Wednesday, June 1, 2011

2+ Months into the Darke Journal Transition: How Are We Doing?

Update: Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond. For the most part, we agree with much of the feedback we received. We're looking into several options to address things like more exclusive/Darke Journal generated content, organizing some things a little better to make them easier to find, just to name a few.

Bear with us, as our staff of two part time resources certainly do their best. :)

If you have further feedback you'd like to provide, you can always email us at Our aim is to keep growing and evolving the site to make it achieve its highest potential. Keep reading, keep participating, keep submitting and we will certainly reach that goal as an online community.

Original Post:

So, it’s been a little over two months since Megan and I have taken over the editorial reigns of this place. I think we’ve settled into the day-to-day running of the site and thought now would be a great time to solicit feedback from our readers! We have some ideas cooking on ways to improve the site and have it add more information, value, and entertainment, but before we get too deep into new projects, we wanted to reach out to you, dear reader, to pick your collective brain about the site.

So, how are we doing? What things do you love about the site? What things do you wish could be added/changed to make it better? This could be ideas regarding specific content, functionality of the page, layout and design, etc. Don’t hold back, we want to hear your constructive criticism so that we can improve Darke Journal and make it the best that it possibly can be. You can leave your feedback in the comments below, or you can email us directly at


  1. Miss the good old days whne people could use anonymous when writing a comment. Since the change, there are fewer comments. The comments were what I enjoyed about the web site.

  2. Just for the sake of conversation, what is it about commenting as "Anonymous" versus "Hmm" that is more appealing (not necessarily directed at you, but in general)?

    We, of course, have noticed as well that there are much less comments submitted now-a-days. This is one of the things I'm trying to understand, as I too always enjoyed the conversation/dialogue.

  3. Honestly, I think it is more to do with the majority of people who were leaving comments as anonymous being less than computer savvy and not realizing how easy it is still to leave a comment, they think you need to sign up or something.

  4. To be honest, I don't find the site quite as good as it was when it first came up. Seems like a lot more ads and things we already know that really are not "news stories".
    The comments and chat box have gotten very "blah". I stop by maybe once or twice a week now as opposed to everyday like I used to. Sorry, it's just been enough to where it doesn't hold my attention as much as it did previously.

  5. I miss the snarky responses to my postings that "ole what's his name" would put out there when disagreeing with me.


    You're doing OK. Keep it up.

  6. It's OK, but something is missing. Can't put my finger on it though. I miss the crazy "anonymous" comments.

  7. I think you're doing great! But LC remains misguided.

  8. The Voice of VoicesJune 1, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    When I first started coming here, people loved the fact that we could get information here before the Advocate. Now that's not the case. We get a bunch of stories that very few people care about and would be reserved for an interior ignored page in the Advocate. You want a "measure" of how the site has fallen? You have NO comments on the story about Jim Tressel being out at OSU. That story SHOULD garner a lot of attention!!! I know a lot of people who USED to come here do NOT anymore.

    Comment moderation has also turned people off. When someone would post something and it wouldn't be approved because it wasn't what the comment moderator wanted on the site, it just led to a downward spiral.

    Also, I don't want to read a "story" about how there will be an UFC Fight on the TV at ScoreBoards, or that Wave 96/DJ Keaz will be there (this is just an example of the things people aren't liking). Are they paying for an ad? If not, NIX it. If so, put it on the side with the rest of the ads so it doesn't get mixed in with anything relevant. Quite frankly, all the Score Boards stuff mixed in with the "news stories" is one complaint I have heard from several people because it just seems like the site is now becoming one giant ad for them. If someone who owns the place also has a hand in operating this site now, please separate the two.

    Finally, there just isn't much "news" going on. You COULD put up info about school designs being debated in Greenville or the levy in Greenville, and you'll probably garner quite a few responses and an increase in number of people who want to come to the site just to see what sort of banter is going on with the comments.

    In the end, I am pretty much the same as someone above - I used to stop by several times a day. Now I have missed almost an entire week at times, jumped on and realized I didn't miss anything at all.

  9. I agree with Hmm, Be, Gst and xxx.
    What made Darke Journal unique and different from the Early Bird and the Daily Advocate was the anonymous comments. The comments is what made Darke Journal interesting, now Darke Journal is boring. I also use to check Darke Journal everday, but that has also changed. Now I check in maybe once a week.
    Why fix something that wasn't broke in the first place.

  10. I have to agree, I mean some senior citizen turning 95 at the old folks home doesn't really qualify as news most people care to read about. It's boring, maybe it appeals to the senior citizen crowd, but then again how many of them are actually using the internet and checking this site? I doubt not but a tiny fraction of your total traffic. The pet stories are a close second on the boring scale as well. When DJ first started there were stories that caused debate, now it's mostly blah boring stories that have zero chance of offending anyone much as less sparking healthy debate.

    And, yeah, comment moderation has killed the number of comments on this site. I don't see why anonymous comments aren't allowed, if someone was making threats, you already have their IP number from the server logs, and you have the option of deleting the comment. Nothing like commenting on a story that has a healthy debate going only to not see your comment appear till the story is buried at the bottom of the page and everyone has moved on.

    Just my .02

  11. The DarkeJournal should look into exploring Darke County's seedy underbelly of corruption and deceit. You know, like the time someone used an expired coupon at McDonald's for a big mac or something. Yes...totally out 'em on it!

  12. In the beginning I could make a comment and no one really knew who was who. Most of the time it got posted. Then politics of the community got their nose in here and things changed. I even posted some good words for this site that are still posted to this day which shows untrue advertisement as long as posts can not be Anonymous.
    Their is some issues brewing in this community,
    if you wont people coming back like it was you know what you got to do. When some one posts some thing you don't wont to post just make sure you don't share it with any one else! Theirs a lot of peoples jobs on the line and we need to be able to trust Dark Journal.

  13. I just popped back by to read this one section to see if anyone actaully made any good comments...boy, did they!
    You know, when the dj changed hands I made the comment that it probably wouldn't be as good because when something is great and makes a change, it usually isn't. The response I got was, "O ye of little faith". After reading all of the above, I believe that the new editors of dj need to take some heart. Bring back more real news, get ahead of the advocate, get ABM back for the weather and blogs, etc. Allowing anon. comments again is a start, but depending how you monitor them could again drive people away.
    Like BE said, just my .02

  14. Something that could be a welcome addition - have a link to the "hot topics" of the past couple days at the top of the site so we could just click it and go straight to read what is being commented on the most. If it is drawing a lot of comments, it is probably something people will want to have drawn to their attention. Just sort of like Yahoo or some site has their "Trending" box where it tells you the most searched terms over the past week or so.

    Plus, it would just give me an opportunity to blast random bafoons at a much quicker pace! :)

  15. ", I mean some senior citizen turning 95 at the old folks home doesn't really qualify as news most people care to read about. It's boring, maybe it appeals to the senior citizen crowd, but then again how many of them are actually using the internet and checking this site?"

    BE more and more elderly are using the internet, and I'll bet turning 95 is a pretty big deal to that person and their family, there should be plenty of room here to keep publishing those types of stories.

  16. I enjoy the site just as much as ever. It is my only source for local unbiased news. I would agree though that people appreciated using it as a sounding board for hot topic political issues and that has been less of a draw lately. I see now that the anonymous comments are back.. which could be good.. just don't give in to the noisy few if the commenting really does bring down the morale of the site and community.

    2 things I would love to see change in web design. First, categorize each post and place the listings somewhere near the top (or "topics" which is used in blogger). This will make it much easier to find specific posts I am interested in. Second, allow subscribing to comments. That way everyone who wants to can keep the conversation going by getting an email when a new comment is posted.

    Just some thoughts and ideas! Thanks for your hard work on this site. It is much appreciated!

  17. I've noticed that the "unclassifieds" section is never updated? I've seen the same ads day after day for months now?!? That is a section I'm always looking to check... but there is rarely ever anything new? Delete the old ones that are no longer relavent!!!


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