I just wanted to thank those who participated in the recent site survey and provide some feedback on the results.
There were two main complaints, and by "main" I mean that about 1/3 of the respondents indicated that they were problems. The first was site navigation and the second was the site's color scheme. I've been considering giving the site a face-lift for a while and the fact that 1/3 of readers think the navigation scheme is a bit confusing and don't like the color scheme has proded me into looking at changes in those areas and I suspect you'll see those changes on the site pretty soon.
In other areas, about 5% of readers think the site concentrates too much on Canon EOS gear and about 5% think it doesn't concentrate enough on EOS gear, so from that it seems that the balance is about right!
Some people didn't like the ads, and I can't say that I disagree with them entirely, but without the revenue from the ads the site wouldn't exist, so I'm afraid they are here to stay. However I do try to make sure that all advertising is photography related and I try to avoid animated ads whenever I can. I do appreciate it when users click on ads they find interesting or purchase equipment through recommended vendors like Adorama and Amazon. That's what keeps this site alive.
Very few readers had any problems with the speed of the site, which is good to hear, and there were very few complaints about the search function (which actually works very well - in fact I use it myself to find articles that I've badly indexed!).
So the first change you'll probably see is a change of colors and some minor layout adjustments. That's relatively easy to do for recent pages which use CSS formatting. There are older pages which have still not been converted to CSS and it will take a while longer to bring them into the same format as the current pages, but that will be done over time.
The next thing will be a re-ndexing of the site to make sure all the articles can be reached via the navigation menus, hopefully in as few clicks as possible. That's a bigger job, but I agree that it needs to be done.
Here's a quick screenshot of the new layout which is under development. It may not look exactly like this, but it won't be very different.
I've read all the comments you've sent in and your suggestions will to taken into account when planning new articles. Some things are possible, some aren't. I'd like to test more lenses and some 3rd party lenses, but it's often very difficult to get samples to test and I certainly can't afford to buy them! Tamron have been very cooperative in the past and I can usually get hold of Canon pro series lenses, but I've had no luck with Sigma or Tokina. I'd also like to look at more DSLRs, but again getting hold of them is difficult without cooperation from the manufacturers.
The next few reviews here will be of the Canon 100-400IS lens, the new Rebel XSi (along with the EF-S 18-55IS and 55-250IS) and the Sony Alpha A700. After that I don't know what I'll be looking at yet, but I'm sure something will come along. I'd like to look at the Pentax DSLRs, but so far I've had no luck getting a response to request for short term loans of equipment to review. I haven't given up though!
BTW the forums will be back in a new and improved form after the switch to a new server.