Some things I've learned from my
web site users -
My BMW web site now approaching its 10th year
and with over a million hits, it has gained the respect of many of my peers, in terms of its content quality and
how the content is presented. I thank all of you who took the time to write e-mail(s) to me over these past years, expressing
your appreciation of my web sites and telling me what you liked or disliked about them. Last year I generated this summary
of the comments you've sent me and posted them here, for the benefit of other small web page publishers/web masters,
that strive to present the best data available and doing so using proven methods and standards. The inputs I've received to
date have not changed, except for additional comments about pictures created with cell phones, so this summary still
reflects the current thinking.
Number 1 comment - Largest number of
visitors to my web sites who comment do so primarily about my photograph size, quality and annotation. They greatly appreciate
the photos and most all comment on the typical poor quality of the very small, low quality, out of focus and poorly illuminated
pictures on most other web sites... real estate and automotive parts sites were noted as having perhaps the worst pictures.
Cell phone pictures posted in forums was often considered a waste of time, due to their poor quality and an idiotic request
to 'please forgive the poor quality'. Many noted the odd popularity of taking night pictures of vehicles in parking lots
and parking garages, that have odd color temperature lighting and are again, taken with cell phones, mostly for sale ad use.
The resultant poor picture quality and inability to make an initial value judgement about the car, usually results in
an immediate turn-off about the car.
Some of you in the earlier days of this web site
have indicated my pictures were too large for their display (typically a laptop with a 13-inch screen), but they now
number probably 1 out of 100 users who make this comment. My standard picture size is now 1024x768, which may increase to
1280x960 in the near future, based on recent display screen size information published this month (May 2012). The bottom line with respect to picture size, is like the old adage, 'a picture is
worth a thousand words'.
Number 2 comment - Second largest number
of comments is about my consistant use of LINKS to the topic(s) being discussed, that allows the user to get to the other
related resources I suggest. They don't have to search for what I am talking about, which is all too often required when using
other web sites, especially special interest Forums where people suggest other resources in their messages, but you have to
find them. "Rod's Webpages Index" document is also considered a very worthwhile resource by most of you, because the popular subjects are listed in BOLD
type and include a LINK. And new or revised subjects are shown in bold red typeface,
linked at the top of the Index page, which is quick to identify and locate.
Number 3 comment - Third largest number
of comments was a tie between two subjects... those who want me to incorporate what would be expanded Bentley manual subjects, which some people feel are lacking in detail and/or clear photographic examples. This is an issue people
should be raising with Bentley, not me. You can contact them here. The other question was what kind of digital camera did you use? There was more than one camera, of course, because of the
length of time this website has been operating. The cameras were, in their order of purchase and use:
Number 4 comment - Fourth and last major
number of comments are about my no longer providing Email support to individuals who have written to me about their specific
E28 or house projects problems, asking me for assistance. Sadly, some of you have been very demanding, as if I owe you the
info you are looking for. Such folks need an attitude adjustment, in my opinion. Simply put, I don't have the time to deal
with what was an average of 135 e-mails per week! Are these demands on my time being made because too many user
forums are not providing what many people are seeking, which is detailed responses to their problems, or is it that a
great many people don't know how to find needed info, or how to use typical search engines, many of which are pretty criptic.
Or, do people simply think they are too busy to find what they need? Perhaps simply lazy?
I don't know the answer, but I suspect it is a mix of
the above. I do know that I don't have the time to support it, based on my experience of doing so for 6 years from 2004 until
2010, when I stopped, as it had become a full time job!
I hope you find this info from my web site users helpful,
in structuring your own websites/blogs, designed to help others by sharing what you know works. Again, I thank all of you
who took the time to send me your comments and helped make this web site very worthwhile for BMW E28 owners and to the many
"DIY" old house owners who are doing what they can to restore and save some great old houses, both small and large.
Copyright 2004-2013 by Rod Paine. All rights