What’s going on at HillRunner.com?

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

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A lot of things are happening all the time at HillRunner.com. Some are big enough to warrant their own blog post to cover, such as the recent return of more widespread ads (also covered below). Others are small enough to not warrant their own blog posts.

I’d like to occasionally round up some of the recent changes that are big enough to mention but not big enough for their own blog post. Here’s my first attempt at doing so.

Training log features for Club HillRunner.com members

I’ve placed a significant focus recently on the training log. Right now, the benefits are primarily but not solely limited to Club HillRunner.com members.

The biggest changes have been the addition of some visual elements (charts) to help you visualize your training trends over days, weeks, and months. More of these are coming for Club HillRunner.com members and, in time, some will most likely make it to the general public.

Usability improvements in training log and calculators

Some changes have been made for usability, such as drop-downs in place of free form text fields when entering times.

Social links

You may have noticed more social links all around HillRunner.com. Three changes have been made in this regard.

First, currently on every page of HillRunner.com, you can find social follow and social share links. I hope you will find that this makes it easier to find HillRunner.com on a few of the most popular social networks, as well as to share the content here on those networks.

Second, I made it even easier to share blog posts by placing social share links immediately after a post. So it’s very easy once you’re done reading a post to share with your friends.

Finally, you may have noticed that there are now Facebook and Twitter links following my name on post pages and in the comments of the blogs. If you update your profile, you can have those links after you name if you wish. I hope this will allow the community here to connect on social networks more easily if you wish to do so.

Readability

I made a few changes to improve the readability to HillRunner.com. Primarily, what this means is that you’ll see more white space. It’s been shown that more space between lines of text makes the text easier to read and generally easier on the eyes. I don’t want you to have to scroll to read a single sentence but I do want to make sure your reading experience is as pleasant as possible.

There have also been some other cosmetic changes. Almost all focused on making reading HillRunner.com easier but also some just to make HillRunner.com more attractive.

Anti-spam measures

Registration may require a little more work than previously due to attempts to keep members from registering. Also, since most spam was coming through via replies to forum topics, replies will not be allowed after a topic has been quiet for 7 days.

As has been the case for some time, members will have to wait a day after registering before making a new blog post. In addition, guests are welcome and encouraged to comment on blog posts but all guest comments are moderated to prevent spam.

Ads

Finally, ads are back. I already posted about this when they made their return but I wanted to address this again because I realize it is a big deal.

I hate ads as much as you do. I probably hate ads on HillRunner.com more than you do. However, I do have to pay the bills and I think it’s unfair to ask a small number of people (those I coach and Club HillRunner.com members) to take the full burden for something that everyone benefits from. So I decided to create a three-tier structure for ads to ensure everyone helps in some way.

Tier 1: Club HillRunner.com members (which includes those I coach) will get an ad free experience. You’ve already pitched in and I’m very grateful for your support.

Tier 2: Registered and logged on members will see ads on certain pages roughly half of the time. By taking the time to register and log in, you’ve shown loyalty to HillRunner.com and I want to show my appreciation for that.

Tier 3: Anyone who is not logged on will see ads all the time on certain pages. I do truly appreciate your taking the time to visit HillRunner.com and I hope you don’t find the ads overwhelming. I just need to ask you to chip in to help pay the bills.

Note: I have overridden things to place myself in tier 3. I did this so I get constant reminders of what you see and of why I want to keep the ads to a minimum.

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