Another Milestone for Neowin at 7

Neowin became seven years old on October 1st. I blogged about it briefly on the 29th and said pretty much all of what I wanted to say on the day so I didn't post about it on the 1st. Today however I have reached another milestone.. From today I have lived in Holland for 16 years, Neowin is seven, still thriving and we have an important question to ask the community.

A lot of our members came here on the back of the continuing coverage we gave on Windows XP prior to its release, mainly due to the information we were getting and other websites weren't, luckily for us many of those members are still with us today that date as far back as 2001. Now a days we share a partnership with Microsoft as a Featured Community which allows us to bring you news straight from Redmond, and Microsoft has become much more open on its direction and disclosure with information on forthcoming releases and betas.

We are constantly trying to bring our community new ideas and features and our latest idea is to bring to Neowin what many other communities already excel in and Neowin lacks, our own downloads section. The software news will be changed into a complete downloads area complete with full index of categories, ratings, reviews, search options and filtering. We also plan to mirror some popular applications and offer a 5 star badge to software vendors in order to get Neowin "back on the map".

Since the release of Windows XP and now Windows Vista we have seen a steady decline in the amount of users on Neowin at any one time, probably due to the lack of exclusive information that we once enjoyed at the expense of Microsoft's wrath (on a few occasions!). We would like to ask the community what you feel Neowin is still lacking and what reason you signed up to Neowin. Good feedback can only serve the community better and that is of course what we strive to do daily.

Your feedback is welcome and as always we thank you for your constant support of Neowin.

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Happy Birthday Neowin - a great site and a great forum. I can't remember why I joined Neowin, but I think a friend referred me to the forums. Congratulations on the success so far; here's to many more years of success! :)

Smctainsh

Signed up in August 2001 after months of lurking around... Remember the good ol' days... Congratulations to all staff and members. ~ Cheers!

Happy Birfday NeoWin! I been commin here since the XP pre-beta days and i got the hook on! now I got it goin on an I live strong to suport u! I give props 2 where the props are due!

happy bday neowin!
i remember coming here originally to find out info on the xp rc1 beta and i've been hooked ever since! i lost my original name here though, but i've always been a big fan and have always came here looking for whats new, not only in the windows world, but linux, mac os, and various apps. lets hope for another glorious 7 years!

I love neowin, but I visit other sites for gadget updates .. a section devoted to that would make my day!

it was Creamhackered and his connection to Microsoft betas/alphas that lured me here. I believed ive been lurking since around mid to late 2002, but i signed up in 2003.

Happy Birthday Neowin. Let's get more news, reviews, tutorials, mods, themes, hacks, contests, and prizes up here. Maybe you should merge (assimilate?) with some smaller hardware sites, and some GUI customization sites? Hey, it worked for Microsoft.

Neowin needs DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS. :P

Wow... 7 years. You guys are getting old! LOL

I've been here for over 5 of them. That's hard to believe. Time flies.

I usually just skim the news as I always have, and head to the programming forums. I don't really post in there much anymore. There are a lot of newer peeps that have more time than I do these days. I'm glad it's carrying on. That's one thing I've always liked about Neowin is the programming guys/gals. I miss some of the people that used to post: Tom Servo, kestrel, and few others whose names elude me. Tom's posts almost always made me tear up with laughter. That's hard to do in a programming forum. hehehe

I guess it's just a sign of my age that I don't really care about tech news anymore. Some of it is interesting, but I don't geek-out on gadgets anymore. It would be nice to see more op/ed pieces on tech happenings. Of course, finding good writers is often a problem. Then you have to deal with all the little loudmouthed monkeys that come jumping down from the trees telling you your opinion sucks.

I have to say, that's probably the one thing that I have seen increase on this site; the amount of trolls. It's made places like RWI nigh unbearable to read, let alone participate in.

As folks used to say back in the 70's -- Keep on Truckin'!

Oh, and Happy Birthday to Neowin and all its members who share the date.

I've enjoyed the site over the years but just check the news which is mostly a repeat of other sites I check. The thing that upsets me the most is after the most recent update to the website it never remembers me for long. I have "remember me" checked yet for some reason after awhile it shows me as "Guest" and I have to Log In again. It certainly isn't doing a good job of remembering.
So I am less inclined to comment when I have to re-login again.
Just has lost its luster over the years, not sure what needs to be done either.

Happy Birthday Neowin!

I ain't been here as long as most people, and I barely post, but I'm still here every day. Great site, here's to the future!

Happy Birthday Neowin and Neowinian! You too Neobond and Redmak...

After reading this article, I was thrilled and honored to be part of this great community. Neowin was founded on a shaky ground from the beginning. What do I mean by that? When I stumble on this site (search engine ofcourse), many of the contents (news and download links) are questionable. Immediately I fall in love with the lastest and greatest information that one would have to dig so deep to obtain. But at the fraction of an effort, I can just get what I need from this community. In my opinion, this is how Neowin became so popular.

Neowin has so many intelligent and challenging experts on the source of computer technology that it became popular overnight. Some even go further to present their source to dispute on a certain claim that it crosses over the boundary of legallity. It was these kind of actions that draws many eyes from other community. One of the latest example is AutoPatcher. This is by far a good example of what I am trying to say, but close enough. Direct link is another example but I am not going much deeper on that.

So basically, the actual NEWS and the actual SOURCE that put this site on the hot spot. In that frame of thoughts, I agree to the third paragraph. It is no doubt that this site will have to continue to journey on the path it was once started. But then again, this is just my opinion. LOL

We would like to ask the community what you feel Neowin is still lacking

Admin/Mods that _reply_ to users and that actually lurk more before casting warnings for stupid reasons, SVG image support, a _really_ light template and the ability to retain the main view.
what reason you signed up to Neowin.

Really sweet _community_ (hint, hint).

i think neowin would gain by getting rid of all those mac people :P. only joking of course... or am i... ;)

happy b-lated birthday neowin!!

For what it's worth:

I think you sometimes have an issue regarding quantity to quality of news. What can happen, and I suspect is happening here at Neowin, is you can begin to dilute your user-base by trying to spread your interests too wide. I've seen it happen time and again to various websites.

Some sites, when they see a drop in users, try to post news on as many subjects as possible, in order to try and recoup the loss. The reverse usually happens. The 'old faithful' see a dilution in the character of the place and begin to disperse to other websites where they can find a similar character to that they loved.

This is not just with news. The same applies to forums. More and more forums get added in the hope of attracting more and more users, but again, the reverse actually happens, as those who would always have stuck with you because you catered for their needs, feel that their needs are being heavily diluted.

I would start by looking at the past few months news articles and seeing which ones don't attract comments, and therefore, you can deduce with relative safety, have the least interest, and then stop posting similar news items in an effort to reduce the dilution factor.

Something really needs to be done about the quality of the writing too. Whichever way I write this, it will sound vicious, but with the exception of FrogBoy, most written pieces are God-awful in terms of punctuation and sparkle. Again, this doesn't really matter if you primarily want to attract the sort of user who doesn't care about that. However, I suspect the sort of user who does care about it, is the sort of user who is also more likely to stick around for longer periods.

It's been 6 years of neowin for me and I'm still here... Neowin for Life! :nuts:

Happy Birthday Bond and Company.

i love neowin. ive been a member since around the middle of 2001, and it just keeps getting better.

Thanks for all the hard work and continued daily updates

Another suggestion would be to feature the reviews on the frontpage, but separate from the news. You used to do this in a box above the news, maybe you could have the current review along with 2 or 3 popular news stories side-by-side. A way of voting on news would be good too. It would have to move the popular news up ahead of the less popular news though. You'd have to have some way for it to expire though, so you don't have the same news at the top for too long.

I started here for the great tech stuff...found myself trapped in RWI :)

Happy Birthday! Love this site!!!

Like most others i have been here since 2002 , i joined and became quite a part of the customizing cummity when i made my MSN skins ( with a guy called dale reed , anyone know if his still about ???? ) website True MSN Skins.com , one of the most origianal MSN skining sites around it skined everything... Used Neoin as our testing base and for ideas .

During that period 2003-2003 i visted the forum lots because of our partnership , im not sure if any of you remember me from that time ( made a awsome neowin skin haha i still have it somewhere new msn has all changed though , it kept me busy during year 11-12 of school lol noww left and doin full time work ui doont have time for that anymore .

I still lurk around neowin everyday though, force iof habit i geuss..
I dont know any of the new mods here now though :(
But yay on neowins birthday


HAPPY BIRTHDAY NEOWIN!!!

I started reading posts here in 2001 because I was looking for XP related news. Since I used to be a Windows PowerUser I used the site as a place where I could get tweaks and tips from. I remember following Winamp, IE, etc and really miss the days when all I had to worry about was school.

Now that I'm older I've switched to OS X and found that Neowin doesn't really offer much content for Mac users. Sure there is a small forum for us but I've always like to see a bigger community here. MacRumors have really become my second Neowin simply because they focus mainly on Macs. Currently I use Neowin for the wide range of news that is posted on the front page.

I do have to say that Neowin is still one of the best looking websites around and with the new tweaks it's really quite easy to use. I think adding more user reviews of products that follow Dazzla's lead (pictures, pictures, pictures) would help the site become more popular. Also, getting rid of completely biased news articles where it looks as if the news poster didn't even bother reading it would be huge for generating more traffic.

I'm not 100% sure that a software section would be all that great unless it's an upgrade to the current section. Adding reviews, plenty of screenshots and a 5 star rating system would definitely not be a bad thing.

[Edit]After posting some I've realized that something that could really change how we use this site is to get rid of BBCODE. I personally think it's outdated and a pain to use. We need a better system, something more along the lines of WYSIWYG.

I joined 9-01 and I visit the site daily and the new download system is something I have been wishing for since day one and I have become informed of the many great programs
That I would never learned about without Neowin.net

Happy bday and grats on your 16 years Parker.

To be honest I'm very happy with how Neowin is now. I joined it for the forums after basically lurking for 6 months just reading news ect and now it's my most visited site.

Anyway the downloads page sounds like a fairly nice idea so good luck with that. I guess what I currently like and expect to see continued is the balance of the articles be it Linux, Mac, Windows, hardware software or political related. I like the fact that it's a very good general site catering for many people.

But yeah, keep up the good work everyone.

Happy bday Neowin...


you know I do have one recommendation. In the day and age of blogs and up to date news, Neowin needs to do something to have more content on the front page. What you guys need is to get a bunch of writers - just get members to volunteer; and have them do almost hourly content updates to the front page. To make things more exciting the writing should could be humorous...

Just my 2 cents.

Happy Birthday Neowin ! :happy:

Been here since 2001, don't post as much as I used to but I still check the site daily for news, keep up the hard work Admins and Mods, your doing a great job at keeping the Neowin community in line.

Happy Birthday Neowin !!

Haven't been here long, but since I started coming I'm here everyday. I am not a very active member but more of a news reader, and I love every aspect that neowin offers. I have seen a bit of a decline in the stories in the gamers section. I love the idea of a downloads with rating system. I wouldn't mind seeing more polls being run on the site.

Congratulations and long live Neowin !!

/also my first forum :P

I've been around neowin since Early 2003 and I have seen it's decline since that time.
But it's not a majorly bad thing, or an unfixable thing. Really, 2 things need to be done to make Neowin infinitely better -

1) More stories.
Particularly in the gamers section, more stories need to be posted every day (sometimes that section goes neglected for nearly a week before 2 or 3 new stories appear and even then, someof these tend to be near duplicates of existing ones). The main news section isn't too bad, but a few extra stories a day wouldn't go amiss.
The software section, to me, is largely useless as most of the software posted on it nobody has ever heard of before and tends to be quite poor, which leads me onto point two.

2) Better moderation of posted stories.
It's unfortunate, but a lot of the news posts made on neowin tend to be from extremely biased blogs filled with speculation and conjecture. This can be a little worrying, when legitimate, fact-based news is mixed in with it.
So either moderate the entries better, cut out all of the posts that are raw opinion or better yet, create a new section, one for opinions and rumours from blogs and such.
That way, fact and opinion is separated nicely and it'll hopefully encourage more posts that people are interested in.


I don't think a software downloads section is the way forward to make Neowin more popular. The software section at the moment is largely avoided by most users, if the number of comments are anything to go on. Sites with download sections for random software are everywhere and even with all of the proposed changes, there's nothing there that will separate Neowin from the rest (Betanews being a fine example).

Can we get a rating system for comments? One such as like engadgets or anything to help point out the more releavant posts! somtimes its hard to skim and having users rate the comments based on how good they are saves alot of time!


hap bday!

I think neowin has been great! I joined just because of the wealth of technical expertise available. I still use it now, but I am more of a lurker than a true member, but I do post in bursts sometimes. I kind of enjoy reading peoples opinions of items.

Neowin's rss feeds are in my reader and I check the forum frequently.

Any big change would be good I assume, but im no expert lol!

Anyway, happy birthday neowin.

I still enjoy Neowin, but I think the quality of the news posts is not that good. Most of the time it is just a copy of some other news article. Especially weird when linking to a news article with some guys personal opinion on another site. I think the news page should feature more commentary on the daily news, by the news staff. Their opinion on the news. That might not be suited for every news article, but on a lot of them I can work. That way Neowin would be a bit more weblog-like. With such a site, you also shouldn't be afraid of saying bad things of big companies, such as Microsoft. They are big companies, they can handle critique.

As for a download section, I don't know. I mostly use Linux nowadays, and I doubt it will feature a lot of that. But if I think of the days I used Windows... Neowin provides already a lot of opportunities to show software. For example, the monthly desktop section is great to see new applications. And reading the forums also gives a lot of information on what software is popular. I wouldn't be that interested in stars or anything. Just a name and a screenshot in a thread, and if it looks promising I'd try it.

as stated before, I agree with you on the fronptage news - I feel you put it in slightly different yet better terms.

Same here.

What I want from Neowin is good coverage of tech news on the front page. The forum is great for when I need help or look up tweak/mod.

I like the Software section as it is. I check there to see if there is any new software that Betanews missed. I also scan for fellow Neowin feedback on any show stopper bug. Adding a complete download section will just add more work but does not help distinguish Neowin from other sites. However, more quality reviews of major hardware and software releases would be welcome.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Jaron said,
However, more quality reviews of major hardware and software releases would be welcome.

And not just that. Those review should have a lot of pictures to accompany them. The best reviews on this site are from Dazzla because you get to see high quality shots, and in some cases higher quality than from the manufacturer, of the product with a pretty unbiased review.

QuarterSwede said,
And not just that. Those review should have a lot of pictures to accompany them. The best reviews on this site are from Dazzla because you get to see high quality shots, and in some cases higher quality than from the manufacturer, of the product with a pretty unbiased review.
Dazzla indeed has done several really great reviews which I have always enjoyed reading an trusted - and yes, the best part was the extensive documentation using images.

505 said,
As for a download section, I don't know. I mostly use Linux nowadays, and I doubt it will feature a lot of that. But if I think of the days I used Windows... Neowin provides already a lot of opportunities to show software. For example, the monthly desktop section is great to see new applications. And reading the forums also gives a lot of information on what software is popular. I wouldn't be that interested in stars or anything. Just a name and a screenshot in a thread, and if it looks promising I'd try it.

I somehow find that you are wrong about the Linux part. This community has a strong group of Linux users, hell, they even got around to producing their own Linux distro.

I think if they do a downloads section, it'd make it a bit easier on them if they allowed the community to help out and update software as well as add new stuff, with moderation being put on to keep the system from being abused. That, or they could go by groups if they want fewer people handling the downloads. Just a thought.

First of all - happy birthday.

The only 'downside' I've noticed neowin suffered from since I joined back in 2003 is the sheer size of things. Sometimes I think it's trying to hard to become bigger and better, while I honestly think that the 'unprofessional journalism' in a quick, messy yet straightforward way worked out better - to me that means more exclusive news, yet it doesn't have to be presented in a all to professional way - think of the gaming website Kotaku. I really enjoy it because it has great information at a very accessible level, quick, dirty, straightforward, yet accurate and new.

It also might be an idea to 'hire' more staff, dedicated to in-depth articles or software/gaming/hardware news...

long story short; either 'go bigger' by doing things on an even grander scale or 'personalize' and web2.0 the content (making it lighter and more accessible)

just my two cents^^

I really like the site the way it is, but if you're looking for more visitors, then I'd suggest that you guys write more reviews for starters. The few reviews that you do have sometimes have a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. I think if the author just spent a little more time writing them, it would help out a lot. The downloads section will help you a lot too, you should try to review the software as well. Also, please don't make the download section look like something from phpnuke. It should look more similar to download.com or something like that.

The other big thing that I would suggest if you want to get more visitors, would be to create your own personal area for members where they can upload their graphic creations, pictures, and customize their profile. I'm not saying to go Myspace on it, not that that would be a bad idea, but definately more customizability than we have now. We absolutely need a place to show off graphic creations and photography. You might be able to disable the Invision profile and change the code, so that when you click on a username in the forums it goes to your custom Neowin profile instead of the Invision one. Invision is nice, but they program it so that it can fit any site, Neowin needs more customization than that. That's my two cents.

neowin does have appropriate forums for displaying any graphical or photography work - I find myself not using them very often though due to lack of time, or not a very high rate of interest from other members because of the difference in interests

Perhaps some of the member's reviews in the Reviews forum could be posted on the front page? It's like our own in-house review team!

Keito said,
neowin does have appropriate forums for displaying any graphical or photography work - I find myself not using them very often though due to lack of time, or not a very high rate of interest from other members because of the difference in interests

That's my point exactly, you don't look at them because the forums are clogged with them. It would be nicer for every user to have his own section to do it in, not in the forums. I'm talking like DeviantArt, but it could be implemented differently, so that it's not a Deviant clone.

I've been a lurker since 2003 and only joined last year. Haven't regretted it since! Happy anniversary and long live Neowin :nuts: !

Scirwode

Happy birthday Neowin

Came here 6 years ago for XP news and such, and have been here ever since.

I'm loving the recent changes to the interface, it looks really well.

Long live Neowin

I'm very happy with Neowin. lol, I actually was going through my controls, and noticed I still have the message "Don't forget this site" in the personal notepad from when I first registered. :P

I signed up to Neowin during my TAFE training and used it to help me with my studies asking questions on the forums and finding answers on existing posts.
Now I use it to help other people and get some good news I think Neowin is only really lacking on the speed in the coverage of news articles a lot of sites do manage to get the word out first and then all the other sites around the net follow.

I’d love to see the download section take place perhaps this could also include more pictures if there are any to have of news items.

I love the community feel of this place and I happily pay a subscription to support Neowin and plan to continue to do this I would love to see some kind of small incentive to do so.

Neowin was the first forum I ever joined, was mostly around the windows vista (Longhorn) news. Or at least that's how I rememeber it. Joined and now I'll never leave

Also, the image on the community page looks, well, a little crappy

Happy Birthday . . 7 and going strong :)

I don't think neowin is lacking anything; mostly great members, excellent mods, we are professionally unprofessional, and have one of the nicest looking sites around.

I joined a while ago (2003), i think it was to comment on graphic cards at the time . . liked the site, and decided to stay.

I visit neowin everyday.. . and will continue to for the foreseeable future