Home » We Made It Through The First Week! How Can We Improve?

We Made It Through The First Week! How Can We Improve?

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Holy crap, it’s Friday, which means the Autopian has officially survived its first full week! I’m not going to lie: I’m exhausted, and I know David is too, and I’m pretty sure both of our diets have been the sort that would make a nutritionist slap us, hard, and with genuine rage. That said, we’re grateful you’re here reading this site, and we’re thrilled to work with incredibly talented contributors. David and I still can’t believe all of this is real.

Speaking of contributors, let’s shout them out by name, why not, because they deserve it. We got our fellow car-obsessive Thomas Hundal, cranking out the content; there’s Mark Tucker, giving us our daily serving of shitboxes, hot and fresh every morning; we have our incredible design twins, The Secret One and Adrian Clarke; our engineering-mistake confessor Huibert Mees; Rex Bennett, our man inside the Lane; the Navy’s finest pants-shitter, Bobby Mackay; small-town gearhead anthropologist David Wilson; the GOAT himself, Murilee Martin; our China-car savant, Tycho de Feijter; and our fantastic extra topshot artist, Syd.

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How did we manage to pull together such a fantastic team?

We know we have a long way to go to make everything the way we — and you — want it to be. There are still changes we want to make to the design, the commenting system, the pace of our writing — pretty much everything. We probably should get our asses in gear and sell a few ads, too. (Until then, who wants to buy T-shirts in bulk?)

Most importantly, we want to know what you, our fantastic readers, think! We started this site because we want to produce stories and videos and whatever you want to read, watch, listen, and enjoy! If there’s something you don’t like, or want more of, or less of, or whatever, let us know, right here in the comments, and we’ll do our best to make things better. We’re constantly striving to improve, and we’re very open to new ideas.

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Thank you all for reading. I really mean that, and I know David and Beau mean it, too. We’ve been busy, but we’ve been having a great time; it’s all been a reminder of why we wanted to do this in the first place: because we love cars, and we love the way cars bring people together.

Except maybe for a couple of jerks on Reddit. But you know, that’s the internet.

 

(image: Skoda Classic)

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Bob Jablonski
Bob Jablonski
1 year ago

The only issue I have had is if I am logged in on my work computer, everything works, I don’t log out.

If I go home it will allow me to login on my Chromebook but not allow me to post.

And pictures. I had a fresh one of my BMW 850 and I don’t want to waste at that other site

Doug Lippert
Doug Lippert
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Jablonski

Taking an easy way out here, replying to Bob’s comment. I can’t figure out how I can comment on an article. My original comment, when the site was launched, is here and, as I recall, wasn’t hard to figure out. I’ve completed a profile but don’t seem to be able to create an original comment, just reply to previously-posted comments. Might someone smarter than me in the ways of blogs lend a hand with some advice?

Thanks!

cgeorgemo70
cgeorgemo70
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Lippert

Would you believe for me it is at the very bottom of the page? If I want to post a comment I have to scroll past all the previous comments to do it. I’m used to being given a choice after the article and before the comments of others.

Fe2 O3
Fe2 O3
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Jablonski

OH MY GAWD SHOW ME THAT NEW 850 PICTURE! Glad to see you here, my go-to 850 guy who I really don’t know but whose comments I’ve enjoyed over the years.

Philip Dunlop
Philip Dunlop
1 year ago

Couldn’t be happier with the content and I appreciate all the hard work you’ve done. This has the feel of Jalopnik of old – in a very good way. I must’ve missed Murilee’s article, but I was thinking to myself how amazing it would be if he came on board as he would just fit with what you’ve going on here. I will seek it out as soon as this comment is submitted.

But do look after yourself, guys! As someone who was diagnosed with the Diabeetus just this week after getting checked for some other medical issues (hence maybe missing some articles), the outcome of not taking care of yourself is something that’s not very fun, and it has affected me more than I would likely outwardly admit to many. I don’t think I’d be alone in not wishing that on anyone involved in our favourite car site!

In terms of changes; they would only relate to the comment system, and I’m sure would echo ideas left by many others. I understand these may be things already in the pipeline that can take a bit of time to force through, but reply notifications would be the big, obvious thing for me, and the ability to post images. Other than that, no extra complexity is required, I don’t think. We’ve all seen the result of what can happen if *too* many features get added!

Congratulations on a great opening week, and here’s to a long, interesting and successful life for The Autopian!

Philip Dunlop
Philip Dunlop
1 year ago
Reply to  Philip Dunlop

As an addendum: while I know it’s probably not yet possible, a European perspective would be amazing since I’m a pesky foreigner. I love US cars and car culture, but being a European myself, it would be nice to have an outlook similar to The Autopian’s cast an eye on what’s going on over here. It may be interesting for some North American readers, too. Back in the day, Jalopnik had Máté Petrány. He was the first to offer such a perspective, and when he left, he was never really replaced.

Of course, this would apply to places other than just Europe, too. Correspondents in Asia, Oceania, South America and Africa would all be welcome, and might just differentiate The Autopian even more from the competition.

Having in someone in Antarctica is optional. But I’d read it. Just sayin’.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 year ago
Reply to  Philip Dunlop

Yes!
Máté Petrány would be an excellent fit here.
Great suggestion, Mojonaut: thumbs enthusiastically up!

IstillmissmyXJ
IstillmissmyXJ
1 year ago
Reply to  Philip Dunlop

Good luck with the diagnosis, got mine about a year ago. If they put you on a glucophage it took me close to 6 mo ths to get over the side effects, but it has been super helpful. Dropped my A1C from 10.4 to under 7.

Philip Dunlop
Philip Dunlop
1 year ago
Reply to  IstillmissmyXJ

Thank you! Yes, I’m on Metformin (the generic name for glucophage) and it’s been manageable so far. Feeling mildly deprived. Forming new habits. And quickly getting over my fear of needles and lancets.

Anyunusedusername
Anyunusedusername
1 year ago

The content is great. You guys have a great vibe, just keep being you.

For the site itself, I’d really appreciate a dark mode option if it’s easily done on your platform. My old eyes just aren’t what they used to be and the big, bright white screen makes long form reading rough after work.

daha
daha
1 year ago

Hey, remember MAD magazine? It mostly died off, but there was a plan to keep creating new covers and put them on magazines of republished content. And remember Cracked? It was basically a clone of MAD, with a different weird-kid mascot, but they even bought material from a lot of the MAD freelance artists, so if years later you tried to find a piece that you thought you read in MAD, it might turn out that it actually ran in Cracked.
That’s what I’m feeling right now. Jalopnik is an empty shadow of what it used to be, and they are rerunning old articles that pretend to be new until you reach the bottom and see a “previously published on” notice. Meanwhile, Autopian is doing the Jalopnik thing with a clone of The Morning Shift called The Morning Dump and a clone of Nice Price or Crack Pipe called Shitbox Showdown. Not that I mind, exactly, but there is also room to do better. And you need to poach Tom McParland so he can do his thing here instead of there.
And I like that you’re not taking up half my screen space with teasers to irrelevant stories on other websites that happened to be owned by the same management.

JC 06Z33
JC 06Z33
1 year ago
Reply to  daha

To be fair, a morning news roundup is a basic enough concept that I wouldn’t declare it a “clone”. Patrick even started the same thing at The Drive when he went there IIRC. And besides, as long as we don’t have Erik or Raph doing it here, it’s going to be infinitely better by default.

Fe2 O3
Fe2 O3
1 year ago
Reply to  JC 06Z33

Preach. Shilling’s drivel is a big part of what started to drive me away from Jalopnik. He may be a perfectly nice person, but he is utter crap at automotive writing.. and maybe writing in general.

Redfoxiii
Redfoxiii
1 year ago

I only have one comment/suggestion: some motorsports coverage would be quite welcome.

I have a feeling that it’s outside the intended coverage for the site, but it strikes me as an obvious topic for an automotive magazine.

Josh Jones
Josh Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Redfoxiii

I personally don’t care much for motorsport coverage, and the few events I do want coverage on I can get elsewhere. If it does show up here, obviously I could just ignore those articles, so no big deal, but my personal opinion is that if you’re going to cover them, I prefer you spend your time on the more “out there” stuff, rather than F1 or NASCAR, or any of the other well-covered events.
I feel like we got a lot more about Dakar this year than before, but that’s the kind of stuff I’m more interested in. Taking non-track environments and building something cool to deal with it.

Smormu Smormu
Smormu Smormu
1 year ago

The content has been incredible — more than any site on the internet, you guys are covering the unique subsets of car culture that you love and that make all of you the enthusiasts you are. Truly phenomenal content from a great variety of sources. Please keep all of it coming; I have this site on Safari’s speed dial and check in regularly.

That said, I think some other commenters have pointed out that there are times when the site is a bit sluggish. Strangely enough, I notice this only on Safari (desktop and mobile). Google Chrome loads everything much faster… just wanted to throw that out there in case anyone else is dealing with a similar issue.

Seriously though, keep up the great work! Favorite car publication, without a doubt.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
1 year ago
Reply to  Smormu Smormu

It’s been sluggish for me on Firefox too.

The Porscheoisie
The Porscheoisie
1 year ago
Reply to  Smormu Smormu

Painfully slow on safari all the time for me.

MiataMarty
MiataMarty
1 year ago
Reply to  Smormu Smormu

It’s slow on Chrome too.

Turd Ferguson
Turd Ferguson
1 year ago

Btw, DT. If you have some crazy part you can’t get for one of your piles, hit me up. I’m a lead machinist just south of you in Toledo. I can probably make or fix whatever you got..

David Tracy
David Tracy
1 year ago
Reply to  Turd Ferguson

Oh that’s awesome! I have a brake pedal I need bent and re-shaped (it’s an automatic pedal that I need to look like a manual pedal, which is smaller and farther to the right in the pedal box to accommodate the clutch pedal).

Turd Ferguson
Turd Ferguson
1 year ago

Love the site. Glad you guys started this. Torch and DT were the only reason I was still reading jalopnik. I can’t believe how much content you put out already.

Peter in the Bleachers
Peter in the Bleachers
1 year ago

It’s been great and refreshingly funny. I still can’t believe DT has bought a banger in Australia! The only problem I’ve found is when you log in to comment you don’t stay on the page and have to go back in through the front page. Apart from that keep going, Autopian is now my favourite motoring web site

Johan Greefkes
Johan Greefkes
1 year ago

I love the articles so far. I can finally read your posts on my phone! I do also appreciate the fact you can upvote comments without being logged in to anything. That should hopefully encourage more people to stick around.

I want to add my name to the list again for a way to throw a couple dollars your way a-la Ars Technica to remove ads.

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
1 year ago

I’ll throw one out too: Stickers! T-shirts are great, but the back of my truck cries our for further decoration. The Oppo, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers, Smokey Bear, Humane Society, and NHRA stickers need an Autopian friend.

Sekim
Sekim
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

You get a thumbs up for RCPM mention!

Jonee Eisen
Jonee Eisen
1 year ago

This is the car blog we’ve all been waiting for. There used to be another one whose name I can’t recall that was almost this good, but it never matched the fun and informativeness of this place. Well done. My only issue is that I haven’t had time to read everything.

Cpt. Slow
Cpt. Slow
1 year ago

Fun first week. Checking in at Jalopnik from time to time, and finding zombie post after zombie post.
For here? I have a couple of thoughts.
Deep dive on 3-D printing for obscure and unobtanium auto parts. There are loads of people creating, sharing, and selling designs and parts-on-demand. A tutorial on how to get started, what works where, and related detail to let people ‘in’.
– Sub articles abound about metal, plastic, large format, parts on demand…
– Review articles for at-home use
Feature the communities – depth (DT style depth) on car cultures (not just the MOAB groups)
Great drives – the right car for the right road – feature a car, a driver, and a path. Road trip how-to-where-to
Wrenching – how to to a PPI, how to choose a good mechanic, the essential toolkit
Forget supercars exist. They’re ugly and boring
Find the nutbars. Celebrate the nutbars.
For the love of God, always more about obscure taillights.

Andrew Daisuke
Andrew Daisuke
1 year ago
Reply to  Cpt. Slow

1000% on the forget supercars exist.

Josh Jones
Josh Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Cpt. Slow

Other than “forget supercars exist” I agree with all of this.
Don’t forget they exist, but remember that they’re unobtanium for most folks, and don’t forget to “Never supercar your soup before you taste it”

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 year ago

Site seems a little slow to load sometimes. You must be getting more traffic than you expected. Good for you!

EXL500
EXL500
1 year ago

I just want to say right out of the gate the site is fantastic. I have no idea how you generated so much content so quickly, especially since it’s your usual wonderful stuff. Also, big kudos to the new writers, especially David Hundal (sp?). Loved the Midwest story.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
1 year ago

I didn’t read all the other replies, but I’ll go ahead and give my own. You asked!

Content:
-fantastic stuff so far
-Anticipation for when you can do new car reviews
-Love to hear a Changli update
-Love the tone/theme of things being light-hearted (don’t listen to the Sally’s that are saying it’s too immature. This is not the place for the “Crack Pipe” police. The pearl-clutching superstore outlet is down the street.
-I know it’s not really your guys’ call, but man, Kristen would be ideal on here. She’s hilarious.

Format:
-A little wonky. I’d separate the “features” articles from the daily content stuff in a different way. Not sure how…but it feels a bit redundant.
-Somehow the font is still a tough read on longer articles. I don’t know the answer there, just my initial thought.
-The header needs something. Capitalize the section links or box outline them, maybe?

The obligatory comments section critique:
-The order of comments don’t make sense
-No notifications on replies/likes yet
-I like the reply box being on the bottom (badumbump)
-I guess the ability to toss in GIF’s and such always add to a good joke.

Otherwise, much kudos! This site can be a game changer, the same way C&D did back in the day. I’m pulling for you all 100%.

Are you not entertained?
Are you not entertained?
1 year ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

I wasn’t sure about the comment order at first, too, but I’ve come around to it. I think it allows new comments to get more views. Many people don’t scroll all the way through to see what new posts were made. Especially on an article that is a bit older.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
1 year ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

Yeah. I am big fan of corny .gif’s. And embeded photos.

Sean F
Sean F
1 year ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

I sometimes feel like my snark only can be truly expressed via .gifs at this point, so I share all your all’s take on that.

Bo Monroe
Bo Monroe
1 year ago

Great start for your first week. Maybe you guys could use a few more women around (what’s Fancy Kristen up to these days?) to stave off your worst ‘Animal House’ instincts –in particular “The Morning Dump/Pull up aThrone/Flush” thing is a little juvenile and gross, but keep talking about Cisitalias and I’ll keep coming back 🙂

I second the opinion for better controls for editing comments and including pics — as someone earlier in the week commented “It’s hard to write a sentence” (or something to that effect) and while gif memes get old, a lot of us may have interesting stuff to share if we could upload it…

Anyway, I like the positive vibe, and while DTs taste in vehicles continues to baffle me your features have been varied and interesting. Keep it up and good luck!

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
1 year ago
Reply to  Bo Monroe

Or Alanis? Or Steph? Ladies perspective is always appreciated!

Bo Monroe
Bo Monroe
1 year ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

yes and yes

Masterbuilder
Masterbuilder
1 year ago

I think you guys are doing great. Sure, you’re still getting your feet – I expected that.
I like the mix of technical and non-technical articles.
Keep it up. You’re doing fine so far.

Anti Autopian
Anti Autopian
1 year ago

Really enjoying the site. Good mix of “serious” and humor.

NJ Jeep Guy
NJ Jeep Guy
1 year ago

A whole week and no slideshows! I really like the new site. Positive and insightful without the crazy pop ads and ancient repeated articles of the old site. Well done.

If you run out of ideas for the daily shitboxes I think it should be a DT vs JT car face off. My money is on the Chang-Li.

Defenestrator
Defenestrator
1 year ago
Reply to  NJ Jeep Guy

Honestly, once they fixed some performance issues and bugs and I turned the ad blocker back on the slideshows weren’t terrible. A bit annoying, but tolerable.

David Findlay
David Findlay
1 year ago

Great first week! I second the suggestion for a Patreon or other subscription mechanism to support you (ideally skipping the ads but if not no biggie).

Erik 127
Erik 127
1 year ago

First of all, my compliments for starting this new brave adventure! I enjoy a lot the content of yourselves and your contributors.

Not so much springs to mind for the moment as improvement. Some interesting ideas are already given in previous comments.

Quite a few are about posting pictures in the comments. Although I do see the usefulness of that in various scenarios, I actually quite like the comments without them. I know a picture says more than thousands words, but often you only need a few words or lines.

Rafael Ruivo
Rafael Ruivo
1 year ago

Congratulations, guys, you did it! In a really short time (what, one month?) we have a fully functional website with stellar content! Thank you guys!
As for the suggestions:
1) A Patreon. I keep throwing money on the screen and it just falls down in the crease between my screen and the chassis, very annoying! There are
2) Some sort of “contact us” button, where we can send you guys love letters, scoops, article ideas, half assed essays on vintage Westinghouse fans – stuff that will probably be junk 90% of the time anyway, but once in a while something good could turn up 🙂
2a) On the same vein, let us know if there are things we can do to help, like for instance translating sources (I’m fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, which can come in handy for VW do Brasil articles or VW Latin America, and can help with Hebrew, if you ever need to summon a demon or something).
3) I’ve honestly haven’t noticed if you guys already do this (still in shock that March 32 actually arrived), but whenever possible, put also metric units alongside imperial. I’m a dumb foreigner that hates freedom, therefore I get confused with pounds, feet, miles etc. I think there are some scripts that do that automatically when you post the article. I know it sounds silly, but this can damp the enjoyment of some articles when the measurements to matter.
4) Knowing you, I think we won’t have to worry about this, but I’ll say anyway: keep the good vibes and positive spin on the articles. Negativity and controversy might brings clicks, and Facebook taught everyone to rile up their audience for engagement, but we don’t really need that to stay informed. We can still be serious without being angry, depressing or contrarian.
5) Probably discussed ad nauseum, but pictures on comments, notifications on replies. Also, not sure if anyone mentioned, some sort of simple formatting would be nice. It could be like messaging apps, with *bold*, _italic_ and ~strikethrough~ – this way we avoid slowing things down and still have some fun with fonts™!
6) Last, but not least: Take care, don’t get overworked, *know we love you*, and never change.

Lally Singh
Lally Singh
1 year ago
Reply to  Rafael Ruivo

All good ideas, especially keeping it positive. Also the color scheme is unpleasant. Please fix.

Phil Layshio
Phil Layshio
1 year ago

Love it. Has the feel I think a lot of people have been missing.

Gene1969
Gene1969
1 year ago

This is a great first week. You guys posted a lot of interesting articles across many subjects. I’d like to see more creative/personal stories as well as destinations.

Jason, do you remember that lady who tweeted about a cute little hatchback roughly a week ago? “I will marry the man that buy’s me this car!” She exclaimed. “I will drive up to where you work and toot the horn. You come out and I give you a hamburger before waving as I drive off.” It’s these little dreams that I find interesting. What are the little goals and dreams that all of you have for your cars? What are the big goals?

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