How Are We Doing?

Recently Lynda X started a thread on the Potpourri board asking people what they loved about AAR.  While we are appreciative of the sentiment and couldn’t be happier that AAR feels like home to some of you, I’d like to know what you might like – or might not like – about AAR these days.

Since Blythe, Lynn, and I took over, things have definitely changed, including a major redesign.  Some features have gone and won’t be returning (ATBF, for one), others seem to have been on hiatus for some time and obviously we need a kick in the butt to get them going again.  All of us have occupations and lives and finding the time is often difficult.

So, a few questions, but, please feel free to address anything.  Are you satisfied with our message board moderation?  Would you like to see the return of Special Title Lists? Are you happy with our regular posting of reviews these days? What would you like to see us do with the News Blog?

But the big question is back to the title of this blog: How are we doing?

- Sandy AAR

66 thoughts on “How Are We Doing?

  1. I love AAR and visit quite often. I enjoy the audio book portion and the Eagerly awaited books every month! I wish the Special Listings would come back in action, I sure do miss them.

  2. At the moment, for me, the site is huge and rather unusable, which is so frustrating. Here’s an example: http://s10.postimage.org/v7x6sbak9/aarfrontpage.jpg I was trying to optimise my computer to make it right when I realised I was doing all this for just one site and so I stopped.

    I read AAR blog posts through Google Reader (RSS) instead, the only AAR feature with RSS available. I wish AAR could avail reviews through a RSS as well.

    I think it’s crazy that there is no way to respond to a review directly. This was an issue when LLB around and I’m surprised it’s still an issue now. But I do realise it’s AAR’s preference (always has been), so I’ll leave it at that. :D

    I still loved and adored AAR, among many, when I left the rom community. After my return, I tried to get back into the forums, but they’ve changed the message-board software. I struggled to fit in and I eventually gave up. I just lurk when I do visit.

    AAR has wonderful and criminally underused reader resources. Esp the wonderful Special Title Listings and archived ATBF/PB essays. I think if AAR staff don’t have the time to write new materials, they could consider the idea of republishing some gems of the site.

    I mean, it’s very easy to see why AAR can’t and won’t continue ATBF/PB feature, but I think it’d be nice to re-publish some of those old essays. Mostly to give people an opportunity to compare issues then and now (and to realise that AAR *had* explored some issues even back then, e.g. AAR’s contempt – and reasons why – for a trend of gay villains).

    Anyway, I’d love to visit AAR site more often, but the technical issues and ‘teasers’ are in the way. The only places at AAR where it’s not too big & technically problematic are this news/opinion blog and the forums (where I only lurk).

  3. I visit AAR pretty often — always, absolutely always, when I’m checking on an older book (and I love me my older Out of Print books). Your discussion boards are the liveliest around, I think because no one’s voice is drowned out. That does happen *gasp* in Romlandia. I feel as if you review across the different choices pretty well, altho I’m mostly contemp and historical so perhaps your wide coverage is a little wasted on me. I like the blogs — and would like to know how to subscribe to them.

    Do I wish I could post directly to a review? I’m so used to not being able to I guess I don’t care one way or another. I’m more interested in what the readers think anyway. I don’t think your interface with phones is very good–I have a hard time reading your content on my phone. When you did your update, I would have liked it to go a little farther in the direction of bolder, less pastel graphics but that’s a stylistic comment. YES to bringing back If You Like: it’s one of my favourite features.

    I’m very glad AAR is here. It was one of the very first sites I ever visited and I appreciate all the work everyone puts into it. The community rocks and I say that as someone who appreciates diversity!

  4. Maili, I’m confused about “optimizing your computer.” I access the site on a laptop, desktop, iPhone, and iPad with no issues at all. Please clarify.

    Also, allowing users to comment directly would require a major database overall. Without an extra $20,000 or so, it isn’t in the cards.

  5. I enjoy AAR and visit it every day to check out the latest reviews. I don’t read historicals very often, so a lot of your reviews aren’t really relevant to me, but I enjoy them anyway. It does bother me, however, that I haven’t seen one single review for an m/m romance since I’ve started visiting AAR. Since there are so many good m/m romances being written these days, I would like to see at least a few of them reviewed here. Just a thought.

    • Hannah: I enjoy AAR and visit it every day to check out the latest reviews.I don’t read historicals very often, so a lot of your reviews aren’t really relevant to me, but I enjoy them anyway.It does bother me, however, that I haven’t seen one single review for an m/m romance since I’ve started visiting AAR.Since there are so many good m/m romances being written these days, I would like to see at least a few of them reviewed here.Just a thought.

      Hi Hannah,

      For your reading pleasure:

      http://www.likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/searchReviews.pl

  6. AAR is pretty much the only site I visit for book reviews. I found it several years ago and really haven’t needed to look anywhere else. The site is well organized and easy to navigate, the reviews are reliable and detailed without giving spoilers, and I love reading the opinions on the message boards. I recommend this site to every romancer reader I know.

    I use the Power Search a lot, mostly to see if the reviewer’s grade matches my taste. I don’t know if others would use this, but I would love to be able to click on the reviewer’s name and go directly to the reviewer’s book list.

  7. It would be good if you had more articles that generate interesting discussions like the previous At the Back Fence column.

    It would also be interesting to have views from other cultures (that may perhaps come about during discussions from readers themselves).

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