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attroll
08-13-2007, 12:56
I think we have the journals ready within the next day or two. I however need some feedback on the journals. I talked to the other administrators about this and we are up in the air about the way we should do the subscriptions for journalist.

I have decided for the first year that we will offer journals for anyone that wants a journal on WhiteBlaze that the cost will be $1 for one year as an introductory offer. We would make them free but to make a long story short the reason for the $1 is to establish the credibility of the person that is requesting or subscribing to become a journalist.

I really hate to charge for users to have journals on WhiteBlaze but the reason we are doing this is not for any type of profit. We are expecting that with the use of journals that it will bring more traffic to the web site. This is turn will generate more bandwidth being used and will in turn raise our sever pricing. We are just looking ahead and trying to keep on top of things.

First let me explain that this is only for posting journals on WhiteBlaze. Everyone will be able to view journals.

How should we set the pricing up for this?
What should the lengths be?

I want to keep it as little to nothing as possible but at this time we donít know how much traffic it is going to increase yet because we are just starting this up. I know we can raise the prices later but I want to try and start out at some type of fair pricing and hope we can leave it at that.

Here is my train of thought.
$1 for one year introductory offer
$5/10 for two years of journals, undecided here
$100 for 25 years of journals

Please be honest and help us out here, as I said we really donít want to charge anything at all but we are a growing site with no income except for user donations.

SGT Rock
08-13-2007, 13:34
My suggestion:
Donating members get to create for the duration of their membership. As I understand it the jounral stays up forever (or as long as whiteblaze is around) but the creation access allows them to edit or create pages for journals. So, as long as a person has a donation level membership they get to keep on editing journals.

But for those that don't want to do that (and I can't figure out why they would want a journal and a site membership, but not want to donate) they could pay $5.

SGT Rock
08-13-2007, 13:36
One question while I am thinking about it...

Did we ever get the ability for someone to designate journal transcribers? I was hoping my wife could update my jornal for me next year.

Tha Wookie
08-13-2007, 13:39
Any idea how Trailjournals.com keeps theirs free? They have a prompt on there when you start a new journal that says something like "suggested donation" $35 or something like that. But plently of people keep free journals without donating.

Personally, I would make a package that comes with a journal, a t-shirt, a year of forum perks, and etc.

SGT Rock
08-13-2007, 13:43
My guess is there is enough people that donated to start a journal that it makes up for those that don't.

Tobit
08-13-2007, 13:44
My suggestion:
Donating members get to create for the duration of their membership. As I understand it the jounral stays up forever (or as long as whiteblaze is around) but the creation access allows them to edit or create pages for journals. So, as long as a person has a donation level membership they get to keep on editing journals.

But for those that don't want to do that (and I can't figure out why they would want a journal and a site membership, but not want to donate) they could pay $5.
I agree with Rock's suggestion. I don't see how already donating members should have to pay more for this feature (especially those who are very generous donators).

the goat
08-13-2007, 13:51
i agree along the lines of what rock said.

i think it should be for donating members only: this makes it a simple policy & the user can choose their level of donation. when membership expires, so do journaling privleges.

attroll
08-13-2007, 13:58
Yes, I like Rocks suggestion and to allowing donating members to have free access to become a journalist for the duration on there donation payment.

Maybe that is how we will settle this. We will only allow donating members fo have access to the journal postings and then maybe we could still allow $1 for a year trial period.

I don’t know how Trailjournlas does it. I don’t think they get the traffic we get on this web site and maybe that is how they keep it free with donations. I talked top Lief about this a little at Trail Days and they rent a server and there bandwidth is limited and is set up different then ours. I not going to go into detail on this to much, I will just say we have more traffic and can handle more.

So far after a little feedback I agree with everything and here is what I have so far that I am leaning towards.

$1 for one year trial period
Donating members get access to journals for the time of there donations is active

Any more ideas?

SGT Rock
08-13-2007, 14:03
How about designating journal editors or transcribers?

Alligator
08-13-2007, 14:15
I think it's a good perk for donating members and could help to increase donating members some.

I'm going to suggest the $5 minimum if not a donating member. You'll have people just kicking in the $1 and never returning. It seems the large majority of folks journal their thruhikes. Once that's over, they may never journal again, or it could be years until their next thru.

attroll
08-13-2007, 14:15
How about designating journal editors or transcribers?
Do you think we need to do that?

SGT Rock
08-13-2007, 14:24
Do you think we need to do that?
Well think about the logistics of a thru-hike.

I am starting my 2008 journal as we speak. I plan to make it fairly wired tt before I get started. I create it under my name and set up all the pre-hike information and get the ball rolling. Once I hit the trail next year I will be in town about half a day once or twice a week and probably only get a couple of hours max at a visit on the internet if I try hard. Most of my time will be spent checking the site and e-mail, not journaling. For that I will be mailing home pics and handwritten sheets to my wife so she can update my journal. I imagine that this is the standard situation for the majority of thru-hikers...

Now the only option we have is for me to try and do all my own journal entries as I get to town every so often when that is not my main ambition, OR my wife will have to log in as me with my username and password. In my situation I trust here 100.3% but another hiker may not have that luxury. Imagine starting a hike with your girlfriend as your journalist and then you have a nasty break up because you are out hiking and not with her. She could be spiteful and wreck not only your journal, but everything else about your profile and even make posts as you and create a huge hassle on the site. Not being gender bias I will say the same thing can happen the other way around as well remembering the fact of a member with a nasty divorce situation that came up while she was on the trail as well.

Anyway, what would be good to have is the ability to have a list, like a buddy list, where you could designate someone as an authorized journal maintainer for yourself.

attroll
08-13-2007, 14:25
At this point in time there are not transcriber options. Until we get that worked out you will have to trust your transcriber with you user log in information so that can submit to you journal. That is the only thing we have not completed that I know of so far.

Skidsteer
08-13-2007, 17:36
Question:

So a Donating member uploads his/her journal to WB and everything is hunky dory. Two years later the member stops donating thus losing the ability to edit or add to the journal; But the journal does not 'disappear' unless WB disappears.

Is that correct? Just wanted to clarify as I expect some of the TP folks are wondering.

SGT Rock
08-13-2007, 17:40
That is how I understand it.

Tha Wookie
08-13-2007, 17:54
1. Will there be options to back up journals once entered?

2. Is this a "white blaze" journal site? In other words, what about other trails/routes/adventures than the AT?

3. Will there be ads on the journal pages?

hopefulhiker
08-13-2007, 18:26
Sgt Rock, I know you like pencils and paper, but Pocket Mail is really good for journaling but it does weigh a half a pound...

I think White Blaze journals is great idea but my wife knows that transcribing is a lot of work...

nhalbrook
08-13-2007, 18:49
Agree with the general theme of this discussion.

Suggest charging extra for ability to do more than making journal entries such as post photos and create a data log etc [gear list, photos, stats plus guest book, & etc ala those features on trailjournals.com]. Have thought that the stats could become a valuable datamine for new Whiteblaze articles for someone with an interest in doing that work as well as enable a continuing fleshing out of the existing Data and Schedules articles already on Whiteblaze.

This site just keeps getting better and better!

Nest
08-13-2007, 21:40
I have an idea for the journal transcriber issue Sgt. Rock is talking about. Maybe make a seperate log in for the journals. You can use your usual whiteblaze name or any name you want, and a different password. That way your transcriber can log into your journal, but still does not have site access through your whiteblaze account. Kind of like how I am a member of whiteblaze.net, hammockforums,net, and hikinghq. I can have the same name, or different names for each site, and a different password.

generoll
08-13-2007, 22:55
it seems to me that TJ must have some way of linking email to the journals so that users can post using Pocket Mail. is that correct and if so are you going to give the WB forums that capability?

generoll
08-13-2007, 22:57
while I'm on the topic, the section hiker journals are going away, is that correct? if so, what would we do if we wanted to keep a copy? cut and paste? is it a file that can be downloaded?

attroll
08-13-2007, 23:59
Question:

So a Donating member uploads his/her journal to WB and everything is hunky dory. Two years later the member stops donating thus losing the ability to edit or add to the journal; But the journal does not 'disappear' unless WB disappears.

Is that correct? Just wanted to clarify as I expect some of the TP folks are wondering.
Yes that is correct.


1. Will there be options to back up journals once entered?

2. Is this a "white blaze" journal site? In other words, what about other trails/routes/adventures than the AT?

3. Will there be ads on the journal pages?

1A. The web site gets backed up every night so they will not get lost unless the server blows up or something drastic happens. If your referring to users being able to backup there journals then the answer is not as of right now.

2A. As of right now the journals are just for the Appalachian Trail. Other trails can be added later if we decided to. We will have to discuss that later on after we see how this takes off.

3A. I have not thought about that actually. If your referring to the google ads at the bottom then the answer is yes for the time being.


while I'm on the topic, the section hiker journals are going away, is that correct? if so, what would we do if we wanted to keep a copy? cut and paste? is it a file that can be downloaded?
The section Hiker journals have not been deleted you can access them still at this location http://www.whiteblaze.net/journals/browsecategory.php?c=6. You will have to cut and paste them to the new loaction they we have created. You can view the new location by click on WB Journals in the navbar.

mixinmaster
08-14-2007, 02:19
it seems to me that TJ must have some way of linking email to the journals so that users can post using Pocket Mail. is that correct and if so are you going to give the WB forums that capability?

I do not believe this to be the case, unless a change has come about very recently. The one's I know of that posted using PocketMail still had to have a home based transcriber do the "cut and paste" from PocketMail to the TJ site. That was the hassle if you ask me. It is a hassle to try to self post from the library also. The PocketMail seems to be a great way to journal if you are willing to carry it AND use their service and online journal. With their's you just call the 800 number, place your analog PocketMail to the phone, and "download" the info straight to your PocketMail journal. No transcriber needed. Would be GREAT if there was a way to make that possible here on WB. Even if it cost $10 a month. Give or take. Either way make people donate or pay to have a WB journal. IMO. IMHO.:sun

attroll
08-14-2007, 02:29
it seems to me that TJ must have some way of linking email to the journals so that users can post using Pocket Mail. is that correct and if so are you going to give the WB forums that capability?Trail Journals does not import pocket mail to your journals on there site.

generoll
08-14-2007, 07:13
ok, thanks for clearing that up. i assume then that the journal writers are either emailing their journals to transcribers or posting the info themselves when they get to a computer in a town.

Lucy Lulu
08-14-2007, 11:58
Just a side note for a little investigation if desired...

I believe www.postholer.com (http://www.postholer.com) allows you to post journals and photos directly to their site for any trail without the need of a transcriber. They also have some pretty slick gear and resupply options.

neo
08-14-2007, 12:25
:) i already donate,and i always will donate:cool: neo

postholer.com
08-14-2007, 16:17
I hope this post doesn't get deleted! :)

As someone who built and hosts a journal site, I can tell you cost is not a factor. I figured this out before I went to the effort to create journals at postholer.com. Figure a modest night on the town for a months server rental. If you do the math, 100GB of disk space can host 1000's of journals, literally. Bandwidth is not an issue.

Postholer features (http://postholer.com):

+ Add journal entries/photos by email!!!
+ Embed your journal in your website!
+ Guestbook for your visitors
+ Gear List
+ Trip Planner
+ Training Log
+ Photo Manager
+ Slide Show
+ Extended journal information
+ Different styles for your journal
+ Spell Checker
+ Integrated journal & forum accounts
+ Complete add, edit, delete control over your journal
+ Option to make your journal private, does not appear in searches
+ Multiple journal handling that will blow your mind!
+ Automatic bookmarks for readers - up to 200 journals
+ RSS support for timely notification of journal updates

-postholer

SGT Rock
08-14-2007, 17:14
Nice set up for the journal pages.

caro
08-14-2007, 17:30
I know I am not a donating member and probably my opinion isn't important but, I have recently spent alot of time trying to adopt a rescue Border Collie. they charge a ton, and it's not just for meeting expenses. It is their idea and I agree, if you had to pay for this animal then you would treat it more carefully than a freeby. I think that paying would cause people to be more respectful to the site and to the journal. Don't you go crazy when you are following a journal and are into the whole voyage and suddenly it stops, with no explanation? Maybe if writers were invested in the journal you might clean things up. and explain things that might happen that could end the hike. the nice thing about a WB JOURNAL IS THAT PEOPLE BECOME INVOLVED WITH THE POSTING COMMUNITY AND THAT MIGHT (I am not yelling my new dog turns on caps lock all the time) encourage people to follow-up.

The Weasel
08-14-2007, 19:30
A few belated suggestions:

1) Have both Section Journals as well as for Thrus. The information from Section Journals is as useful as is the rest and sometimes more, since it will come from a more year-round base of travel. Please. Not all of us can do a Thru, but want to put journals up for our sections.

2) Pricing should be a bit more. No one will object. Never undervalue a good product. This is also important. At $1, the risk is that a lot of "non journal" journals get "started".

The Weasel

attroll
08-15-2007, 00:53
For those that have not looked at our journal pages yet you can view them here. They are not active for users yet other the Rock and I who are still doing some testing.
This Hikers Journals (http://www.whiteblaze.net/journals/)
Section Hikers Journals (http://www.whiteblaze.net/section/)
Journal Photo Galleries (http://www.whiteblaze.net/jgallery/index.php)
Sample Journal (http://www.whiteblaze.net/journals/browsecategory.php?c=4&entryuserid=8)

Here is what these journals will offer.

Posting in our journal system is as easy as posting in any forum based software system on the web.
Spell checking available.
Post your photos in a membersí category specifically created for your journals. You will be able to view all your photos on pages as thumbnails. Create a title and description for each photo so others viewing you photo will see more details on it and not just a title.
Manage the look and layout of your own journal page positioning modules where you want them or creating modules.
Post your photos in your journals or add them as attachments or directly in you journal or as a thumbnail.
Post your entries as drafts so you can go back later and publish them when you are ready to.
Post your entries and choose a release date so that your entries are not physically posted until the date of your choosing. This will release the entries when that date is reached.
Create private entries so only the users on your buddy list can view these entries.
Subscribe to other members journals and receive emails notifications when new posts are added.
Search the journals.
Each journalist has a calendar on there journal page with links to the dates that have journal entries and can be accessed by clicking the date.
Guestbook for each journal.
Journal Photo Galleries for each journal. Plus all users are also listing under the user so you can see all that users photos no matter what journal the photos are stored in.

generoll
08-15-2007, 06:22
This all sounds good and maybe I am missing something, but here is what I have had to do in the past when I journaled. I've made notes of the things that stuck out and that I wanted to be certain of and then when I got home after my section hike I wrote up my hike. This works fine for section hikers. You're out for 1 or 2 weeks and then you come home and post.

How would you suggest that a person go about posting on a day to day basis over a period of time. I'm of course speaking specifically of the thru-hikers. You may have already covered this, but it seems to me that is the key point in a journal for those with the time and the inclination to through hike.

mixinmaster
08-15-2007, 11:40
This all sounds good and maybe I am missing something, but here is what I have had to do in the past when I journaled. I've made notes of the things that stuck out and that I wanted to be certain of and then when I got home after my section hike I wrote up my hike. This works fine for section hikers. You're out for 1 or 2 weeks and then you come home and post.

How would you suggest that a person go about posting on a day to day basis over a period of time. I'm of course speaking specifically of the thru-hikers. You may have already covered this, but it seems to me that is the key point in a journal for those with the time and the inclination to through hike.

The only way I personally saw being able to do this was using PocketMail and downloading via a phone to their journal provided with your PocketMail subscription. Otherwise you would have to type it into a journal at a library or internet cafe when you came into town. Believe me when I say that this frustrated me because I found that it was next to impossible to really have a decent journal doing it without a transcriber or a PocketMail. The really good journal's you find have to be done with one and/or the other. I see no other way even with today's Blackberries and all-in-one units on the market. For starters cell phone service is very limited out there anyway, and who could type a journal with even the new ones. You need at least the small keyboard of the PocketMail.

Jaybird
08-15-2007, 12:06
it seems to me that TJ must have some way of linking email to the journals so that users can post using Pocket Mail. is that correct and if so are you going to give the WB forums that capability?




i've been a trailjournal.com contributor since 2002...looking foward to the WB journals section...

i agree with the FREE to donating members...
$1 per year sounds reasonable, after that.

:D

postholer.com
08-15-2007, 12:15
The really good journal's you find have to be done with one and/or the other. I see no other way even with today's Blackberries and all-in-one units on the market. For starters cell phone service is very limited out there anyway, and who could type a journal with even the new ones. You need at least the small keyboard of the PocketMail.

If you're not sending electronically, it all has to be transcribed by hand. Using a Pocketmail, PDA Smartphone is THE way to go...and it works very well. Here are 2 postholer journals doing exactly that:

http://postholer.com/discodan
http://postholer.com/eyakel

Further, if you can attach a photo to your email from your device, it will appear immediately in your journal as well. One hiker is using a smartphone with a soft, roll up keyborad. Another has used a Pocketmail with a satellite phone!

Another method I have tested is using my Bluetooth phone and Bluetooth PDA. I'll 'write' on the PDA and email the entry. You could send all your entries when in cell range.

The point is, sending entry's electronically is very easily done and is done every day.

-postholer

Tha Wookie
08-15-2007, 14:53
For those that have not looked at our journal pages yet you can view them here. They are not active for users yet other the Rock and I who are still doing some testing.
This Hikers Journals (http://www.whiteblaze.net/journals/)
Section Hikers Journals (http://www.whiteblaze.net/section/)
Journal Photo Galleries (http://www.whiteblaze.net/jgallery/index.php)
Sample Journal (http://www.whiteblaze.net/journals/browsecategory.php?c=4&entryuserid=8)

Here is what these journals will offer.

Posting in our journal system is as easy as posting in any forum based software system on the web.
Spell checking available.
Post your photos in a membersí category specifically created for your journals. You will be able to view all your photos on pages as thumbnails. Create a title and description for each photo so others viewing you photo will see more details on it and not just a title.
Manage the look and layout of your own journal page positioning modules where you want them or creating modules.
Post your photos in your journals or add them as attachments or directly in you journal or as a thumbnail.
Post your entries as drafts so you can go back later and publish them when you are ready to.
Post your entries and choose a release date so that your entries are not physically posted until the date of your choosing. This will release the entries when that date is reached.
Create private entries so only the users on your buddy list can view these entries.
Subscribe to other members journals and receive emails notifications when new posts are added.
Search the journals.
Each journalist has a calendar on there journal page with links to the dates that have journal entries and can be accessed by clicking the date.
Guestbook for each journal.
Journal Photo Galleries for each journal. Plus all users are also listing under the user so you can see all that users photos no matter what journal the photos are stored in.


I checked out the journals. It looks easy and very functional, but I wasn't so jazzed about the design. The colors made my eyes hurt in minutes. I can't imagine reading a whole journal. Are they adjustable?

I'm only commenting to offer constructive criticism. I have no intentions of posting journals anywhere but trailjournals.com. But I'm sure many people will benefit greatly from the WB journals. Good work!

Tha Wookie
08-15-2007, 14:55
I checked out the journals. It looks easy and very functional, but I wasn't so jazzed about the design. The colors made my eyes hurt in minutes. I can't imagine reading a whole journal. Are they adjustable?

I'm only commenting to offer constructive criticism. I have no intentions of posting journals anywhere but trailjournals.com. But I'm sure many people will benefit greatly from the WB journals. Good work!

Acutally, I like the section hiker colors. Nice. I would lose the construction orange in the others. Looks like hunting season.:)

Tobit
08-15-2007, 15:13
Yeah, the bright orange hurts my eyes as well.

toppup1
02-19-2009, 16:06
Speaking of transcribers I'm going to offer my services as a transcriber for any thru-hiker. I'm retired and due to arthritis in the hip I won't be able to do the hike I was hoping for. Just send me a message on here or to dogpatchpup@cox.net with transcriber in the subject line. Would be glad to help any hiker. Thanks ahead of time.

john

PS I paid my $35. I think it's a good idea.

Sly
02-19-2009, 16:50
Is Whiteblaze still doing journals? Did they ever, the links are broken?

attroll
02-20-2009, 10:57
I am closing this thread. WhiteBlaze experimented with journals one year but decided against it. Trail Journals (http://www.trailjournals.com) has the best software on the web right now.