TWiT’s New Website is in Serious Trouble

We’ve been covering the ongoing saga of TWiT’s shitpile of a new $350k website. Normally we could just laugh it off as incomplete and go on with our day.

However, it sounds like the boondoggle is in dire straits. Leo Laporte conferred with head hands-on-hip-placer and office-walkabout-leader Patrick and discussed how bad things have gotten. The content is a bit long, and again, you deserve a prize (contribute to our Patreon so we can hit our goal!) if you make it all the way through.

Long Video

We cleaned up the audio a bit. Make sure to scroll past the video for more information.

The most telling fact is how their publishing system sounds like it is woefully incomplete. They “ran out of money” to make it work properly, according to the #Soup guzzler. We can only guess where that money went.

Perhaps the following:

Hilton A. Goring is waiting for his next assignment and paycheck.
Hilton A. Goring is waiting for his next paycheck.
  • London vacation
  • Austin meetup
  • Japanese soaking tub
  • Accidental $8k lens
  • Two stainless steel apple watches
  • LG Urbane Watch
  • Two new Gold-colored Macbooks
  • Dell XPS 13 he never uses (he hates windows)
  • 5K iMac for CeHO
  • Chromebook Pixel he never uses (can’t output HDMI correctly)
  • Infamous fatty scooters
  • European river cruise

We honestly feel bad for the two new kittens the power duo just adopted. Where could the money have gone? Join us in our chat or comment to let us know.

52 thoughts on “TWiT’s New Website is in Serious Trouble”

  1. It is so nice that Leo lets the CEHo pretend to be involved. He is a stand-up guy. She is adding webcoding to her imaginary skills of CEOing, hosting, bookkeeping, producing, sales and who knows what else.

    “I am like so amazing at business and he is so amazing at content, we are so amazing together”

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  2. Seriously, 350k for a site? First off, cut the drupal addiction. Second, you must have hired the same guys who built healthcare.gov. third, if Leo is as “with it” as he claims, he should know 350,000 for a site is a crime. Even 100,000 for a site is a crime.

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  3. I made a comment in the IRC chat a couple weeks ago about ‘how is it a network with a show called Coding 101 is so unable to create their own web site’. Leo’s response on-air was to mock me for having the gall to ask such a stupid question. Of course the arrogant Paul Thurrott, who was in studio, simply nodded in agreement without actually thinking about it.

    But it’s true, how can anyone take TWiT seriously when they are so unbelievably unable to create their own site while they’re trying to operate a show that supposedly teaches their viewers how to code?

    If one outsources the talent to create their web site, $350k shouldn’t result in the piece of crap that’s out there for all to see right now. Hell, I could put something together that’ll work for less than $100k, and have it ready in a month.

    Leo likes to justify the high cost by saying they’re creating a Custom API, whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean, that’ll allow others to share TWiT’s content. Uh, you don’t need any custom API to do that.

    Whatever….Leo has lost it. He has too much money and too little intelligence surrounding him. He has an entourage of morons who, in the real world of a properly run operation, wouldn’t last 2 weeks before being thrown out the door.

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      1. Actually, using your example, an ASP page IS a coded page that uses server side programming. HTML is the only type of page that doesn’t require ‘coding’ as that’s a static presentation page.

        JavaScript is a client side programming language that’s used to enhance static HTML pages with interactive elements, again something you’d think a network with a Coding 101 show would be able to publish on behalf of their master owner….but no.

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    1. But…but…but…there’s Headless Drupal!!! Isn’t that the way to go?

      It costs money to be on the leading edge. Too bad the site is butt-ugly.

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  4. The “running out of money” had to do with a very specific and early-in-the-negotiations idea that would have cost more money – at the time of those discussions. This post is far out of any context.

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  5. I don’t really agree that if you teach coding, you should be able to develop a corporation’s website. Twit needs much higher security than someone who is learning to code at a basic level, they need “branding”, they need expertise in mixing different types of media, they need optimum bandwidth use etc., stuff that most people never have to think about cos our websites are only seen by googlebot, applebot and our mums.

    I do think they should’ve done something like, give it as a community project to people who are learning coding/design at college, or employed a few people to oversee it so they could get project experience – just *something* that is special to Twit.

    Instead, they acted like any corporation with a bit of spare cash, were dazzled by technology they don’t understand, and will end up with a website that can’t help but disappoint.

    Imagine if they did it as an in-house project, overseen by Twit but done by local people (in some way – whether it’s college students or whether they choose to use a few small local web design startups featuring people under 25, whatever, just *something*) – the website would mean something, we would all feel great about it, it would be Twit putting something back into the community, and indeed it would make a great 25-part show. I’ve mentioned it before, but imagine a 30 minute weekly show where they go through every aspect of doing the site, from the initial concept to the final launch and first few weeks of teething problems? That would be really excellent.

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  6. By the way, as much as I despise Padre, for his dishonesty above everything else (I expect a man of religion to behave as the moral centre wherever he goes, but the way he treats critics, the way he *enjoys* making people angry – that’s not a man I want in my life at all), I absolutely wanted to scream at the way he kept raising the pitch of his voice towards the end – “there’s some very cool [raises] stuff here but I can’t take any [raises] more cos I am so [raises] loaded down with gadgets that have to [raises] review that I [raises] haven’t reviewed yet”

    It’s at around 08:45. Have a listen, and see if it makes you want to punch anyone.

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  7. The ol’ adage still applies : why fix that which ain’t broken?
    The current site sure looks like a WordPress site, but still works and coulda saved them 350k. Heck, they could have donated that to UNICEF (have you guys seen their logo at the TuneIn app?) . Anyway. Somebody that’s not Leo is driving a brand new Tesla and coding a non functional website.
    I’m surprised since Leo is always bragging that he’s a “coder” and that he knows a few languages and currently learning Swift.

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  8. I can’t believe a website would cost as much as that. Leo spouts out figures that make no sense at all. I remember him saying the iPad Today show cost him $400k.

    What a load of absolute bullshit.

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  9. It sounds like a meeting for iteration 1 or 2, rather than go-live. Unfortunately it also sounds like they are going to continue to throw good money after bad and try to salvage the site through the support contract. This is an amusing strategy that typically ends very badly, or at least very slowly. It’s also telling that Leo calls this meeting a “scrum” because a true scrum would have revealed these usability problems much sooner.

    It’s also possible Leo has overblown the status (he never exaggerates), and they’re working through some last minute refinements. Nothing to see here? (yeah, right)

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    1. I think you’ve hit it with “competently hire out to have one created.” There is no way that those people in Texas should have been hired while YOU live in California. California, especially the Bay Area, would have endless people who could do a better, faster job. Nothing should cost this much to code.

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  10. Did Leo forget that this is a podcast network? All they need is a beautiful one-pager which lists the shows with the various feed links. They’re over thinking it a little too much. Hire a few monkeys to paste the new episode links in the feeds and call it a day. It’s a collection of RSS feeds with audio and video links – a Square Space site could do the job. For someone who likes to be on the cutting edge of tech gadgets, he has a really old-school way of thinking when it comes to business.

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    1. All they need is a Pogoplug, a big external hard drive, and a folder for each show. Twitter could broadcast fresh links. People who really wanted to download old shows could figure it out.

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    2. True, I never use the site and I’m a pretty regular viewer… or used to be. Between the livestream and YouTube even fpr video you don’t need their site.

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  11. Building a website could have been a fantastic community project and turned into a show. I would have watched that show.

    I understand the difficulty in turning something like this over to the community but with one person overseeing the project and assigning tasks it could have been done.

    A real project is a great way to learn about coding and they could have presented problems to the community. His community of coders love to show off skills and would have Skyped in. Real problems and real solution would be real fun and just needed someone to wrap it up and explain it in weekly spots.

    Ps. The audio enhancement is CIA/MI6 cool

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  12. In their defense, they’re not just building a “web site”, it’s a full-blown video content management system. If I remember right, they used to (and maybe still do) upload show files to Mediafly, which would do all the encoding into different formats, push to YouTube, etc. Seems like Mediafly has “pivoted” so they need a new solution, and I can see how L&L would think that’s something TWiT needs to own/build in-house.

    I’m sure they looked at option like Brightcove and Ooyala and decided to spend half a million dollars to build their own.

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    1. This is probably the correct assessment. If Leo was smart he should have stayed put as an audio network like 5×5 and other podcast networks.

      I watch Leo’s video shows on Roku at 1080p. They look like amateur hour and are cheesy in every way. It’s like a whole network of public access shows with less entertainment value. They do not have a professional look and feel at all. There are no REAL video folks at Twit with the kind of experience that can make the shows not look second-rate.

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  13. I lol’d so hard. He is getting ripped of. The agency is probably happy to take his money while they laugh their asses of at the amaturish specifications.

    I reckon the meetings went like this:
    – Guy, guys… beers are on me if you trick the old man into building the site in nodejs.
    – He actually fell for it… what else can we trick the fool into?
    – How about an API?
    – Brilliant!

    (Also, Wells Fargo sucks.)

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  14. Why bother with the website? I have watched TWiT for about a decade (though only maybe an hour a week’s worth – if that – in the last few years) and I have only been to the website three times.

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  15. I am sure Leo made sure he owns the source code. Patrick is a coder and he does all the encoding, and automation of feeds etc. my guess is they just want to screw Four Kitchens out of money as soon as they can.

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  16. Soup should have called one of the guts over at Pied Piper. they would have only charged soup 100k. They really have a good 4k video algorithm as well. TWIT could stream in 4k with half of the bandwidth as well.

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  17. One way to burn $350,000: Pay four coders to work 40 hours per week at an individual rate of $40 per hour. In 55 weeks, not quite 13 months, they go through $352,000. I am neither criticizing nor justifying.

    Just pencillin’ on a napkin and best regards

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    1. That’d be fine if twit were some bloated corporate outfit. But for the boutique niche player that twit is, they should be getting much better roi for that cash. As others have said, a lick of paint on the current site would have cost a fraction of the current outlay and been ready right away. A fool and their money are soon parted.

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  18. In Google Chrome, here’s how to fix it so that the new.twit.tv site loads properly:

    Go into Settings, Privacy, Content Settings, and under Images, click on Manage Exceptions.

    Enter the following two URLs as exceptions:

    https://new.twit.tv
    https://twitd7stg.prod.acquia-sites.com

    Click on done and go to https://new.twit.tv/ and it will load properly with all the images.

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