Sunday, April 11, 2010

G-day minus 68/ Dye or Die: save the stat

Wow, well its been a while. My bad. Lets see, what have you missed? Well, for one, I got back to marathon training milage this week, which is generally anywhere above 50 mpw. I did 52, and it was a struggle. The running not so much, but just finding time to get the miles in was an uphill battle. It was Initiation week for Iota Tau last week, and that took up a lot of time. As an active you had a lot more to do- plan who's doing what, set up the events, watch the pledges in the library, all that stuff. Even though we got done with the nightly events earlier- midnight instead of 1a for my pledge semester, it was still a headache. Don't get me wrong, I loved it, but it was a time crunch. I ended up pulling three all nighters including initiation night itself, and I was just worn out. It was a satisfying worn out though; I couldn't be more proud. I got the milage in, Wednesday and Thursday were tough though. I completely bombed my tempo run on Thursday, but came back strong on Saturday. Friday was an off day obviously because Initiation started Friday afternoon and went into Saturday. Saturday

I went down Iglehart until I couldn't anymore, then instead of merging onto Marshall, I ran on the railroad to get to Concordia, then ran Marshall down to UST. I heard running on railroad tracks was awesome because there was some law passed in the 1800's saying that train tracks couldn't be at more than a 10% grade. It was pretty easy going, you just had to make sure you lengthened your stride so you didn't step awkwardly on a tie. Yes, I know, running on active train tracks is dangerous, but honestly, how are you going to miss a train? They're big, loud, and slow. Today I went 16, and it was awesome. I had some trouble getting up in the morning, but it was an absolutely gorgeous day. I went up the Minneapolis side of the river, through the West Bank of the U of M campus, and wound my way around to Target Field before crossing the river and going home. Awesome. You know what else is awesome? my Ghost 2's are on their way to my mailbox.

So, whats all this about saving the stat? well, DyeStat track talk is under attack from the massive multimillion dollar corporate conglomerates. ESPN, who owns DyeStat, is planning to migrate Track Talk to the ESPN/Rise forums. Why is this a bad thing? well, the ESPN/Rise forums look like they're straight outta the '90's. The boards themselves couldn't be more awkward and un- user friendly. Instead of Track Talk where the content is displayed vertically, on the Rise forums its displayed horizontally. Adding to the confusion, to see replies to a topic, you have to keep hitting the 'x replies' button at the bottom of the post. Maybe I'm articulating it badly, but i just don't like the ESPN forums. They're far inferior to DyeStat, which begs the question: why doesn't ESPN just slap a logo on the current Track Talk forum and call it good? honestly, there's probably going to be a higher return rate in terms of members (and therefore revinue) the less they change.

When I've emailed ESPN/Rise, I got the normal cookie cutter answer of 'bear with us, we're working on adding features, but give us a chance.' That's fine, you can add all the features they want, but would a DyeStat by any other name ever smell so sweet? probably not. Even if they clone every feature of DyeStat on ESPN, it still won't be the DyeStat we know and love. ESPN doesn't have a clue. Look around. Your attempts of creating message boards and fostering community for big market sports have failed; look at your football and basketball message boards and you can see that nobody cares. The Track Talk community has been dealt a major blow. Another great resource for runners has given way to a media giant that doesn't give two s***s about our sport. Corporate greed and pursuit of profit once again rules the day. Attention ESPN: look around. Actually look at what the members of Track Talk have to say. No one wants this and by continuing on you are alienating the very fan base you are looking to court. No doubt, DyeStat must have cost you guys a lot of money, so why are you wasting it by completely moving sites?

Most of the members of Track Talk won't move over to your site, thats a fact that I think no one can blame them for. Inferior boards with inferior functions combined with inferior coverage and a historic neglect for the sport of track is a recipie for disaster. Face it, its a lose- lose, unless ESPN lets the Track Talk forum be. I can't imagine waking up in the morning and going to a mass produced message board and reading mass produced track coverage written by some cushy executive in Bristol. No, I'd rather read what's actually happening in track, thank you.

I'll stay loyal to the 'Stat until the end, but if if comes to that, maybe we can petition Flotrack to start a message board.

Dye or Die!

Disclaimer: The training part of my post, the first two paragraphs, were written Sunday night, 4/11. The rest was written on 4/13

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