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Music App Buyer's Guide: You're doing it wrong.

One of the most popular features on the site has always been the Music App Buyer's Guide. It gets thousands of views on its own every month, but it has had about 2 comments since it started back in September. This is unfortunate, because I made it as a means for you guys to give your opinions instead of this just being a site about mine. I'm not that egotistical!

As the header says, iTunes reviews are full of ignorance and fail. This is a place for you to share your thoughts among the elite few who frequent the iOS blogs. You guys are much more informed than some random guy who found an app on iTunes and couldn't figure it out.

To help get you guys involved, I've added a introductory post at the top of the guide. This explains how the ratings work and how apps get listed, as well as encouraging your own criticisms of everything... Including me!

You can start criticizing me by reading over the intro and letting me know if there is anything unclear. Or is it too wordy? I'm also open to suggestions if there is anything I can do to make the guide more inviting to comments. Thanks!

Reader Comments 7

I'm not surprised you aren't getting many comments! I had been visiting your blog on a daily basis for about a month before I even noticed the buyer's guide logo on the right.

So if you're looking for constructive advice, then you could consider making the sign-posting on your site at least as obvious as the ads (or at the very least, run the important ones along the top where they can be seen whatever the size of your screen/window), although I appreciate it will be a pain in the arse to change.

Either way, you should put in a line about HOW to make a comment (i.e. you have to click/tap on the heading 'Addictive Synth' or whatever) - although it would work much better if you had a 'comment here' button at the bottom of each entry as you do on the main blog.

Finally, it's only going to get bigger, so a search facility would be useful too.

Having said all that, I'm loving discchord (how can you not love a blog that begins a review 'fuck everything about this'?). Keep it up!

June 13, 2012  | person_outline Dastardly

I can't see a date, or version number, relating to when it was reviewed. I think it might be useful to have that info.

June 13, 2012  | person_outline Ayup

I love the buyer's guide, but like Dastardly I didn't know it was there until long after I began visiting the blog. Maybe it could be more obvious?

Also, I know that you change the ratings over time based on the improvement (or decline) of an app. But, unless I'm mistaken, I don't think you track those changes or make them obvious to the reader. For example, I think Technobox2 used to be "Awesome" but now it's just "Friendly". Like I said, I'm not really sure if this is the case because there's no record of the change. Is there some way to track the history of an app's rating?

As always, great job with the blog, and thanks for taking the time to put together such an awesome resource!

June 13, 2012  | person_outline Chris

+1 for the "it's not really obvious that you've got an app review page" meme. If you put a link on the big top-o-page discchord logo, I'd bet more people would see it....

June 14, 2012  | person_outline Fessaboy

First time seeing this! I think it's a great idea.

June 14, 2012  | person_outline Hogo

Thanks for all of the great suggestions! Unfortunately I'm somewhat limited in what I can actually do. The whole thing is built off of a SquareSpace blog, hacked to hell with jQuery, and kept together with wishful thinking. Right now things are really efficient, considering how many different hacks are going on. I've pretty much maxed out the jQuery though, because whenever I try to add something new it slows down load times.

I can't remember why I didn't put the "Post a comment" thing on the Guide... it was probably a good reason at the time. That would be a big step in the right direction for getting people to post comments! I've got to revisit my social bar code for the main site anyhow, so I'll add that while I'm in there!

Having some sort of way to track changes and versions is a really good idea. Actually implementing that would require a fairly serious rewrite and a lot of retroactive manual editing. I'm not sure if that would be worth the effort, since only the latest version is available on iTunes. Still a good idea though, and I'm going to keep it in mind.

I'm surprised to hear the presence of the guide wasn't obvious, and I'm really glad you guys have told me! Rather than trying to redesign the main layout to draw attention to it, I'm thinking about trying to combine both the need to track changes along with increasing awareness. I'm going to start making blog posts on the main site whenever I make a change in the guide. This should help on both fronts, and maybe even encourage more active participation!

Thank you very much guys! I really appreciate everything!

Keep up the great work Tim, love the blog and check it multiple times a day. Also love your video tutorials.

June 14, 2012  | person_outline Scott
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