Please keep the forums civil! (Read 7483 times)

    The last couple of weeks have been hard on all of us, particularly for the Cool Running folks who were looking for a new home. No one expected the sequence of failures on Active.com's part and I was not prepared for the sudden influx of new users to my humble "little" site. Many of the new users have only discovered RunningAHEAD recently, so let me start by introducing myself and give you a little background on the site itself. My name is Eric (I'm going for the one name thing made popular by Madonna, Britney and Paris) and I work as a software engineer at a large corporation. My group produces a product that enables users to retain control of their electronic documents over the internet. I will not bore you with the details. I first started running some 11 years ago. When I started training for my first marathon back in 2003, I wanted to track my progress. I looked around for a decent computerized log, but found none. So I decided to create my own. As a software engineer, I naturally got carried away with adding new features, and my friends urged me to make it publicly available. They reasoned that there must be other runners out there that enjoy staring at numbers as much as I do. So the site went live in March of 2005. Within the year, I switched the site over to a dedicated server due to the ever increasing traffic. Since then, I have received numerous inquiries from users, potential advertisers and investors asking about my business plan and how I go about paying for the bandwidth. My reply was I am not a business person. I'm far more interested in creating something than reaping its benefits. The donations that you so generously sent me help cover most of the costs while I pay for the rest. Don't get me wrong. We all love money, and I do have plans to create a constant revenue stream to support the site. However, I also believe that there exists a happy median between the needs of the site and those of its users. This recent and sudden influx of new users caught existing users by surprise. Some felt neglected by the threads started by the new users. Some existing users' comments came across as less than welcoming, and some new users took offense. And while our beloved resident philosopher Jeff started an awesome thread that calmed everyone down, I still get the sense that some tension persists. I created this site because I love running as much as I enjoy programming. Oftentimes, I receive feedbacks from thankful users, and I would remind them that it's the users that make this site special. The perfect example is the forums. Over the years, a culture developed in RA where civility is expected and seen from everyone. It doesn't matter if you just started running or have been running your entire life. It doesn't matter if you are a sub-3 or a 6 hour marathoner. Everyone in the forums has an equal voice. Inevitably, there will be heated arguments, but so far everyone has remained cordial and has let any disagreement end with the thread. Even though the New Year is still several days away, let's start anew now. You are not refugees and there are no immigrants on this site. We're a community of runners and everyone is welcomed to share their experiences. I would also like to formally welcome all the new users to RunningAHEAD. I am fully committed to making it the best training log available on the internet. Have a happy and healthy New Year everyone! eric Smile


    Dog-Love

      I heart you Eric! Smile I'll tell you again...come to Juneau...I will serve you salmon!
      Run like you are on fire! 5K goal 24:00 or less (PR 24:34) 10K goal 50:00 or less (PR 52:45) HM goal 1:55:00 or less (PR 2:03:02) Marathon Goal...Less than my PR (PR 4:33:23)


      A Dance with Monkeys

        And I'll buy you a beer if'n you make it down to Nashville! Kudos to Eric!!
          I started with RA recently and I missed any resentment from the existing users -- all I have seen is open arms. Great site, Eric.

          Lou, (aka Mr. predawnrunner), MD, USA | Lou's Brews | lking@pobox.com


          Gandalf the Grey

            And I'll buy you a beer if'n you make it down to Nashville! Kudos to Eric!!
            ... I agree ... top marks to Eric ... let us hope for a great 2008 for RA and for our own personal running goals (as we are ALL runners!). Smile Eric - there is always a place to stay and a meal waiting for you in the UK! Smile Neil UK Smile

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

              Eric, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this matter. Ken
              atmparis2008


                Eric,I'd just like to say ' Thank you' for making this site available. P. S.If you make it far enough north in the UK, I'll make you haggis. * Relax! I won't make you eat it....*


                ...And I do.

                  Thanks, Eric Smile I am one that came over from CR. No anger with them and totally ready and willing to integrate into RA. Your community members ROCK! I feel so at home here and am looking for ways to make new friends here! Thanks for your post and your heart. PS -- I'd offer you Northern California salmon but "Alaska salmon" probably can't be beat. Big grin Well, if you come to my neck of the woods, I'll take you Bigfoot hunting -- We DO have a Bigfoot museum in my little hamlet of 7000 people -- Seriously --LOL!
                    Hi Eric and everyone else at RA, I disagree that this huge influx has been hardest on the folks migrating from coolrunning/active. I think it must have been hardest on you, Eric. You were great at putting in the time to import logs (including mine) from coolrunning into RA - and just before Xmas madness hit it's peak too. I've been very impressed. I have also been pleasantly surprised to discover how welcoming the long established RA people have been to new people like me. Again I am very impressed. I am very happy to have discovered the RA website and to be a part of this community. John

                    John
                    www.wickedrunningclub.com
                    I run to clear my head and talk to my friends.


                    Needs more cowbell!

                      Eric and RA (the site and its members) are the best! Had it not been for finding this site I am certain that I would have quit running long ago. Instead I see myself as more than just a person who runs for fitness...I run to beat my PRs and complete at least one marathon--things that were never goals of mine prior to making myself at home here. Smile k

                      Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                      '14 Goals:

                      • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                      tkvande


                        Eric, Thank you for all your hard work. As another poster noted, you imported my log during the busy Christmas season with nary a problem and in a timely fashion. I am most grateful to you for that and for everyone in the forums. I'm happy to offer you a beer on Beale Street in Memphis should you so desire! Thor


                        Speculum Wrangler

                          I've been here about a month - Eric imported my log the day I sent it to him. The long-time RA folks have been friendly and welcoming. I love the features in my new running log! To the new RA'ers: Please consider clicking the Pay Pal link and sending Eric a little something to help keep this site going. Smile

                          Jeanne

                          Kid


                            Long overdue thanks Eric. Your site has allowed me to truly be proud of my efforts. What used to be a 4 or 5 day-a-week habit has turned into a full blown addiction. Because of your bar chart summary, I can't bring myself to miss a day and see a blank spot on the chart. Such issues, huh? Thanks again for what you do. I deeply appreciate it. Happy New Year!


                            i'm lovin' it... MM#1949

                              Thanks so much Eric and RA for the warm welcome and your enthusiastic dedication. This is a very runner friendly site and I find it very refreshing with all the options available. RA's handling of CR log uploading into your excellent log was first class. Excellent communication and flawless execution! You have handled the influx remarkably well. With any big change there will be bumps in the road but it will smooth out with time. Thanks! Steve
                              Perch's Profile "I don't know if running adds years to your life, but it definitely adds life to your years." - Jim Fixx "The secret is to make in your mind possible what was not possible before. The secret is to make easy what was difficult, instead to make difficult what really is easy." - Coach Renato Canova
                              bridgerunner


                              laced up!

                                Eloquently written Eric. It may help to remember that at one time we were all beginners, and every adventure that we embark constitutes yet another beginning. In other words, there is not an end to a beginning as long as you allow yourself to continuously evolve Smile !!