Oct 032017

You know that I, and likely Krystal too, can always help our dogs myself, right? Whether that's dog health, dog care, or dog training (for what may be a dog behavior problem or my own).

So really, this is YOUR dog site. MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG is for you. And while you in particular haven't been looking for help today, experience shows that sooner or later you do. And again. And when the dog is sick, anyway. :roll:

your turnNow you can help, yourself really. Here's the problem. "Today, Google PageRank and others rely on performance metrics such as page load times and visitor engagements to rank articles." True. The time when it was about quality content alone is OVER. :cry:

:arrow: Visitor engagements have always been disastrous on MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG. Even ordinary forum posts of a Poodle's "miserable coat change" receive dozens of replies from fellow dog owners. While here, even posts that explicitely ask for replies from fellow dog owners like Mark's here (or mine here) receive only a couple or none. :shock:

Over the past years this has worsened further: 99% of those who subscribed since 2015 have never shown any visitor engagement at all. :shock: :shock: :shock:

And that although your site here even offers the convenience of comments by email! Indeed. Click to see how.

:arrow: Page load times wasn't critical when MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG launched and when I started to publish its content. But now that mobile web access rules the world, layout and presentation and content on this site slow down page load times. The slower pages load, the more visitors abandon them on their mobile, and so Google & Co no longer rank such pages well or at all. Regardless how well they originally ranked based on the quality of content.

Only just now I understand that this is why so many sites over the past years have turned to spreading even short articles over multiple pages. Which for the human reader of course is extremely annoying: you read one paragraph, you have to click "Next Page", you read one paragraph, you have to click "Next Page", and on and on! I always found that evil. :evil:

:arrow: :arrow: So with both being BIG ISSUES here, no wonder that the search traffic that Google & Co initially awarded authority sites like ours based on its content quality has DROPPED like a ROCK. :cry:

natural selection: killed or strongThis may have been further exacerbated by my wrong decision in 2015 to suspend the sharely widget that required that in order to see the full Periodical you share with your circle what we share with you, that's the principle to "pay it forward". Although some free subscribers again complained... :roll: Google & Co counted that as visitor engagements. Now we don't even have that engagement anymore.

do thisToday, who's for and who's against the sharely widget?

We've always been democratic here and continue that to The End.

So what I am saying is, if we all continue down this passive way just one more month then your site's recent hibernation is its death. As explained above I personally have no need for this web presence of MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG, this is YOUR dog site and so I feel I must clearly spell that out in time, so that no one can claim "Oh! I didn't know. You should have said!"

Now, before I get those rude emails again: I too have my own issues in life. :idea: Surprise!??

And yet, despite sleepless nights I've been trying hard to grab every straw that I can see to move your site forward, not backward. The most comprehensive example I guess is the description of site improvements, soon two years ago - which is very much worth reading still today, but only 18 dog owners seem to have read it over the past two years!?? :shock:

Unfortunately, things that seem to be so easy to achieve for other sites are so difficult to achieve for MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG.

do thisWe need your ideas why we primarily attract the sleepy dog owners, not the excited and celebrating-life ones that frequent the Poodle forum? :roll:


eek dogs

And now with Krystal being overwhelmed by family problems and a new job and what the heck else (and promptly facebook died AGAIN, and for the third time already!) my spare time slots that I'd love to dedicate to create more helpful content are filled with technical and marketing details that aren't my thing. System admin, marketing, PR, programming, sales, design, photography, video-editing, SEO, social media, youtube, twitter, pinterest, facebook, instagram, ... - all requiring attention.

do thisCan you help? Your ideas most welcome here. Open discussion at the end.


I have no idea how other sites of this size can employ staff to attend to each critical area, while at MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG I cannot even employ myself so embarassing small even the combined income from my books, ads, and click commission is. Go click the link, that's for those who send those crazy not-from-this-world remarks aka "You only want to sell". Evil. :evil:

So for the past years while trying to believe those who always claim that "things will turn out well at some point"... magically every point has become worse. For now the final straw was that with the dominance of mobile web access page load times and visitor engagements means everything to Google, and so they no longer send the traffic that they used to send our way, and that your site absolutely needs to survive!

Another reason for the traffic drop and its resulting many problems is: When Amazon Kindle was still fairly new and everyone wildly downloaded free Kindle books, each of my frequent free book offers drew thousands of new readers, some of whom later then purchased a different book or whatever that brought the site a small commission. And small adds up. Big we don't have here anyway.

But for the last two years the free book offers met a saturated "free book!" market. This is further worsened by the fact that FEW happy readers take a moment to post a book review which is SO HELPFUL, while a disgruntled reader almost always turns to Amazon reviews to intentionally harm me as the author. Some of those even have the audacity to boast with that in an email to me. :shock:

do thisHelp? Ideas?


Here's some further background for discussion (LOL discussion, here, we'll see). This is what would have been my goals for MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG for the near future:

  1. Having the time to finish my free Dog Health Manual. This time I write ALL myself, and I noticed already this is going to be the most advanced health information you will ever obtain! And yet I am eager to give this to you for free. For when your dog (or indeed you or a family member!) is sick. Better even, for you to prevent sickness. Two thirds I have managed to compile (at times where others sit in front of the telly with a beer), 10 or 12 chapters are outstanding. Initially this new Health Manual was meant to be a Christmas present for everyone last year, but with all the problems I have now it becomes impossible to make it this year. :roll:
  2. Then making the site full multimedia, with 60sec short helpful videos and audios right on the front page, all served fast by Amazon S3 with Cloudfront. Because ... you are mobile, I got it.
  3. Revamping all Periodicals (and maybe selected blog articles too) that I find subpar now that my health improved so much that I can write and see clearly. :cool:
  4. Revamping all emails that go out on schedule. Same reason, seeing things clearer now.
  5. Changing the order of email sends (notifying of a new Periodical), and maybe even getting rid of the schedule altogether? Eg the system would consider a comment as signal of continued interest, and only then send out the next. While at the moment the email schedule is dumb like a doormat: it continues to send out emails to subscribers who have shown zero interest in the past (no opens, no clicks, no comments, no nothing). I have no idea why they subscribe at all(??) but they clog up the server that I personally pay for :cry: and so they drag down page load times (see 1 above) and lack the visitor engagements (see 2 above) that Google & Co use for page rank! :idea:
  6. Emailing and tweeting daily current affairs updates (life with a dog!) and weekly or monthly musings to the "social media" sites that everyone seems to be raving about these days (twitter, fakebook, instagram? or whatever you use or recommend).

4, 5, and 6 because over the past years I've added a lot of content to the site that few if any of you have seen: There is no simple way to add the new content to the existing scheduled email workflow, because everyone has signed up at a different time. Getting rid of that altogether and instead adopting weekly ad-hoc emails(??) would allow to send you to the new content as well.

The drawback is: The subscribers who actually have read every scheduled Periodical (very few have) would receive a lot of repetition amongst the new content.

do thisWhat do you prefer?


Further background information: No, we don't have the thousands of SPAM subscribers that the Poodle forum and other places have. In fact, none of your fellow subscribers is a spammer. And as you see in all comment sections, there is ZERO SPAM on your site here. Thanks to my thorough anti-spam measures it just doesn't get posted, so as not to annoy you with Viagra-tablets, Nike-shoes, FX-trading, and what the heck!

BUT: It is frustrating to have to bin SPAM comments EVERY DAY while not seeing a SINGLE genuine comment from a subscriber. :cry:

Or feel this: For our topic here, Relationship Building with our dog, the most important and most intriguing news you can ever get in my opinion is The Number 1 Secret about Dogs, or call it The Prime Secret about Dogs. Unique, as is so much on MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG, this information is nowhere else! But then seeing a mere 43 site comments in 5 years, that is ...

humiliating? I guess, yeah. Or how would you feel?

I only know how Google feels about it: "43 visitor engagements?? In 5 YEARS????? - Can't be what people are looking for, we not gonna rank it anymore in the search results."

do thisyour turnAgain, your help most welcome.





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  51 Site Comments, ZERO SPAM Add one


    I would like more interaction and to be honest I don't see the email very often which makes me forget about the site, maybe if there was an alert tab so I can see updates would be great. I also would like to know about services or groups in my area where I can join and maybe interact with other german shepherd owners. I have a new shepherd that is one, his name is diablo...my first boy and he is so different from the girls, more protective I guess but I want him to be able to walk the neighborhood without saying hello to everyone LOL. He is only 1 so he still has much to learn but a group would be helpful


      It would be helpful if you put the area you live in so if anyone knows of a group they can tell you. You can also google. Just type into your search German Shepherd Dog Clubs in whatever state or area you are in.


    Love the webpage. However, when you have a great topic like dog training and approach to it, there seems to be a lot of time spent in telling me why its needed, instead of just getting to the advice. I know why its needed, that’s why i, looking I’m looking in the first place. Get to the topic and actual training sooner. I feel many of your topics are like this.
    Thank you, Ron


      Then why don't you go straight down to the most concise CHECKLIST that every Periodical has?! Others are here because they WANT to know all detail. If you don't want that, fine, go straight to the summary in the CHECKLIST at the end.

      Given how long you've been subscribed and benefited for free here, not knowing there's a checklist summary at the end, and posting now your first comment, exactly that explains the problems we are facing with the site, and the financial distress! :shock:


    Hi Tim,
    Sorry for your troubles. Not being computer literate at all I don't understand most of what you are talking about but I will have this to offer. I think you should send e-mails out to everyone on your list who has not responded to or commented on your periodicals. You should inform them that you can no longer carry them along without their help and tell them they will be deleted from your list and will not receive any more periodicals. Sometimes people do not appreciate what they have until they are about to lose it.
    Also, I, myself, do not mind getting repeats. Sometimes it is great to re-read the periodicals and see what you missed the first time, or how far you have come since the periodical first came out. I also enjoy reading new comments or seeing someone's problem that maybe I can actually help with.I have had german shephers for most of my life and I have come to know the breed well and I have always had good dogs, but even so, I have learned a lot from you, and you bring up many things that I know I don't really think about. I hope you can hang in there and remedy this situation. I also see that mine is the only comment so far, and so I see what you mean. I dont understand, because you certainly must be making people think about the things you write about, and commenting takes no time at all. People=frustration!


      Hi Maureen
      Thanks! I live in Bergen county New Jersey! I have to admit because of the email yesterday I looked at the training video. It is a shame that more people don't utilize the site. It has some great tools


        There is the Northern New Jersey German Shepherd Club which is right in your back yard! I think they are in Mahwah, and if not there, then very close by. Definitely in Bergen County. Its a good place to meet other German Shepherd owners. They have obedience classes that are really mostly geard toward obedience competition, but it might be fun. If you have any behavior problems they can certainly point you in the right direction. There is an excellent behaviorist in the area.
        Good luck,


    Hi there...big problem! My 9 month young GSD is in training, however he bites me so often...not nipping, biting! When he decides to start, I try turning my back, ignoring, redirecting. We end up in a wrestling match- I despise becoming physical with him, but I need to protect myself- his meaning is not anger but possession I believe. Help! Sam Gaskell


    I have appreciated the information from the few articles I’ve read. But sometimes the articles are terrible long winded. I access your site through the emails you send, and lots it times I can’t get to the main article on my mobile device. There is no clear access point in the email. Unfortunately I usually give up. I’ve found that if I open the email on my laptop, it’s easier, but I rarely have my laptop with me when I have a moment and t two to read an article you wrote. I can appreciate that you are trying to stay away from the commercialism and gimmicks of popular sites, but maybe it’s time to participate a little and let the information of your articles shine through.


      I just posted and it says I’m not a member. I joined a few years ago; maybe I was deleted and didn’t realize?

      And for some reason, I’m having difficulty posting. The “comment” button floats around and is not clickable.


        "And for some reason, I'm having difficulty posting. The comment button floats around and is not clickable."
        Rebecca, that is a problem of the mobile device you're using, has nothing to do with our site, which works perfectly well even for mediocre mobile devices, so confirms mobiletest.me

        "I just posted and it says I’m not a member. I joined a few years ago; maybe I was deleted and didn’t realize?"
        Wow, now that shows it all! You "joined a few years ago" and yet you still have no idea of the difference btw supportive site member versus free Periodical subscriber??


      That's your personal feeling and fine, while others see that as comprehensive and have said they love the detailed expertise because they get that nowhere else. Given this is your first comment(!!) I wonder, are you aware that every Periodical ends with a short & succinct CHECKLIST!?! If you seek SHORT, why don't you just go there and limit your benefit to only that? ;-)

      You see, this site is SO sophisticated/ experienced/ crafty/ established, first time commenters have so little experience they don't even notice half of the benefits they have here. :mrgreen:


    Hi Tim, I have to admit, life has become busy. Our GS is 4 years old now. We have learned a lot from you- this is our 2nd GS. I have read all of your periodicals and have learned a ton. I am guilty of not leaving comments after I read and took your advice. I will do better. You have been a very important person to is in raising our GS. Our GS named Anouk is blind in one eye and has sensitivities to all kinds of food except the one dog food we have found and raw chicken breasts. His sensitivities show up in itchy ears. So you have a remedy that you prefer for allergic itchy ears? Thanks so much! Tiff! Plz hang in there, we so appreciate you!!!


      "Any of your ideas welcome! Here and now." Says the post, and asks five times for exactly that. We need help urgently. Meaning. Today, not tomorrow.

      And yet no one has offered any help, nor ideas. Nothing.
      And you really ask me "to hang in there"?

      Would you? Would anyone here???
      How would you feel?

      Re/ Anouk: Yes I have a remedy for his itchy ears. And every other health issue benefits as well. Make the switch to REAL food.
      Look in the menu under >CARE >DOG FOOD, is all there explained in detail. Even real-life sample recipes too, photographed when Miguel gets his meals.

      Why? Is explained there too of course.
      But as you mention itchy ears, he likely has a yeast infection. This is caused by antibiotics administration, either as foolish veterinary prescription or routinely with the "dog food". How that? All explained there.

      I am in a worse living situation than anyone of you can even IMAGINE. And yet I promptly HELP.
      Phew. :cry:


        I am pretty sure I did make some suggestions.......Send e=mails to people who dont comment and tell them they will get no more help or periodicals. And also.....keep repeating old periodicals, since rereading them months or years later can actually be a benefit, as you will probrably "get" something that you missed the first time, or, your dog has matured and gotten better, or worse, and the periodical will again be of some significance.


        Maureen you are a site member, so you are supportive anyway. Always thankful for that.
        This here addresses the thousands that show no sign they even EXIST - other than that some "ghost" copy of them must have signed up and then confirmed twice the subscription (since we use double optin, no spammer is able to subscribe here). And then, many of them already for years, show no sign to be even alive: they have not opened any emails.

        I would of course heed your advice, as always. ;-) Thank you. What I am making clear above is: If the walking dead don't come to life, I will not be able to do anything anymore!

        Imagine you're scratching by, below subsistence level, for years. And then some higher act of nature (here Google, but really the walking dead) worsens that further such that you end up with 25% (!!!) of the below-subsistence-level you managed to survive on earlier. How on earth would you survive now?

        This is the financial situation of this website. Ordinary people don't grasp that everything they use here costs money (even the spammers cost us money too, despite that you don't see them here thanks to us deleting all spam!) So when our subscribers show no sign of life anyway, why drag them along?

        ==> I raised several clear questions above, my own ideas what we could do (eg re-use the sharely widget, eg counting a comment as interest in another Periodical,...). But I have no answer, no opinion, of anyone yet. And that despite the fact that I WANT to be democratic here. Nowhere else you receive this courtesy. Yet how can I be democratic here when no one votes for anything?? :roll:


    I only found the site in July, probably via a random Google search. I'm very impressed by your efforts. I run a website in a totally different field and know how time-consuming the job can be, so i do admire what you are doing. I'm both interested and concerned about what you say re. mobiles and page turns (I've noticed that on a lot of sites I read on my iPhone). I am in Spain and my wife and I have three German Shepherds. We bought two from a top breeder/trainer nearby so tend to ask him for any advice.

    I don't really know what special suggestions I can give you as a reader that would help you but I just wanted to say I do support what you are doing - and enjoy reading your pages. From running my own website, I know that many people will visit and be quietly happy with what they read - but you'll never know. Plus, when online, people seem to have very short attention spans. I also have some video clips embedded in my website's home page (that play via Vimeo) and I've learned that can be a great way of keeping people on your site. I take it the bulk of your readers are in the USA/Canada ? (I notice you have a London postal address on the site though).

    All the best to you
    Nicholas Jones


    I am sorry to hear of these troubles. And I do love reading your articles and your stories. But yes, I propose that specific topics are streamlined and less long winded. I hope I can say that without offense. Poodle power forums are more than likely not nearways as interesting, but they are probably also more concise. Wishing you the best.


      Thank you so much. Now where is the concise list of your replies to my questions re/ ideas and help??
      You see, it's always easy to talk but seemingly bothersome to many to actually DO sth to help?

      By the way, every Periodical ends with a short & succinct CHECKLIST. Those who prefer SHORT over COMPREHENSIVE go there and read just that. Right? ;-)

      Also by the way, are you aware that here you get BOOKS for free, in form of comprehensive Periodicals, which unlike other sites don't even force you to click "next" 50 times. :roll: BOOKS that elsewhere you BUY and PAY money for, and likely you READ them in full, right?

      BOOKS obviously aim to be rather comprehensive than concise - because otherwise you have unlimited amounts of complaints from readers, like "This is so short! So much is missing! What about xyz? What about zyx?? You have to bring more detail here!! And you completely missed to say WHY is this topic important to me at all??"

      You see? :idea:

      Example, see my post about Mia Farrow(?)'s book on fleas on dogs which she successfully SELLS for good money for years already (maybe has sold it to you too?), while on MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG you get WAY MORE and, dare I say, better advice in our Periodical for FREE.

      It's really hard (or impossible?) to please everyone. :-(

      I got an idea myself now, thanks to your comment: We could send you and every other free subscriber first to a concise = short "summary" on each topic, and then those who complain "that's incomplete!" we could send to our comprehensive Periodicals.

      Are you in favor of this new idea?
      If against it, pl can you explain why?

      Again, thanks so much for your first comment.


      So what now, in favor of that?


        Yes. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't put forth too much time and energy for the free suscribers. So concise reports might be your best approach. At the same time, remember too that people have extraordinarily complicated lives and there could be a myriad of reasons why you are not getting the response comments.


        Thank you. I understand. "If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't put forth too much time and energy for the free suscribers". I just always felt there must be more people like me who are grateful for receiving extraordinary value and so would post a free(!) comment(!!). And I would bet I have one of the most "extraordinarily complicated lives" of anyone.

        But you know, everyone has the same hours in a year, and unlike so many I don't waste mine chatting on facebook & co with "friends" lol I'd never see nor care about in life, watching three hours of videos and TV each day, following the gossip about "celebrities", posting replies on Poodle forums to someone else's miserable coat change lol, etc.

        THAT is the "complexity" in the lives of people that complain "I have no time!". They waste their hours in a year, and each year, on worthless stuff. They have no idea what real problems are. :roll:


    You have nailed it and for many that is the case. But clearly, not a quality GSD owner, lol!


    I wish I had some great advice but alas I don't. I love the GSD information I find here. You got us through some pretty dicey times with a rescue and an aggressive new puppy. Excellent dogs now because of you. Love your books also! I didn't realize the more views the better so I can certainly try to make sure I hit your pages more often.


      For Google we need visitor engagements, of which we get nothing, views we get plenty but that doesn't help your site to survive. :-(


        Tim, I'm sorry but I don't understand what you mean by visitor engagements. Could you be more specific about the different things that might count as 'engagements'?


        For Google & Co visitor engagements is:
        - number of comments
        - number of social shares (twitter, facebook, instagram, linkedin, whatever you use...!)
        - Bounce Rate (that is, they didn't stay long enough to be counted, maybe because they had no patience to wait for their mobile to load the page...)
        - Pages viewed per Visit
        - Pages engaged on per Visit (for engagement see above)
        - Avg. Visit Duration (both per page viewed and in total for the site)
        - Repeat visits of the same user
        - on page clicks of a user
        - total number of clicks on the site before leaving
        - etc!


    Hi Tim, Firstly thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into helping Logan and myself.
    Your advice is invaluable always. I am sorry you are having difficulties. Unfortunately its the world we live in now.
    I like many others read all of the periodicals even when I feel they may not apply, because that is often where I find that one little nugget that turns on the light bulb. I too am guilty of not commenting on articles as I feel I shouldnt unless I can add real value to the discussion.
    I dont have the magic answer for you, though I wish I did but I will continue to read and will comment more regularly and hope fully in this way do my bit for you.
    Andrew and Logan


      "having difficulties" is a diplomatic expression, Andrew. :mrgreen:
      No, the current subscriber base here is KILLING ME!
      - Bills have more than tripled the past years in line with (dead??) subscriber increase
      - and yet site income has fallen 75%!!!
      And that site income would be my income really: it is the income from my books etc, which I use to pay the site's bills!

      Get that, 75% lower income! Can you even IMAGINE how you'd survive if YOUR income dropped 75%?? And that while YOUR bills have tripled??

      NO ONE can imagine how shitty my situation is! And yet, people here think they have "too complicated lives" :roll: to not even be able to post FREE links for the site, to comment, tweet, facebook, whatever, despite feeling the advice they got here is "invalubale" (quote)!

      This is not about you, since you are engaged for your dog, this is about the 99% here who COST ME MY MONEY, destroy the site's Google standing, bottleneck the server (which again I am paying for!), and so prevent that the few engaged dog owners like you can be served! And served fast in Google's eyes.

      UNBELIEVABLE! Just try to imagine how frustrated YOU would feel, will ya?
      Because imagining your income dropped 75% while your bills tripled, this certainly you can't. No one can. You've got to experience that...!

      How do I deserve that, after building and serving this mammoth of a dog help site? Which is unique, nothing else even comes close. And yet every Poodle forum etc prospers, while MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG gets out of the frying pan into the fire! :shock:

      Until a few years ago we rigorously deleted inactive subscribers every spring (we called it spring cleaning) AND every fall (we called it fall cleaning). When Mailchimp changed their advice from "delete inactive subscribers" to "never delete inactive subscribers" (likely only to earn higher fees because Mailchimp charges on the number of subscribers) we stopped our regular cleaning sessions. Looking back, I have a feeling, that's when things started to get so much worse for our site!


    Hi Tim, Just one thought I had was maybe to add a green/red thumb type interaction on the page.
    This might get you the engagements you require.


    Hi Tim,
    I never realized that "visitor engagement" was so complicated. I actually thought that it only required a comment! Unfortunately, I cannot think of anything that you can do to make people engage more. If they are reading your periodicals, then they have to be staying on the page long enough! I know that I, myself, do not like jumping from page to page, but I do it anyway on your site because I dont't want to miss anything.I do not do that all the time, and some pages don't change.

    It seems to me though, that even if people just read the new stuff, and comment (even something like "I like this article") that should be pretty good! Sadly, people being people, they just don't pay attention. Even on this post, you are asking for advice and help, and people are telling you their training problems!!!!! It even has me bothered!!

    Not everyone has facebook, or any of the networks you mentioned, so you cannot count on that. I can feel your frustration, but again, unfortunately, you cannot make people be loyal, or appreciative enough to co-operate. I think that a clear, consice menu is a good idea, so people can find what they are looking for faster. I also think that Andrews idea of a thumbs up, thumbs down interaction will be good for you so you can get a better understanding of what people are interested in, and you can adjust your periodicals accordingly and not waste your good time on something most people are not reading. I know that I, and at least a few of the other people here are reading everything (lest we miss something important), but alas, it looks like most people don't have the focus to do that.Now you have to just do what is best for you and your loyal readers will follow you.


      Show me ONE site elsewhere that has an as clear and concise menu as MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG. Anyone! Show me, if you can?

      And not only that, NO OTHER SITE has IN ADDITION a clear and concise decision tree for any kind of dog problem, in our case. Again, anyone, show me if you have a site that has! Because I for one am always interested to improve further, where possible.

      When people complain they find sth "confusing" here then it's clearly their archaic small and slow mobile device that won't even SHOW our clear and concise and descriptibe menu. Mobiletest.me and similar sites show well how badly some mobile devices display content: they make it unreadable. That's not our fault nor problem, but the problem of the mobile device user. :idea:

      Sadly, I cannot find ANY OTHER SITE with a clear and concise menu like MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG has, and even with a clear and concise decision tree for those who are unable to READ the simple one-word(!) menu entries here and to look for what they seek.

      Strangely, it is those who on the contrary are able to navigate the insanely complex facebook site - and who waste hours every day there with "chatting" that neither helps them nor helps their dog.


        Please be assured that I in no way thought that your site is complicated. I thought the way google did things was. I think anyone can find anything on your site. Your menu at the top of the page alone is so complete, I dont think a child could get lost.


        "Your menu at the top of the page alone is so complete, I dont think a child could get lost."
        You would be shocked to know how many children we have here then! :mrgreen:

        "I was looking for training but I can't find that on your site?" :roll:
        "You always warn of dog food, where do you have an explanation why it's bad?" :roll:
        "By the way, do you have anything on dog health?" :roll:
        "My dog was just diagnosed with DM! Can you advise what we do???" :roll:
        "I cannot see anywhere how to leave my comments?" :shock:

        You see, the current "facebook generations"(??) not only lost the ability to READ but even the ability to SEE big blue buttons! :twisted:

        And yet, they are allowed to navigate traffic in vehicles that can cause death (and do cause death all the time).
        And SOMEHOW with magic, they are able to navigate the oh-so-confusing overloaded facebook pages!???

        I don't believe it!


      Oh, and "visitor engagements" as per Google & Co isn't "complicated", it actually is the NATURAL flow of action an interested user would normally take. And so, is expected to take, according to Google. ;-)


        That is according to google!!! In real life, obviously, the flow doesn't always go that way. I, myself, and a few others, do go from page to page and check to see if anything is new. But am I aware of how often I click on something, or how long I am on a certain page??? NO! I just read. Computers, to me, are just a tool, and I have no idea how it works, as long as it does. I know that sounds kind of ignorant, but I am just not at all interested. My husband knows all of that stuff and I leave it all to him. People who go to your site because they want to learn more about how to best enjoy their dog, and keep him or her healthy, probrably never even think about google!!!!! Until you mentioned it, I had no idea! I comment all the time, but not for google....I comment because I want you to know that I think this site is important, that I appreciate all the work you put into it, and that I know without feedback it is discouraging to continue. I will be more aware, now, about how long I stay on a page and how many pages I visit.


        The real life flow of actions goes EXACTLY that way. Think: When sth doesn't appeal to you, you leave right away. When you enjoy sth, you stay, and you tell your "friends".
        Google isn't stupid, isn't disconnected from real life, but is right at it!

        Why would it matter to search engines if you "are aware"? It doesn't, Maureen! They notice visitor engagements, whether or not you are aware. ;-)
        But do NOT change your behavior now, that would be foolish. Like I said, search engines measure the NATURAL FLOW OF ACTIONS all visitors take. You cannot influence that a bit.

        "I comment all the time" - I am aware of that yes. But you are the only one, almost. That's the point.

        Anyway, this discussion distracts others from the BIG PROBLEMS of your site that I laid out above and that require instant remedy!


    Sounds stupid but maybe as a VERY temporary help you could send out a very short note that explains the site desperately needs its reader's assistance. Please go to the site everyday, click a couple of pages or leave your computer open to the site and if possible make a comment. Explain it will help finance the site. 3 short sentences or less or people won't read it. Think Twitter-people have no patience to read things nowadays and instead of skimming over it just push delete.
    I personally hate to make a comment unless I have something worthwhile to say so try to keep quiet here. Perhaps you could have a chat site - not one to bother you with, but just questions that most experienced shepherd owners would be able to answer or talk about day to day things. Fluff kind of stuff that might get a lot of hits. Then those folks could be directed to the appropriate page on your site or told to ask you. The thumbs up/down are obscenely popular nowadays. People could rate the answers (might make some feel bad though--maybe the thumbs downs could be invisible to all except you).


    hi Tim
    i have been reading your articles whenever i have time though as before sometimes it's not easy to access from a mobile device
    i've been receiving emails from you guys maybe once or twice a month not on a weekly basis and I'll always try to open them
    can you try like this time to make button for all of us to access the current news easier
    thank you again for your great info and i am sure we will all enjoy the re-reading the info as it is good to refresh the memory


      Thanks Natalie. As explained "sometimes it's not easy to access from a mobile device" is solely the problem of your mobile device(s), it's a MUCH discussed issue on the internet, yes. Some mobiles don't support javascript, others only limited or no css, and on and on. There's nothing I can do about it, look, you have the money to buy a mobile, I cannot even pay the site's fees, so how shall I possibly continue this shipwreck??! :cry:
      No way!

      That's the point I raised here, and asked five clear questions for ideas and help. Now go through the replies here, what ideas and help can you find? :cry: :cry:

      "i've been receiving emails from you guys maybe once or twice a month not on a weekly basis" - Correct, that's because you've been for two-and-a-half years with us, and as I've laid out several times over these years I could no longer keep up preparing many detailed and comprehensive Periodicals (that can take over a month to prepare EACH) while you can READ one in under an hour. You see?

      Hence why it was only monthly at your stage now.
      But tell me, and this is not a complaint at all, why would it, just trying to learn reasons: why is this only your 3. comment in two-and-a-half-years?

      Please do reply. You'd give an excellent example for me to learn the reasons. I can make guesses, but what worth are my guesses? :mrgreen:
      So please do reply.
      Then I tell you what Maureen and I came up with. ;-)


    dear Tim
    i did not think that a smiley face or thank you would make a difference for you to be running the website or not up till now
    i prefer to spend time with my kids and dogs (gds 5.5 and puli 1.5) than chatting on line
    usually all the articles i read give the
    most extensive answers to the questions i have on the topic
    if as you state this is a question of life and death for the site
    i will definitely make sure i will at least express my gratitude for the information you provide


      Thanks so much for replying. :-) I totally support you in how you prefer to spend your time, lol, I prefer the same!! :-)
      I guess then both of us aren't representative of our subscriber base, but at least now I know that there are a few more silent readers indeed. That's very helpful to know.

      Yes, I think all my comments here (and post above) all make clear this site is DEAD the way it is now. I can't find more words for my distress than I've already written here.

      I bounced back an idea with Maureen yesterday, now with you: Would you feel engagement improves when we STOP ALL PERIODICALS (I am already doing that right now). Like tinyhousetalk.com we could try sth completely different: plain text email notifications with a choice of three links in each (in this case), and so subscribers like you can click whichever interests them at the time? But note there would be NO scheduled learning path anymore.

      Expl.: You will know that everyone here started with easy stuff, and where you are (two-and-a-half-years) the content is way more "demanding" as in terms of prior knowledge. This "curriculum" style isn't possible then, everyone gets the SAME email at the SAME time. Unless you/someone has an idea how?

      Please DO DO DO spend your time with kids and dogs, I am the #1 to support that! Do NOT comment just "with gratitude", no. Instead, maybe if you find sth worth sharing with your "friends" you could use one of our many share buttons everywhere on the site? In particular sharing things that save the breed, like "the decline", "right breeder", "prerequisites for not altering", "vaccinations", etc etc, you know them.

      Because that, Google & Co would count as visitor engagements, yes.
      Again, a ton of thanks for replying. :-)


    Thank you for your knowledge, time, effort, expertise and your expenses. You are GREATLY appreciated! Without this site, I don't know how I would have made it with my 3 yr old Rescue, Harley which I received last year as a gift. Will do my best to contribute more and not loose my favorite & much needed MyGermanShepherd.Org.


    Hi Tim, since your first shout for ideas I have automatically shared all periodicals.
    When I open the page the share button is right there so that is an excellent reminder.
    Not 100% sure what the sharely widget is but if it is on the same lines then yes I would be in favour.
    I did mention before about having a thumbs up/down icon on articles. This may encourage people to interact
    with the page and possibly open some good debate threads.
    As always thanks to you and Krystal for your help and advice.
    Andrew and Logan


      And I would definitely give that suggestion a solid thumbs up!


      Thanks Andrew.
      Well, I noticed the sharely widget that we had been using since inception (no longer?) shows up on mobile devices but worse: Mobile devicee users have no way to see the subsequent content that must be shared like we share with you.

      I think it is half of the Periodical subscribers access from mobiles. Now get that: NO ONE of those THOUSANDS has ever mentioned "the article cuts off, based on the visible content there clearly is more, but I can't see it!?"
      So much for the missing "engagement" I have so often rightfully complained about!

      As for your thumbs up/down icons: Those had been used on a few FORUMS (we don't have a forum) and have fallen out of favor as they have zero benefit in any regards. Besides, think about it, they make no sense here, a thumb click is no interaction, I can employ monkeys to click thumbs all day, a script will do... :mrgreen:

      Debate, as you say, comes from words, from articulated opinions. There are plenty of invites on all our pages to post that. As you know, here, only a handful do. A handful doesn't pay the bills.


    Preferred the original periodical with the advanced curriculum style content subject to subscribe date. Mainly using my mobile to peruse the posts and content. Thanks for all you do, great resource and information.


    You spoke of cancers that they get, but did not mention Melanoma, as my dog died of 3 years ago. she got it on her paw and I had her paw removed, she died 1 month later. I never knew they could get this.


      No I am not mentioning that disorder anywhere here: this page is not about any disorder, but about your ideas?

      Let's keep other searchers and google happy, let's keep our well-established site structure here, shall we?

      Here: Ideas, Ideas, Ideas please. What are your ideas?


    Your information is invaluable.
    Feeding particularly useful,
    I like the new idea of emailing with 3 interesting topics.

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3. Be polite, introduce yourself with what you found, not with a help request

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