Does it seem relatively dead here?
03/29/2015 2:11:05 PM
User
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 671
It seems to me this place is a lot less active than it used to be several years ago. The first page of discussion posts now extends back about 2 weeks, compared to about a week for a similar time in seasons past. And even that comparision is misleading, as now the current list of posts is inflated somewhat because, unlike back then, comments to meet pages now also appear in the "Discussion" forum ("Hey, we'd like to attend this meet. Send me info"). And the number of replies to a typical post are also down. All suggesting that interest and participation in the community here is way down. (I mean, when a coach that only leaves a "Hey, we'd like to attend this meet. Send me info" on three meets then gets listed as a "Top Site Contributor" in your discussion forum, it's not a good sign of the quality of the discussions.) Any idea why? Have all the topics that deserve to be covered been covered so exhaustively that there is no point in raising them again? Has interest in Ga T&F just fallen off? Are fewer people checking in, despite interest in the sport remaining as it was? My theory is that putting the database and articles behind a paywall has made the site less interesting: fewer people have access to the data or the stories, so fewer people come here to look and explore, and so fewer people will drop a comment, point out something interesting. Fewer parents and athletes are contributing here. I worry that the place is slipping below the critical density of participants to keep the place thriving. I recall going to the Milesplit sites for other states years ago that had their data behind a paywall (E.g., Virginia, Alabama, Colorado, etc) and their discussion forums had way less activity than the Ga one, but I certainly didn't think that meant people in those states had any less interest in the sport than we do here in Ga. At the time I thought it was because those sites provided less of an experience to non subscribers, and so they just weren't able to reach that critical density of contributors to keep the place interesting for the casual visitor. Ga had it at one time, but the trend is not good, IMO. I know that this is a very niche (and seasonal) set of topics for a website, and so generating enough income to support a website and the data processing needed to compile and maintain the database of results will be tough. Moving from an advertisement, sponsor, and volunteer supported site to one supported by subscription fees might be the only way to keep things going, but if the activity of the discussion forum is any indication, it doesn't seem to be working. (Maybe nothing can.) Thoughts?
It seems to me this place is a lot less active than it used to be several years ago. The first page of discussion posts now extends back about 2 weeks, compared to about a week for a similar time in seasons past. And even that comparision is misleading, as now the current list of posts is inflated somewhat because, unlike back then, comments to meet pages now also appear in the "Discussion" forum ("Hey, we'd like to attend this meet. Send me info"). And the number of replies to a typical post are also down. All suggesting that interest and participation in the community here is way down.

(I mean, when a coach that only leaves a "Hey, we'd like to attend this meet. Send me info" on three meets then gets listed as a "Top Site Contributor" in your discussion forum, it's not a good sign of the quality of the discussions.)

Any idea why? Have all the topics that deserve to be covered been covered so exhaustively that there is no point in raising them again? Has interest in Ga T&F just fallen off? Are fewer people checking in, despite interest in the sport remaining as it was?

My theory is that putting the database and articles behind a paywall has made the site less interesting: fewer people have access to the data or the stories, so fewer people come here to look and explore, and so fewer people will drop a comment, point out something interesting. Fewer parents and athletes are contributing here. I worry that the place is slipping below the critical density of participants to keep the place thriving.

I recall going to the Milesplit sites for other states years ago that had their data behind a paywall (E.g., Virginia, Alabama, Colorado, etc) and their discussion forums had way less activity than the Ga one, but I certainly didn't think that meant people in those states had any less interest in the sport than we do here in Ga. At the time I thought it was because those sites provided less of an experience to non subscribers, and so they just weren't able to reach that critical density of contributors to keep the place interesting for the casual visitor. Ga had it at one time, but the trend is not good, IMO.

I know that this is a very niche (and seasonal) set of topics for a website, and so generating enough income to support a website and the data processing needed to compile and maintain the database of results will be tough. Moving from an advertisement, sponsor, and volunteer supported site to one supported by subscription fees might be the only way to keep things going, but if the activity of the discussion forum is any indication, it doesn't seem to be working. (Maybe nothing can.)

Thoughts?
03/29/2015 2:21:15 PM
User
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 283
Paywall probably is a factor.
Paywall probably is a factor.
03/29/2015 10:14:52 PM
Admin
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 195
I too was curious on reasons this track season has been very hush hush. The cross county season was much more lively with conservations on weekly events. The discussions have been very disappointing. I believe you are correct with the paywall, that could be the reason. I thought maybe the cold start with bad weather was the reason.
I too was curious on reasons this track season has been very hush hush. The cross county season was much more lively with conservations on weekly events. The discussions have been very disappointing. I believe you are correct with the paywall, that could be the reason. I thought maybe the cold start with bad weather was the reason.
03/29/2015 10:19:47 PM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 704
All the tracks are 400 meters...end of discussion.
All the tracks are 400 meters...end of discussion.
03/29/2015 10:24:55 PM
Coach
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 223
I think people are more interested in the results and rankings and not the discussion board. There aren't any interesting topics in the discussion board. I come to compare my kids to everyone else and to find meets to attend. This is an interesting topic, so, I'm posting. If you scroll down the discussion board, all you see in the heading is another meet. Membership may have caused a decline, but you have to pay to play.
I think people are more interested in the results and rankings and not the discussion board. There aren't any interesting topics in the discussion board. I come to compare my kids to everyone else and to find meets to attend. This is an interesting topic, so, I'm posting. If you scroll down the discussion board, all you see in the heading is another meet.

Membership may have caused a decline, but you have to pay to play.
03/30/2015 6:37:20 AM
User
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 283
@trailcat Ha, thats the main reason! XC definitely has more lively discussion. The team aspect may have more impact also.
@trailcat
Ha, thats the main reason!

XC definitely has more lively discussion. The team aspect may have more impact also.
03/30/2015 11:44:53 AM
Power User
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 769
I could be wrong but I think it has to do with a couple of factors. One might be the rise of social media over the last few years,which diverts attention away. There are other ways for people to discuss our sports and maybe they find those other ways easier (Twitter, etc). I personally think the bigger factor is the rise in trolls and just general lack of online restraint/courtesy we've seen in the last few years. I know I'm going to sound like a 90 year old man screaming for kids to get off my lawn, but it seems like most of the discussions in the past used to be more constructive, humble, and intelligent. When they now devolve into veiled name calling, accusations, diatribes, manifestos,etc it just seems pointless to chime in. I still check the board, but don't post nearly as much as I used to for these reasons, and I've talked to many coaches who have told me the same thing. But I do still enjoy the great posts from Dataholic, Pre1962, Divalent, and crossfan2861 to name a few.
I could be wrong but I think it has to do with a couple of factors. One might be the rise of social media over the last few years,which diverts attention away. There are other ways for people to discuss our sports and maybe they find those other ways easier (Twitter, etc).

I personally think the bigger factor is the rise in trolls and just general lack of online restraint/courtesy we've seen in the last few years. I know I'm going to sound like a 90 year old man screaming for kids to get off my lawn, but it seems like most of the discussions in the past used to be more constructive, humble, and intelligent. When they now devolve into veiled name calling, accusations, diatribes, manifestos,etc it just seems pointless to chime in. I still check the board, but don't post nearly as much as I used to for these reasons, and I've talked to many coaches who have told me the same thing. But I do still enjoy the great posts from Dataholic, Pre1962, Divalent, and crossfan2861 to name a few.
03/30/2015 7:15:29 PM
User
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 20
I would say there were more discussions about Cross Country than there are about track because you can look at meet results and you know exactly what it means. But since courses are different for Cross Country, if you want to know how you or your team compares to others, you need a bit more context. Also, people like to argue about course length :-D
I would say there were more discussions about Cross Country than there are about track because you can look at meet results and you know exactly what it means. But since courses are different for Cross Country, if you want to know how you or your team compares to others, you need a bit more context. Also, people like to argue about course length
04/06/2015 8:11:51 AM
Coach
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 146
In addition to the decrease due to the payment fees, something else I have noticed is that Cross Country meets use the calendar and signup online here much more than do track meets. For example, the majority of our track meets have been scheduled over the phone/email. This leads to no results posted online and no opportunity for discussion.
In addition to the decrease due to the payment fees, something else I have noticed is that Cross Country meets use the calendar and signup online here much more than do track meets. For example, the majority of our track meets have been scheduled over the phone/email. This leads to no results posted online and no opportunity for discussion.
04/06/2015 9:39:04 PM
Power User
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Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 718
I think part of it is that the articles, results, and videos give so much information it kind of takes some discussion out as people will just go to these and move on. How about this, Ryan Clark and Candace Hill on the sprint side running ridiculous times!!!! Hill is now the #1 in the 100 and 200 in the US!!!! She currently ranks 80th on the 6A guys side...Props to both her, Ryan Clark, and their coaches on some amazing accomplishments!
I think part of it is that the articles, results, and videos give so much information it kind of takes some discussion out as people will just go to these and move on.

How about this, Ryan Clark and Candace Hill on the sprint side running ridiculous times!!!! Hill is now the #1 in the 100 and 200 in the US!!!! She currently ranks 80th on the 6A guys side...Props to both her, Ryan Clark, and their coaches on some amazing accomplishments!
04/06/2015 10:41:14 PM
Coach
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 35
@Uncle_Elvis the GHSA has a partnership with MaxPreps and requires all schools to report results from all contests in football, basketball, baseball, and softball. Maybe there should be something similar with this site regarding XC and Track.
@Uncle_Elvis the GHSA has a partnership with MaxPreps and requires all schools to report results from all contests in football, basketball, baseball, and softball. Maybe there should be something similar with this site regarding XC and Track.

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