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Author Topic: Betanews.com - What was once a great site, is no longer  (Read 6057 times)
Josh
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« on: September 18, 2010, 09:51:51 AM »

I hope that I am not the only person on DC with the below feelings, but they had to be said.

Betanews, and likewise fileforum, have lost their way. The site which was once designed around providing updates to the latest in beta technology and software has turned into a commercial shill with a focus on dragging in more advertising dollars. Many of the "journalists" seem to be more like bloggers with stories which are designed to do nothing more than stir up a flame war. I've watched as their site has been overrun with advertisements. I have not seen any of those as I block all ads but turning off the ad blocker leads to stuff like "Software deal of the day", a recent addition to try and earn some money from their bigger advertisers, interstitial ads which interrupt me as I navigate page-to-page, an absurd amount of "top stories" or "most commented" sections which do nothing more than take up space. Their special features section has not changed in forever. One of the stories listed in it was from May. Is the release of nitro pdf's free reader still a "featured story" with so much other tech news going on?

The site is overrun with spam. You cannot rely on the "number of comments" section due to the fact that it may say 104 posts, but clicking the link reveals only 12 actual posts with the rest either hidden, identified spam, or actual spam in the comments/reviews. The site is overrun with the same people who "review" ad nauseam the same programs and do nothing but attack each other. I watch as one user incessantly rants about some obscure form of value, relying solely on price and providing no information on the actual program or its functionality. I watch as others review programs with no actual content but merely attacking other users. The articles posted at times read like paid advertisements.

Sorry if this seems like just a gripe session, but as a user who used betanews back in its good ole days, I am saddened to see the site take such a drastic turn. From spammers, to review/comment trolls, to ungodly numbers of advertisements, the site has turned into one which I am very close to ceasing visitation at minus software update notifications. Even that is being done more and more with secunia PSI and FileHippo update checker.

Come on betanews, get back to your roots. Give us a site worth reading.
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y0himba
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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2010, 12:43:20 PM »

 thumbs up Spot-on if you ask me.
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Josh
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2010, 02:13:04 PM »

Also forgot to mention the poor excuse for a rating system. The system is broken beyond any chance of repair. Users can rate down with no requirement for justification. This often results in all comments being "below viewing threshold" whenever you view a topic because someone holds a grudge against another user or set of users.
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Josh
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2010, 04:29:17 PM »

Here is an example of why I dislike the BN rating system. This is my first visit to a topic:



All of the replies have been rated down thus requiring a click to view content

Original topic
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Darwin
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2010, 05:04:56 PM »

 Thmbsup Well said, Josh. I feel that same way. I no longer trust/refer to Betanews or FileForum for the reasons that you have very eruditely outlined.
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4wd
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2010, 06:49:36 AM »

Here is an example of why I dislike the BN rating system. This is my first visit to a topic:
 (see attachment in previous post)
All of the replies have been rated down thus requiring a click to view content

Yes, the rating system is crap - it has always been crap and next to useless...but the reason for all the negative rating is because some people have actually found a use for such a crap system.

They rate every comment negatively, (even their own), once they've read them so that they can immediately see new comments when they log in without having to wade through them all again.

Until BetaNews gets a better system, (and let's face it, if you can have people rating programs in the FileForum when it's obvious they haven't even tried them - is it even likely to happen?), if people want to make the best of the current crap system, more power to them.

I tend to ignore all the program ratings and only read the article comments because they're a good laugh sometimes.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 06:52:26 AM by 4wd » Logged

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Darwin
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2010, 08:07:22 AM »

I tend to ignore all the program ratings and only read the article comments because they're a good laugh sometimes.

That they are - the vitriol and the ignorance displayed not only inspires laughter but incredulity as well!
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JavaJones
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2010, 08:06:42 PM »

Oh yes, no doubt, Betanews is crap now. Fileforum not much better. I get all my content from both sites through RSS now so I very, very seldom visit the site. And 90% of the articles I just skim and mark read. Especially Joe Wilcox. tongue

- Oshyan
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2011, 05:10:16 AM »

Some developers still seem to rate review mess highly http://fileforum.betanews...ctionMaster-/1293685503/1 see jcollake
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Josh
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2011, 07:02:06 PM »

THREAD RESURRECTION POWERS, ACTIVATE!!!

I just have to say that the situation is getting far worse. Looking at BN/FF now, the site is overrun with very invasive ads. The articles are now obviously shills where some company has paid one of the writers to review a product. The product reviews are targetted at novice users, not the tech crowd which usually visits the site. The articles are no longer news worthy and merely blog posts with opinion pieces that are designed to be nothing more than click bait.

I am officially done with this site. R.I.P. Betanews, maybe one day you will find your way again.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2011, 08:47:09 PM »

Their RSS feed no longer has whole articles either, just summaries, forcing you to click to their site to actually read the content (and the summaries are usually awful). Not that I blame them, the RSS feed used to be a very convenient way to avoid seeing all their annoying pop-over ads. Now I just use an ad blocker. Wink But so rarely is the content useful that I am definitely considering removing them from my RSS soon. Slashdot is kind of sucking too.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a good general tech (and other) news site with an RSS feed? I want something fairly broad, that includes both tech/geek-specific stuff and *some* "real news" so I'm not totally out of touch, plus the occasional bit of humor. Like Slashdot, only without really terrible/slanted/biased article summaries and a bunch of duplicates.

- Oshyan
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Josh
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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2011, 08:59:51 PM »

Have you ever tried accessing BN on a mobile device (tablet, smartphone, etc)? The "full page ads" are not removable. There is no way to close them on my android phone. I am all for a site making money through advertising and disable my ad blocker for sites with respectable and non-obnoxious ads, but BN has taken advertisement to a whole new, and highly annoying level.

What annoys me is their TOS which says if for any reason you disagree with BN, your sole course of action is to cease visitation. That sounds very pro-customer/viewer.

I am also up for some good new tech sites to get my news from so I can cut slingload from these sites which just attempt to garner clicks.
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Shades
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« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2011, 10:54:58 PM »

I mostly rely on Dutch tech sites as they appear to be faster than Slashdot most of the time anyway.

Maybe with Google translate the following sites are an option for you?  Tweakers.net and WebWereld
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40hz
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« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2011, 07:25:31 AM »

@Josh- the mobile thing is annoying. I hit a site on my iPhone over the weekend that kept looping a popup for you to "like" their product on Facebook. It completely took over Safari. You couldn't close either the popup or the underlying web page. Exiting to the desktop didn't fix it, nor did purging the cache, history, and cookies. I had to restart the device, then immediately launch the browser and close the page before I could get rid of it. Fun way to waste 5 minutes figuring it out.

At first I thought it was just me or this particular website. Then I saw some comments in a few other places talking about this new marketing technique of "forcing a like" some sites are now pulling.  undecided



« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 07:27:45 AM by 40hz » Logged

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zridling
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« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2011, 05:51:46 PM »

Josh, you're right on every count. However, I'm much more fickle. I actually left the site years ago when then changed the page design and colored FileForum orange. It was so "GeoCities" on my eyes that I gave up. I was also switching to Linux at the time, and it didn't help that they when viewing the latest 100 updated apps, you're thrown into a confusing screen full of boxes -- WTF! Like so many news sites, the intent seemed to get visitors to click-thru several screens to get where they wanted.

And BetaNews, whoa! I just looked at today's page for the first time in years, too. Virtually every headline is an opinion rather than a description. They're doing it wrong!
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 09:51:46 PM by zridling » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2011, 07:22:49 PM »

Wow, this is a rare occurrence folks. Zaine and I completely agree. Someone +1 this, like it, digg it, tweet it, whatever you will.

High five, Zaine!
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zridling
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« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2011, 11:25:17 PM »

@Josh:

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Steven Avery
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« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2012, 07:34:13 PM »

Hi Folks,

To date, I only have used FileForum as an in between shareware check source, with a number of comments from users, sort of in between CNET and Snapfiles, with MajorGeeks and some others like Softpedia off to the side.  For that limited purpose, who is better, even today ?  Snapfiles, ok, however with a smaller selection.

Seems to me that for that limited purpose they may still be reasonable.

Steven
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rgdot
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« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2012, 08:56:31 PM »

For a source to check ratings? I would say none really exist, best way to check 'ratings' is forum sites like DC not a place where people click on stars.
In general I use softpedia, freeware-guide and freewarefiles for new releases.
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« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2012, 09:01:55 PM »

I still like browsing Betanews.. with Admuncher!
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MrCrispy
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« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2012, 08:22:02 PM »

Even with Admuncher furiously killing ads, it loads slower than the old site.
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Josh
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« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2012, 08:32:09 PM »

MrCrispy, Thank you! Betanews load times in chrome, on Win7 x64, are painful. Every other site I use loads in a split second, even flash heavy sites like MSNBC. Betanews, for some reason, loads slow and is slow to scroll and navigate. But alas, they will not change due to the very nature of the terms of use.

Quote
IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH THIS WEB SITE, OR ANY PORTION THEREOF, YOUR EXCLUSIVE REMEDY SHALL BE TO CEASE USING THE WEB SITE.
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youngjohn12
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« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2012, 03:17:07 PM »

Oh yes, no uncertainty, Betanews is junk now. Fileforum not much better. I get all my articles from both websites through RSS now so I very, very rarely check out the website. And 90% of the articles I just look at and level study. Especially Joe Wilcox.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2012, 07:39:19 PM »

I do likewise YoungJohn. Hooray for RSS! cheesy

- Oshyan
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« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2012, 02:04:32 PM »

I do like the "saved list" you can do on fileforum that then sends you email on new versions of software. It's hard work to pay attention to all you own, and not every developer sends notifications (grrr!) to their customer list.

Not sure where I'll get that if developers move off betanews
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