General Discussion Triathlon Talk » IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...) Rss Feed  
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2023-10-04 10:11 AM

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Master
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Columbus, Ohio
Coaching member
Subject: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)
Hello all -

For those who don't know me, I'm Alice, the owner of BeginnerTriathlete. I bought the website from the founder, Ron Shea.
When I bought it, it seemed there was potential for outside advertising and increased memberships, and I could turn it around and make it into a more successful business, after it experienced a downturn.

I did have the new logo created, and made some design changes for the sake of modernization, and I've kept the features up and running, such as the Training Logs and the forums and mentor groups.

Some things had been easier to maintain as a family business (Ron's wife used to painstakingly update the race calendar manually, and I haven't had the revenue to pay someone to do that work.)

To be completely transparent, when I started, I used to be able to pull a little revenue from the company to reimburse the time I spent on it. It's been a few years since that has been true. I've been running the site as a side hustle that doesn't pay anything, and the funds we receive from Performance Memberships and occasional advertising goes to pay for hosting the server, keeping the technology upgraded, and paying for little added software for things like logging in and syncing things up.

The industry of triathlon has had its twists and turns as well, and has fallen off from its high point, although USAT's efforts to make triathlon a high school sport may turn that around.

Meanwhile our paid memberships have dropped to the point that they aren't paying for the cost of keeping the website running.

I know a lot of people here have DECADES of training history stored on the site.

We can either have a decent number of people voluntarily upgrade to Gold, or I need to implement a minimum fee for using any of the Training Logs, Training Plans, etc.

I'd love to hear feedback and ideas, even if it's negative. I know I haven't done all of the things I could have been doing to build things up.

People have offered to buy the website, but in most cases they were planning to subsume the site into their existing business, and dismantle much of it and use it for the ability to sell their products or services to this audience. I don't want to do that. I'd like to maintain things as they are, but as we all know, costs are going up for everything.

Thoughts?


2023-10-04 1:13 PM
in reply to: 0

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Expert
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Middle River, Maryland
Silver member
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)

Alice,

First of all I appreciate what you have done over the past 5? 6? years keeping BT afloat, and I know it's a PITA and you didn't exactly expect to retire early on the revenue.  If it weren't for you buying it, likely it would be gone like a few other forums that went poof in the night.  So thanks for that.

I'm one of those decades-long subscribers to the training logs (and equally as important, race logs), though I have been at least a Bronze member for as long as I can remember.  No issue from me if you need to raise pricing/levels to make ends meet.  Hell, with what I spend on triathlon equipment and other subscriptions like Zwift, Training Peaks, and Trainer Road, BT is a rounding error. 

I hope you get a positive response to your outreach.

ETA:  I knew this was coming at some point, am surprised it didn't come earlier and I'm thankful it wasn't in the form of "domain not found" error.



Edited by jmhpsu93 2023-10-04 1:15 PM
2023-10-05 7:18 AM
in reply to: jmhpsu93

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Master
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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)

Following

2023-10-05 8:33 AM
in reply to: alicefoeller

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Alpharetta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)

BTer since 2005 here. While I had to 'retire' from triathlons last year, I'm still on the site keeping up with friends and logging as a journal of sorts. With 18 years of history on this site, it's fascinating to look back on all of the phases of my life through my training blog.

With that said, I would likely not pay a fee to keep what's essentially a blogging feature. I'd be sad to see it go of course, but most of the BT friends I've made here, I'm also connected with on other platforms. And goodness, those friendships are treasured. 3 of the 40 guests at my wedding just 2 months ago were BTers ... lifelong friends because of this site. Cheers to BT, and best of luck with the decision.

2023-10-05 9:24 AM
in reply to: alicefoeller

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Champion
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Bronze member
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)

Thanks Alice.

I joined in 2005, and while I haven’t competed for several years, I still keep up on BT. 

for me, I’d subscribe annually (bronze level?) rather than monthly. I don’t have anything paid automatically, so a monthly charge is less desirable than annual. 

Mike

2023-10-05 11:42 AM
in reply to: alicefoeller

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Master
2484
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Atlanta, Georgia
Gold member
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)
The site has value to me as training log of my last 18 years + race results over that same period. Towards the purpose of continuity, I would upgrade my membership.


2023-10-06 1:48 PM
in reply to: alicefoeller

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Whizzzzzlandia
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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)

I joined BT 3/17/2004. We're coming up on 20 years of BT for me! 

I met my husband here, I met A LOT of friends here, virtually and IRL. 

I really want to keep the lights on over here, so I could happily upgrade to whatever you want me to upgrade to. 

2023-10-06 9:47 PM
in reply to: Whizzzzz

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Master
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Eugene, Oregon
Bronze member
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)
Not sure. It would depend on cost. On the one hand, I have years of logs here (probably 13 or 14?), and I really like the graphs and yearly totals, which are not as easy to get on Training Peaks (where I also log). I really relied on BT in my early years in the sport for information, camaraderie, and training plans, as I was living in a place (Vietnam) where for a time I was one of the only triathletes I knew. I continue to value the connections I've made here. But at this point I'm paying for TP, master's swimming, and (at least much of the past several years) a tri coach, and, along with the cost of equipment, races and travel to races, it really adds up. Much as I'd like to support the site, it would have to be a fairly low charge for me to justify it.
2023-10-07 10:15 AM
in reply to: 0

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Extreme Veteran
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Colorado
Bronze member
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)
I've been here since 2005! So I, too, have lots and lots of logs and data I'd be sad to lose. But I would not pay any fees to continue using BT, sadly. It feels so quiet here compared to what it used to be. I try to continue to connect with others by using the inspires but I rarely hear back. The forums are also very different. It's just not the same community or vibe for me as it was when I joined (and did pay for a membership, because it was easy to see the value then). I appreciate the transparency about where BT is at financially, and best of luck on whatever direction you decide to take it!

Edited by smarti 2023-10-07 10:16 AM
2023-10-07 1:26 PM
in reply to: alicefoeller

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Royal(PITA)
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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)

I have been here since 2006, I have a lot of logging and information in my log that I don't have anywhere else. I stopped racing in 2016 I think because the injuries kept coming and I spent more time in PT than I did training. The forums have lost their activity through the years, between people who left or were previously banned from the site and the increased activity of bots posting weird stuff I rarely visit the forums. I keep up with people via the inspires, but I would guess that I am Facebook friends and real life friends with many of these people so we keep up--it's just that our individual logs are great places to mull our thoughts in a place that isn't as public as other blogging sites or may not be appropriate to a post on any other social media outlet.  Would I pay a nominal fee to keep my log? I lean against it, only because that's the only thing I use this site for.  Thanks for the transparency about the potential future here.

2023-10-08 12:02 PM
in reply to: alicefoeller

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Expert
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Evergreen, Colorado
Bronze member
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)

I've been here since 2004 and have years and years of data and thoughts recorded. I don't really use the logs to socialize anymore, and stopped doing triathlons long ago, but I stay because I have yet to find another platform where I can log my workouts and my thoughts in the same space. I'd pay a fee to keep my training log for sure, but would prefer to pay one time per year vs something monthly. 



2023-10-09 9:26 AM
in reply to: Stacers

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Champion
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Whizzzzzlandia
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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)

 I agree, I'd rather pay yearly. 

2023-10-11 9:51 AM
in reply to: 0

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Extreme Veteran
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Colorado
Bronze member
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)
In preparation for likely not having access to my logs for much longer, does anyone know if there's a way to export my logs/data? Even just being able to access yearly totals (for 18 years!) would be great! Thank you!

UPDATE! I figured it out - yay!

Edited by smarti 2023-10-11 9:57 AM
2023-10-11 9:58 AM
in reply to: smarti

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Master
9705
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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)

Originally posted by smarti In preparation for likely not having access to my logs for much longer, does anyone know if there's a way to export my logs/data? Even just being able to access yearly totals (for 18 years!) would be great! Thank you!

  1. Go to your Profile
  2. Scroll town to Training Log Settings
  3. Select Export Log Data, select dates

This will export a CSV that you can then open in Excel, Google Sheets, etc.  One of the fields that is included is "Overall Comments" which appears to be your blog type info.

2023-10-11 10:36 AM
in reply to: Stacers

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Master
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Toronto
Bronze member
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)

Originally posted by Stacers

I've been here since 2004 and have years and years of data and thoughts recorded. I don't really use the logs to socialize anymore, and stopped doing triathlons long ago, but I stay because I have yet to find another platform where I can log my workouts and my thoughts in the same space. I'd pay a fee to keep my training log for sure, but would prefer to pay one time per year vs something monthly. 

Feel the same. I really love the log and some social aspects - would be okay to do pay relatively low dollar but more infrequent (like a bronze membership). I really do appreciate you letting us all know and have a chance to weigh in but also  I think many of us know that web communities and websites don't last forever. 

2023-10-12 11:53 AM
in reply to: juniperjen

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Champion
10018
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, Minnesota
Bronze member
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)

This is pretty important to me regarding data (although I do backup semi-annually) and community.  My log has turned into a journal that I look back at a LOT.  Even when a lot of folks left for Facebook, etc. I kept this going for several reasons.

I'd get a Bronze membership at the $50 rate (prepaid 12 months).   I probably should have, a while ago...   I do also really like the graphs that come with a paid membership.



2023-10-12 9:38 PM
in reply to: 0

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Elite
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Alturas, California
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)
I actually learned about triathlons here in 2001. I have mentored groups for several years and completed 15 Ironmans, Boston, etc. It would be very sad if BT went away. I would be interested in learning what a fee would be to continue to have the webpage with the past 16 years of my life documented here.

Edited by Baowolf 2023-10-12 9:43 PM
2023-10-13 12:42 PM
in reply to: alicefoeller

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Master
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Southwest Chicago 'burbs
Bronze member
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)

Hmm. Thought I had posted here, but perhaps I hit preview and then never submitted? Anywho.

Been a member for a long time here (member 3341!) and 20 years of logs and blogs are worth it to me to save even though I haven't done a triathlon in a very long time. The community here is wonderful and while many of my BT friends are also on Facebook and other places, there's still no other home for my training stats and my ramblings about my life and training and whatever else might be on my mind. I honestly don't know where else I could post the stuff that I post here (even though I understand that this isn't a private site by any stretch, it still feels insulated from the rest of the world).

I would pay to keep the lights on. Like others have said, I'd prefer an annual amount to a monthly subscription.

 

2023-10-14 10:33 AM
in reply to: StartingToTri

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Master
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Granvile, Ohio
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)
I too have been here since 2005. Even though I haven't done a triathlon for 13 years, I like having a space where I can voice my feelings and thoughts in forum that isn't public. I would be willing to pay on an annual or semi-annual basis.
2023-10-14 10:33 AM
in reply to: StartingToTri

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Master
1397
1000100100100252525
Granvile, Ohio
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)
I too have been here since 2005. Even though I haven't done a triathlon for 13 years, I like having a space where I can voice my feelings and thoughts in forum that isn't public. I would be willing to pay on an annual or semi-annual basis.
2023-10-16 11:44 AM
in reply to: alicefoeller

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Master
2759
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Los Angeles, CA
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)
Been a member here since 2011 and I like the training log alot. I post things pretty much every day, hehe. Like some others, I also post stuff that's unrelated to triathlon and like how I can look back at my history every now and then. I'm open to paying an annual fee to help keep the site up.

Roland


2023-10-17 11:55 AM
in reply to: Whizzzzz

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Pro
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St Charles, IL
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)

Originally posted by Whizzzzz

I joined BT 3/17/2004. We're coming up on 20 years of BT for me! 

I met my husband here, I met A LOT of friends here, virtually and IRL. 

I really want to keep the lights on over here, so I could happily upgrade to whatever you want me to upgrade to. 

Wow!  I met my wife on here, and countless friends that I remain close with IRL too. 

I admit that I don't frequent the site very much anymore, as while Triathlon has been a long 20 year run for me and my attentions and sports interests have evolved.  I haven't done a triathlon since before COVID.  I still am training, mostly cycling and running, doing Cross races and Running races.

I do have a lot of my early Tri history catalogued here, so hoping to see that there is a way to keep the community going.

2023-10-22 5:05 PM
in reply to: alicefoeller

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Master
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Bronze member
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)

Hi Alice..

Long time member here (2004) also.Appreciate both your efforts and the opportunity to comment on the future of BT. BT was an absolutely invaluable resource and community in the early days. With the increasing popularity of triathlon and the evolution of social media & internet in general Bt also I think saw its peak but many of us quietly stayed around. I went from first season of a couple of sprints to full Ironmen  over a decade here. As others have said -the community aspect has pretty much dwindled- I think as of now none of my original BT crew are still active here. That being said- the training log & race & gear logs have been a constant for me- I use them to this day. I stopped having a paid membership a while back as I have not done a triathlon in several years- focusing more on trail running ..but I still S-B-R..! As others have said it is unique to have a "safe space" to log workouts-life events & more and I value that a lot. Almost 20 years of living here! I would be willing/interested in an annual maintenance type fee to continue to use them and to be able to go back in time. I also hope that whatever you decide is feasible for the overall site that we may have some way to back up some of those records .As someone else commented- I dont have them anywhere else and they do matter-to me. Thanks again .

Jo

2023-11-02 1:32 PM
in reply to: alicefoeller

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Master
1433
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Calgary, AB
Silver member
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)
Yearly fee, something around bronze would be fine - all the functionality exists in various places (TP, Strava, Connect) but the history, planned workouts, workout plans, hassle of not switching, etc is worth it to me. Maybe further trim down the # of forums.

We have a car forum that's pretty similar in that everyone still on it was there 20 years ago and the hosting/functionality is kept as minimal as possible. Facebook/reddit just can't capture that unfortunately.
2023-11-08 7:12 AM
in reply to: Khyron

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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT: BT needs to start charging a small monthly fee for the Training Log (unless...)
Hi Alice - Hope you are doing well! Any updates on the status of BT and your decision for the future of the site?
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