The conundrums of a free site (Read 7700 times)


A Dance with Monkeys

    Hey zoom-zoom, there's a PayPal link on the home page of the site. I've donated that way once (so far!) Smile
    Kudos! We should all donate! (note, no pressure here Big grin)


    Go Pre!

      whatever it takes to keep the site alive! Eric, be sure to do whatever it takes, I would gladly pay a members or value added monthly fee. And if you have any needs for help in developing anything, I can definately chip in some time. best regards! Dave Sr Web Developer http://www.flightcentre.ca http://www.flightcentre.us


      Sluggard

        I would probably buy RunningAhead branded technical shirts or other apparel/gear. I can also attest to the power of Google Adsense. My blog probably has about three regular readers [including me] and I have made nearly $10 bucks in the last several months. I'm well on my way to financial independence through blogging! Seriously, though, Google Adsense probably won't make you rich, but with as many people you have accessing this site, you could probably make a couple bucks to help with expenses. Plus, the ads can be as subtle or tacky as you want them to be. Oh, and it's free and easy to set up which is another big bonus. Now, everybody go read my blog and click on the Google links so I can buy a new Polar watch. Smile
          I reckon RunningAhead branded stuff is a great idea! I'd buy everything going, and how fun would it be spotting other RA members at races Smile
          "Tough times don't last but tough people do." - A.C. Green
            SmileEric< you know me as orangeman. i am extremely grateful for this site and i have told "many" including many runners along the embarqedaro pier area on my last trip to san francisco. sometimes i just stop people and tell them about the site. ran the golden gate at 5:30 am on sunday am...pretty cool! your work and enthusiam do not go un-noticed! a big thank-you from orangeman and the band of runners from bowling green, ohio......o.m. see you in boston! you="" know="" me="" as="" orangeman.="" i="" am="" extremely="" grateful="" for="" this="" site="" and="" i="" have="" told="" "many"="" including="" many="" runners="" along="" the="" embarqedaro="" pier="" area="" on="" my="" last="" trip="" to="" san="" francisco.="" sometimes="" i="" just="" stop="" people="" and="" tell="" them="" about="" the="" site.="" ran="" the="" golden="" gate="" at="" 5:30="" am="" on="" sunday="" am...pretty="" cool!="" your="" work="" and="" enthusiam="" do="" not="" go="" un-noticed!="" a="" big="" thank-you="" from="" orangeman="" and="" the="" band="" of="" runners="" from="" bowling="" green,="" ohio......o.m.="" see="" you="" in=""></ you know me as orangeman. i am extremely grateful for this site and i have told "many" including many runners along the embarqedaro pier area on my last trip to san francisco. sometimes i just stop people and tell them about the site. ran the golden gate at 5:30 am on sunday am...pretty cool! your work and enthusiam do not go un-noticed! a big thank-you from orangeman and the band of runners from bowling green, ohio......o.m. see you in boston!>
            Orange Man and Eric.
              Eric: Just read your explanation of "the conundrums of a free site". I think that if I were capable of doing something like you are with RunningAhead, I would also. By the way, did you see what the theme color for the 2007 Boston Marathon is? Take a guess!(I think it is ........(see below) "orangeman" PS. See you in Bah-stan.......
              Orange Man and Eric.
                Eric - Just wondering, if you even get a chance to read or respond to this in this crazy Coolrunning conversion time - does your basic operating cost increase as your user numbers go up? I, for one, absoultutley LOVE that there are zero distractions of ads on the site. I would be happy to rally the troops to keep it this way!
                Next up: A 50k in ? Done: California-Oregon-Arizona-Nevada (x2)-Wisconsin-Wyoming-Utah-Michigan-Colorado
                  Eric - Just wondering, if you even get a chance to read or respond to this in this crazy Coolrunning conversion time - does your basic operating cost increase as your user numbers go up? I, for one, absoultutley LOVE that there are zero distractions of ads on the site. I would be happy to rally the troops to keep it this way!
                  trails2run, To keep costs down, I pay the web hosting by the year. There is a ceiling on the bandwidth per month and if I exceed that, I'll have to pay a little more. Until this week, I was hovering around that limit. With the additional users, I have no doubt that traffic has exceeded what was allotted to me. I have been receiving donations from many users this week and that should cover the additional cost. I'm looking into using a different provider next year, which should give me more bandwidth for the same price. Running has done a lot for me. I'm not a good runner by any standard. Since I know a little programming, this is how I can give back to the community. It's the least I can do. eric Smile


                  Gandalf the Grey

                    trails2run, Since I know a little programming, this is how I can give back to the community. eric Smile
                    May I offer this up as the understatement of 2007 .... all in favour say 'Aye' Neil UK Smile

                    Running ... just keep running!
                    Fancy a holiday running in the French Alps?

                      hey eric, I'll second google adsense. I have an adblock thing up with firefox but i dont think it affects the google ads. They are unobstrusive unlike banner ads. Check out his site - it has a great forum and they use google ads www.ukclimbing.com


                      HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                        I think the site is really neat. I wasn't logging my running at all until I joined a group here and accidentally discovered the run logs. I wouldn't have thought to record shoes, temperature, weather -- any of that stuff, if it weren't sitting there and intuitively obvious. Now I've got nice logs of my recent running history, thanks to this nifty site, and I'm quite happy about that.

                        It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                          Eric, I'm on of those CR refugees settling in in the Masters user group. First, kudos to you for running such an excellent site. Second, I'm almost afraid of encouraging too many people to come here to overwhelm you (and your bandwidth) but it sounds like you're dealing with it so far. I hope that holds true in the coming months. Third, before you resort to advertising, I really encourage you to consider more direct appeals to users. One of the things that makes this site so great is the clean, simple, ad-free environment. I'd hate to lose that. Two thoughts on some simple revenue generation: 1) why not have a "donation" line on the check-out form when someone orders a shirt? Until I read this thread I would have assumed that by buying a shirt I was financially supporting this site, but it sounds like you're breaking even on the shirts. This may actually be working against you in terms of donations (e.g. people think they've done their part supporting the site). But if you remind people of the need for support while they've got their credit card out, who knows. 2) consider the NPR model--an unobtrusive (perhaps twice a year) reminder that this is a user-supported website that could use some financial support. (Perhaps suggest a donation equivalent to the fee for a local race?) I'm sure word would get around on the forums. You've generated enormous goodwill on this site and I'd hope you'd get a good response. Once you introduce ads, though, that irreversably changes the culture and dynamics on a site. Best of luck to you with this site!


                          Just Be

                            Hey Eric, Just wanted to tell you that I love this site! Smile A little background about me if you care: In my downtime it is fun to talk to other runners, and I have been using Cool Running since 2004 and posting on the forums there. I actually heard about this site this week by a user posting in a complaint thread at the new active.com about the new Cool Running forums, came over, liked what I saw, and signed up. It is interesting to me that your site is basically a more developed version of my own personal vision! I had no clue this place even existed before last week. I used to use the Cool Running log but stopped that in 2005 after I totally stopped running (rather than off and on - once or twice a month - as I had been since 2003) because I was too busy. So in September of this year after I decided that I need to break the 4 minute mile, I ordered a Polar RS200sd from Amazon and it has the ability to send my running data off to the Polar website where I can then view it. The heart rate monitor wrist unit can only store 16 workouts so I needed a method saving the data. The Polar website was great except it does not have an option to let me export my data, so if they ever went offline, my log is gone. To work around that I developed a simple website to track my own running data dynamically, as given by the heart rate monitor. I chose to do this since none of the free log websites I had run across in my searches tracked all the data points that I needed, and the ones that did did not do it the way that I wanted. I thought about making my site support multiple users, but I'm just not ready for that and still don't know if I want to do it or not. Currently it logs running data for me and my wife and that's it. The blog feature of my site is what I really hope will take off as I approach my goal of running a sub 4 minute mile. As far as I can tell, there is nothing like it on the internet today and if I do get close to my goal or even break my goal, it will undoubtedly generate a lot of traffic and inspire a lot of people. Changing peoples' lives is a huge part of the reason that I made a public blog about my running activities, thoughts and experiences. The site doesn't have a forum currently but I might set one up, I really don't know at this point. If I do, I don't have nearly enough time to make a forum myself, I'd either use SMF or PHPbb. Anyway, I just wanted to commend you on your work with the site, and tell you that as a fellow hobbyist programmer, I really like what you've created! Right now, when I finally have a few free minutes, I'm going to keep working with gdlib to make dynamic graphs out of my data. That is the next project.


                            Beatin' on the Rock

                              1) why not have a "donation" line on the check-out form when someone orders a shirt? Until I read this thread I would have assumed that by buying a shirt I was financially supporting this site, but it sounds like you're breaking even on the shirts. This may actually be working against you in terms of donations (e.g. people think they've done their part supporting the site). But if you remind people of the need for support while they've got their credit card out, who knows. I like this idea an awful lot. Almost as much as I'm liking this site. Thanks for the blessing. Smile
                              Be yourself. Those that matter, don't mind. Those that mind, don't matter.


                              Sweaty

                                For my having found this blog was a blessing, because where I live I have no support from other runners, running alone, didn´t know how my workouts in an orderly way, and for me, this blog has given me in such a short time a lot of satisfaction , as to dispel doubts, somehow friendly. ERIC therefore, that I live in another country, and in my country, there is no exist a blog like this, if you need donations to keep active to this big family, deal. Wink And al RAl, thank you for receiving me with open arms. Big grin
                                I don´r suffer from insanity, I enjoy every single moment. L.L