Monday, December 9, 2013

Is Facebook or Acitve Acceptable for a Race to Use as it's Primary Site?

Well the answer really is, .... no.

I represent and manage one of the most up to date half marathon calendar resources on the web, and the half marathon event community continues to grow at a rapid pace.  The number of half marathons growing across the nation has been unbelievable, and keeping dates and links to these events up to date is definitely a lot of work.  The most difficult task is dealing with events that change their links every year, or use tools such as active for their registration but have no real website for runners to go to other than Active or Facebook or Runsignup.  Even worse, Runsignup won't even put a link back to your race site, even if you have one I recently noticed.  While Active and Facebook, or Runsignup, can be used as TOOLS for registration, they really shouldn't be used as a central landing source to provide information about an event.  There are so many free resources out there to create a website page where you can add a link to your facebook page and a link to your registration.  Not only is this easier for runners to find the events year after year, it also will help drive registration by displaying photos and fun info about the event, and also make it much easier for online half marathon schedule websites to maintain the event details year after year.

Some easy to use sites for non-technical - non-web savvy race directors could be:

Blogger (which is what you are reading right now - super easy to set up a page and free)

Wix (very inexpensive and super easy to use templates, very user friendly, and will look professionally done)

Yahoo websites (very inexpensive)

Weebly (pretty sure this is still free)

If you are looking for free, I'd go with Blogger, .... and Wix actually might have a free version, but not positive.  Wix is awesome and I'd recommend it over all that I mentioned.  I've used it for another business of mine, and a local triathlon club I developed a site for.

Anyway, just some food for thought for those changing their link every year, or for those events that use facebook or active only. Also those who do not keep the event details up all year for runners to find, like YMCA / YWCA's .... we've had a lot of issues with keeping up to date and finding the event info and event link, or organizations who don't create an actual page for their event and only list it as an upcoming event part of the year.  These have been our worst culprits to try to maintain year after year, and is frustrating for runners as well.

In conclusion, events that have no actual website year after year, for one, could be gaining a LOT more runners to their events if they had a website up (and all year).  Second, events would make it so much easier for both runners attending their events, and half marathon clubs and directories if they were to keep ONE link up all year round for their event, and not ever change the link.

Happy Running!

Here is another article on improving event sites, on the Runner's Perspective - Improving Event Sites Blog ....

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