Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Website Wednesday: SPEEDtv.com's NASCAR Section

Do you still use SPEEDtv.com? Back when SPEED first started, it was a favorite destination of mine for all kinds of things. I was a member of the forum and enjoyed the articles and news sections. Then, the website was re-designed.

Since that time, I rarely visit SPEEDtv.com and tend to get my NASCAR information from other websites, even when I am looking up something on SPEED. This is no knock on SPEED, as my interests tend to be NASCAR-related and that is just one category on the website.

Rather than welcome SPEED TV's NASCAR viewers to the website, I found it very hard to even locate the show pages that contained email information for various programs without resorting to the search function.

Just like many TDP readers mentioned about NASCAR.com, the SPEED website also contains a video that opens and plays with audio on when the user enters the site. One recent positive move is making access to portions of SPEED's NASCAR programming easily available in the video player. But, it should be a user option to start.

Users of the SPEEDtv.com website will also find their experience interrupted by full screen ads that block the entire site for fifteen seconds. Unlike ads inserted into the beginning of a video player or ones that require a mouse click to open, this full screen insert really serves to chase users away.

Once click on the NASCAR button will bring users to the world of the little red arrows. They are everywhere on the new site and are supposed to be directing users to stories or drop-down panels or something. The vast majority of the red arrows do nothing, and users must click on the text link to open the next page.

Since SPEED re-vamped the network's website, do you go there for NASCAR information?

If you do, what functions do you like and what would you like to see improved?

Finally, what would you like to see added to the site to make it more responsive to your Internet motorsports needs?

This is a good opportunity to get any frustrations from this season off your chest while the off-season gives SPEED an opportunity to make changes. Please take a moment and tell us about your experiences with the SPEEDtv.com website this year?

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thank you for taking the time to drop by.


Kyle said...

I go there to read Kenny's and Jimmy's blog postings and that's about it. Since I am a member of the media I get the TV schedules months in advance, and I get the news from the teams or sources 99% of the time.

The 15-sec ads scared me away instantly. The site design is pretty cool, but the ads have got to go. Any site that has video should do away with autostart. I can figure out how to press "Play" if I fell like watching a clip.

diane said...

I rarely go there anymore. Too busy looking, too many ads and TV listings much harder to find and search than before. If you wanted to simply see when and if V8 Supercars were going to be on during the next month its a pain.

I like Robin Miller's mailbag so I do read that, although sometimes its hard to find.

Their forums were a complete mess for about 6 months and are slowly getting better. I don't read the Nascar section as much as I used to because there are a few people who feel it is their role to display their "knowledge" and cut off regular discussion and interplay. I can go elsewhere and do.

AMS fan said...

I quit going there unless I cannot find what I want to know elsewhere.
After the update, I tried to locate a feedback section. After a long time of searching, I did find it. That only made me more frustrated. By that time I wrote a respectful comment expressing my displeasure. Upon sending the message I got an error that said I had sent my limit for the day. I had not sent any messages. After 2 more attempts I gave up.
I did try 2 other days with the same results.
One thing that is useless now is the TV listing page. I still don't use it. I went to the old one every day.
I did not find anything that was user friendly, the things I used to look for were gone or I couldn't find them.
I don't have any comments to fix the site, except for the same one every upgraded site needs to know.
Some of us cannot afford or do not want to get a new faster updated computer every time a website upgrades.
Just because the site can afford to get fancy, with all the new and best bells and whistles doesn't mean the users can.

TexasRaceLady said...

I avoid SPEEDtv.com like the plague.

Will not go there under any circumstances.

If I want the TV schedule I use racefantv.

Newracefan said...

I use to go to Speedtv.com frequently, not so much anymore. Again it's way too busy, doesn't even get me started on the ads. JD I basically agree with everything that you said, it's a mess. Have you ever tried to email a question to Nascar Performance or to obtain the TWIN picture of the week. Unless the show is on at the time and you can use the quick link in the upper right corner it's like a maze. First you need to search for the show and then for where you can email (I've found a link in the small print down near the bottom of the show's page), it should not be that hard to acomplish this task. I've heard Larry Mac (I think) beg for emails, no wonder it's so darn hard to find a way to do it.

Anonymous said...

I've subscribed to the folks I'm aware of so I get an email when they have something new up. And I go to the forums through the back door so I don't have to mess with the homepage.

I agree diane trying to find something that should be simple is like a scavenger hunt on that site!

AMS fan said...

Oh and another thing,somehow I signed up for the SPEEDTV.com newsletter. I don't know how I did, it but I did. It was so confusing I don't even want to try to unsubscribe. I just delete them from my inbox.
That's pretty bad, huh?

Robyn said...

I hardly ever go, unless I hear something. For me the pages load V E R Y S L O W L Y. Sometimes they don't load at all. (Yes, I do clean out all the stuff you are supposed to clean out on a regular basis - since you have to to lessen the chance of Race View crashing.)

It's a also a pain to find things. I would also like to see the e-mail addresses listed and not linked. Depending on where I am, when I click on a feedback address it may not open in the mail program I want to use. (I'm sure that I could probably fix that, but I shouldn't have to.) But the only way to get the address, is to click on it and wait for it to show up in the to: line.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you for saying what I've been thinking for months. That site is an absolute mess and drives me crazy because it loads every video in the world and takes forever!

And the message boards were a mess for a while too but the worst of it was that it was basically taken over by a noisy clique of KyBu fans who drove just about any non-KyBu fans away. Of course they've settled down now that he's come back to earth but a lot of good posters got disgusted and were driven away. Unfortunately, you no longer see too many fans of other drivers post there and it's become very slow. It used to be my first NASCAR stop and now it's an after-thought. How to wreck a good thing!

Love your column! It's a must-read for me.

Richard in N.C. said...

I very, very seldom go to SPEEDtv.com because it operates so slowly. Occasionally I do go to check the TV schedule for Tradin' Paint or some F1 show or to see if Varsha, Hobbs, Michette, or Robin Miller have an article - and sometimes check it if I see there is an article by Spencer or K. Wallace. However, I can seldom put up with it for more than just a few minutes because it operates so slowly.

Sure am sorry the word verification has to be back, but I really do appreciate the characters being more readable than on some sites.

drpep said...

I went once to see what the weekend schedule was. The site was to busy and full of ads and it took forever to find the schedule. Never been back.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:35PM,

Thanks for the good words. Anyone who would like to be a regular can just take a moment and sign-up with Google for a blue nick.



Sophia said...

I haven't gone to SPEED site since they 'upgraded' with the horrible black and gray background...tough on the eyes.

I do try to go there to find robin millers articles and mailbag and it is NO EASY feat. a bookmark only gives me his OLD mailbag article...

but the place is a mess, you used to be able to log on on the forums but now that takes you to the overly cluttered home page that makes NASCAR seem "almost" streamlined. Whew boy. You have to be a real fan of Robin Miller's to go to the site.

But I don't use Nascar.com much except for the TWIN out takes and when I hear of an article there...

bryanh said...

When I first went to the site, I was on dial-up, and finally gave up. Better connection now, its still slow, and a mess. I now go to Jayski, TV Guide.com, and now to TDP (thanks), for tv times, qial., prac.,ect.. The only articles I read are from links at Jayski to Speed tv. In order to add, they need to take away a lot of junk, to improve the site.

Dot said...

I haven't been to SPEED.com in forever. I just went there before posting for a look. Not impressed. I access articles from them via Jayski.

If I want direct info on a racing series, (I like ALMS), I just add it to my favorites.

alex said...

I used to be a member of the speedtv.com message boards, and visited them regularly until last season. Much of the Nascar news was up there right after jayski, usually with good discussion. The Nascar technical forum was a favorite of mine, as I didn't know a whole lot of the engineering aspects of making the cars run, and tweaking them, etc. I found that some of the moderators on the site took themselves a little too seriously, and I said something to get banned from the forums. Right after that was the famous redesign, and the message boards changed colors so they were much tougher on the eyes. Looking at it now, they've changed to message boards again so they are easier to read.

My main criticism of the site is the front page. I just went to check out the Nascar section (probably for the first time ever), so I could write a comment here. As I did, the full screen ad came up that promised to leave in 10 seconds. That right there means I probably won't go back to SPEED's Nascar page. I would argue that once I get to the page, the layout is very disjointed, with columns and rows of links across 4 or 5 different parts of the page.

Normally, the only time I use SPEEDtv.com is to look at the program tv schedule, but I can't even find that most of the time I go to the site. It's easier to use tvguide.com instead. My suggestion to SPEED would be to "dumb it down" and get rid of the clutter.

Dot said...

I went back to SPEED.com and searched TWIN. I got the messgae board dated May 13th!!!! I'm not sure what I did wrong, but wouldn't you think it would show the latest one? I'm confused and will probably not be going back.

I also want to mention that the site is cluttered. I said the same thing about N.com too. Glad to know it's not just me.

Anonymous said...

Those 15 sec ads are awful & need to go. Or at least give us a clear X to make it close.

The red arrows don't usually do much - so I just click the links anyway now & ignore the arrows.

My pet peeve is the sign in & boards. I quit doing either when it decided I had to keep signing in, every time I changed pages. I hope they fixed that.
I used to go there daily, now its just to hard to find the TV listings and they can no longer be printed out a week at a time. So why should I bother?

The self starting audios scare the crap out of me. One minute I'm listening to music at a moderate level, the next thing is music, voices or car engines revving. Ummm no not good.

I still go there to read blogs once a week and read up on other racing series. But I know longer hang there like I used to. Its to much hassle to go every day.

Anonymous said...

;) OK -JD heres my Blue name! Its too hard to keep using my Open ID - google won't remember it!

Thanks for the work on this blog!

Anonymous said...

The only time I go to the Speed web site is on weekends to confirm the television schedule. A simple thing like a quick link to the various Speed programs is complicated.

Tom said...

I still visit daily, primarily for news and opinions outside of NASCAR, although I do like their stock car columnists (except for ill-informed, misogynist, jingoistic Jimmie Spencer). The change in the website was and is terrible, although daily use has made it managable. Still very hard to find things sometimes. As Diane pointed out, Miller's Mailbag (required reading for anyone remotely interested in ICS) has been difficult to find since the season ended. The F1 guys write great stuff (especially Hobbe's rememberances). So, although they TRIED to get me to stop going there by mucking up the front page, I still visit daily in spite of that. Content wise, it is hard to find a place to get race news and opinions for ALL forms of racing, and SPEEDTV.com still has that at least.

Inverness, FL

Anonymous said...

I am really old school.....I miss Ben Blake - he was my favorite with his take on NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

Same problem as NASCAR.com: autostart video with full audio.

When will they learn? Don't do this.

And it's a very busy site. Too busy. In fact, so busy that the staff apparently can't keep up with updating it in a timely fashion.

Don't offer a map with info abou tracks where SPEED will be set up if you dont' want to keep it current.

Anonymous said...

Whether I'm on my laptop with wireless card or whether I'm at work connected to the network, when I open Speedtv.com it briefly shows the page and then fades to black and I can't access the page. It then times out and I get a not responding message and have to close the explorer window. Used to love the website and go there pretty regularly for Robin Miller's columns, as well as commentary by the F1 guys. Now I can't even access the site......

Anonymous said...

I was very disappointed when I went there to find out the taping schedule for the live shows at the Texas Speedway. My boyfriend and I have attended the tapings of Raceday in the past, but I really wanted to see a live taping of Trackside on Friday. I thought we should be able to find out before we left for the track on Friday AM.
Unfortunately, they don't post that info anywhere. At the track on Friday early in the day,I asked one of the production guys who was working on the equipment at the stage if he knew the schedule - he said they hadn't given it to them yet. They want fans to attend, but I guess you need to be just lucky enough to walk by when the shows are taping. Since my boyfrend is in a wheelchair, it is difficult to keep walking back over there, so we were frustrated and disappointed.

Anonymous said...

Quite honestly I never go to the Speed.com site. I can never find anything. I won't waste my time trying to find information I can easily find at another site. They have lost at least one fan.

Tracy said...

What texasracelady said.

I'm pretty web-savvy, and the Speed web site is just too busy, too hard to navigate, and too hard to read the print.

Gee, sounds like Nascar.com. Why, oh why, do we fans keep getting the short end?

Anonymous said...

Thier site locks up my computer. I have a fairly new machine and this is the ONLY site that I have problems with.

Obviously, they don't want me there.


Anonymous said...

On occasion I used to go there for scheduling type stuff, but it was always such a pain that I now go elsewhere. Thanks God for TDP's TV schedule as of late. It's a real lifesaver, John. Keep up the great work!

The only other time I try to use it is to enter for the picture of the week from TWIN. And even though I do it every week, it still takes me forever to figure out how to enter. Just plain frustrating. But I figure that improves my chances to win, since I'm sure most people just give up, and cull the population that manages to enter.


Anonymous said...

I was very disappointed when I went there to find out the taping schedule for the live shows at the Texas Speedway. My boyfriend and I have attended the tapings of Raceday in the past, but I really wanted to see a live taping of Trackside on Friday. I thought we should be able to find out before we left for the track on Friday AM.

Same problem with Phoenix.

They just don't seem to care about updating the site.

Lisa Hogan said...

Well said, JD.

This is another website that I was once a heavy user and now am a seldom user.

This website was going downhill and the redesign was the final bell.

The few times that I have recently tried to use the site, I get locked PC on pages or if I get to a page, it is out-of-date.

BruSimm said...

They have a website? Just fooling. I stopped going there because it's hard to find things in an easy, intuitive nature. Huh? Kind of like the NASCAR site. Did they hire the same programmer?

I can't speak to the ads.

I run with a Java / Script blocker so I never encounter them and I live a life of ignorant bliss on most sites that I visit!

red said...

when speed "re-did" the website the last time, i deleted it from my bookmarked sites. just too cluttered and rarely anything that i can't find somewhere else. it's not as bad as nascar.com -- but then, nothing is!

i visit once a week, on tuesdays only, so i can touch base with jade gurss' blog over there. while i'm there, i'll bounce around a few other folks but i'm generally there less than 30 minutes all told.

i don't go on the boards b/c i have little patience with the "your driver is a jerk" sorts of discussions that most boards descend into on a regular basis. while that is certainly part of the nascar world, it is tiring to have it overwhelm all other discussion points. as i've noted before: a truly excellent board has ACTIVE moderation (thak you very much, jd!) and speed's board fails miserably in that regard.

hate autostart on ads with a passion. actually tracking down information is a challenge, at best. i get the newsletter, scan it briefly and hit delete. there is rarely anything of interest.

and if i want to know what's coming on tv on a daily basis, i stick with TDP! the info is accurate and corrected as needed so i know i can depend upon it. in fact, now that election season is over, i've returned my homepage to TDP (sorry, jd: had to switch over to my candidate's website for campaign volunteer purposes . . .)

anyway, speedtv.com is a "No," and nascar.com is a "Hell, NO!" can't wait for next wednesday!

kbaskins said...

The SPEEDtv.com website is a complete mess. It's very difficult to navigate and the videos drive me crazy. I don't even bother trying to access information via their website. I just use the RSS feed. Sure, I don't get some of the blogs, but Robin Miller's and Tom Jensen's weekly Q&A columns are posted on RSS, as well as all the headlines.

Actually, I access NASCAR.com, SPEED.com, Frontstretch, Scene Daily, SI, FOX, The Daly Planet, and about 20 other NASCAR websites (and more than 300 total websites) via RSS.

Do yourself a favour, folks. Avoid resource-hungry websites by downloading a newsreader program (like NetNewsWire or NewsGator) and using it to read racing news stories that way instead. Many browsers will also handle RSS feeds. You simply "subscribe" to a website in the newsreader, and headlines will be delivered to the newsreader whenever the website publishes them. Life is nicer when you don't have to wade through a bunch of ads and auto-start videos to get your news (whatever the source).


Anonymous said...

I'm with Anon 10:14 am 11/12/08

I used to be a regular on the site and the forums.

The relaunch was a mess, my registration was lost. Re-registered still no joy, can;t get in. Gave up.

Now when I click on the site The main page flashes on then fade to black.

Forget it. it's not worth the trouble

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you brought this subject up.

I used to go to the blog section all the time and actually joined, so I could add my thoughts and comments -- then something happened, it took forever to get in and sometimes, I can't get in at all.

I eventually gave up the site!

Anonymous said...

Ahem-m-m-m...I am glad that you brought it up. :) I gave up trying to use speedtv.com shortly after they 'upgraded'. My pc also stalls out waiting for something to come up. I use to regularly go there for their weekly schedule page printed out on a single sheet. They dropped it. Now when I just try to go to their schedule, it is a 50/50 chance it will come up. I have learned not to even try to use speedtv.com anymore.