Plus Opinion on Changes...

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Comments

  • edited 26 May, 2010
    I spend most of my time on dogster (which is why I haven't had my photos updated/slacker typist should be fired), but headed over here to check out how catster was dealing with the changes. I can honestly say I like the changes here better. But I do wish that some stuff was back to how it was. I can live with the background here. I hate the grass back ground on dogster. Like many of you I won't be renewing my plus. But that's because I was already coming on here less and didn't like spending my money on it.
  • SammySammy Member Posts: 3,391
    edited 26 May, 2010
    We are not happy about the changes so far. If Mom hadn\'t received messages in her personal e-mail that I was a DDP yesterday, we never would have known since it took us a while to find Diary Central when we logged in. We miss the home page and don\'t like that it takes extra clicks to find things. Did Catster consult with any Plus Members before they made these changes? We\'d like to know if there was a test group involved before they rolled this out :?
  • scatha guardianscatha guardian southMember Posts: 158
    edited 27 May, 2010
    Thanks everyone for meowing your opinions...tell all your Plus friends to come here and keep it going. =D> Hook
  • Ellie CarterEllie Carter SeattleMember Posts: 2,252
    edited 27 May, 2010
    My thoughts: YUCK, YUCK, YUCK!!!!! HQ, we are so unhappy with these changes. The carpet background is odd, but tolerable. What gets us is how user unfriendly this site is now. We don't like seeing so many ads all over our pages. It is a pain to have to hunt everything down just to get to where we want to go. I am certain you are seeing all of our comments, please make things better. I don't want my friends to go away :((
  • Molly StrothkampMolly Strothkamp MesaMember Posts: 1,381
    edited 27 May, 2010
    I agree with many of the wise kitties who have posted in this thread. I am really disappointed with the changes to Catster. It\'s not so much about the colors, backgrounds, etc. (although the white background is really harsh). My disappointment is that the family community that is the best part of Catster, the heart and soul of Catster, is now hidden under a little orange link (that I initially mistook for yet another ad). The homepage is totally lacking any true connection to what the spirit of Catster is (or used to be) all about- friendship, comfort, encouragment, support, fun, more friendship, and love. The things that made Catster unique and loved by so many of us. New people/cats will likely have no idea this amazing community exists, they\'ll never find it as the current homepage is laid out. A new person wouldn\'t even know there were cat profiles on Catster based on the homepage. So very sad. HQ, please read my * Diary Entry *. And please consider the feedback from so many Catsters as more than just a typical negative response to change. It\'s not just about what brings people to this site, it\'s about what keeps them coming back: the amazing, caring, interactive community! |:|
  • Marion von HagenMarion von Hagen MünsterMember Posts: 38
    edited 27 May, 2010
    Who are you and what did you do to our Catster? We wants it back!!
  • Debbie StuckerDebbie Stucker Member Posts: 9,042
    edited 27 May, 2010
    Being a Catster Plus member isn't exactly a "plus" anymore....too much fiddling around to find what we use. I can't even find a specific stroll easily! I must say dewclaws down to most of the new site. Hopefully, HQ will take our comments and improve things a bit. I usually like a change too, but since we pay for Plus membership, we should be listened to FIRST! ;c;
  • Sharon EvansSharon Evans Member Posts: 2,968
    edited 27 May, 2010
    We do not like the changes. The focus turning away from loyal Catster members is like a slap in the face. Hiding us is not a very nice way to treat us. There are SO MANY information cat sites on the Internet already- do we really need another one? The main attraction for Catster to us was the fun! We didn\'t get that on other cat sites. We got info here too but the fun and community was a the main draw. Now Catster is just another boring cat site. :-k
  • Julie VentrigliaJulie Ventriglia Member Posts: 2,923
    edited 27 May, 2010
    That stupid ad on the right keeps covering up my stupid community tab! And I keep getting told I am not logged in~ so I go to log in~ and it says I am already logged in!!! ::o
  • SammySammy Member Posts: 3,391
    edited 27 May, 2010
    Lucy, we loved your diary entry =D> We agree completely about the Catster Community being buried underneath too many \"layers\" and we are afraid that new potential members won\'t be able to find this pawsome community of cat lovers. We can deal with the technical problems of having our pages messed up (although that is very frustrating, too), but we hope Catster will seriously rethink the fact that the Catster Community is not easily accessible anymore - that is a HUGE mistake, in our opinion, and will cost them new members.
  • CalvinCalvin ScottsdaleMember Posts: 8,818 ✭✭✭
    edited 27 May, 2010
    Off to my friends\' diaries each day to read and laugh at what they have to say Leavin\' a comment for the diary picks and up it pops Error 6 Eh - eh - eh - Error 6 Of all the stuff that Catster has changed Moved, fixed, or rearranged They can\'t seem to spray the fleas and ticks of that \'ole nasty Error 6 Eh - eh - eh - Error 6 Submit it once Submit it twice Maybe not fleas but dirty lice Eh - eh - eh - Error 6 The dreaded red Error 6 Hopin\' some day it will get the nix! Eh - eh - eh - Error 6

    The Cats in the Clover
    Samoa, Calvin, Violet, Gleek, Spunky, Sugar, Vivien, Newman, & Inky

  • Julie VentrigliaJulie Ventriglia Member Posts: 2,923
    edited 27 May, 2010
    Eh - eh - eh - Error 6 :))!:))!:))!
  • edited 27 May, 2010
    Dis wut I tink ob da changes PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT!!! HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!! NUTRO FOOD BEIN RECALL AGIN WHY DEY AVERTISIN HEER???? Dat take away kredibilitee frum Catster!!! SPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPIiiiiiiTTTTTTT!! It Konfoosing, dis noo stuffs. I dunno likes da noo logo. I WANTS MY OLD CATSTER BAK!!!! :(
  • Kathy MillerKathy Miller O'FallonMember Posts: 5,315 ✭✭
    edited 27 May, 2010
    I agree completely. The changes have not been good for the community. Miles has posted suggestions in several places about how they could improve this design to make it work better for the members, and I hope they listen! But HQ you need to take a good hard look at who is complaining here. It's the members who helped you get where you are today. If you're more interested in attracting new members than keeping the old, fine. But you're making a mistake.
  • Kathy MillerKathy Miller O'FallonMember Posts: 5,315 ✭✭
    edited 27 May, 2010
    P.S. We've made many friends on Catster. Our moms are now friends on Facebook. So if we quit paying we won't be losing touch with our friends. But the danger is that more and more of us will be doing our communicating on FB INSTEAD of Catster and that will hurt the community and ultimately hurt your business. Might be longer term, but it will.
  • scatha guardianscatha guardian southMember Posts: 158
    edited 27 May, 2010
    As I said in another post, Catster has really dumped the dirty kitty litter all over this! They bring in NUTRO as a advertiser, AFTER last year with the recall of the product that caused illness and death in cats and dogs. Here is a link: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/recalls04/2009/nutro_cat_food.html Why do we NEED a link to twitter or facebook? I am sure if there are anyone on here that belongs to those sites, they will already have them BOOKMARKED in their favorites. We do not need anything more on our pages. As I have seen others comment on, what happened to our cute Catster logo??? It was so sweet to see the \"A\" shaped like a kitty face. Now it is plain like yogurt...yuck. But most of all, and again...our pages have been pushed off to the side, as though we don\'t matter anymore. I thought THAT was the point of Catster, to bring people together who love cats, to make pages to show them off, and get to know one another? Now it just looks like any other search engine on the internet. Our pages are shoved off to the side like a afterthought... Finally, what about the money we spend here on Catster??? Consider together the fees of the Plus members here on Catster, then add it do those on Dogster! Then what about the cost of Zealies??? Both Plus and non-Plus member buy those. I would just LOVE to see how much they pull in from that every month! Don\'t be afraid to voice you opinions!!! What can they do? Take down the thread? Catster HQ should have considered ALL of us before taking these changes. They did not...they need to know how we feel.
  • Autumn GessertAutumn Gessert Amarillo, TXMember Posts: 333 ✭✭
    edited 27 May, 2010
    I, too, agree with everybody else. These changes are just awful, and our community is just being pushed aside. It was the Community and how wonderful and knowledgeable it is that drew us to Catster years ago, how very, very sad it is to see it buried so deeply now. How odd, when so many other sites seek to BUILD communities, that Catster seems to be trying to gradually eliminate us. I guess I just don't understand why Catster has chosen to alienate us. It makes me wonder just how long our individual pages will even last.
  • Sharon DaltonSharon Dalton Member Posts: 3,728
    edited 27 May, 2010
    Well, I was glad to see the awful pea-soup green gone, and I understand (I think) the rationale behind the berber carpet; it is neutral - and appropriate for cats. I found that if you click on "Catster" at the top of the page, you're taken to the old homepage - complete w. pea-soup green and the cute Catster logo with the "a" face. However, the other things are missing - COTD, COTW, DOTD. Maybe that's being fixed? My pages still look ok EXCEPT that I cannot change the background on Morganna's page. For some reason, Photobucket says I've exceeded bandwidth, but I don't know how: the background used to work. So, ok, I'll change it to a plain color but NOTHING works! No matter what code I enter, I still a have the berber carpet background. I'm late for lunch, and I'm hungry...the page will just have to stay as it is, as I'm out of ideas for what to try.
  • Susan BoydSusan Boyd Big Sky CountryMember Posts: 125
    edited 27 May, 2010
    Some kitties have said they think the pages are loading faster since the change. We use IE8, and especially pursonal pages are loading SLOWER than before the change. Also, Catster seems to be flea-ridden. Kitties are getting error messages when trying to log in or post comments for diary entries. We haven\'t had a problem with logging in like some kitties, but we sent a friend request last night. Catster tells us we have 0 pending requests, but the request is sitting right there. Maybe the big cat can\'t count? :^:
  • CalvinCalvin ScottsdaleMember Posts: 8,818 ✭✭✭
    edited 27 May, 2010
    Post deleted by me!

    The Cats in the Clover
    Samoa, Calvin, Violet, Gleek, Spunky, Sugar, Vivien, Newman, & Inky

  • Teresa ConcannonTeresa Concannon Member Posts: 7,378
    edited 27 May, 2010
    Well said Hook! Basically, I agree with you and the other posters. My comments were posted on the comments section of the homepage and in another forum thread and I wrote my opinion in my diary yesterday, so I don\'t need to repeat it here. If I didn\'t love Catster so much, I wouldn\'t be so upset! The Catster we\'ve known and loved is changing and not for the good of the community members. It\'s in the process of re-inventing itself and turning itself into just another of the thousands of bland, fluffy information sites for web browsers. The community, which was the reason Catster even exists in the first place and which has been the heart and soul of Catster since it began, is now secondary. Catster is losing it\'s soul for advertising dollars! Now that we\'ve been relegated to secondary status and with all of the extra clicking we need to do, the Catster community feels less accessible, harder to reach and everyone seems distant. It\'s like my friends suddenly all moved to a different city or state! Not impossible to visit but time-consuming and inconvenient. Sounds silly but that\'s how it feels to me. At this point, we don\'t know if we\'ll be renewing our CatsterPlus membership next year. Maybe Catster could find a way to keep the community and information websites separated? When Community members log on, they would immediately be on the Community Homepage (hopefully revised from what it is now!) There could be a link from the Community to the info stuff but it would be on the far right side of the page where the community button is now. When you\'re in the Community section, the links and button bars should all focus on the community itself and not the info site like it now does.
  • Leanne FroebelLeanne Froebel Member Posts: 1,730
    edited 27 May, 2010
    I hate to be critical or complain as I’m sure Catster HQ worked very hard and spent a lot of time on these changes… but I agree with most of what’s been said. 1) I find all the white to be hard on my eyes. 2) I find the new design (in my opinion) too busy and less user-friendly and more difficult to navigate. 3) I find the new Catster logo to be rather plain and boring. 4) I miss many things that used to be on the main page - The greeting and one click access to p-mail and my cats\' pages from the main page - Cat of the Day - Cat of the Week - Diary of the Day - Easy access to the Cat’s Meow and the vet blog (where are they?) 5) I also agree that is seems Catster is moving away from an online community and towards being an informational website which I find disappointing. I enjoy the Catster community and am disappointed that the community features take more steps to access and appear to be on back burner so to speak. I do like some things about the new design though: - I like the sisal/carpet background - I like that the adoption center is partnered with PetFinder - I like the Adoptable Cat of the Day feature Catster HQ, please listen to our comments and feedback. Many members are not happy with a lot of the changes. My Plus membership just renewed in April, and unless Catster listens to their members and makes some more changes – I will NOT renew my membership. Just my opinion about the changes…
  • Jan ArmstrongJan Armstrong Member Posts: 6,559
    edited 27 May, 2010
    Dear HQ. Upon reading many of these unhappies, it seems that many feel the way I do and I do not feel so alone. Kind of like what Catster is all about, yes? It isn\'t so much that are pages are messed up yet again or the colors have changed and that catster banner and login and top menu and site footer is different, or that carpet and grass backgrounds makes me and my furblings want to pee on the monitor screen. We are upset that our loving community is now just an on the side thing if a new visitor happens to luck in and find it, and a 15 minute visitor who will never darken catster again seems more important. Caster has lost her identity, and while that had us a bit angry at first - now we are beginning to go into tears mourning the loss of our beloved catster. We seasoned members know how important it is to direct the public to catster where they click on ads and sometimes buy items via your id. But one thing has been forgotten. Those who become members and put up pet pages, who click more on those ads because we are here nearly everyday ... and we buy zealies! I would think the result of the new catster would have been even more member oriented and focused, and would want to draw way more others to be catster members. Not just stay for 15 minutes, grab their information, and then head back out never to come back again. We want traffic too. Traffic is what brings others to catster, but traffic alone isn\'t what made catster what it is today. It\'s those who stay and make a home here, and shop via catster and buy extra zealies and become so impressed they become plus members. Thank you for your attention - Icy
  • Dana DunnDana Dunn Member Posts: 2,587
    edited 27 May, 2010
    Well I agree 100% with you guys. Mom has emailed them & she called them yesterday to no avail. She wrote about it in my diary, the lady didn't sound like much was planned to do at the time. So I'm thinking purrhaps we all need to start calling in about & then maybe they will see that we are serious about this issue. Maybe I should have asked to speak to Ted, don't know. But if anyfur is interested in calling, you can go here to get their number. http://www.catster.com/about/contact.php It's on their About Us page.
  • CalvinCalvin ScottsdaleMember Posts: 8,818 ✭✭✭
    edited 27 May, 2010
    Icebox - well said. The cosmetic changes of background, etc. are something we can deal with. It\'s the way I feel the true community is being treated that makes us so sad. Catster is all about cats - we are the ones who spread the news to friends about what a great place it is - the caring, loving connections that are made, the common experiences we share. And when the Top Cat has not said one word yet, it is very upsetting. We shouldn\'t have to call HQ. We\'ve expressed our feelings in the forums, in our diaries, and every other place we can. They need to realize that pushing us under the sissel carpet is not going to work. If they don\'t want us here, then fine, we will make this place a ghost town! We have tried to keep the fun going over the past year when it is obvious that so many have left to play over on Facebook. And just when we rolled out a great contest that was conceived by Catster members, all this change happens. The Cat\'s Meow graciously posted the info on the Buzzin\' into Spring contest, and now The Cat\'s Meow blog is buried so deep that most cats will not even realize the contest is going on. Please HQ - respond to us! It\'s the least you can do after this big change!

    The Cats in the Clover
    Samoa, Calvin, Violet, Gleek, Spunky, Sugar, Vivien, Newman, & Inky

  • Jeanette CereskeJeanette Cereske San FranciscoMember Posts: 16,444
    edited 27 May, 2010
    Thanks for starting this thread Hook. We like some of the changes but there are some that we really dislike -in particular that what is now called the Community Homepage is no longer the site homepage. We want to get back to it in one click from any page like we used to be able to do and that is no longer possible. We are trying to give it a chance and also give Catster a chance to respond to the feedback. They\'ve always been good about that in the past. And we want to believe that the changes were well-intentioned even if they\'ve missed the mark in a lot of ways. To tell the truth, we wonder if Catster tested this out with any of their users before they launched it. If not, that was a big mistake. They should have done a pilot program - with users that truly represented the demographic of Catster - then incorporated their feedback into the changes. Mom has visited Catster HQ and all of the people there looked very young. We all know that there is a wide range of ages that are on Catster and some things that might be easy for younger more computer savvy folks to adapt to are not so easy for our older moms and dads who didn\'t grow up using computers (and I don\'t mean to insult anyone cause I\'m talking about *my* mom who is in her 50\'s). It\'s really important to remember who your customers are!! We hope HQ will respond quickly - we would hate to lose our Catster friends that we love so much because of the changes! Purrs, Chai
  • SammySammy Member Posts: 3,391
    edited 27 May, 2010
    Nice post, Icy, we meow your sentiments exactly! We\'d also love to hear what HQ is thinking about the feedback they are receiving - are they listening? Facebook responded rather promptly when users were up in arms about the personal privacy issues - we hope Catster will also respond to its customers. :)
  • Dee FreyDee Frey Member Posts: 363
    edited 27 May, 2010
    We don't like the new catster pages. First of all, the main page has a lot going on, and you would never really know that catster is a community first and foremost from that page. Is it?? The most important thing to us is all the wonderful friends we've made and frankly we don't pay too much attention to the other stuff unless momma gets more free time on ocassion. The opening page is 'busy' with too much going on, and so is the community page. It lacks the warmth it had and has too much of a commercial feel. We don't mind the new background (sissal and toys - they are sorta cute) but the white background all over the place is not 'easy on the eyes' and also seems to block a lot of the hard work that many catsters have put on the background of their pages. my opinion is you go back to the way catster was and keep working on the upgrade. We support change if it is good. We still love catster and more importantly our friends here that make it such a wonderful place.
  • Guido The Italian KittyGuido The Italian Kitty Member Posts: 3,339
    edited 27 May, 2010
    Helloooooo HQ anybody home?? Toss the new stuff in da giganticat litter box and don't recycle it! I can't even find my furiends whooza missing and my groups and never sees a Cat of the Day, a Cat of the Week, a Diary Pick - nothing! I can't find nothing! Yep uh huh CATSTER, youza gotta purroblem with yur deeziner - musta been a teenaged golpher who deezined it!
  • Teddy RheingoldsTeddy Rheingolds San FranciscoMember Posts: 1,743
    edited 27 May, 2010
    Hi everypaw, I'm so sorry to hear how unhappy some of you are after the changes went live. The number of users to the sites has just grown so much and there are so many different types of people that value the sites that we had to split the site into parts that made more sense. I hope you had a chance to read the update I wrote. I'm sorry you feel the community is less important but our goal was to organize it better. The community homepage is now your homepage. It's all for you. We're actually about to push changes that we've heard requested since it went live. I'm sorry we didn't get it perfect, but there will be a lot more changes coming now that we know exactly how people would like it. But the forums, groups, games, gifts, pmail, diaries, photos are all still exactly where they were and will stay that way. All these areas are very important to us because they are important to you. I'm sorry that not all the fonts and colors are looking ideal on all browsers. We're going to be sweeping through all the big pages and fixing them one by one. I'm sorry we weren't able to get them all before the change, but please know we are on it. We are reading every email and posting them internally so we can see them all. We're reading the forums. And we're working our tails off here to get this as how everyone wants them. Many many meows and tail waves, Ted @ HQ
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