Let's Get the Discussion Board Rolling to How it Was 'Back in the Day'
09/06/2019 12:48:33 AM
Admin
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 2843
I was onsite at the North Oconee Meet 9/5 earlier today as Fast Feet was timing it and I spoke with one of the original webmasters of gatfxc.com, Coach Jim Yike, also formerly the head coach of the Mill Creek Girl's team in the early 2000's and now is at Morgan County. One of the items we discussed is what has happened to all the activity on the 'Discussion Board' compared to when the site was gatfxc.com with that old light green background? Seriously, where has all the lively banter gone when I was just a user and parent of a HS runner? Are coaches not allowing their athletes to post, have we just become lazy, like getting food delivered from many restaurants, including grocery delivery now from stores like Publix, etc? If I am not mistaken, one does not have to be a subscriber to post on the 'Discussion Board' Occasionally, we do have some hot topics, but it seems reduced to courses not being legit, etc. Carrollton has been a hot topic lately, but there is much more to discuss than that folks. There are topics that are taboo, like openly calling out and criticizing a coach or an athlete by name. Rankings used to be a HUGE topic of discussion, have our Rankers gotten so accurate in their analysis there is no controversy, that may be entirely possible as our Rankers are experts in their Class. The Discussion Board used to be so active we gave select coaches admin access to delete improper posts. Its understood, we now live in a world where anything in the media is heavily scrutinized as to whether it's politically correct or offensive to someone. MileSplit GA is not about politics, its about Cross Country and Track & Field. Can we start discussing the Sport again in a lively manner? Bruce MileSplit GA
I was onsite at the North Oconee Meet 9/5 earlier today as Fast Feet was timing it and I spoke with one of the original webmasters of gatfxc.com, Coach Jim Yike, also formerly the head coach of the Mill Creek Girl's team in the early 2000's and now is at Morgan County. One of the items we discussed is what has happened to all the activity on the 'Discussion Board' compared to when the site was gatfxc.com with that old light green background?

Seriously, where has all the lively banter gone when I was just a user and parent of a HS runner? Are coaches not allowing their athletes to post, have we just become lazy, like getting food delivered from many restaurants, including grocery delivery now from stores like Publix, etc? If I am not mistaken, one does not have to be a subscriber to post on the 'Discussion Board' Occasionally, we do have some hot topics, but it seems reduced to courses not being legit, etc.

Carrollton has been a hot topic lately, but there is much more to discuss than that folks. There are topics that are taboo, like openly calling out and criticizing a coach or an athlete by name. Rankings used to be a HUGE topic of discussion, have our Rankers gotten so accurate in their analysis there is no controversy, that may be entirely possible as our Rankers are experts in their Class.

The Discussion Board used to be so active we gave select coaches admin access to delete improper posts. Its understood, we now live in a world where anything in the media is heavily scrutinized as to whether it's politically correct or offensive to someone. MileSplit GA is not about politics, its about Cross Country and Track & Field. Can we start discussing the Sport again in a lively manner?

Bruce MileSplit GA
09/06/2019 9:21:10 AM
Power User
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 718
@gawebmaster I was talking about this the other day as well. I know when I was in high school I posted often, and they were usually predictions. Virtual races I think took most of the fun out of that. I remember taking all the seniors out of the state meet and replacing them with next up on that team to "predict" state a year out. Again, you can do that for the most part (can't do only a certain course on rankings).
@gawebmaster I was talking about this the other day as well. I know when I was in high school I posted often, and they were usually predictions. Virtual races I think took most of the fun out of that. I remember taking all the seniors out of the state meet and replacing them with next up on that team to "predict" state a year out. Again, you can do that for the most part (can't do only a certain course on rankings).
09/06/2019 9:31:16 AM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 157
@gawebmaster IMO one of the reasons is that it is very hard to have a discussion without someone getting their feelings hurt and getting defensive and then it turns in to something negative that ends up getting deleted. I know there are different reasons as to why this happens (one big one being tone is hard to convey through a written post and can oftentimes be misinterpreted). For me personally, discussions with other coaches is one of the best things that has helped me develop as a coach. We don't always have to agree but I feel like when opinions/ideas conflict on the discussion board, it ends up becoming an argument between the two sides. I would love to see more discussions on training, racing, team culture and anything else related to the sport. I know when I went to USATF Level 3, one of the most beneficial things was to sit and discuss what we were learning with other coaches. Sitting in the lectures was good but being able to discuss the practical application of what we were learning made the experience 10x more beneficial.
@gawebmaster IMO one of the reasons is that it is very hard to have a discussion without someone getting their feelings hurt and getting defensive and then it turns in to something negative that ends up getting deleted. I know there are different reasons as to why this happens (one big one being tone is hard to convey through a written post and can oftentimes be misinterpreted).

For me personally, discussions with other coaches is one of the best things that has helped me develop as a coach. We don't always have to agree but I feel like when opinions/ideas conflict on the discussion board, it ends up becoming an argument between the two sides. I would love to see more discussions on training, racing, team culture and anything else related to the sport. I know when I went to USATF Level 3, one of the most beneficial things was to sit and discuss what we were learning with other coaches. Sitting in the lectures was good but being able to discuss the practical application of what we were learning made the experience 10x more beneficial.
09/06/2019 9:48:30 AM
Power User
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 718
I agree with @runtad with everyone having to tip toe around anything that might show that someone isn't the best in the state does make it tough to post. I was reading a topic just now from my senior year in high school that had 4 pages of replies. I will say I am happy I don't type like I did back then...Text type is terrible... I also noticed that there were a ton of topics about results because they weren't live back then. It could take days sometimes to get them submitted, so we relied on coaches and athletes to post basic results that day (old version of live?)
I agree with @runtad with everyone having to tip toe around anything that might show that someone isn't the best in the state does make it tough to post. I was reading a topic just now from my senior year in high school that had 4 pages of replies. I will say I am happy I don't type like I did back then...Text type is terrible...

I also noticed that there were a ton of topics about results because they weren't live back then. It could take days sometimes to get them submitted, so we relied on coaches and athletes to post basic results that day (old version of live?)
09/06/2019 10:24:59 AM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 143
The majority of discussion threads now seem to be "Is XXX course really a 5k" That gets old pretty quick. One discussion that I really liked a few years ago was the value of timed vs non timed events. I was at FPD's new course this past week. In my opinion, that is a race that would be a great example of an untimed race and just run off placings. If you have not been there yet, it is a very challenging course. Different from Carrollton, lots of hills and very few flats. Let me explain. Liam Hill of Holy Innocents ran a great race and won the race with a time of 19:48. This is the same young man who broke 18 min at Coach Wood last year. Ande Chaloult of HoCo won the girls race with 23:00, she had broken 21 in the first two races of the season. Otherwise said, it is a really tough course, I would encourage teams from out of the area to try it out. Even if you used it as a training run, it would be worth it for the hills. I also know there was good discussion about the renewal of dual/tri/quad meets. That was really good.
The majority of discussion threads now seem to be "Is XXX course really a 5k"
That gets old pretty quick.

One discussion that I really liked a few years ago was the value of timed vs non timed events.

I was at FPD's new course this past week. In my opinion, that is a race that would be a great example of an untimed race and just run off placings. If you have not been there yet, it is a very challenging course. Different from Carrollton, lots of hills and very few flats. Let me explain. Liam Hill of Holy Innocents ran a great race and won the race with a time of 19:48. This is the same young man who broke 18 min at Coach Wood last year. Ande Chaloult of HoCo won the girls race with 23:00, she had broken 21 in the first two races of the season. Otherwise said, it is a really tough course, I would encourage teams from out of the area to try it out. Even if you used it as a training run, it would be worth it for the hills.

I also know there was good discussion about the renewal of dual/tri/quad meets. That was really good.
09/06/2019 11:35:55 AM
Power User
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 769
As far as the actual runners go, I think the rise of social media gave them other places to talk about running. When the website was the main outlet, it made sense for them to create posts and respond to others. As for coaches, I enjoy talking to coaches who are searching for answers and share what they have learned along the way, and what has worked for them. I don't enjoy absolutes or rigid mindsets. I use to follow some professional coaches on social media that I no longer do, because it felt like they were presenting everything they posted as an enlightened bit of knowledge and that anyone that had a different experience was wrong.
As far as the actual runners go, I think the rise of social media gave them other places to talk about running. When the website was the main outlet, it made sense for them to create posts and respond to others.

As for coaches, I enjoy talking to coaches who are searching for answers and share what they have learned along the way, and what has worked for them. I don't enjoy absolutes or rigid mindsets. I use to follow some professional coaches on social media that I no longer do, because it felt like they were presenting everything they posted as an enlightened bit of knowledge and that anyone that had a different experience was wrong.
09/06/2019 11:54:23 AM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 157
@coachac Well said! I think the beauty of training/coaching is that there is not one secret workout or one secret training plan that is the best. If there was, then coaching would not be near as fun and everyone would be following the same plan. As a newer coach, I love listening to experienced coaches talk about what/why they do what they do. Being a science teacher, I think science has a lot to do with training and I love the science aspect of it but I do not think knowing the science is a prerequisite for being a good coach. I have met and learned from coaches who had a strong science background and ones who have not.
@coachac Well said! I think the beauty of training/coaching is that there is not one secret workout or one secret training plan that is the best. If there was, then coaching would not be near as fun and everyone would be following the same plan. As a newer coach, I love listening to experienced coaches talk about what/why they do what they do. Being a science teacher, I think science has a lot to do with training and I love the science aspect of it but I do not think knowing the science is a prerequisite for being a good coach. I have met and learned from coaches who had a strong science background and ones who have not.
09/07/2019 11:29:37 AM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 18
I'm down for this! I do see alot of runners on Instagram. Mr. Kennedy
I'm down for this! I do see alot of runners on Instagram. Mr. Kennedy
09/07/2019 2:45:26 PM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 9
We used to have an incredible amount of traffic on the messageboards. I agree with Coach Christie that other social media is one explanation and maybe making it more interactive with social media might improve participation. Would love to see people post photos from races for example. Just would love to see a more centralized discussion about Georgia's phenomenal athletes.
We used to have an incredible amount of traffic on the messageboards. I agree with Coach Christie that other social media is one explanation and maybe making it more interactive with social media might improve participation. Would love to see people post photos from races for example. Just would love to see a more centralized discussion about Georgia's phenomenal athletes.
09/07/2019 3:24:49 PM
User
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 671
IMO, one HUGE difference is that in the past the results database (and all other content) was open to all. Parents, student athletes, and just random interested folks didn't need to buy a subscription to see who was doing what, who was top-50 in each event, how did they (or their child) compare to others in their region ("what are my chances of making state?"), or in that upcoming meet ("will I score in this meet?", "Is that team any good?"), etc. To a lesser extent, also access to articles on this site. (If you can't read an article, then you probably aren't going to start, or participate in, a discussion about it.) And access to photos. And what are those people interested in? For parents and students, they want to see their (or their child's) results, see how they compare/rank to others (state, region, team) and they are interested in photos of themselves or friends. IOW, it's a very narrow, very personal set of things they are seeking. And if *all* of that is behind a paywall, what reason do they have to come here? (Yes, likely parents of elite athletes will buy a subscription, but students won't, and those parents will be gone in a year or two.) So all of those folks who in the past would come here for those reasons and then linger to participate in discussions are no longer here. I check in every so often, and it's now more like a small coaches club. Discussions on topics are almost exclusively just coaches talking about things that are relevant to coaches; missing is the perspective of the parent, the athlete, the fan, etc. I get it that there has to be a way of monetizing the content here, and the subscription vs ads vs some combination is a tricky thing to optimize, and it may very well be that the current situation is the most profitable one there is. But if you charge people to attend a party, you'll have fewer patrons than if it was free, and so you have to expect the atmosphere will be more subdued. Maybe there are other options to increase revenue as an alternative to subscriptions (and that might be a worthy topic to discuss; I got a few ideas...), and I honestly don't think the discussion board issue can be solved unless the content here is available to the general public, because they are the fuel that animates the discussion board.
IMO, one HUGE difference is that in the past the results database (and all other content) was open to all. Parents, student athletes, and just random interested folks didn't need to buy a subscription to see who was doing what, who was top-50 in each event, how did they (or their child) compare to others in their region ("what are my chances of making state?"), or in that upcoming meet ("will I score in this meet?", "Is that team any good?"), etc. To a lesser extent, also access to articles on this site. (If you can't read an article, then you probably aren't going to start, or participate in, a discussion about it.) And access to photos.

And what are those people interested in? For parents and students, they want to see their (or their child's) results, see how they compare/rank to others (state, region, team) and they are interested in photos of themselves or friends. IOW, it's a very narrow, very personal set of things they are seeking. And if *all* of that is behind a paywall, what reason do they have to come here? (Yes, likely parents of elite athletes will buy a subscription, but students won't, and those parents will be gone in a year or two.)

So all of those folks who in the past would come here for those reasons and then linger to participate in discussions are no longer here. I check in every so often, and it's now more like a small coaches club. Discussions on topics are almost exclusively just coaches talking about things that are relevant to coaches; missing is the perspective of the parent, the athlete, the fan, etc.

I get it that there has to be a way of monetizing the content here, and the subscription vs ads vs some combination is a tricky thing to optimize, and it may very well be that the current situation is the most profitable one there is. But if you charge people to attend a party, you'll have fewer patrons than if it was free, and so you have to expect the atmosphere will be more subdued.

Maybe there are other options to increase revenue as an alternative to subscriptions (and that might be a worthy topic to discuss; I got a few ideas...), and I honestly don't think the discussion board issue can be solved unless the content here is available to the general public, because they are the fuel that animates the discussion board.
09/07/2019 5:57:19 PM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 20
The point about social media is an interesting one. I do think that message boards can still be relevant, even in the age of Instagram and Snapchat. The board over at LetsRun.com demonstrates as much. Now, that's largely because of the fact that people can post anonymously, and unfortunately there's a trade-off there between anonymity/foot traffic and civility.
The point about social media is an interesting one. I do think that message boards can still be relevant, even in the age of Instagram and Snapchat. The board over at LetsRun.com demonstrates as much. Now, that's largely because of the fact that people can post anonymously, and unfortunately there's a trade-off there between anonymity/foot traffic and civility.
09/08/2019 1:15:03 AM
User
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 17
I haven't made a comment on the message boards in a couple years for a one main reason - any time I had previously questioned something, people got offended. Whether it was rankings or how things were done, people got offended when I was merely making observations. I still come onto the site to look at results and glance at the message boards, but not much more than that because of previous history. One thing I do think would be beneficial is to identify who is doing the team rankings for each classification. Even though rankings don't matter in the grand scheme of things, transparency would be cool to have.
I haven't made a comment on the message boards in a couple years for a one main reason - any time I had previously questioned something, people got offended. Whether it was rankings or how things were done, people got offended when I was merely making observations. I still come onto the site to look at results and glance at the message boards, but not much more than that because of previous history.

One thing I do think would be beneficial is to identify who is doing the team rankings for each classification. Even though rankings don't matter in the grand scheme of things, transparency would be cool to have.
09/08/2019 11:28:22 AM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 119
@Divalent Some very good points!
@Divalent

Some very good points!
09/08/2019 4:37:05 PM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 625
I think the lack of message board is a positive for the sport (not for business or entertainment, obviously). A small amount of the content (message board posts, articles, etc.) here has shown bias toward the author's or poster's team/course/region/class/athlete. That was some of the content that elicited a number of message board comments. You still have good, objective stuff like the rankings, meet results, and articles (like Coach Gower's Cobb preview). The other stuff is getting ignored, which is good. Nothing against getting more objective content and posts on the message board. We can all go watch the Kardashians if we want some drama.
I think the lack of message board is a positive for the sport (not for business or entertainment, obviously). A small amount of the content (message board posts, articles, etc.) here has shown bias toward the author's or poster's team/course/region/class/athlete. That was some of the content that elicited a number of message board comments. You still have good, objective stuff like the rankings, meet results, and articles (like Coach Gower's Cobb preview). The other stuff is getting ignored, which is good. Nothing against getting more objective content and posts on the message board. We can all go watch the Kardashians if we want some drama.
09/08/2019 5:24:05 PM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 285
@eagle9857 I remember the latest exchange you started well. It was 2 fall's ago and you basically called out the "ranker" for 1 A Private, saying he/she was biased towards Hebron, towards me as a Coach(Coach Mike) and the gist was that Landmark was unbeatable. I remember other folks commented(from mostly outside 1A private) and tried to provide insight as to how Landmark may not be as unbeatable as you inferred and that HCA was actually ranked about where they should be. Well, I have waited 2 years ago and did not say a solitary thing about it until now. I wanted to thank you and I will say you provided my HCA guys very good bulletin board material that fall. Our kids ran their tails off that day and ran for each other. @ State, We actually were missing our healthy regular season # 4 runner who had a severe tooth infection. Hebron still won by 32 points.
@eagle9857 I remember the latest exchange you started well. It was 2 fall's ago and you basically called out the "ranker" for 1 A Private, saying he/she was biased towards Hebron, towards me as a Coach(Coach Mike) and the gist was that Landmark was unbeatable. I remember other folks commented(from mostly outside 1A private) and tried to provide insight as to how Landmark may not be as unbeatable as you inferred and that HCA was actually ranked about where they should be.

Well, I have waited 2 years ago and did not say a solitary thing about it until now. I wanted to thank you and I will say you provided my HCA guys very good bulletin board material that fall. Our kids ran their tails off that day and ran for each other. @ State, We actually were missing our healthy regular season # 4 runner who had a severe tooth infection. Hebron still won by 32 points.
09/08/2019 6:17:24 PM
User
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 17
@Beaudreau_Mike I'm glad I could provide that material. All I really wanted to do was to ask questions because on the outside, it didn't look right. Regardless of whether people agreed with it or not, it jumped to everyone getting offended very quickly when all I was looking for was transparency in who was doing the rankings. But people got offended so I backed off of making any further comments. And that goes back to my explanation as to one of the reasons why the boards are so quiet now. To have a thriving message board, you have to allow people to question things, whether you agree with it or not. That's what makes message boards fun.
@Beaudreau_Mike
I'm glad I could provide that material. All I really wanted to do was to ask questions because on the outside, it didn't look right. Regardless of whether people agreed with it or not, it jumped to everyone getting offended very quickly when all I was looking for was transparency in who was doing the rankings. But people got offended so I backed off of making any further comments. And that goes back to my explanation as to one of the reasons why the boards are so quiet now. To have a thriving message board, you have to allow people to question things, whether you agree with it or not. That's what makes message boards fun.
09/08/2019 7:02:46 PM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 285
@eagle9857 got it. I understand. Thanks for the exchange. Hopefully, we can meet out there at a meet this season.
@eagle9857 got it. I understand. Thanks for the exchange. Hopefully, we can meet out there at a meet this season.
09/08/2019 7:43:00 PM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 29
Mike, I thought you won the lottery and quit coaching Hebron.
Mike, I thought you won the lottery and quit coaching Hebron.
09/08/2019 8:18:06 PM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 143
I did a quick check at some of the other state's discussion forum's, granted it was a small sample size, but I did not find a whole lot of traffic as well. I think that the other elements of social media has caused a drop in traffic. I thought the rankings/class previews had names on them this year. I also think that most people who look at the rankings understand that they are rankings based off very subjective criteria. If one team races at XXX school in the afternoon, how does that compare to the second team who races at YYY school, where there is not much data from the school. I help out with rankings for A Public. It was virtually ignored prior to me asking Bruce if he would like my help. I also help out with some of the college rankings. I will be the first to admit, it is some science, some art, and a lot of gut feelings. Sometimes those gut feelings are right, sometimes they are wrong. But guess what, so is the AP poll for every college sport they have.
I did a quick check at some of the other state's discussion forum's, granted it was a small sample size, but I did not find a whole lot of traffic as well. I think that the other elements of social media has caused a drop in traffic.

I thought the rankings/class previews had names on them this year. I also think that most people who look at the rankings understand that they are rankings based off very subjective criteria. If one team races at XXX school in the afternoon, how does that compare to the second team who races at YYY school, where there is not much data from the school. I help out with rankings for A Public. It was virtually ignored prior to me asking Bruce if he would like my help. I also help out with some of the college rankings. I will be the first to admit, it is some science, some art, and a lot of gut feelings. Sometimes those gut feelings are right, sometimes they are wrong. But guess what, so is the AP poll for every college sport they have.
09/08/2019 10:53:54 PM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 285
@jmcartney ha ha ha coach. I wish I won the lottery sir. Yes, I have definitely left HCA. It was a great 6 years but it was time to focus my energies elsewhere.
@jmcartney ha ha ha coach. I wish I won the lottery sir. Yes, I have definitely left HCA. It was a great 6 years but it was time to focus my energies elsewhere.

You must be logged in to comment.

Click Here to Log In.