less the same it's just a question of finding your favourite bits again which doesn't really take too long and you also notice some new and old stuff you haven't come across before which is exactly why a supermarket will make the changes, in their case they hope you will make more impulse buys. So the changes to the site are ok for me, but the supermarket? No, I still don't want to find Tampons where the Pasta used to be!

Keep up the good work.
Andy Crooks
31   Posted 05/10/2011 at 23:45:31

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This is a superb site and those responsible can't be thanked enough. However, I just don't like the changes. I admit that I resist change in most things but I think I'm right here, The focused, intense debates we used to have are now spread over too many threads. Please Lyndon, change it back.
Jimmy Sorheim
32   Posted 06/10/2011 at 10:16:36

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I applaud your effort, but it is much more messy then before. Like the Mailbag and other articles for example. Before they were close to eachother but now it seems like it is spread all over. Other than a tiny adjustment to that, I think the new site looks fresher and more up to date.

Hope you don't take offence to what I say, as I know you have worked hard to give the readers a better and fresher looking product.

Love that you put my comments and articles in as the official site never does so I found this site to be a more human than the OS.
Jay Harris
33   Posted 06/10/2011 at 13:47:47

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My favourite "Blue" site.

However something about the changes in the layout do not seem to gel with me.

Maybe I'm getting too old for change.
Dan Parker
34   Posted 06/10/2011 at 14:08:57

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I'd tend to agree. The news articles only occupy a third of the screen and dedidcating 2/3rds to columns and the mailbag seems a bit too much. Just my personal preference, not saying I'm right or wrong.

On a second point, great job by the ToffeeWeb team in general, it's my main site for Everton news. The official site is well, too official and the BBC just don't understand in the same way. SkySports website is just crap.

I'd imagine most Toffeewebs whether pro or anti Moyes/Kenwright would agree the Toffeeweb guys do a great job.
Kunal Desai
35   Posted 06/10/2011 at 20:43:10

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Can you revert back to the old website please. Too much information here and some with very small font sizes.
A suggestion would have been to keep the old format and to perhaps include a feature whereby next to the mailbag and articles you have the number of replys as opposed to the 'recent comments' which takes up unnecessary space. Prefer the old one.
Kunal Desai
36   Posted 06/10/2011 at 20:43:10

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Can you revert back to the old website please. Too much information here and some with very small font sizes.
A suggestion would have been to keep the old format and to perhaps include a feature whereby next to the mailbag and articles you have the number of replys as opposed to the 'recent comments' which takes up unnecessary space. Prefer the old one.
Dick Fearon
37   Posted 06/10/2011 at 21:36:49

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A big black hole would be a nice addition where at the touch of a button words beginning with B or K is made to disappear.

Dennis Stevens
38   Posted 06/10/2011 at 22:28:50

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Novel idea, Dick. It'd be interesting to have a football site without the use of the words 'Ball' & 'Kick'!
Chris Bannantyne
39   Posted 07/10/2011 at 00:07:54

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Only just read this thread and subsequently looked at the home page. I never come through the Toffeeweb "front door", so to speak. I have a Google news search bookmarked that searches for "toffeeweb" and automatically arranges by date. This is only because I do virtually all my browsing with my phone (like I am now) and its just plain easy to see if there are any new articles at the touch of a button.

Anyway, the verdict; I had no problem whatsoever with the new layout itself, I found it easy to see what's what. So to my mind, those who are struggling are only doing so because they were so familiar with the old layout, unlike myself.

The only problem I found in my brief appraisal - under the tab "rumour mill" there were a couple of articles that clearly didn't belong there. One was a match report ("from my seat") and the other a mailbag item or fan article ("i can't take much more of this").

Besides that, no dramas. And as ever, thankyou Michael and Lyndon for Toffeeweb. It is still my favourite site, even though I don't use the front door.
Chris Bannantyne
40   Posted 07/10/2011 at 00:25:15

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Also, I'm not a big fan of "like" buttons.

I think that having the ability to simply "like" something sort of encourages laziness.

Without a "like" button, if people want to let others know that they agree with a point of view or just liked a comment, they are forced to type it. And often when people start typing, they continue typing, giving their own point of view.

With a "like" button I think you would end up with less comments, and just a shitload of "likes" or "dislikes".

I don't know about the rest of you, but I love to read through all the comments just as much as the articles themselves.

So if there were a "like" button for the idea of getting a "like" button, I wouldn't press it.
Brendan McLaughlin
41   Posted 07/10/2011 at 00:35:14

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Must say I'm happy enough. I suppose whatever layout the guys at TW Towers opt for is secondary... its the quality of the contributors that make the site what it is.

Now I've a feeling that could be an analogy for something but I can't quite think what it is....
Chad Schofield
42   Posted 07/10/2011 at 00:46:32

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I agree with Chris on 'like' buttons... Especially on a site such as this, where users generate most content.

My Chang would be to put the number of commennts alongside mailbag or columns... Perhaps even use cookiess to highlight contribution numbers.
Jason Lam
43   Posted 07/10/2011 at 07:28:31

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The graphics of our boys in blue are excellent though. Some sort of retro polaroid filter? There must be an iphone app out there that does the same. COYB
Tony X Williams
44   Posted 07/10/2011 at 09:16:26

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I would just like to thank you guys for incorporating my initials into the new look Toffeeweb Logo ;o)
Liam Reilly
45   Posted 07/10/2011 at 10:28:37

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On a PC, hold down the Ctrl button and use the scroll on your mouse and you can zoom in and out on any text or graphics.

I like the new design but always preferred the mail-bag to columns and articles, but the new look seems to promote the latter more.
Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
46   Posted 09/10/2011 at 16:52:59

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Based on some of the feedback above, much of which tallies with Michael and my feelings after living with the recent changes for a bit, you'll notice that we've further revised the homepage layout.

The old news layout has been restored and there is now an "Opinion" section underneath it with the links to Fan/Column articles, recent Mailbag entries, the Miscellany section, etc.

This will hopefully create a clearer delineation between our news and comment on the front page.

Thanks to you call for your feedback. We are, of course, always tweaking and there will be further small adjustments in the coming days and weeks (including fixes for the text-resize utility which is not working in many browsers) but if anything is seriously irking you, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
David Chait
47   Posted 09/10/2011 at 18:10:07

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sorted out my issues by giving some script under the mailbag heading... good job...
Eric Myles
48   Posted 10/10/2011 at 08:30:41

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Comments are not showing up on any of the Editor's Blog topics.
Alex Higgins
49   Posted 10/10/2011 at 12:42:22

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The heading text is bold enough but the content text is to low in contrast ? too grey ? please change.
Trevor Mackie
50   Posted 10/10/2011 at 21:00:22

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"Like buttons" are an invite for the dullards to form their little gangs - safety in numbers an all that.

I quite like them, it brings them out - far easier to nail the mindless oiks.

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