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Poster: tracey pooh Date: Mar 22, 2015 12:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why the Beta version?

Certainly!
(we're trying to get The Right Balance of info out that may or may not be 100% right / futureproof and communcations, etc. so thank you for bearing with us...)

Let's take a higher road here. (I'm an engineer w/ two Comp Sci degrees, so english not my best, numbers more better... 8-)

Imagine etree as The Poster Child community and group of people creating and using collections of materials at a Library in one of our most ideal ways. And it is. For over 11 years, we've strived hard to improve and keep etree happy. It may not always seem like it -- but you're our first community in mind, always, literally.

So now let's say that we want to take you as a seed, and "grow" you times 10. times 100. times a million!
Get all the experts and fanatical wonderful people with topic X or sets of items Y or media Z in the same area together, working together, to build something that lives and thrives forever. for free.

This is our new vision! You can see some of it here:
http://blog.archive.org/2015/01/30/knight-foundation-to-support-toolsets-for-building-libraries-together/

You can see some of this from our annual Huge Event end of last year here:
https://archive.org/details/BuildingLibrariesTogether20141028?start=1418

Is change hard? Yes!
Imagine having a 10+ year old tech base that has only ever slightly evolved over time, losing parity with all the rest of the large sites and tech capabilities in that decade! It makes it harder for us to hire, harder for us to retain workers, and harder to do things that other folks can just knock out quickly with their newer infrastructures.

Now let's go to the GUI and UI/UX...
The way we display information and metadata and everything has been very home-grown and "best we can" over time, always building off the 12 year old website design.
Whether we like it or not, the world has moved on. Every change we've done, we've compared to "best current practices" of the closer sister sites to us. It might feel like "we're just doing another Pinterest / Youtube / Soundcloud" combo/knock off -- how trite -- not what I want.
But think about how many people "get it" like that **so quickly** (it's a relief and stunning, actually).

What is the closest site that archive.org "classic" is like?
craigslist? wikipedia? imdb?

But we have a much more diverse set of materials and bigger goals/ambitions than them!
So we need to leverage modern UI/UX "paradigms" that people already know and are comfortable with.

It may feel like BETA is a huge step back -- but please try to imagine "classic" site with 100% "new eyes" if you'd never ever seen archive.org before. In detailed numerous User Testing we did, it was brutal (as we thought) -- very hard for people to ramp up and take in the site and figure out what they could/couldn't do, what the site was, and how to do things that all of us have had years to learn and "muscle memory" over time. And that's part of that "OMFG THEY CHANGED IT!" nauseated feeling. But we must evolve and do things better!

Which brings us Full Circle...

We are making the baseline "platform" to begin rolling out *much more ambitious* changes (not move/change stuff per se -- but add completely new features like User Lists, a full permissions system, tagging and flagging systems, the ability for many (non-staff! un-prive-ed per se!) people or organizations to "co-administer" a list or set of items, and much much more. We even have deep audio and TV research going on now, some of which may likely "come to light" over time for enhanced user options and features.

OK, that's a long "off the cuff" brain dermp so I should pause/quit.

But I really *hope* that's helpful! It's about as well as I can honestly communicate our medium-to-long-term vision of archive.org. We think Big -- Big Data -- and 5, 10, and 100+ years out. We want to get to the future sooner, and sorry if it feels like we break some eggs along the way! (We'll cleanup and make better omelets)

warmly,
Tracey (representing the Beta site team, lead engr)
(and thanks for your continued feedback and concerns -- we're reading every single line of them!)

Reply [edit]

Poster: Mr Cranky Date: Mar 24, 2015 2:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: BETA squeeks a clowns nose as he gets off the bus.

"Thank you for the information" indeed. I now know the Internet Archive plans to move away from my needs and towards some cloudy collaborative group who likes to press icons, track eye movements and analyze musical genres.
Yet when I look at the source code for BETA I still see old HTML. And when I needed to be sure UI/UX meant what I though, the clearest explanation was on the Wikipedia page that IA says is old fashioned. UI/UX sites made me scroll through a large colorful "User Experience" to get to a small amount of information. But it was so bright and shiny! I've been experienced and I know not to run to the swirly lights. (Grab the floating gold rings if you can though, they tingle up your arm and all through you!)
The thought that my library will become a flashy hangout for people to share samples of the sample their friend recommended from a sample means E.M. Forster may be one of the smartest people who ever lived. You will not be able to find that out in the Internet Archive, but you will find an icon of the page leading to a button of the tile review by a leading critic if you click on the picture of two fish bending in opposite directions.
I already know what its like to stand on the waterfront and be the only person who could hear the musical waves from the river on a sunny day. Everyone else wore headphones. But how soon before IA starts doing flatulence jokes? I hear those gets a lot of eyes and that's what its all about.
My postings have become become unproductive criticism of something I used to value. I see no need to continue to waste the staffs time about BETA.

When all the real information here at IA is gone, turn off the light and see who notices. In the dark I will still feel the music and hear the stars. I hope my lady and I will watch the pine trees.V0 tonight.

Reply [edit]

Poster: BNRToast Date: Mar 23, 2015 11:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why the Beta version?

The BNRToast Internet Archive account is used by several humans as the contact point with the Archive web site.

Our only agreed response to the information supplied in the Mar 22, 2015 12:55pm posting is, "Thank you for the information."

Individual member responses included shrugged shoulders, resignation and one unpleasant but accurate vocal outburst.

Again, Thank you for the information.