So I've been doing some thinking. After nearly eight years this site and readership has changed from the 'pre-Facebook' dominated era to a time when Facebook, Twitter and to a less extent Instagram etc are the easy go-to places to connect with others and find out more about subjects like cycling.
What I do defend is, it's not a place for everything about cycling, but cycling in Adelaide, SA and I've tried to keep it limited to that—because let's face it, there's enough going on. Also, after period when group rides were organised under this site's banner, I left it to others to do the in real life meeting up and group ride organising.
Again, like every media outlet is freaked out by Facebook's dominance, group rides have also gravitated to being organised on that platform as have ride reports/debriefs. The groups who still use AC as their main platform are more than welcome to keep doing so.
So what's the role of this site now? I've decided to experiment with sharing more news stories. I often see great stories from the wider Adelaide cycling community and share on Twitter, but not here. I'm going to do a bit of tinkering with layout and how the parts of the site work but in short:
The Adl_Cyclists Twitter feed is now embedded so you can see at a glance the latest. It also auto feeds new forum posts. It's on the top left but might move.
What was formerly know as blogs will now become News with its own menu. A place for news stories created in the most by me or sent to me via email, DM or Twitter. They'll display in chronological order, comments enabled. The first 10 or so are posted at the bottom of the main page. I imagine this module will move to a more prominent place. The idea is readers can drop in, see some current news, check any updates from members and get a basic update of what's going on. This would cover all riding—racing, commuting, advocacy, local business, events etc.
Then there's Strava. Should the feed of the Adelaide Cyclists group on Strava be embedded so readers can see where people are riding?
More to come. Comments welcome about the future and what role it can play, not so much the 'good ol' days'.
Replies are closed for this discussion.
Good work with these tweaks, it's a nice sensible refresh.
If I was to make one suggestion, it would be to pay close attention to what is on the front page. If people need to click through other pages to go to what they access most often, it's not serving its purpose as the main foyer of the site.
why not...some with love it...others will hate it..at least you are being active with the site.
resource links and info sources section of any use??
i have a stack of links I use for research and keeping up to date on things, others might find it handy instead of having to trawl for their own etc..
some examples listed below...
review sites like Dc RAinmaker
tech site like shimano tech docs
info sites like bikerumour.com...bikeradar
Gear selection calculators etc
Thanks. Good points.
I guess with links is a lot of them are popular and what makes Adelaide Cyclists a bit unique to any other cycling site is it's about local things. Saying that, there is a menu above with the title Members, it should really be Links or Resources, like to this water tap map. Also, I must link to the Gawler Wheeler's linksthat Wilson put together. They'd make all other lists weep.
Love your work Gus. always thinking..
Do you have a strong sense of what brings people to AC? Survey?
That's a good idea. Those things are easy to set-up and run now.
Maybe because I'm stuffing about.
Great ideas Gus. I use this site a lot for the news and information.
In relation to your comments about news about rides, I have two suggestions. I normally ride with a couple of mates and I organise the routes we ride. I could share where we ride and advertise the starting time and place. Others may be interested in doing the same. This is not meant in any way to "cut the lunch" of the more formal groups, who do a wonderful job. This would be less formal. Also, at the very least, other cyclists could use this as a reference for possible rides for themselves if we included the Ride with GPS address of the ride [or whatever tracking app we use].
Secondly, I have discovered that in Adelaide there are so many cyclists riding such wonderful roads. Could there be on this site some sort of electronic "library" of routes? Say we wanted to ride a 100km ride in the hills with lots of steep hills, could there be a place where we could look for rides to match? I know there are great sites that explain and tell us about individual hills. These are brilliant. I am suggesting perhaps whole rides catalogued in some fashion to be used as a source.
Just a few thoughts Gus. Maybe they are not practical. Keep up the wonderful work on this site.
or just link to good sites already doing that. at least AC would be the starting point to look..even if it is for resources on what site to get that info..
I do like the idea of a library of routes. It would be endless, however, I will think about how to do it. It might just be a post where users can link to their routes on Map My Ride or Strava etc or offer the TCX files for upload. Then I could mine them all and put them into a good format. Or maybe create a submission form that I can offer as a PDF or spreadsheet.
As for rides. Those bigger groups like Gawler Wheelers started out by someone saying, 'anyone want to join me for a ride'. You're welcome to put an invite out as a post if an event is a bit too strong. I could create a discussion category called 'rides'. It might be that I shake up the way discussions are displayed—that is I show them by category not chronological as they are now.
The other thing to do if you like is to write about the route you rode highlighting the best parts and even share the route. Then you could say that you'll be doing it again in three weeks and anyone is welcome to join you. Ask them to leave a comment on your page or send you a DM so you can update them later.
Thanks for the feedback.
Gus and all, thanks for all the work you put into this site for the rest of us that makes it a valuable place to visit regularly. The posts and comments are almost all thoughtful and well considered. I've learned a lot about our roads and riding opportunities here.
One suggestion, would be about the mobile interface - tracking through threads with multiple layers is pretty hard. On my ph the links to open 'replies' and return to a higher level don't always work well. Not sure if there's a solution to this or if it is in the scope of what you're intending.
Again - thanks.