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7818 Views 22 Replies Latest reply: Mar 20, 2009 9:48 AM by mmilholen 1 2 Previous Next
davecamire Amateur 87 posts since
Sep 27, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 18, 2007 8:00 PM

The transition from CR's viewpoint

Hi folks,

 

My name is Dave Camire and I am one of the co-founders of Cool Running. Kevin Molloy and I started this business almost thirteen years ago and our mission has been to supply the best information and tools available and offer a friendly environment to our users.

 

For those of you who have been with us from the beginning, you have witnessed the enormous changes and growth in our site. I fondly remember our first month of operation we received 200 hits and we were thrilled. During our busiest month this year we received over 89 million hits and the site welcomed over 2.3 million visitors. Now that's growth!

 

However with growth comes challenges and one of ours was supporting an infrastructure that would keep pace with the enormous amount of users we were servicing. Kevin performed miracles by keeping the CR server operational despite the increased load; however band aids will only carry you so far.

 

By the end of 2006 we were frequently being forced to reboot our system. This often took place in the early morning hours so hopefully it was not obvious when our site was down. Our running logs as designed were also unable to handle the load. We also knew the existing software would not handle many of the features users were requesting on a regular basis.

 

So with our server maxed, our software prehistoric and our registration system broken we knew it would be impossible to continue the status quo. So with the help of the Active engineering team we embarked on an ambitious project to fix it. BTW both Kevin and I are still heavily involved with Cool Running. I serve as the senior editor of the site and Kevin is a frequent technical consultant. I feel strongly that we (Cool Running and Active) have not abandoned our original mission.

 

This brings us to today. Our goal was to establish the most stable, feature rich, robust community and tools for our community. Overall the transition went well, but we all fully recognize that there are serious issues that need to be addressed. We are listening to all the feedback and working hard to respond with solutions.

 

I would like to ask that you just give us a chance. Rest assured there are many folks at CR and Active that worked nights and weekends to manage the transition and are now redoubling efforts to get folks to a good place. I sincerely hope that you will stick with us and show your continued support as we work through this transition.

 

Thanks for listening,

 

Dave Camire

Co-founder

www.coolrunning.com

  • kcuster124 Rookie 1 posts since
    Dec 7, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Dec 18, 2007 8:34 PM (in response to davecamire)
    Re: The transition from CR's viewpoint

    I appreciate the sentiment Dave, but as an ex-IT Project Manager, to put it succinctly, the transition was absolutely blown.  It needed to be seamless and it wasn't.  It was delayed for a while (probably for good reason) , pressure was applied and the decision was made to move forward.  Now you will see the consequences in lost users.  Thankfully someone has posted a workaround to retrieve the data being held hostage.  I've got mine and am now shopping for a new log.  Adios, thanks for the good years.

  • live4winter Rookie 8 posts since
    Sep 30, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Dec 18, 2007 8:49 PM (in response to davecamire)
    Re: The transition from CR's viewpoint

     

    Dave,

     

     

    The heartfelt apology and explanation are much appreciated, I can't beleive however that your were very in touch with the users of the old training log.  This "feature rich" idea is a bunch of hooey.  The one feature you forgot to insure was ease of use and ease of viewing your data.  Also the inability to download your data coupled with the "gottcha by the balls" 9.95/month for anything extra sure lead one to think this is driven by nothing more than $$$$$$  Newbies will eat this stuff up though, but you probably already knew that.

     

     

  • leendert Rookie 6 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Dec 18, 2007 10:44 PM (in response to davecamire)
    Re: The transition from CR's viewpoint

    I admire the efforts to improve the site, but losing data when moving from one log format to another is an absolute no-no. I'm appreciative of the years of great service from Cool Running, but the key draw to CR for me previously was the logging ability. The inability to log custom workouts and the loss of previously stored workouts that are not one of the pre-selected workouts on the Active.com calendar system has forced me to search for alternatives. I regret the great loss of users for CR/Active, but the Active site feels like it is too aggressively in trying to monetize the user base from CR.

     

    Through a bit of investigation I was able to download my previously logged data from CR. I was pleasantly surprised that RunningAHEAD performs a flawless import of all this data and offers a wider array of features. RunningAHEAD is done by a guy in his spare time.

     

    If I were in Active/CR position right now, to stop any further bleeding of users to other sites, I would re-enable the CR logging. I'm fully aware that this may create inconsistencies between the CR and Active log databases, but I think you agree that the user base is the most valuable part of your site. I doubt it is possible to fix all the shortcomings in the Active logging system in reasonable time - this move-over should have been delayed until you had at least a feature match between the CR log and Active log. I suppose Active was too eager to see a greater return on the large user base that frequented Cool Running and could not wait any longer?

  • Lee4545 Rookie 25 posts since
    Aug 27, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Dec 19, 2007 1:22 AM (in response to davecamire)
    Re: The transition from CR's viewpoint

    Dave:

     

    I have been using coolrunning for 4 years everyday for logging runs and tons of crosstraining.

     

    You sold out -thats fine congrats on that..but in the meatime you have screwed your loyal customers.

     

     

    The value for most coolrunners was the log. Without the log CR would never have been such a success.

     

     

    I cant beleive that you bent over backwards allowed Actrive to subsitute the best part of your former site with this crap log.

     

     

    I would entreat you to ask Active.com higher ups to give us access to both logs- the old CR log which is a very simple log and the AT log.

  • MrPHinNJ Amateur 139 posts since
    Oct 10, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Dec 19, 2007 5:19 AM (in response to davecamire)
    Re: The transition from CR's viewpoint

     

    Dave,

     

     

    Let me first say thank you for your comments. 

     

     

    Speaking for myself, I don't have a problem with the forums moving to a new platform.  Things change and we adjust.  I keep my running log local so I cannot speak about those problems.

     

     

    The problem was all execution (or lack thereof), which was compounded by how Active reacted to the problems.  First there was silence, then when some folks from Active did appear all they did was paste a standard response in a number of threads.  They would have been better off keeping their silence.

     

     

    It's all about setting the customer's expectations and then meeting or exceeding them.  Active is doing neither.

     

     

     

     

     

  • runforyourlife123 Amateur 63 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Dec 19, 2007 5:45 AM (in response to davecamire)
    Re: The transition from CR's viewpoint

     

    Dave:

     

     

    If you really care about where all of this will head, please give me straight answers to two questions:

     

     

    Did you really think that all the coolrunning uers would happily adopt the Active Trainer log?

     

     

    Is there any chance at all that the old coolrunning log will be back?

     

     

    Thanks!

     

     

  • Lee4545 Rookie 25 posts since
    Aug 27, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Dec 19, 2007 6:47 AM (in response to davecamire)
    Re: The transition from CR's viewpoint

    As I stated in my original post we had serious structural issues with the old log and forum. I would prefer that we incorporate the input we are receiving into the new log. This is probably not the answer you wanted, but it's the truth.This is such poor rational. I almost never ever had issues on my end with what was the best online log for running and cross trainging log available online -the old CoolRunning log.

    Stop making ridiculous statements like that..you didnt move away from the old log becuase of technical issues you were co-opted by your new boss/partner. Your repeated excuse for this is stale and silly.

     

    I had no issues with the old log. IF you did have any issues with the old CR it would be nothing that couldnt be fixed especially with the backing of a new deep pocketed partner like Active. Face it Dave you sold out for money thats all you cared about- it is obvious. This new log is so unusable -how did you approve to this ? Did you spend any time yourself with or actually tested it with serious athletes?

     

     

    You have switched us over to a real clunker. Hope you at least some serious money off of this because ..you sold your old users down the river..

     

     

     

    I just paid $9.95 for monthly for premium access to the AT log it's basic functionality is no better than the crappy free version.

     

     

    Also no one has answered any of my comments on the current issues with your log.

     

     

    Sorry to hear that you are not going to be attempting to use the old CR code. You have screwed your old customer base just so know.

     

     

    How long do we have to wait for this log to become usable??

     

     

    If I dont see improvements I wil be asking for a refund by the end of this week.

     

     

    Get together with your corporate buddies you sold out to and release the CR log code to the public.

  • runforyourlife123 Amateur 63 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Dec 19, 2007 7:11 AM (in response to davecamire)
    Re: The transition from CR's viewpoint

     

    Thanks for responding Dave.  I think I will join the others and flee.

     

     

    You had a great running log and now you choose not to use it.

     

     

    I run 3-4 times a week and that was your opportunity to get a chance to interact with me.  You are choosing to no longer provide a useful place to do that.

     

     

    I can check back in a few months - but Dave, I was only here to log my runs - if you take that way, there is no reason for me to be here and see whatever else there is to offer.

     

     

    I really think you lost sight of why people came to your site.

     

     

    Thanks again - for now it's off to runningahead.com or running2win or whatever else I can find - they seem to be doing great business picking up the customers you are choosing not to serve anymore.

     

     

    Bye!

     

     

  • bizenyaki Rookie 93 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Dec 19, 2007 7:11 AM (in response to davecamire)
    Re: The transition from CR's viewpoint

    Thanks for the explanation but for me the results don't make it worth sticking around.  I really liked CR - great log, great forums.  The main problem with the new site - as many people have pointed out - is that you took a great training log for runners and replaced it with a log that's designed for "Active" people - and that doesn't work well for runners.

     

    The result, as you've seen, is lots of people voting with their feet to find other, better running logs that are available free online.  I'm using Runners World's log, which is pretty darn good (exactly the same as RunningAHEAD - I just don't worry that Rodale's going to sell out to anyone).  I'll check back to see if there's any improvement in the next week or so, but after that, I'll be gone from the logs.

     

    AND, I expect that when you start bleeding off people who use the running log, you're going to bleed off people who would contribute to the forums, making this whole site just that much more irrelevant to me.  I see that now - the forums are empty of any interesting comment.

     

    Maybe this whole thing makes sense for CR & Active from a business point of view - I don't see how because I imagine you're bleeding users, but hey it's your company.

     

    Thanks for providing what was a great site for runners and for running information.  I really enjoyed it.

  • dgtray Rookie 128 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Dec 19, 2007 10:13 AM (in response to davecamire)
    Re: The transition from CR's viewpoint

    To call this anything but a disaster is ridiculous. How can you say that you'll wait and assess in two months and expect all of the smoke to clear? There is nothing about active trainer that is useful and it is virtually impossible to navigate the combined active and cool running site. You are ultimately responsible for the transition and  should be absolutely ashamed about the performance of your IT team.

  • Irongal Rookie 3 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Dec 19, 2007 10:29 AM (in response to davecamire)
    Re: The transition from CR's viewpoint

    I am in agreement with everyone else's posts.  I lost crucial data that I entrusted to CR.  I wouldn't mind a new log IF and ONLY IF my old log would have transferred in.  I have lots of missing workouts, incomplete workouts....just like the rest.  I have also said goodbye.  It's a shame you couldn't have just boosted your server instead of turning your back on your customer.

  • bobby10022 Rookie 2 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    Dave,

    Well, a failure is a failure is a failure.

    I had my running log with CR for about 5 years - now it's gone...thanks to the "Active" Transition.

    You seem to have sold Active a huge database.

    If you gave a ****, you would allow all us FORMER CR runners access to our CR log so that we can at least

    print out what remains.

    I guess $$$$$ was the motivator for you...can't blame you...but you should have a little decency when it

    comes to the people who made your site sellable.

    COME ON DAVE-don't be such an *******...open up the CR logs again-

     

    try to enjoy the holiday guilt-free

     

    Bobby10022

  • Bud Thurman Amateur 29 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    I 2nd what Bobby's comment. Give us access to our old running logs, so we can gather our information and move on.

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