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What do you think of the new CNET Mac Forums?

by Aaron.Smith / July 22, 2009 2:40 AM PDT

We're always trying to make things better for the community over here at CNET, and I would love to hear what people think of the forums. What do you like? How can we make them better?

Let us know!


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A good thing.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 22, 2009 11:17 PM PDT

It's nice to see more Apple coverage and should be interesting to see what people have to say.

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not up to MFIF
by jchuzi / July 27, 2009 11:09 AM PDT

The CNET forums are more difficult to use than MacFixit Forums (MFIF). I have to type UBB code manually (a pain in the rear) as well as type smileys manually. The interface is not intuitive and it is not as easy to look at replies. Personally, I prefer not to have updates emailed to me but to look at the threads themselves. However, the interface doesn't make this user-friendly.

You would do well to emulate the format, interface and ease of use of MFIF. I'm a bit discouraged here after participating in MFIF for several years with over 20,000 posts.

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I agree with Jon
by rahja / July 27, 2009 11:27 AM PDT

I agree with Jon, the forum format here is several steps backwards from the MacFixit forumware. to find new posts one needs to click through every category.
I think you would have been better off to just put a big CNet banner on top of the old MF forum page...

good luck.

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I agree with Rajah (and Jon)
by Mr. Gregg / July 27, 2009 11:38 PM PDT
In reply to: I agree with Jon

The format of the forum is very primitive. Forums I was participating in 10 years ago were easier to navigate, and told me more at a glance, helping me to know which pages I wanted to look at. Here, it's like going into it blind. You just have to barge in and discover whatever you bump into.

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and another thing...
by Mr. Gregg / July 27, 2009 11:42 PM PDT

I have to click to return to the discussion! Talk about primitive!

And I don't see a way to edit my post. (Sorry Rahja - Did I remember it correctly this time?)

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Bad main page.
by gesplus / July 27, 2009 1:07 PM PDT

Very non-standard forum design for the main page.

You should at least make it so one can click on a forum title and go to a page that shows the list of subforums for that forum with unread post count, also the unread post count needs to be in the threads list of the subforums. A total of unread posts on the main page would be nice also.

Different style to the thread lists in the forums than MacFixit but I can get used to it, it seems easy to follow.

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Bad Design and Change for Changes Sake
by sturner--2008 / July 28, 2009 12:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Bad main page.

You eliminated the granularity of the MacFixIt forums, consolodating the sub-forums into large ones. This makes it MUCH harder to look for networking, internet related, CD/DVD burning, etc.

It appears that CNET has the same mentality as Microsoft when it comes to design. They fix what wasn't broken, and in the process make it more difficult to navigate.

This rates a MAJOR FAIL.

Just because something is different, doesn't make it improved, just like all change isn't for the better.

What is appreciated is that my login was imported and went seamlessly. That was well executed.

The format of your forums is rather jarring, and while clean and minimalist are rather difficult to follow. Maximizing your add space while making the navigation more difficult isn't a way to increase readership.

Not having the BBcodes available for linkings and such is also a major failing. It does look like a bare-bones wiki rather than a full-function bulletin board.

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CNET & Macs (in general)
by TechnoAcolyte / July 31, 2009 12:12 AM PDT


Given what happened to VersionTracker after the CNET taker-over, none of this should surprise any Mac user. I permanently switched to, and will not pay for VersionTracker or the former MacFixIt forums access any longer.

CNET has devalued a one-time pinnacle of the Mac reporting industry: MacFixIt. Time to move on & search for sites that aren't owned by PC-centric companies with an axe to grind against the Mac. Hope that you are all successful in finding a replacement for the former granular, easy-to-navigate, Mac-only forums of MacFixIt. My search begins today. So long.


Mainframe programmer/analyst
Mac user since the 512K "Fat" Mac

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Merging of General Topics into PC and Mac Combined Forums
by sturner--2008 / July 28, 2009 12:31 AM PDT

While I understand that merging the topic forums of networking and internet related into the general population, the mixing of Mac and Windows is VERY likely to produce friction. I understand that it is cheaper to maintain one forum topic rather than two, but I think that it will likely cause Mac users to shy away.

I also think that because of the interface differences it will cause lots of confusion if someone posts without mentioning all the specifics, or a responder posts without realizing the OP is a Mac.

I think you may find flame wars errupting as well in the mixed environment.

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Merging part II
by sturner--2008 / July 28, 2009 12:38 AM PDT

I also think that putting ALL new users in the same topic thread is very unhelpful for new Mac users. The Mac isn't addressed at ALL.

Again a MAJOR FAIL. So far you have a failing grade.

I also object to the fact that I can't edit any of my previous posts. This points to this site as not being a full-function BB.

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Second Class Citizens
by sturner--2008 / July 28, 2009 12:45 AM PDT

I am also upset that Mac Forums are not a selectable item on the left column. I have to go to All Forums to get to the Mac Forums.

Treating Mac users as second class citizens is a prime way of chasing us away. If the business decision was to garner additional users then DON'T IMMEDIATELY institute policies that piss off those users.

As you can tell, my posts are getting less friendly the more I'm on this site.

The NUMBER ONE reason businesses lose customers is by making them mad. I would venture to say that cnet has start that process.

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Not sure about this but,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 6, 2009 11:57 PM PDT
In reply to: Second Class Citizens

you said, "I have to go to All Forums to get to the Mac Forums".

While I have not tried this from all the forums on CNET but I do see the Mac OS mentioned in the left hand sidebar in all the forums I have been to.

Of course, that may have been changed since you mentioned it


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Not a godsend
by gbdoc / July 28, 2009 1:32 AM PDT

"What do you think of the new CNET Mac Forums?" I can hardly believe you're surprised that former MFIF denizens are thoroughly dissatisfied. MFI wasn't broke, didn't need to be fixed, and what you're done so far looks more like a downgrade than anything else. While I may be additionally moved by nostalgia and habit, what you've got here is a lot less helpful and user-friendly in its structure than MFI and MFIF was.

We'll see what you evolve into as you mature, and I hope it's something good. But know that you've got a long way to go. Like any startup, you deserve my best wishes. But in your case, those wishes are tempered by the fact that you destroyed something good.

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Subject line is required for a reply? That's dumb.
by tacit / July 29, 2009 11:38 AM PDT

We're always trying to make things better for the community over here at CNET, and I would love to hear what people think of the forums. What do you like? How can we make them better?

For starters, the forum software is pretty appalling--poor visual design and layout, limited functionality, few threading options that I can find. It's not the wort Web-based forum software that I've ever seen, but honestly, it's pretty close.

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I'm truly sorry to say this... but it is a *big* step backwards... staggeringly, *no* improvements whatsoever... I couldn't possibly recommend this site to a Windows *or* Mac user I'm afraid. I find it somewhat shocking that this sort of format still exists..... especially with so many superior open-source alternatives does make you wonder....

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I agree.... why a stupid title to add to a forum or reply?
by lloyd1981 / August 10, 2009 8:18 AM PDT

Tried following links BACK to the Forum and got:

We're sorry, but the page you requested could not be found.

If you got here by typing a URL, please make sure the spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are correct, then try reloading the page.

Try searching for the page you're looking for:

* Or try one of the following options:
* Check the CNET Site Map
* CNET Help Center
* Start over again at
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Threads always default to the beginning
by sturner--2008 / July 30, 2009 1:00 AM PDT

I can't emphsize this enough. The lack of a control to take me to the first unread post in a thread is VERY, VERY IMPORTANT!

If you revist a thread that is ongoing, and it has more than 5 posts I don't want to have to scroll through to find the newest unread post! It's one reason I find cnet forums to be unfriendly.

If a thread has say 30 posts I really DON'T want to have to scroll through several pages to find where they new posts are!

This is a major failing of your software.

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Subject Titles, Edit capability
by sturner--2008 / July 30, 2009 4:11 AM PDT

Why does your forum require a subject title when replying? why doesn't it replicate the original title?

And WHY, as a registered user, can I NOT edit my own posts?

cnet is so far behind in technology here that it's an embarrassement.

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I 2nd that
by lanny3 / August 7, 2009 5:53 AM PDT

I 2nd that

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It loves me, It loves me not
by Mr. Gregg / July 30, 2009 7:37 AM PDT

It can't even keep track of when I was here last. I am logged in, but the [color=red]New![/color] notice is appearing on posts I've already read.

Thought I'd give "color" a shot and see if it works...

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I Think Not
by Kevin M. Dean / July 30, 2009 1:28 AM PDT

"We're always trying to make things better for the community over here at CNET, and I would love to hear what people think of the forums. "

The better question is what does Cnet think of these forums since apparently not much thought as been put into them. They resemble something from the '90s functionality-wise. Try upgrading to a modern professional forum package because this one is pure amateur hour.

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New Posts since Last Visit
by sturner--2008 / July 30, 2009 4:14 AM PDT
In reply to: I Think Not

I keep getting this after I post in a thread.

Your software is so behind that it doesn't realise that I'm logged on and just posted in a thread.

cnet may have the corporate structure and money, but they don't seem to have any vision or common sense.

The next question must be how long before cnet becomes like The Source or CompuServe?

If you recognize those companies then you understand the analogy.

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by deniro567 / August 8, 2009 9:26 AM PDT

Oh for God's sake, just go back to the way they were. Nothing was broken and now it's a mess.

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Hate it
by boni777 / August 8, 2009 9:53 AM PDT

Previously, i had the Mac part of the CNET forums bookmarked, so I don't know about the "how to get to the Mac part" part. But I do know, that once I'm in the Mac section, I don't like it at all. I'm fairly new at Mac's and like to check in everything to see if anyone asked anything I might be able to learn from. Now, however, I have to work my away around inside and it takes a lot longer. I just thought it was me, but it looks like I'm just agreeing with most people.
Keep trying, you'll get it right(until then, you could go back to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it.")

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Tough to read
by deniro567 / August 10, 2009 9:55 AM PDT

There's a lot of clutter on the screen without any real sense of hierarchy.

And why is the type so small, with no option in the preferences to change it (or much else)? No, I'm not changing my browser's type size just for one web site.

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Am I the only one
by boni777 / August 10, 2009 11:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Tough to read

that has the little A and bigger A at the top of my screen? I know I'm new in the Mac system, but I thought they all had that?
Maybe I'm just special.

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NEW Mac forums
by joyss / August 16, 2009 3:55 AM PDT

Attention forum members! NEW Mac forums

I just tried to get to the Mac OSX from the above page, but was told the page did not exist (#_#)

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Page does not exist error
by sturner--2008 / August 16, 2009 2:59 PM PDT
In reply to: NEW Mac forums

This is a known problem with the CNET forums. I suspect it has its roots in the software the forum uses.

The breadcrumbs (the links directly back to the forum topic) is normally the most reliable way to return to a forum. However, that isn't always true here. You will have to wait for the technical support people to fix this.

Don't ask me when, I don't work here.

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Unread threads in a Forum
by sturner--2008 / August 18, 2009 1:16 AM PDT

I detest the fact that I have to enter a forum to see if there are any unread threads. This is a MAJOR inconvienence/problem.

As stated before, your software isn't designed as a normal forum.


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by Ned Scott / September 2, 2009 5:35 PM PDT

It's horrible. I hope someone gets fired for this.

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