Welcome to the New SciTechDaily

SciTechDaily

Frequent visitors to SciTechDaily will notice immediately that things look different—very different. Welcome to the new and improved SciTechDaily.com! We hope you like the changes.

SciTechDaily.com has a great history, since 1998, under the helm of Managing Editor Vicki Hyde. Under new ownership, we have an expanded team of writers and editors that plans to continue the tradition of intelligent, informed science and technology coverage and analysis that you’ve come to expect from SciTechDaily over the years. Yet we also plan to expand coverage beyond science and technology to include news about the latest electronic gadgets, video games, SciFi movies, and more.

Over the next few weeks we plan on putting our database of thousands of past postings online, so you will be able to search and browse through years worth of links and articles.

Feel free to drop us a line with any feedback, comments or suggestions for improvement. Please take a moment to Like SciTechDaily on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or subscribe to our Newsletter. Thanks!

36 Comments on "Welcome to the New SciTechDaily"

  1. I am totally bummed out about the new website. The old one seemed to have much more information and science news relating to different mediums such as book reviews or television shows. I liked that one could fish through many headlines to find the one science article that appealed to you but perhaps another day you could peruse through the same 100 articles but find something that seemed boring the day before now interesting–gone is the deluge, the plethora of science news…you are but a ghost of what you once were and now i must find a new dork gold mine of immense proportions. This format has at most a dozen articles available to read at a time and they seem unsorted and random. Is this what entropy feels like?

    Lost

    Ben Garcia
    Grad Student at PSU (Portland Or)

    • Thanks for the feedback Ben!

      Keep in mind that we just switched over to the new design and there are only 10 articles in the system so far. In a couple days there will be twice as many, and soon there will be hundreds. Just as the old site didn’t start with an immense number of links, this new site will mature over time.

      There are actually many new ways to browse the articles, so you aren’t stuck with an unsorted view. However, all of these methods will work far better once there are more articles in the system. You can browse by major category, find articles on specific topics with tags, see the newest or most popular articles, and even see articles related to one you are reading. With only 10 articles in the system at the moment, none of these make a lot of sense now, but they’ll be working much better in a few weeks when there are a lot more articles.

      We will take your feedback to heart and look for ways to present a “gold mine of immense proportions” again. As described above, I think we’ll naturally grow into more of what you want after a little time to add more articles, but we will also look into building a way to browse the content more like the old site.

      For now all the resource links are still available on the Science and Technology Resources page (with the formatting changed a bit). Browsing those links is a good way to get your SciTech news fix until we build up more new articles.

  2. I agree with comments by Garcia. Please combine with your new look the friendly headlines + main subjects matter of the former website.
    I miss it.

  3. hi All,

    i miss the easy to access to the news like the old website. this site looks very generic.

    thx,
    m

  4. Well, it’s new, but it’s not clear that it’s improved, especially now that we seem to be trapped within the site, instead of clicking on a link to go to the original article. Really, all you’ve kept is the name. At this stage it doesn’t look as though you are keeping the joy of the huge number of articles that Vicki had available to us, with their thumbnail descriptions. The old ScieTechDaily offered us engagement with science, and engagement with the person who chose the links, via her perceptive descriptions.

    Yes, only a dozen articles in the archives. Whatever…

    I’ll check back in a week or so to see if it looks any better, but right now, the delight in choosing from an extensive array of links has gone.

    • I am in complete agreement with you, Deborah. Scitechdaily was a wonderful complement to Arts and Letters Daily, with great, short descriptions of an eclectic grabbag of articles, that never failed to inspire and inform. In the new Scitechdaily I see too much tech, not enough science, science history and philosophy and books with closed-circuit nagivation.
      I’ll check in later, but in the meantime TheBrowser.com’s Science and Technology section is a worthy alternative.

  5. Thanks,

    Perhaps i should not leave knee jerk reaction messages in the middle of the night when i am wrestling with a bout of insomnia so i apologize for my melodramatic language, although i do still stand by essence of what i was saying. Anyhow, thanks for the reassuring insight into the future and direction of the new site, i hope it eventually has the functionality and depth of the old one.

    Gratefully,

    Ben Garcia (PSU–Beervana , OR)

  6. I think, hate to say it, the old format and content coverage was much better.

  7. I think I and most of the loyal readership of this website on whose loyalty you presumably plan to launch your new venture (you are using its name) are waiting to be reassured that we will get at least the same breadth, depth, and quantity of science coverage we used to get with the old website. Otherwise, “Here’s the new website, we hope you like it,” sounds suspiciously like it’s trailed by, “And screw you if you don’t.”

    It is of course your prerogative to do a whole different thing, so good luck to you in any case.

    Count one more for the old layout – new and pretty doesn’t necessarily work better. I’m not an old for old’s sake kind of person. I’m sure smarter people than me can prove that that layout IS better from a functional point of view. It’s simple and pure. Do you like Steve Jobs?

  8. Count me in as another dissatisfied ‘old reader’. The new format is overly slick and ‘high tech’ but lacks the feeling of a scientific anthology that we loved so much. I have this terrible fear that SciTechdaily will degenerate into another Gee Whizz forum about the latest in IT fads. I shudder at my keyboard.

  9. As a regular reader of the previous version of this website, I am sorry to see the “modernisation” (read minimalisation) that has been presented so far. It is looking like a generic version of so many others. Please new owners, think about restoring the previous style and format. It was so much fun (and great learning) to be “portholed” into another dimension (e magazine). It was the difference that made scitechdaily one of the best reads on the web.

  10. Check out the similarities to popsci.com
    I think you could have run the old style site in parallel to build up an archive of articles, and get some user feedback, be flexable, keep the best of the old and introduce new stuff. Seems like the users were not asked what made them visit the old site. Why the change? Are there new owners out to make money or something? That’s fine, but play nice.

  11. Markus Demitrius | November 24, 2011 at 6:44 am | Reply

    At first I was disappointed with the changes to the site and almost left forever, but I now understand you are starting from scratch, so I’ll give you a little time to mature.

    Hint, hint: Less articles about new tech-toys and more about SCIENCE! That is, if you expect to retain my readership…

  12. Looks as if about 50 % of the new articles were dedicated to advertising electronic gadgets instead of covering interesting scitech stories; this is a little disappointing, of course.

  13. I’m with the majority of the comments on this new look site. the good thing about the original site was the one page gets all approach, with easily accessible links to other scientific interest/news sites, that’s why it’s always been my first port of call for science news. It wasn’t flash and all modern looking but it was extremely usable.
    A couple of things I do like though, found a link to a new site I wasn’t aware of through your links, “bad archaeology” well worth a visit. I do like the ability to comment on articles, this is a good move.
    I will be sticking with the site for now and see how it develops in response to readers comments.

  14. You just lost a frequent visitor.

  15. It is hard for us to change once we are used to the format. I agree completely with Mark. Just set up a link to an old style site and see which site has more visit. Once everyone used to the new one, the old one can then be shut down. Without that, I worry there may be an exodus of readership.

  16. Your boxes are too big. I liked the minimalism of the old site and the ability to personally scan (with my own eyes) the items selected for the site. I don’t know how much patience I’ll have for this.

  17. It seems like you don’t quite know what made the old site useful? Your news digest is sort of like the old SciTech (if you were looking at it through a pinhole), but everything else looks disturbingly like ad copy.

    I wish you good luck with your new service, but I’m afraid I will not be a user of it since it doesn’t meet my needs.

    All the best.

  18. Surprised to see the new look and layout. To be honest, I certainly miss the old look. The charm of densely packed info with short summaries about the articles was the main appeal to visit the site. Similar to aldaily.com which I regularly visit too. With only 4-5 articles in the main page, it is less engaging to me. Of course the site looks more polished and certainly has a better cosmetic look..but still.

    -mJ, Belgium

  19. Thank you all very much for the forthright and candid feedback. Instead of replying to each comment, I wanted to provide an overall comment on the general concerns raised here.

    Please be assured that we are listening to your frank criticisms, and we’re working to address them. Some things will take longer than others, but we’re working to restore the features you all liked about SciTechDaily. As some have suggested, this is basically a hybrid approach that will include the new layout and interactive features with a large listing of great links to the best science and technology articles like before.

    The last thing we want to do is lose the current base of SciTechDaily readers, and your feedback is not falling on deaf ears. We received one email lamenting the loss of the Breaking News links, so we added them back on a Breaking News page. Likewise we added the News Digest to provide listings of links to interesting science articles and news of technological breakthroughs, which everyone missed so much from the old site. This is just a quick solution we were able to deliver right away, while we work on a much better system for providing these links.

    None of the articles are paid placements or advertisements. The only ad on our site at this time is the rectangular ad on the left hand side of the page beneath the Subscribe box. Apparently the posts being referred to were articles on mainstream gadgets, such as news about the latest tablet or smartphone. We would like to expand SciTechDaily’s coverage to include that type of news, but it was a mistake to start that so soon without building up our traditional science and technology coverage first.

    Building the new site required a lot of time and money, so it would have been easier to stick with the old format. By listening to your feedback, hopefully we’ll be able to make changes so that the old guard is happy and we’ll be able to attract new readers.

    Likewise, simply linking to articles is much easier and faster than writing your own, so it would have been cheaper to maintain the old format and not hire writers. However, we wanted to expand into doing our own reporting right on SciTechDaily to help attract new readers to the site. We also have other new features such as the ability to post comments, which will hopefully lead to engaging discussions about the articles.

    Thank you for your patience as we work to build up more articles, and adapt the new site to retain more of what you liked about the old SciTechDaily. Please continue to provide feedback, so we can develop the site into an incredible science resource you want to frequently visit.

  20. Change for the sake of change is almost always a bad thing. The old format was more or less ideal, easy to scan, dense enough to have everything on one page. The combining of the Book Review and Commentary column would have been all it needed, as the daily rate of new entries between them would have nearly matched the rate of fresh news stories.
    I can accept the need for a bit more advertising (a necessary evil for a free site) as long as you stay away from the dodgy “one-weird-old-tip” stuff and anything that bounces, flashes or makes noise.

  21. Thanks for your reply, Mike. I’d like to highlight one point…

    an incredible *science* resource

    Technology and the latest gadgets? The web is full to overflowing with techie sites. I think that many people coming by here are interested in *science*.

    I realise that you need to sell advertising in order to survive. However, your advertising box at top left is too large. We see advertising on the left, and a large featured article box on the right, and there is no hint whatsoever that there might be more interesting articles somewhere.

    Every time Facebook changes the way it does things, people complain just because they don’t like change. However it usually turns out that the basic functionality of Facebook is still there, and after a week or two, everyone settles down. I think you need to think a little harder about the basic functionality of the old SciTechDaily.

    I figure you’ve got three or four weeks before people lose patience and start going elsewhere for science news.

  22. Thanks for your feedback Julian and Deborah. You both mention “more advertising,” however, the new site actually has less. We only have the one ad in the upper left, whereas the old site had 4 ad blocks (up to 160×600 in size) and a number of other cross promotions. We may experiment with adjusting the advertising in the future, but will avoid making it too extensive or overwhelming.

    Your other feedback regarding the focus on science instead of techie gadgets as well as a preference for the old dense and easy-to-scan style is understood. We will work on it.

  23. Count me with the masses. This new look is just too antiseptic, provides almost no real variety, has no logical or intuitive layout, and just looks like 10 million other blogs. I’ve been reading SciTech, and it’s been a reliable standby, for 10 or so years. The old interface was extremely well done and provided something for everyone it seemed. This is just too little, too pigeonholed, and just appears too much like an attempt to jump on a bandwagon rather than improve what already worked.

    One suggestion from a writer with several years experience in web content…

    Site visitors almost always scan to the upper left immediately after landing on a page, and their focus remains there for some time afterwards. Never put your headlines, logo, or content on the right as it has been shown to reduce readership and produce a jarring and unnatural feel in the reader, leading them to leave as fast as they came. While this is the least of the problems, because of this jarring layout, I have a feeling you folks might not have invested in a proper development plan or team perhaps.

    Hope it gets better. Not easy finding a site worth keeping in your favorites for a decade.

  24. Mr. O’Neill – Thanks for listening to readers’ responses and keeping the site viable, if nothing else. Good luck making it all work. If you’ll suffer one more criticism let me say that the writing needs to pretty interesting or add some value to be worth wading through, or else it becomes another tiresome obstacle before the actual article. So please either pretty interesting or short-and-sweet (maybe a condensed sentence on the newsworthy points). Also the copy-editing will eventually need improvement (confusing the Japanese Yen for the Korean Won, for example).

  25. Congratulations on your purchase which will hopefully ensure the continuation of this iconic site. Like most of the commenters I liked the old format that Vicki used (over more than a decade of bookmarking it)with lots of quickly scanned headlines…perhaps you could reduce even more the blank space between each headline comment on the right side of the page. Or maybe make two parallel columns on the right to fit more easily digested items in…having to scroll down is a nuisance. The new format will take some getting used to but I, for one, am prepared to follow along with you as you make this wonderful site evolve and survice changing times!

  26. Site is looking better all the time! I think your new logo is just great and looks very smart in the top left corner. Is there a chance the larger one on the right top could eventually be reduced in size (or even omitted altogether) as it stops one from seeing any headlines when the page opens unless you scroll down. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you Alastair! Some positive feedback is always welcome. 🙂

      The large logo on the right is only there temporarily so old SciTechDaily readers can read about the new design and not think they are on the wrong site. Soon that area will be used for featured articles, where you will be able to scroll through a number of the most popular recent articles on SciTechDaily.

      As we continue along our plan to roll out new features, there will be various adjustments and tweaks to make everything fit perfectly and look better. If things ever look off, try refreshing your browser to make sure you have the current css and js files.

  27. Hi —

    I am extremely disheartened by the new direction as described.

    Please, keep the site focused on =science=.

    I have no interest in yet another wannabe Gizmodo.

    Thank you.

  28. Melvyn Reddington | November 29, 2011 at 3:14 am | Reply

    Aaargh – what have you done to my home page.

    Before the days of the internet I used to work in a Government Service, and each day we got an A4 page with the major news headlines. It was all you needed to be aware of the major events in the world and left you very informed. If you wanted more, you could order copies of the articles. SciTechDaily served the same function and was the best science portal around. The headlined articles and range of links on one page was excellent . Looking at the site as it is now, there is nothing to make it stand out from the crowd. Please get the philosophy right. I’ll be watching to see how things progress. I really hope you can make it as good as it was.

  29. I do not despair when new operating systems arrive. I do not complain when Facebook changes its look–again–because I know that soon enough I’ll get used to it. And because I loved the look and feel of SciTechDaily so very much, I strove in recent days to relax into the changes, to wait for them to become my new normal. This now appears very unlikely to happen. Where this was previously one of my key gateways, the second place I visited each day, after Arts & Letters Daily, I’ve gone and made a series of direct bookmarks to regularly visited sites (e.g., New Scientist, Science Daily, and others). It seems more likely that I’ll simply drift away from SciTechDaily, now that it’s cluttered, graphic-filled and essentially indistinguishable from a whole mess–and I do mean mess–of other sites. You had a nice run, but I wish you’d stayed the course.

  30. people who like or don’t mind things tend not to complain

    the site has been taken over and will change, it needs to generate money to pay hosting and writers at the end of the day

    if it loses some visitors it will gain others – by the sounds of it most of the above came to the site, looked at one page and then clicked a link to other sites so that doesn’t sound very sustainable either

    perhaps you could put back the old homepage or similar on another url easily reached from the homepage though as it was a popular resource, just a thought

    and Science Daily. really, lots of info yes but that is one messy site – and you say this one is cluttered 🙂

    things change – so good luck

    David

  31. Old start page started up.

    Mike, I’ll just say that even if you do lose me as a reader, I appreciate your attempt to make things better and get things right, and I appreciate your willingness to listen to the old readers.

    I will point out a couple of things which I think are key.

    One: The digest is your grabber; think about how it can drive clicks to the other content on the site.

    Two: the writers of your articles have to be damn good — they can’t just regurgitate.

    Three: The more people have to click, the more likely they are to click away.

    I hadn’t intended to come back, but you seem to be working hard. I’ll visit again in a month, and see what you’ve done. I can’t complain about responsiveness to feedback.

    To David Hewitt: this has been my start page for a decade. It’s been the base of my workspace for a decade. For me, it’s a major change. I am pleased to take note of your bird’s-eye business optimism, but can’t guarantee I’ll share that sentiment in a month’s time.

    I hope I will, though. Good luck, Mike.

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