Thursday, 20 December 2007

Trail Bait

So the latest incarnation of the Trail website is up and the bugs are slowly being ironed out. It's arrival was greeted by much hoo-ha and wringing of hands. Toys were tossed out of the pram and folk hoisted their petticoats and left, vowing never to return. But, of course, they did. Such anguish over what is, after all, a free resource. I've never seen the like.

The Trail-haters on OM were gifted a sitter but even they failed to run with it. Changed days.

The site isn't what I expected but I sort of like it in a retro, back to the late nineties when the internet was young, kind of way. I thought it would be flashier and more like the magazine, which is looking fairly slick these days, but it's not. I can't help feeling that they've dropped the ball a bit and perhaps missed a golden opportunity to pull in more readers. If, indeed, that's what the plan was.

But then I could say the same about TGO. Last time I looked, the forum was quiet and full of spam.
I think for a magazine to thrive these days, it needs a strong web presence. Neither Trail nor TGO have that. Not yet, at least.


TGO's alliance with Outdoorsmagic was working well for a time. Chris Townsend, John Manning and Cameron McNeish were fairly regular contributors and that was a good thing. I bought many issues of the mag as a result of some of the threads on OM. But they slipped away and set up shop on their own. A shame as OM is still the best outdoors-related website out there.

I'll watch with interest how the sites develop over the next wee while. I might even contribute from time to time because that's what it's all about; folk contributing and keeping the forums alive.

Success depends on keeping the punters engaged and you can't do that with a half-arsed website.

4 comments:

ptc* said...

Aye, the Trail forum is slow and it's difficult to navigate between threads. I hope it hasn't burst the wee community that was forming there.
I liked it, the atmosphere was enthusiastic, and we can be a cynical bunch on OM.

TGOs site, jeez. The moderator gets occasionaly woken by a passing tumbleweed and gets to delete some of the viagra or Nike ads before slipping away again. They should have stuck with OM, it worked well for us listeners.

Mad Jim said...

I'd only just discovered the place when they changed it so it wasn't much of a shock for me, but it clearly was for some folk.

It looks like they bought a site template and then tried to shoehorn things into it. It's awful but slowly getting more usable at least. :O)

I wonder what the Country Walking folk make of it.

Big Kev said...

I'm slowly getting used to it but even wee sites like ScottishHills kick its' arse. Trail disnae even have a decent domain name :o)

I forget Country Walking's there as well so I'll need to pop in for a look.

They are indeed an enthusiastic bunch at Trail tho', so I suspect that in the long run all will be well.

They've got some great Trolls in there too, btw. :o)

ptc* said...

Oh aye, indeed they do...