Thank you so much to all of you lovely people who completed the MEL: HOT OR NOT 2010 Reader Survey. It’s really heartening to know that so many of you – from students to bankers to retirees – enjoy reading the blog and care enough about it to take the time to provide your comments.

Rest assured that your feedback is not disappearing into the ether! As a result of your suggestions, here are some things that I am planning to improve or implement in 2010.

  • You’ve asked for more prospective information about what’s coming up. So I’m trying to work with That’s Melbourne (City of Melbourne) to get you the advance details about events that are happening in Melbourne. I’ll also revisit the Asides section as the little one-line entries are annoying when they clog up RSS feeds.
  • You like the restaurant/bar reviews. There are currently over 150 restaurant/bar reviews on the blog, so more of the same! I’ll be introducing additional refined categories (maybe coffee? dumplings? sushi?) so that you just don’t get a dump of restaurants when you click on ‘Restaurants and Cafes’.
  • Ah, the eternal problem of the binary HOT or NOT rating system. I’ve had many suggestions to introduce a ‘lukewarm’ tag but I think I will continue to resist a graduated rating. I’ve started to be stricter in the application of the rating too. Basically, it boils down to ‘would I recommend this to my friends?’ – if not, because it’s not bad but not that great, then it gets a NOT.  Time and money are precious and I don’t want to be recommending you to places that are just meh.
  • P1040202v1You think some aspects of the layout could be improved, and I agree. My poor excuse is that I’ve discovered that tinkering with code when you’re a novice takes a really long time (and I’ve broken the blog a couple of times) and so I’ve decided to live with the downsides of the design in order to free up time to write. So please bear with me – I hear you, and it’s on my to-do list.
  • I hadn’t realised that my links to Google Maps were defaulting to Google Maps UK (I bought my laptop in the UK) and that was causing problems. So from now on, Google Maps Australia links only! I’m also launching the MEL Heat Map which pinpoints all the places reviewed on the blog.
  • You like links to other blog posts about the same/thing place so you can get a few different opinions. Given that a lot of you found MEL: HOT OR NOT via other blogs, it’s only fair that I return the favour and take you other sites you might enjoy.

Finally, congratulations to the winner of the Aesop Jet Set kit, drawn out from the Kitchenaid – Kittydrawings. Congratulations, please email your postal address to to claim your prize!