"Time to Update the Website" - Digital Photography Podcast 154

Oh, how time flies by. We launched The Digital Story in October 2005. Now, more than three years later, it's time to put a new coat of paint on the walls.

In this podcast, I go over the changes we have in store for the next version of The Digital Story. We're going to improve the user experience by updating the underlying technology (Movable Type 3 to Movable Type 4), clean up the navigation, add bigger photographs, add video, and create an entirely new area called Creative Output that focuses on printing and other fun projects.

But this is also your opportunity to let us know what you want. If you have a feature you'd like me to add, or if you have a comment on the features we have proposed, please add a comment to these Show Notes or send email to me (see the Submissions page for details).

I'm excited to bring the next generation Digital Story to our virtual camera club. I think it's a great way to kick off 2009.

Monthly Photo Assignment

Group Shot is also this month's photo assignment. This is your opportunity to practice, then publish the results. You can read more about how to submit on our Submissions page. Deadline for entry is Dec. 31, 2008.

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "Time to Update the Website." You can download the podcast here (22 minutes). You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

The Digital Story podcasts are available for direct download from Apple iPhones. I've created a special mobile download page here. Just load the page in Safari, browse the podcast line-up, and click on the one you want to listen to.

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our new Flickr Public Group. It's a blast!

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This isn't a feature suggestion, but more of an organizational one. I'm someone that "dips in" to the site every so often and misses good posts inbetween. Backtracking around here isn't all that easy. For example, since you review more than just cameras, it might help to have more subcategories or keywords to make it easier to tease out specific items while searching. Also, the current categories are confusing; never really sure where to start from the "Jump to" or "Quick Links" menu if I'm looking for a particular topic.

I notice this on other photography-related sites, as well -- so much information on a wide variety of topics, and it's a fine line to balance when you have users who range from complete novice to professional. But there's a lot of good stuff here, and it would be even better if it's easier to find. (And even more so as you plan to add more features...)

(Blame this on being around too many usability/user experience folks in the past, but hope that's somewhat clear. Of course, you guys probably already have these issues in mind, but it might be good to see how folks are using the site to begin with, or what they tend to search for.)

These are excellent suggestions webojunk! We will add them to the effort.

Looking forward to the creative output section! And I am also very pleased to hear that you are not going to focus on hardware but stick at the core business: taking pictures. One suggestion for the new site: try a tighter integration with the Flickr group. It is not very practical to have discussions and/or comments on two difference site when there is only one TDS community. Just my 2 cents.

I'd love to see the pixel limit on the photo assignment bumped up from 600x600 to something a little bigger.

those ideas sound like a great improvement to the site. i have one suggestion though regarding the podcast - the image doctors' podcast at the nikonians site embed images in their podcast - it is still them talking so it can be listened to in the train/plane etc., but those who want can look at the images on their computer/ipod.
i look forward to the redesign! :-)