Soldiers ain't happy unless they're bitching. -Military Adage
Improvise, adapt, and overcome. -Gunny Highway, Heartbreak Ridge
Sure, I reacted negatively to the initial change. A lot of WTF's, HTF's, and where do I go fors. 15 minutes later, I got over it and started figuring out this new deal we've been handed. For those that really want to know how to deal with the new NV, read the knowledge base. If you're not inclined to do that (I read it for one thing, then figured out the rest), continue reading and I'll explain why it's not as bad as you think it is.
Can't find your friends? You had 300 friends and now you can't track their comments? Realistically, were all of your friends on the old NV that compelling to read? If they all were, did you really have time to read all of their crap? Probably not. In case you miss all of them, you can still talk to them all. I saw where one viner created an article out of their old friends list to always have access to it. An unintended consequence of the new look, but the point is, you can sit around and have a pity-poor-me party about what you don't have anymore, or you can figure out a way to work around and deal with it. Besides, you shouldn't base your self-worth on how many friends are in your friends list that you don't have.
Your friends list still exists, here's how to find it: go to your profile, click on the gear wheel next to your name, click on the Newsvine.com tab, and then click on friends list.
Still don't get it? Can't follow your friends? See above...they're not all that interesting.
I didn't get the nations concept right away either. My first few posts were something along the lines of where do I post? Who's going to see it? Post in the nation? Post in the open public? Let me explain why it's better than your friends.
All of your old friends can join a nation with you and you can sound like a giant echo chamber and pat each other on the butt all day if you're into that. Invite all of your friends into a friends nation and it will work for you. If you like to argue, nations will work for that too. Here's a small list of things I found you can do with nations:
Join 2 or 3 big nations that accept open topics, like Public Discussion, Trainwreck, and some others that I've seen that are related to old news vine or infinite subjects. Join some of those and then join some smaller ones dedicated to focused topics. If you can't find all of your friends within 15 nations or invite your old friends into those nations, then I guess you can sit in the corner and pout.
You can comment within a nation you're not a part of. You don't have to be in a nation to comment in it. You cannot post in nations that are invite only, but that does not apply to most nations.
You can bring a nation (or two or ten) into an article that it previously was not privy to.
You can avoid conversations in nations you don't want to engage with. Example: someone writes an article that has religious, political, and technological aspects to it. You can talk about that article in a general topic nation, focus on the tech part in a tech nation, or stay away from the politics in a political nation. And it doesn't matter if you're in that nation or not...you can avoid or engage as you wish.
Bottom line: The nation concept does not limit your discussions, it expands them. Think of the old NV as linear, and the new NV as amorphous, shapeless....like a spider web of spiderwebs.
You can comment to a particular comment within a thread. A thread within a thread, so to speak. You can have a conversation within a thread, while everyone bypasses you while you try to grind down someone's will so that they finally agree with you that felt is one of the top 2 inventions of all time. You don't have to get home from work and found that the person responded to you, but so did 12 other folks, but they were talking to the 3 comments prior to yours. You don;t have to scroll all the way down to the end, and if you have multiple deals going on, it will be much easier to keep track of who said what to whom.
Edit: You can also highlight a section of someone else's comment that you want to respond to, and if you hover for a second, a "Reply" button will appear, click on it and a reply box will appear below that comment with your highlighted text already quoted for you!
You're not in pink and friends not in blue? Boo hoo...again, you're friends weren't all that compelling, and don't be so self centered.
Browser won't refresh or New NV slow your browser down? Update your browser, switch to a different browser or buy a new computer.
Some issues have been noticed with older computers or browsers not updated. With google chrome, there is a shockwave plug in that needs to be disabled, go here for that. For IE users, go here for problems with your machine. Firefox I hear works well. If none of that fixes your problem, buy a new machine...seriously. I've seen the staff commenting that they are working to smooth the browser issues, which has already been done...if it doesn't work, you need a new machine or some work done to it.
Don't like the new comment tracking? It's just like the old one, except it doesn't say "Friends". If you have comments on an article through other nations, it divides those comments by nation. Much easier to sort through chaos.
The NV front page is all tiled? You have 3 options for how it looks. Under the title (Newsvine) therre are 3 icons. You can change from panels to a list with thumbnails or a straight list. You can also click in the "Tags" search box and browse by article category or tag.
Comment history: go to your profile and view it...your comment history is one of the 3 menu items that appear on the left hand side. You can sort by article or comment. Your nations have a list of all the conversations that a nation is involved with, which show you where everyone is talking. You can also change the look from the tile to the lists using the same feature as on the fornt page. You can also change the view of articles on your profile the same way.
What I've found to be true with all things new is that it's uncomfortable just because it's unfamiliar. If you've spent the weekend bitching about the new NV and how the world is over, then I would suggest locking yourself in the bathroom and never coming out again. Things are going to change, not just with NV but with anything. As with anything else, you have the choice to adapt to NV or not. You can always choose to bitch, but really, when has that ever accomplished anything? You can bitch and boycott for 48 hours, but the powers that be don't give a shit. Just as all 300 of your friends were not compelling, neither is your opinion, despite you being entitled to it.
So, are you going to take your toys and go home, or are you going to deal with it? Once you figure it out, you'll figure out that it's not as bad as you think it is. Lot's of folks have been figuring it out and lots of tips...if you have on, leave it for everyone else.