"TBR" News

I decided I would separate these onto their own page, rather than cluttering up the review feed with random news that break up the "flow" for those that are just looking to browse through our award-winning critiques. So here is where you will find announcements on site changes, read info on upcoming "The Budget Reviews" live radio broadcasts, and anything else that I feel is worth sharing.

RADIO SHOW CHANGE-UP! (6/15/21)

A couple of months ago, I announced that our show would be switching from Capiche.fm (which is shutting down today...RIP) to Racket, a web-based audio platform from the makers of Capiche that further promised to simplify podcasting. Well, after using that software for three months (on a different project), I can say that I don't feel like the limitations meet the current needs for this blog. Henceforth, rather than our planned migration to Racket, we will instead be moving to Anchor.fm.

This should benefit everyone as we will (hopefully) be able to maximize our exposure, while also using a platform that allows for more creativity and artistic freedom. Once we get settled in there we'll update this section with a link to our account once we get settled in there (which should be later tonight), and also keep you posted on future episodes!

We are also working on adding our older episodes (from Capiche), onto YouTube. Since Capiche is shutting down at some point today, that means the links to the radio show episodes will not work; we are planning to have our archived shows up (with updated links in their respective articles) by this weekend. Thanks for all of your support, and we look forward to bringing you as many reviews as you can handle in the coming months!

BEHIND-THE-SCENES OVERHAUL (6/10/21)

Well with the visual change more or less complete (for now, anyway), we recently turned our attention to another area that took a hit from ten years of neglect: labels. I always thought labels were used by Google to help people find pages...as it turns out, that's a complete fallacy (something I could have quickly learned if I bothered to even spend five seconds searching for this information at any prior point in the past). So, I started going through each and every one of our nearly 600 posts and consolidated them down into meaningful categories.

The system isn't perfect now, but it's more functional than it was, with each review labeled with the store it was purchased from, its score, and any applicable categories it belongs to. That means clicking on an "Aldi" label will kick back all reviews of items purchased from Aldi. Clicking on a score rating will return all reviews that match that score. It's an easier way to browse our ever-growing collection of reviews, should you want to kill a few minutes. I'll be going through at some point to fine-tune it, and to add additional categories as necessary, but it should work well enough for now. (And if not, there's always a search function on the left sidebar that can also help you track down what you're looking for.)

Our next task: we will be taking product photos, where possible, of all the reviews containing stock photos, or poorly-lit images. This will be an ongoing project, but the idea is to have at least a somewhat uniform look to the pictures on the site, rather than having a plethora of clearly rushed photos. I don't want the damn thing to look professional, but I do kind of want it to be a little more presentable. We are also looking into adding multiple photos per post, where applicable, to break things up and to give you even more visual information about the products reviewed. 

VISUAL CHANGE UPDATE (5/21/21)

Well it's been five days...hopefully by now you have noticed a little change around here. It's not a great look (I'm terrible at design) but this is more or less how it's going to look for a little while (hopefully not the next ten years). I'm still noodling around with some minor details, so things may change slightly for you from visit to visit over the next week, but you get the basics.

The only big issue standing in my way is how to present the blog archive...presenting over 500 posts is pretty taxing for many mobile devices, so I'm looking at the best way to make it happen. I have a couple workable options, but they may prove to be too problematic for those on older connections, so we'll just have to see what comes of it. As of now, it's in the navigational header, which cuts back system resources by not requiring it to load on every single page (as it did when it was in the sidebar). That's a start, but it's still kind of a large file...maybe I'll figure out a way to break it down to make it more bite-sized for people on older devices.

At any rate, I hope you like it, and if you have any suggestions or comments on the new look, feel free to comment below!

FOLLOW THIS BLOG! (4/17/21)

Wow am I terrible at basic blog functionality...I don't believe there was an easy way to follow this blog. Since most of my traffic comes organically from Google searches, I was always fine with that, as I get a mostly consistent number of daily users. However, I thought maybe, just maybe, there are people out there that might be interested in keeping up with the latest reviews. After all, you might just find a product you never knew existed, or one you were thinking about trying that I might be able to help you make a final decision on!

Now you can follow us through Feedburner, or whatever blog reader you use. It's in the right-hand column, at the top of the main page, for easy accessbility on desktop. For mobile, you'll have to scroll down to the very bottom of the main page, though I'm going to figure out how to get it closer to the top. You can also subscribe to comments, and be notified by email whenever new content is posted, which is usually once every three days.

Of course, the option to follow by email is being discontinued by Google, three days after I was going to implement it. But subscribing through a feed still makes it easy to add email notifications if you so choose.

As always, thanks for visiting, and I hope you enjoyed your stay here!

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER! (3/8/2021)

See? This is why I've always hated the thought of joining social media...virtually begging and pleading for views and likes and retweets and whatever other stupid things "success" is measured in these days. At any rate, I wanted there to be a way to connect with people, and considering I don't operate a mailing list of any kind (oooh, another strike for my marketing skills) I thought having a shitty little Twitter account might be the best way.

You can check it out here. Please, feel free to follow us on there, where we'll keep you abreast of new radio episodes, new text posts, and other show-related bonuses like trivia information, sneak peeks of upcoming posts, exclusive clips from our radio show, and much more! Furthermore, if you know of someone else who might like us, please help spread the word!

Comments