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Old 06-02-2010, 05:02 PM   #1
Matt Palen
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Help me improve my eBook reader website

Hey Everyone.
I have recently relaunched my eBook reader website which is called eReader Central.
It still needs a lot of work but I thought about asking you guys for some advice about how to improve the website.
Basically, I want this website to be a source of knowledge for people who are going to buy an eBook reader.

So I'd appreciate if I could get your opinion, and please do your worst, I could use the feedback

I know it still needs a lot of work , and hopefully with your help I can make the site better. Just keep in mind that this site is for newbies who don't really understand all that much about eBook readers so I tried to keep it as simple as possible even if it meant sometimes not giving out every last bit of information.

Here is the link to my website about eBook Readers

Thank you all for you time.
Matt
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:15 PM   #2
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:17 PM   #3
Matt Palen
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OK - thanks for your feedback
Matt.
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:45 PM   #4
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When I clicked onto your site, it gave the feel that it was a giant ad. Then it changed to a similarly formatted ad for another product and then another.

I went next to this page: http://ereadercentral.org/reviews.php to look at the reviews, and they give some good information, but on a lot it feels like it's verbatim simply repeating other reviews I've read, but with things like "so and so, consumers, and I all agree that.." which is a bit tired, especially when it doesn't have a hands on review stamp, which suggests that really all you did was take other reviews and then attach your name to them without looking at the product you're reviewing.

I also noticed that your top e-readers were all of the ones that it appeared were "advertised" on the front page. Basically the site looks like a rephrased combination of a bunch of other review sites, but because of the feel of the main page, it makes me feel like it's designed to advertise a few select products. Especially because clicking on "compare" brings up what would be a nice comparison table, except that it compares the top four products and doesn't show anything for the product you're actually clicking on (unless you're clicking on something in the top 4).

The feel of the site itself sans content was quite pretty though, and the content could be tweaked to give a much more genuine feel. I'd also like to see it allow for customers to rate the products, like CNET does. Oh, and get more e-readers up there. The list is a bit sparse though it has most of the major players fairly well covered.

Last edited by crazed792; 06-02-2010 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:02 PM   #5
Matt Palen
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Hey Crazed.
Thanks a lot for the detailed feedback - I'm certainly taking it into account - especially the comparison part - never thought of that one.
Also I will certainly add user reviews in the future.
I really appreciate your help.
Matt
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:31 PM   #6
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I'm guessing it's early days, but at the moment it is all style and no substance. What is your motivation for the site, to inform people and help with their buying decisions, or to make money through affiliate links and kickbacks from retailers?
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:01 PM   #7
Matt Palen
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Well...both. I have to have some way to maintain the site, but I'm really interested in eBook readers as well - so I thought why not enjoy both worlds. By the way - I'm not sure if you're familiar with the eBook reader affiliate market but it's not that lucrative
Any specific things you think I should change ?
Thanks.
Matt
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:42 PM   #8
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What SOS said: When I land on a website and the first thing it does is demand my name and email address, my next click is my "back" button.

That's my opinion as a user. Were I just a user, the whole discussion would stop here, because you've lost me and you'll never get me back.

The rest of this is going to be mostly my opinions as a website designer and consultant. Fair warning: I am not going to be polite. I don't get paid for being polite. I get paid for telling the truth. If you just want warm fuzzies, I'd strongly recommend scrolling down to the next post.

The home page fails XHTML vaildation. It fails Section 508. It gives my speed checker spasms because it's over 2 meg in size -- which would be about a 7 minute load time for people on dialup (they buy ebooks too). I don't know if it fails CSS validation as well, because it seems to have broken the CSS validator.

Then there's this:

Quote:
The release of the Apple iPad has definitely made a great impact(1) on the eBook reader market. One of the major impact(2) that is already being felt is Amazon's attempt to stay relevant. As of late May(3) Amazon will be releasing a unique(4) software update which will include a better way to organize your books and documents, PDF pan and zoom, password protection, ,(5) more fonts & improved clarity, Facebook & Twitter posts(6) and popular highlights.
  1. An asteroid hit it? Use strong words, not weak PHB-speak.
  2. First, should be plural; second, should be some other word. Try "effects". Also, lose the passive voice.
  3. It's now June.
  4. I'm not sure what word you wanted here, but "unique" isn't it. "New"? "Advanced"?
  5. Something's missing.
  6. What about them? Feeds of them? Then say so.
That huge graphic wow-gee-whiz header, which provides very little useful content, has one tiny clickable hotspot down in the corner -- the link with the arrow. This will lead to a lot of users clicking in frustration on things like the feature lists, which appear to be links but aren't.

The "top 4" seem to be just 3 -- two are just different flavors of Kindles. I assume those were selected because they pay the highest affiliate fees, but when you look at a moderately unbiased source -- the number of people reading the various device forums here on MobileRead -- the breakdown as of this moment is as follows:
  • Kindle - 69
  • Apple - 32
  • Nook - 14
  • Sony - 90
Those are aggregate numbers -- that is, the Kindle board is all Kindle users of whatever flavor, the Apple board covers any and all products from Apple, etc. Sony isn't always the top -- it trades places with the Kindle -- but the relative rankings have been fairly consistent over the times I've checked in the past few weeks.

So -- this time, speaking from a customer perspective again -- when I see an "unbiased" site which leaves the #1 device, by my numbers, out of its "top 4", and includes a clear also-ran, I start to seriously question its credibility and its agenda.

Back to the technical matters. The comparison page has major layout problems. Did you not actually look at it? It informs me, among other things, that the internal memory of a Kindle 2 is 6", its battery lifetime is 13, and its estimated price is 1 year.

I'm trying the "what's your ereader" thing (which, btw, I thought might go to a poll) now.

Okay, I've found a problem already:

Quote:
Q.2) What is your main eBook reading material?
Only novels
Novels, magazines, and newspapers
Novels, magazines, newspapers, technical manuals, and text books
Only technical manuals and text books
I read novels, technical manuals, reference books, history and other non-fiction, but neither magazines nor newspapers. There is no option provided for people who read BOOKS but not PERIODICALS on that list (or the opposite, for that matter). So which option am I supposed to pick?

I'll pick novels, even though that's far from the truth, and continue....

The storage space estimates in question 3 are grossly off. I have 2,350 books the my Sony PRS-505 in front of me -- 673 in its 256 MB internal memory and 1677 occupying less than half of a 2 GB SD card.

The budget question is too fine-grained and has no option for "I haven't decided." People are more flexible than you're giving them credit for.

It informs me that I should buy a nook. Why, I'm not sure. I don't want a touch screen. It never asked about one of my major criteria -- battery life. And when I went to read the nook info, I saw this:

Quote:
Make sure you have the “early adaptor” characteristic in you...
I think you mean "adopter". It's a different word entirely, even if it looks a bit the same. In addition, that's one painfully awkward sentence.

The review of the nook is wordy and essentially just a rehash of things I can find anywhere on line.

But what about the dozens of other ebook readers out there?

You've built a site to compare 3 brands of ebook readers, and promote all three of them. That's kind of like building a site to promote 3 brands of cars, and forgetting about the dozens of other ones out there.

Much of the writing is awkward, and I'm sure if I read through all of the text I'd find more errors like the ones I've already listed. Hiring a proofreader would be a good investment; as it is, it's not ready for the public.

I still haven't figured out why you demanded my name and email address. Given no valid reason for it on a ebook-promotion website, the only reason I can assume (and no, any protests to the contrary will hold no water with most visitors) that you want to sell it to spammers.

My verdict:

All hat, no cattle.
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:20 PM   #9
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In your top four comparison list, the information on the left does not line up with the info on the right.

I also didn't appreciate the add that threw itself at me the second the page opened.

For both the K2 and KDX reviews, while it's true that neither device has an SD card slot for expanded storage, for books purchased from Amazon, one can retrieve a book from their servers via Whispernet whenever they need it. It's worthy of note.

I haven't gone through the rest of the site yet, hope this helps!
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:22 PM   #10
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Hi Matt. On 06-04-2009 you announced a Win a Kindle DX contest on MobileRead.

It looked like it would be awarded on the July 1st 2009.

A similar contest for a kindle was posted on www.kindleboards.com. The only difference was that the one for MR wanted a picture and the one for kindleboards.com wanted a video.

I don't seem to find a notice of who won. Can you show (give a webpage) us where/when it was awarded?

Your article "What Problems EBook Readers Are Facing Today" on ezinearticles.com is quite concise and, I'm sure, indicative of the quality articles the will fill your new website.

Well, good luck starting to build your website.

PS- don't forget to get rid of that pop-up that asks for a first name and email address.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:05 PM   #11
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You don't even have my ebook reader (JetBook Lite) listed.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:16 PM   #12
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The '60 second' tour sound more like an ad than anything. Lots of good devices out there don't use eInk.

The pop-up newsletter sign up that hits you in the face first thing made me want to do one thing. Leave without going any further.

Seems to be limited to a select few devices.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:29 PM   #13
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You don't even have my ebook reader (JetBook Lite) listed.
They probably don't have an affiliate program.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:39 PM   #14
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You don't even have my ebook reader (JetBook Lite) listed.
His site has been up for about a year and there is a lot missing from an "eBook reader" website. The JetBook and others are the least of it.

I don't watch TV anymore but I would bet that about a year ago there was an infomercial telling you how (For only $199 in 5 easy payments of $50. *Plus shipping) you too could make a fortune in the Internet Gold Mine!

Great job Worldwalker.

Last edited by SameOldStory; 06-02-2010 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:42 PM   #15
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I agree with what all the other folks said. I'd also like to add that you should get rid of those silly little verified banners at the bottom. If I'm looking for information, I don't really care whether GoDaddy verified you.
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