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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:25 pm
by joshnason
First post!

How's it going, everybody?

Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:35 pm
by Ageyev
joshnason wrote:First post!

How's it going, everybody?

Image

Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:42 pm
by Rich Kraetsch
joshnason wrote:First post!

How's it going, everybody?
Hello, sir!

Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:36 pm
by BillThompson
If the Observer were just Dave, Alan, Bix, and some others by all means I would believe it's worth the money. But, it's not, and I refuse to give my money to anything associated with Bryan Alvarez. From him not knowing what the hell is going on, not watching much of any wrestling at this point, to his lack of historical knowledge he's a a black eye on Dave who really drags Dave down in my estimation. There are also too many writers on the site (again of the not Alan, Bix, Dave variety) who refuse to do simple research. This is a product that people are paying for, the people supplying the content should be giving people the best product they can, not a piece of shit propped up by a handful of great writers/journalists/podcasters.

More than anything, why would I waste my money on something so haphazardly put together when sites like VoW, PWPonderings, and others are providing much better content (and again I'm not talking about Dave. Bix, Alan when I write this) for free?

Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:22 pm
by Morten VH
I'd gladly pay $10.99 a month for a newsletter, written by Rich, Joe, Rob, Brandon and the rest of the VOW crew.

I ended up letting my subscription run out to the Observer, around this time last year. I had started using the VOW podcasts, and they do much more for me than the ones i used to pay for. The VOW podcasts actually talks about stuff that interests me. The newsletter was the only thing i got for my money in the end, and i decided it wasn't worth the cost. I really loved the Sin Limite shows, because i really enjoy Dave and Mike's opinions, but that was the only radio shows i listened to on there. I hated when Dave just talked for an hour about a New Japan show, and Bryan had no clue about anything. Dave is great, when he can work off of someone who also knows what he's talking about. Not when he's just going on on his own, like he does when he do shows with Bryan.

Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:54 pm
by JonnyBart
I ended my sub last spring and was shocked at how little I missed it. I first started subscribing when I was in high school in 2006 and it was just Bryan and his buddies fucking around and talking about life and wrestling. Obviously things change and people grow, and the site just became less and less of what I originally subscribed to. Alan's show (here's another one for ya buddy) and Adam and Mike were consistently the best shows on the site, and a lot of us originals stuck around for The Board. I enjoyed Dave at first but his tendencies and tics REALLY started to bug me after a while; I also find it funny that people think Bryan drags Dave down, Bryan reigning in Dave covers up for a lot imo, but different strokes I guess. I'll probably resubscribe for a month before the end of the year to grab the DKPs that I missed.

Also, other podcasts like VOW more than filled the audio gap. I still have too many podcasts to keep up.

Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:59 pm
by JonnyBart
BillThompson wrote:There are also too many writers on the site (again of the not Alan, Bix, Dave variety) who refuse to do simple research. This is a product that people are paying for, the people supplying the content should be giving people the best product they can, not a piece of shit propped up by a handful of great writers/journalists/podcasters.
There isn't really a filter, all you need to do to get something on the front page is to email Dave and he decides to put it up.

Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:34 am
by BoxingRobes
Five hours of VoW got my wrestling covered. I subscribe on and off...mostly never worth it.

Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:57 am
by supersonic
Tony chimes in:
ManBearPig wrote:
supersonic wrote:Some honest feedback
I have seen it. There are always valid criticisms around even on here. Just that some are made with a lot of assumptions of how our business works.

How this went down and when it went down, I was not happy with. I wish I would have had more time to hammer things out before it went live. But I didn't. I dealt with it as it came. Because of this there were a lot of unforeseen issues that arose. My plan of attack of upgrading each system was blown up. I had to do it all at once.l

I am just not going into the details with people on the board. I don't know of any business that would. I have never been told why a hosting company needed an emergency upgrade, nor do I demand to know the details. Because I am a nerd I would love to know those details but beyond that... I don't care. And that effects me and my partners in a much larger way because we have customers.

There are still lots and lots of issues. Some people have noticed and a bunch nobody has noticed. I am knocking down each issue as quickly as I can. I have a huge task list that about 4-5 of us keep adding to.

As I was about to start working on getting Solr(a search module) going on the site, this stuff went down. I badly want to get back to that. And I will.

Believe me when I say each of the issues that remain bother me monumentally more than they bother you.

As far as the complaints about content. I just repeat my earlier post. Bryan and Dave work their asses off providing content, and their motivation to do so hasn't changed and they will continue to do so.

The front page has gotten a facelift. It isn't perfect it won't stay exactly the same and it will evolve. The content is getting a facelift, and also isn't perfect. A lot of writers are now contributing work in a way we have never done before. That is a work in progress and will continue to be. They all seem very excited to contribute and it will continue to evolve.

If you have valid criticism, suggestion, want to volunteer help, etc. Send it to me [email protected]

Don't be a dick and don't stay in gimmick/character if you want to be heard. I understand that if you are having technical issues you are frustrated. An email that just says "I hate this fucking new layout I can't figure it out, and can't read the newsletters" Doesn't help me or anyone else. I can't and won't be able to answer every single email. My mail box is huge. Especially right now.

This doesn't have to be so adversarial as it has been. Let's all just continue to make the website better.

ADDED: If you are having technical/billing issues please open a ticket here: account.f4ownline.com/helpdesk rather than email. The support email and my email are getting just hammered. That way we can track the ticket and make sure we address it correctly and don't miss it in spam or just by being buried in our inboxes.

Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:22 am
by samptime
Been at the site for just over 4 years. I know some people didn't like the Todd shows, but I really did, and the whole episode was poorly handled by the site.

Lack of communication of the subject, threads and posts being deleted if you mentioned Todd. It was way over the top. I tried out the Torch for a few months. Obviously loved the Todd shows, and also liked the Bruce shows. But the lack of a board and poor layout of the Torch site put me off.

I wish there was a bit more variety to the audio shows at F4W/Observer. For example, I was listening to some old B&V shows from 4-5 years ago, where they were reviewing Dragon Gate shows. They'd never do that now. Be cool to hear some retro PPV reviews, mix it up some, some old New Japan/All Japan shows aswell. Audio is VERY formulaic now

The site upgrade meant basically I couldn't access audio/newsletters for 10 days. I wasn't expecting compensation but stunned they've not apologised, and done a big 2 hour mailbag show or something. The way they slag off the network if it buffers for a bit but their site basically didn't work for 10 days and it's all good.

Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:42 am
by rovert
Things must be bad if Tony wrote that much and in a respectful tone. I had a look at the forum and things seem to be at a real low ebb in terms of customer sentiment. I've heard about all this work Tony does every since subs went up a dollar to pay for him to work full time on the site 5 years ago or so. But I've never seen any real tangible benefit as a subscriber.

WWE has WWE resources but I haven't seen any sustained effort by Bryan to make good on the issues with the site this year. Just changes that last two weeks that are dropped with no explanation. Heaven forbid his site gets in the way of After Dark or his Jitz school though.

Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:54 am
by pol
The amount of wrestling Bryan watches is inexcusable for the #2 guy on wrestling's premier journalistic outlet. Listening to him pretend like he watches NJPW is awful. What's the excuse for not even watching the major shows of the #2 company in the world?

Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:06 am
by samptime
pol wrote:The amount of wrestling Bryan watches is inexcusable for the #2 guy on wrestling's premier journalistic outlet. Listening to him pretend like he watches NJPW is awful. What's the excuse for not even watching the major shows of the #2 company in the world?
Very valid point.

Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:06 am
by supersonic
That's actually a great question. He's not a sports fanatic nor does he get addicted to TV series, so it's difficult to imagine what keeps him so busy. A side job and family is no excuse, as Dave is a dad and stays far more in tune with pop and sports culture.

Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:14 am
by joshnason
Hey guys -- a few of you may know me and a few may not, but I'm a part-timer for the Observer site that does a lot of random stuff in public view and behind the scenes. I saw this post, finally registered, and wanted to drop a few unsolicited lines. I have no idea where to start, so here goes.

-- There have definitely been some issues over the past month, especially with the surprise site launch forced on us by a tech provider. We didn't have a site launch date planned, so all of the testing server stuff you usually have with prior to launch? Yeah, we didn't get that luxury.

-- Tony has been busting his ass non-stop to get things working back in order. He gets a lot of scorn on our board for some reason, but he's doing yeoman work. Some may not buy it, but all I can say is believe me when I say that he's doing all he can to make our site a better place.

-- I hear your concerns, and think it's completely rational to discuss value with a paid content site. I pay for content on other sites and services, and if I don't feel like I'm getting the value, I reconsider or cancel. If someone doesn't feel like they are getting the value, it's perfectly ok if they cancel. I'd rather have that than have someone miserable, but there are people that pay for the right complain. I guess that's ok too, but is an odd way to spend money.

-- Content-wise, I think we're getting better. We are transitioning out of the 'all in on the front page!' approach to more of a staff approach where only solicited writers get that opportunity. It doesn't happen overnight, but change is happening there. On the radio side, we are forcing change with recording standards that should hopefully bring everyone up to, literally, the same level. We still have a long way to go to where I'd like to see us, and am jealous of some of the great work done on this site with op/ed pieces. You can tell there's passion here, and that's what we need more of.

-- I do think a lot of the general criticism we get is because people don't like Dave, Bryan, or both. There's not much we can do about that because they do own the site, but I think you'll get that in any form of media these days. Everything's niche and with the amount of free content out there, it's not too hard to find what you need to get you by. That's why sites like ours need to be better, and that feels like what ultimately people want.

So that's that. I appreciate that people have their opinions, and that there are places where people can talk about it. For those that have left, I can only hope we do work that entices you to come back. For those still with us, thanks for the support. We need to ensure we keep it.

Josh

P.S. Rob and TheCubs fan -- email me directly for anything specific you want to address. I can clear up the questions about the survey, etc.