One does not need to be a paying member to see what is on the homepage, but, of course, you do need to in order to get all of the details on the articles/information posted, to get to the member exclusives, etc. Once I click on the log in button, the site immediately takes me to the presale information page. On one hand, this can be extremely helpful during presale “season” so that I don’t have to waste time getting to the presale page. When there are not presales, why would I even go there? Why would anyone? It doesn’t make sense. Wouldn’t you want to offer the latest and greatest offering by sending us back to the homepage where we started? Maybe I’m doing it wrong. I don’t know.
Typically, then, I go back to the homepage myself in order to read what is new. Here’s where my annoyance kicks into full gear. It is hard to even see what is news or what was new to me as the news isn’t listed in chronological order. Clearly, some “news” on DDM’s home page is deemed more important than others. While I get that, the presale information about presales that have already taken place seems no longer then most important. DD.com is able to give the latest information first except for in VERY rare circumstances, which I like. Why can’t DDM? Clearly, it isn’t that no one is updating this page at all as there is current information listed. So, why not put the news in order by most recent? Then, if some other bit of info needs to be at the top, put it at the top and indicate that. Heck, this is what message boards do by having a specific symbol that shows that topic to be “stuck” to the top. The problem here might be user error because I just can’t see what is new. For example, I looked the other day and discovered that there was a new Katy Kafe there and had been there for over a week. How come I didn’t see it the last time I was at the site? Probably because the blurb about it was hidden on the third column on the news page. Huh? It just doesn’t make good sense to me.
Of course, I could have found out that there was a new Katy Kafe if there was some advertising done. Why can’t someone/anyone put a tweet out there that a new Kafe has been posted for paying members? Why can’t a facebook status indicate that? Yes, I realize that not every fan is a paying member but why not alert those who are? Why not give us a reason to actually go there? At the same time, it might encourage non-members to join. Why wouldn’t Duran headquarters want that? I don’t get it. Yes, I realize that most of the members now are there simply for the presales. If it is that, then why put an exclusives on there at all? Why bother? It seems to me that the site would be better as either simply a presale location OR a real fan site. If they are going to include cool extras (which obviously can be debated), why not do it right and TELL people about what is there. Rhonda and I post our blog topics elsewhere everyday, why can’t DDHQ do the same when something new is there?
Now, I’m sure that many (most? all?) of you reading this are thinking to yourself–“Why does Amanda bother? The rest of us left or never paid for DDM to begin with.” The response to this is simple. Yes, I could just stop going over to the site. Yes, I could just stop paying. I could. I absolutely could. Yet, I do enjoy the Katy Kafes, including this month’s with Simon rambling about tennis, the state of the world and more. I like seeing exclusive pictures and videos. I think that is what a fan club should be doing. Of course, I would like to see much more focus on the fan community aspect, but I have gotten past that. Hence, why Rhonda and I have tried to fill in some of those gaps by starting conversation here, on twitter and on facebook. We are all trying to bring people together in meetups and other events in the future. Therefore, if a fan club isn’t going to try to bring the fans together, they should be offering us something for our money, in my opinion. I think they could do this in a way that is more efficient and more effective for both them and us.
I’m sure that 95% of comments will be about how I’m sucker to continue over there. Logically, I’m sure that’s right. Emotionally, I am not ready to give up on something that has such potential. Thus, I tried to offer a couple of means to improve it. It may not bring people back or restore people’s faith in it but it could be some steps in the right direction. Right? Maybe, it would just annoy me less.